Round 16 of the NRL season saw some serious jockeying of positions around the back end of the top eight as well as a few upsets.
The North Queensland Cowboys showed they can win without Johnathan Thurston while a couple of big comeback wins ensured exciting finishes.
Some of the key Warriors players enjoyed strong games against the Bulldogs on Friday night. Shaun Johnson had his best kicking performance of the season while winger Ken Maumalo was a beast with ball in hand and scored a brilliant solo try. There will be concern over the shoulder injury to Issac Luke however.
Forwards Jason Taumalolo (Cowboys), Marty Taupau (Sea Eagles) and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (Roosters) were impressive for their respective sides while winger Jason Nightingale scored his 100th career try in a big game for the Dragons.
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It is impossible to go past Manly's win over the reigning premiers on Sunday night. The unheralded Sea Eagles pack continues to get the job done. Taupau is playing as well as any prop this year while lock Jake Trbojevic was superb once again. Halfback Daly Cherry-Evans brought himself into the Origin frame with a dominant display.
Titans fullback Jarryd Hayne had arguably his worst performance for NSW on Wednesday night but he bounced back in a big way for the Titans, helping guide the Gold Coast outfit to a win over the Wests Tigers. It helped keep alive the Titans slim finals hopes and reminded everyone just how dangerous the former NFL convert can be.
Well a few moments this week. Six to be precise. Former Kiwi winger Nightingale recorded his 99th, 100th and 101st career tries for the Dragons in their comeback win over Newcastle. Knights winger Nathan Ross bagged three tries of his own in a terrific game that saw the Dragons shoot out to an early lead, the Knights take control, get in front and open up a halftime lead and then the Dragons comeback again in the second half.
Not a lot of it this week but watching the Storm and Roosters play in front of a huge crowd at the Adelaide Oval made me wonder why there remains no plan of expansion in the near future and why there are too many clubs based in Sydney. With Perth and a second Brisbane team badly needed this serves reason again why the game needs to address the imbalance of teams in Sydney.
Team of the Week
1.Jarryd Hayne (Titans)
2.Jason Nightingale (Dragons)
3.Curtis Scott (Storm)
4.Konrad Hurrell (Titans)
5.Ken Maumalo (Warriors)
6.Benji Marshall (Broncos)
7.Daly Cherry-Evans (Sea Eagles)
8.Jarrod Wallace (Titans)
9.Jake Friend (Roosters)
10.Martin Taupau (Sea Eagles)
11.Matt Gillett (Broncos)
12.Coen Hess (Cowboys)
13.Jason Taumalolo (Cowboys)
14.Ben Hunt (Broncos)
15.Josh Dugan (Dragons)
16.Nathan Ross (Knights)
17.Gareth Widdop (Dragons)
5.Sea Eagles (+2)