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Challenge Cup and Super League Team of the Week

Posted 20th June 2017 at 08:14 By Mike Andrews. Pictures: SWpix.com

Rugby AM News | Updated: 20th June 2017 at 08:14

Mike Andrews picks the best 13 players from the latest round of Betfred Super League and the quarter final of the challenge cup fixtures in his Team of the Week.

1.Liam Sutcliffe – Leeds Rhinos

The utility player was at his absolute best against the brave Flat Cappers, which makes Rhinos fans a bit twitchy as rumours about a move to Wigan Warriors circulate. He made some important decisions and broke the line on a few occasions, finishing off with a neat little try.

2. Jermaine McGillvary – Huddersfield Giants

McGillvary may not have scored for the Giants in their vital win over Saints, but he made valuable metres gain of 157 to help set the platform to go three points clear of the bottom four.

3. Mahe Fonua – Hull FC (Star Man)

The powerful centre scored the telling try as Hull FC overcame a pretty lacklustre display from Super League table-toppers Castleford. His strength helped him break through tackles with ease and break up field – helping his side always remain on the front foot. Even when they went behind, Fonua didn’t change his style and continued to smash the Tigers in a Hulk-like manner.

4. Ryan Hall –Leeds Rhinos

Switching between his accustomed wing spot and the centre spot, Hall was devastating given the extra room he had in the centres. His trademark fend and powerful drives weren’t dealt with properly and he was able to assist Ash Handley with a peach of an offload for a try, as well as a leaping try of his own. I wouldn’t be surprised if Brian McDermott keeps the England international in the centres against Castleford.

5. Joe Burgess – Wigan Warriors

Burgess bagged a brace of tries and almost a hat-trick as he capitalised on the times Wigan kept their composure, admittedly wasn’t very often, but Burgess certainly profited. He underlined for me why he’s one of the best wingers in the Super League and the Warriors will be much better off now he’s back on the wing.

6. Ben Roberts – Castleford Tigers

Roberts was the only Tigers player who played to his potential in a very difficult afternoon against Hull, who never gave them any room. He scored two tries, both of which highlighted his danger near the line as he jinked through on both occasions to make the Black and Whites very nervous.

7. Michael Dobson – Salford Red Devils

Dobson was masterful for the Red Devils as they booked their place in the semi-finals o the Challenge Cup for the first time since 1998. He pulled the strings and put in some lovely kicks to consolidate a fantastic performance against a visibly jaded Wakefield Trinity outfit.

8. Craig Kopczak – Salford Red Devils

The former Bradford product was at his uncompromising best as he smashed the Trinity pack to pieces and in doing so set the platform for a huge win; al the while notching up a trademark prop forward try for his troubles. Under Watson, Kopczak has been one of the in-form forwards in the Super League and deserves a lot of credit for this great victory.

9. Danny Houghton –Hull FC

Fonua might have got Man of the Match against the Tigers, but it was Houghton who controlled the Tigers out of the contest. In the second-half the Tigers were battling to get the ascendency but Houghton slowed the game right down and manipulated every play-the-ball to ultimately prevent Castleford from ever truly getting back into the game.

10. Sam Rapira – Huddersfield Giants

Rapira produced a performance befitting of his reputation that he’d gained back in the NRL. In a game of few metre gains, Rapira made 131 and performed admirably in defence with 35 tackles, to help shut down the Saints and continue the Giants’ winning run.

11. Ben Murdoch-Masila – Salford Red Devils

‘BMM’ was by far the best player on the pitch as he tore the Trinity pack apart, along with teammate Kopczak, to set his tam on their way to a famous victory. He scored a try and made valuable metres all game and wasn’t too afraid in defence, making some great defensive reads.

12. John Bateman – Wigan Warriors

Bateman had been out for five months after an injury ruled him out of action since the World Club Series game against NRL Premiers Cronulla Sharks. He came back with a vengeance against the disjointed Wolves; making lung-bursting effort after effort, even contribution with a great try to help send the Warriors into the semis.

13. Danny Washbrook – Hull FC

Moving from second-row into loose-forward, Washbrook was a part of the sensational forward pack that dismantled the Tigers treble challenge. He was menacing and very difficult to put down, especially as the try line drew closer and his effort only increased as he looked to send the Hull fans home happy.

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