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Super League Team of the Week: Round 19

Posted 26th June 2017 at 10:56 By Mike Andrews. Pictures:

News | Updated: 26th June 2017 at 10:56

After another eventful round of fixtures that saw Castleford go seven points clear at the top, Mike Andrews picks his Betfred Super League Team of the Week.

1. Zak Hardaker (Castleford Tigers, Star Man)

The England international has become somewhat of a tormentor to his former employers. He had a sensational game against Leeds, and even rubbed it in by antagonising the home fans by pointing at the Cas’ badge and then to his heart, signifying where his loyalties now lie. His performance included a brilliant solo effort from 70 metres out, which broke the hearts of those who used to sing his name.

2. Jamie Shaul (Hull FC)

I had to move Shaul to the wing from full-back as he was simply too good to miss out on selection. I regard him as the best attacking no.1’s in Super League – and he proved it with a brace of tries and a fantastic long-range effort to ultimately despatch of Wakefield in some style. He also chewed up the metres and gained a solid total of 179.

3. Leroy Cudjoe (Huddersfield Giants)

In a tight, nervy contest Cudjoe proved to be vital for the Giants as they secured a point against a disjointed Warriors outfit. He scored and assisted a try, as well as gaining 160 metres and a clean-break to keep his hopes of an England World Cup shirt alive.

4. Ryan Atkins (Warrington Wolves)

The Wolves claimed their first Super League win in five attempts as Atkins linked up with Kurt Gidley to score two tries against an always difficult Catalans team. He even assisted a try to contribute towards three of the four tries for his side. The powerful centre played very well and when that happens the Wolves usually win.

5. Corey Thompson (Widnes Vikings)

Thompson scored a cheeky try in the morale-boosting victory over Leigh. He scored another, made 225 metres and two clean-breaks. The performance was something you would of seen in 2016 when Widnes registered seven straight victories at the start of the season.

6. Rangi Chase (Widnes Vikings)

Chase pulled the strings in expert fashion as the Vikings won the basement battle against the Centurions. He booted a forty-twenty, assisted a try and made a neat clean-break for good measure. Maybe Rangi has finally found a new home as he looks to return to his best form.

7. Matty Smith (St Helens)

When you’re down 24-8 with seven minutes left, it’s safe to assume that the Saints were going to lose to the battling Salford Red Devils. However, Matty Smith never got the memo and he stole the show with a superb drop-goal after the hooter had sounded to dent Salford’s momentum in the league. He was instrumental in the build up to the fantastic finish helping his side level things up. This performance was exactly why the Saints brought him home from Wigan.

8. Alex Walmsley (St Helens)

The England hopeful was at his battering best as he ate up the metres – gaining 172 and hit up strongly in defence for 33 tackles. He helped set the platform in the latter stages against Salford so Smith and co could work their magic in the astonishing comeback win.

9. James Roby (St Helens)

Roby in defence was magnificent, adding 53 tackles to a cause that clearly needed it before the miracle seven-minute spell in the second-half. He added a try and a clean-break in attack to make sure his all-round game was on point.

10. Grant Millington (Castleford Tigers)

This Friday’s game at Headingley was perhaps not Millington’s best for the Tigers this season, but he played a telling part as he sealed victory with a well-taken try. Rarely does the hard-working forward have a bad game for Cas and he was his usual hard-working self, contributing with 30 tackles.

11. John Bateman (Wigan Warriors)

In other circumstances I would have Bateman and Farrell in the side. However, I felt Bateman just shaded it with another try after coming back from injury. He managed 131 metres and 31 tackles in comparison to the unlucky Farrell, who earned 47 tackles and 153 metres for the cause.

12. Matt Whitley (Widnes Vikings)

Although it was Chris Houghton who profited with a brace of tries, it was Whitley who had a much better game in my eyes. He made three clean-breaks, 35 tackles and scored a try to clearly outshine his veteran team-mate. This lad has a very bright future and the Vikings may have a difficult job trying to keep the young forward beyond this season.

13. Sika Manu (Hull FC)

Manu was one of many in top form for Hull FC in the second-half against Trinity. He made over 100 metres, assisted a try and crunched in 27 tackles as the Black and Whites dominated after originally going behind to the spirited Wakefield side.


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