Where to begin? The warm weather returned and with it came several record breakers as the Easter programme returned to the Betfred Super League in fine style as we reveal another edition of Team of the Week!
Coach – Lee Radford
No doubt about it, Lee Radford’s Hull FC side recorded the heaviest ever Hull derby victory in the history of the sport itself with a 56-12 thumping of Hull Kingston Rovers on Good Friday.
His side started edgily but a perfect second 40 minute meant that FC returned never looked back and perhaps returned as title contenders once again.
An excellent turn around yet again by Radford and his staff, setting up a mouth-watering fixture at St Helens on Easter Monday.
Full-back – Lachlan Coote
A tricky one but returning to the position is St Helens’ Lachlan Coote.
The Scottish international produced another well rounded performance as the Saints pulled clear at the top of the table by sweeping aside arch-rivals Wigan Warriors.
Coote notched a try, managed seven tackle busts, three attacking kicks and 134 metres from 13 carries, even earning his named chanted several times whenever kicking a goal as the fan favourite is heading towards a memorable season!
Wingers – Jack Logan & Regan Grace
On the wings are two hat-trick heroes in Hull FC’s Jack Logan and St Helens’ Regan Grace.
Logan was initially ‘covering’ for the injured Ratu Naulago and the retired Fetuli Talanoa but will surely now make Radford’s selection much more difficult with a fine individual performance against the Robins.
Not only his hat-trick but he was a work horse, with 122 metres from 13 carries as he consistently tormented opposite Will Oakes throughout.
As for Grace, he produced similar superlatives, especially in attack. On top of his tries, he managed six busts and 146 metres from 17 carries, utilising his speed and tricky side-step to great effect yet again!
Perhaps a dark horse for the Great Britain international team come Autumn as well as personal accolades with the competition.
Centres – Carlos Tuimavave & Matt Whitley
At centre is Hull fan favourite Carlos Tuimavave, joined by Catalans’ Matt Whitley.
No tries to his name, yet Tuimavave was another outstanding player in the derby win.
He assisted with a try, six tackle busts and up to 100 metres with ball in hand, he left KR defenders trailing in his wake as he demonstrated that he is currently one of Super League’s most underrated three-quarters.
As for Whitley, he stood out in Catalans’ win in London. Scoring two tries, assisting in another, 15 tackles, five busts and 127 metres from 17 carries, Whitley really showed his worth and why poaching him from Widnes was a smart move from the French side.
Stand-off – Albert Kelly
Wait, he only played half the game? Well what an impact off that bench Albert Kelly had as he exacted a long, sweet revenge on his former employers.
Though KR targeted him, he showed just how much practice they still needed as he was uncontainable.
A try, a superb assist from the penultimate kick off, nine busts and 126 metres from just 10 carries, Kelly enjoyed a masterclass as he rediscovered his previous form and could just be the necessary ingredient to kick-start Hull’s shot at some silverware this year.
Scrum-half – Jackson Hastings
Rounding the back line off is Salford’s personal Man of Steel favourite in Jackson Hastings.
The 23-year-old enjoyed another strong performance as Salford recorded one of the shock wins of the 2019 season by dispatching Warrington Wolves at the Halliwell Jones stadium.
Providing an assist, three busts, six attacking kicks and a staggering 137 metres from 15 carries, he was heavily involved throughout, leading by example as you expect from any good half-back.
Props – Liam Watts & Luke Thompson
The front row sees an all English combination in Liam Watts and Luke Thompson.
Watts produced another top performance, having arguably ‘carried’ the Castleford pack all season, he starred again in Castleford’s narrow win over Wakefield.
Having completed 49 tackles, assisting in a try, managed two busts and 123 metres from 15 carries, he was the difference between victory and defeat as Castleford remained within the top three thanks to his efforts.
Thompson’s choice was difficult as team mate Alex Walmsley was also sensational in the win at Wigan.
But what clinched it was his clean breaks, higher tackles that couples with his equal ability to Walmsley of never backing down.
Both easily capable of international recognition and could easily increase difficult for New Zealand come Autumn, but first, the battle against each other for that all-important Super League title.
Hooker – Brad Dwyer
Is the Leeds Rhinos revival on? Leeds battered Huddersfield 38-18 at Headingley, with Brad Dwyer the star of the show.
Dwyer notched a try, assisted in three, completed 20 tackles, four busts and 91 metres from 11 carries.
An excellent performance, showing his fan base that Konrad Hurrell is not the only one carrying the Leeds team and surely making his family, especially his mother, proud!
Second-rowers – Mark Minichiello & Josh Jones
The back row sees the ageless Mark Minichiello return to the fold, joined by Salford’s top forward in Josh Jones.
Minichiello turned on the style with his dangerous nippy running that KR could not keep up with, even scoring an outrageous try, leaving Craig Hall in his wake.
Furthermore, his assist for Westerman, 22 tackles, nine busts and 100 metres? Not bad for a 36-year-old, who certain supporters claimed was ‘way past his best’ back when he first signed with the Airlie Birds, how wrong can some be?!
As for Jones, he was the arguably the main tormentor in Salford’s pack at Warrington. Completing 20 tackles, four busts and 120 metres from 13 carries saw him continue his fine ability.
Should he keep fit, Salford should not only survive relegation with ease but could mount a serious challenge on the Play-offs, especially if they develop some consistency in their performances.
Loose-forward – Nathan Massey
Finally, a player who went under the radar but produced a fantastic performance is Castleford’s Nathan Massey?
Barely noticed him? Well take a look at his contribution in the win over Wakefield then!
A staggering 33 tackles and 136 metres from 18 carries, the highest amount from a loose-forward over the weekend, Massey worked hard throughout as he assisted in not only winning but quelling Wakefield’s late fightback too to claim a crucial win as well as the bragging rights!