Betfred Super League Team of the Week 14

The road to Wembley is on the horizon, meaning is that an excuse for some clubs’ results for this week?!

Let’s not forget the sudden change back to winter weather despite entering May, summer rugby?!

Regardless, take a look at who stood out in week 14 as we also approached the halfway point in this ‘new beginnings’ of the sport.

Coach – Steve McNamara

Arguably the best result of the weekend went to Catalan Dragons, under head coach Steve McNamara.

The Dragons stunned Hull FC with a resounding 37-6 win at the KCOM stadium, their heaviest ever win at such a ground that took them into the Play-off places.

McNamara guided his side to a superb win, following a slow start, in what are interesting times ahead for the French outfit, who enter the defence of their Challenge Cup in the perfect manner here.

 

Full-back – Tony Gigot

The current Lance Todd Trophy holder demonstrated why he was worthy of such accolades as his attack blitzed the Airlie Birds in their fifth home defeat of 2019.

Scoring a try, providing two assists, five attacking kicks and 70 metres from 11 carries really saw him at his best and why he is such a crucial asset to the Dragons heading forward.

 

Wingers – Tom Makinson & Jermaine McGillvary

Three consecutive weeks have seen English wingers and this time seasoned internationals in Tom Makinson and Jermaine McGillvary.

Makinson produced another performance worthy of his golden boot, scoring a hat-trick of tries, providing an assist and up to 11 tackle busts that kept Hull Kingston Rovers’ defence occupied.

He also tallied up to 196 metres from 16 carries as well as four clean breaks as his side overcame a scare from the East Hull side to remain top of the table by four points.

As for McGillvary, the juggernaut came close to helping Huddersfield to a home win over local rivals Wakefield at the John Smith’s stadium on Friday.

The 30-year-old bagged two tries, seven tackle busts and 106 metres from 12 carries in a highly entertaining affair between the teams, with the Giants only just coming unstuck this time around.

 

Centres – Kevin Naiqama & Brayden Wiliame

Onto the centres and Fijian international Kevin Naiqama returns to the team, joined by Brayden Wiliame.

Naiqama enjoyed another top performance against a Hull side by bagging another hat-trick of tries as well as providing an assist in a hard fought win over the Robins.

He also completed 22 tackles, five busts and 95 metres from 11 carries, doing it tough at a place where their history could be better.

As for Wiliame, he went from villain to hero in games against Hull as he put his nightmare of France well and truly behind him.

Here, he scored a try, provided an assist, 16 tackles, five busts and a staggering 197 metres from 17 carries, the highest amount for a centre over the weekend.

 

Stand-off – Robert Lui

Appearing in the spotlight again is Salford’s Robert Lui, who appears at stand-off for the first time this season.

Though a move to Hull KR looks imminent, he led by example in the Red Devils’ home win over Leeds as they kept their Play-off hopes alive.

The 29-year-old scored a try, provided an assist, completed 15 tackles, four busts, seven attacking kicks and 89 metres with ball in hand, worthy enough perhaps of other teams to come in and purchase?!

Scrum-half – Jackson Hastings

Most supporters will be fed up of seeing this guy by now but Jackson Hastings lines up yet again at scrum-half.

He secures the position for the ninth time this season, but he is arguably becoming of the Super League’s greatest ever signings as he also starred in Salford’s revenge over Leeds.

He completed 17 tackles, managed five tackle busts, four attacking kicks and a staggering 136 metres from 19 carries as he helped keep Leeds on the back foot throughout and helped them up to sixth in the table, keeping his international hopes alive!

 

Props – David Fifita & Michael Cooper

Fourth week in a row, we have a different front row in Wakefield’s David Fifita and Warrington’s Michael Cooper.

Fifita returned to his best in Wakefield’s narrow yet crucial away win at Huddersfield, arguably being the edge between both teams.

He scored another try, completed 29 tackles, six busts and 102 metres from 15 carries as the injury hit Trinity continued their climb up the table, with Fifita in turn continuing his chase towards the Man of Steel award.

As for Cooper, he demonstrated why he has been worthy of international recognition in his side’s win at Castleford Tigers on Friday.

He was a try scorer, completed 30 tackles, two busts and 103 metres from ten carries as the Wolves remained stationed in second place heading into Challenge Cup break next week.

Hooker – Daryl Clark

Usurping James Roby to becoming this season’s top hooker is Warrington’s Daryl Clark.

The former Man of Steel secures a place in the team for the fourth time this season as he helped defeat his former club on Friday.

The 26-year-old assisted in of his side’s tries, completed 30 tackles, four busts and 140 metres from 11 carries, higher than any other hooker over the weekend as he continued the extremely difficult battle to become Great Britain’s hooker come autumn.

 

Second-row – Joe Philbin & Josh Jones

The back row sees Salford Josh Jones appear yet again, this time joined by Warrington’s ever-improving Joe Philbin.

Jones provided Salford plenty of support in the pack against Leeds, completed 33 tackles as well as amassing 137 metres whilst in possession.

Philbin produced similar heroics in 26 tackles, two busts and 11 metres from 14 carries as both teams and players enter next weeks’ Cup fixtures in good form heading towards both Wembley and Old Trafford.

 

Loose-forward – Jason Baitieri

Out of the ordinary? Catalan’s Jason Baitieri appears for the first time in 2019, down at loose-forward.

He enjoyed a strong performance at Hull where his side’s pack dominated the hosts in a one-sided affair.

He completed 45 tackles and tallied almost 100 metres as they restricted Hull to just six points and kept up their climb up the table in what is looking to be Super League’s most exciting play-off race to date!

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