The longest weekend of the season for some clubs as the race for survival and the play-offs took yet another interesting swing as we bring the latest addition of the team of the week.
Coach – Lee Radford
Closely contested by Hull’s Lee Radford regains the position of Coach of the week.
His side became only the fourth club to travel to the South of France and inflict 50 or more points on the Catalan Dragons, opening up a four point gap, clear in third.
Radford’s style of coaching seems to have done the trick at Hull, recovering from their Magic Weekend hiding to record four consecutive wins as they look well poised for a final appearance come the business end.
Full-back – Jake Mamo
First appearance of the season for Warrington Wolves’ new signing Jake Mamo, who starred in their easy home win over Wakefield.
Standing in for the injured Stefan Ratchford, Mamo has settled in well at the club and on Friday arguably saw him at his finest.
Providing a try assist, managing five tackle busts and a staggering 197 metres from 19 carries helped wear out Wakefield and saw them maintain their four point gap in second.
Wingers – Tom Makinson & Ratu Naulago
What could become a bizarre Great Britain pairing in time to come as St Helens’ Tom Makinson and Hull’s Ratu Naulago are selected as the wingers.
Makinson produced another top performance all round; recording another sensational touchdown as well as 12 tackle busts and 206 metres from 22 carries, an outstanding effort!
As for Naulago, he has become arguably one of Hull’s most fortuitous captures in their Super League history as he helped terrorise the Catalans Dragons in France.
His 100 metre try was delicious to watch but as was his support play in carrying the ball plus his assist for Albert Kelly’s try was superb stuff too.
Pushing for British citizenship, Naulago could easily partner Makinson on the wing, with both proving competitive material when facing our counterparts down under!
Centres – Jake Connor & Kieran Buchanan
At centre in an all Hull combination in international Jake Connor and rising sensational Kieran Buchanan.
After recovering from a shaky start, Connor produced another top attacking performance, setting in motion Hull’s first try but was also on hand to provide excellent support play.
His 83 metres from six carries and even a defensive stint of 21 tackles helped keep Catalans restricted to just ten points in the game, with team mate Buchanan also providing a healthy contribution.
The youngster scored his first ever try for the club, managed four busts and over 107 metres from 14 carries in a terrific display that could provide Radford with plenty of selection headache later this season.
Stand-off – Jordan Abdull
At stand-off was Man of the match on Thursday night Jordan Abdull.
And what a time for a huge display, steering his current employers London Broncos to a crucial relegation four-pointer win over future side Hull Kingston Rovers down in Ealing.
The 23-year-old notched a try, completed 17 tackles, two busts, put in 11 attacking kicks and amassed 101 metres from 16 carries in a sensational individual performance in a game that will surely prove crucial come the end of the season.
Scrum-half – Jackson Hastings
Rounding off the line-up is Salford’s ‘unsung’ hero in Jackson Hastings.
Hastings is enjoying a terrific season, with several rival Super League clubs chasing his signature for the 2020 season and beyond.
But the 23-year-old’s job is to steer Salford in the right direction and he did that in an impressive 26-16 home win over Castleford Tigers on Friday.
He scored a try, assisted in another two, completed 20 tackles, three attacking kicks and 100 metres from 18 carries, proving himself a strong contender for a Great Britain selection, via some citizenship.
Props – Alex Walmsley & Chris Hill
The front row sees an all English international combination in St Helens’ Alex Walmsley and Warrington’s Chris Hill.
Walmsley, or ‘big Al’, was a juggernaut in St Helens home win over Leeds, amassing 173 metres from 18 carries, six tackle busts and completing 24 tackles.
Superb stuff from the Yorkshireman, though similar superlatives befell the controversial Hill.
Hill completed 27 tackles and managed 136 metres from 16 carries as his side recovered from a bad start to dispatch Wakefield on Friday.
Hooker – Daryl Clark
Another England international secures the hooker position in Daryl Clark.
The former Man of Steel returned after being rested last time out by Steve Price and returned with a bang, guiding his side to an easy win.
Clark completed 36 tackles to help restrict Wakefield to just six points but enjoyed a top night in attack, 12 busts and 189 metres from 15 carries being a phenomenal effort!
Second-row – Josh Griffin & Josh Jones
They share the same forename and in 2020, they will share the same club as Josh Griffin and Josh Jones are selected at second-row.
Griffin produced a man of the match performance in Hull’s emphatic 50-10 win in Catalan, rotating to the second-row from centre to great effect.
He notched a brace of tries, assisted in another, completed 23 tackles, 11 busts and a staggering 190 metres from 17 carries, demonstrating top tactics by his head coach to utilise such an option.
Joining him is Jones, who retains his position after another strong performance for Salford.
Jones completed 26 tackles but also managed six busts and 161 metres from 20 carries. He may not have bagged a try but such graft helped him lay the platform down for his attackers to thrive, something you expect from a potent back rower!
Loose-forward – Sean O’Loughlin
Yes, our ‘favourite’ loose-forward in the competition, the hated, adored and never ignore Wigan captain Sean O’Loughlin.
O’Loughlin was arguably Wigan’s star in their crucial 38-22 win at Huddersfield on Friday.
The veteran scored a try, provided two assists, completed 25 tackles and managed 102 metres from 19 carries.
A captains knock indeed, a sensational performance as he and Wigan have gone from cannon fodder to play-off contenders in the blink of an eye!