It’s really tensing up now in both the Play-off and relegation survival chase as round 21 delivered plenty of points!
Some rather daunting scores for some clubs with others revelling in euphoria of inflicting such results of said clubs, thanks to the actions of certain players.
Coach – Justin Holbrook
A tough one but St Helens’ Justin Holbrook returns to the role of Coach. His Saints side really turned on the style as they effortlessly dispatched Hull FC at the KCOM stadium, just a week after they impressively won away at Warrington.
Travelling to 2nd then 3rd and recording victories is no easy feat, no matter how dominant your season has gone. Holbrook really has engineered the Saints into what’s looking to be an unstoppable force in 2019.
Full-back – Jake Mamo
Not bad for a “Huddersfield reject” right? Jake Mamo secures the full-back role and not for the first time this season.
Since Stefan Ratchford got injured, Mamo has slotted in superbly in the position, proving to be a smart purchase by Warrington and Saturday was no exception as they swept aside the London Broncos.
His contribution saw him score a try, provide an assist and manage four tackle busts and 219 metres from 22 carries, also not bad for a “reserve”.
Wingers – Jodie Broughton & Liam Marshall
Two players who certainly know their way to the try line in Jodie Broughton and Liam Marshall.
Both speedsters each bagged a hat-trick in their sides wins but also provided plenty of support for their clubs’ forwards packs respectively.
Broughton amassing 125 metres from 15 carries and Marshall up to 82 metres from seven carries that kept two sorry clubs in Wakefield and Hull KR busy throughout.
Centres – Mark Percival & David Mead
Two potential rivals internationals this autumn are named this week at centre as Mark Percival and David Mead are chosen.
Percival rediscovered his best in St Helens’ dominant win over Hull FC, especially his attack that had earnt him a place in the England team in recent years.
On Friday, he assisted in two tries, managed 13 tackle busts and a staggering 137 metres from 17 carries as the Airlie Birds just could not contain him.
Similar superlatives befell the Papua New Guinean Mead over in France as he too provided a try assist but also completed 15 tackles and managed up to 120 metres from 11 carries as the Dragons attained a much needed win in their race for the play-offs.
Stand-off – Jonny Lomax
Another England international is named in St Helens’ utility star Jonny Lomax.
This week saw him in fine form at stand-off, leaving all of Hull’s attackers in his shadow and their defenders in his wake.
He notched a try, assisted with another and managed 125 metres from 16 carries, more than any other stand-off this week as he remains a dangerous threat within the competition!
Scrum-half – Tony Gigot
Returning to the Catalan Dragons side was Tony Gigot, who led his side to an easy win over Wakefield.
Gigot secured a brace of tries and assisted in just as many as his attacking skill was too much for a tired Trinity side to handle.
In addition, he put in five attacking kicks, managed 51 metres with ball in hand and even completed 14 tackles.
A superb effort from such an influential and skilful player and should he remain fit, could help steer the Dragons back as contenders.
Props – Joe Bullock & Matty Lees
Dubious looking front row perhaps as Wigan’s signing Joe Bullock and St Helens’ youthful Matty Lees are named.
Bullock put in a heavy shift going forward for the Warriors as they overwhelmed Hull Kingston Rovers to record a 52-10 win, with the former Barrow Raider being heavily involved.
From making five tackle busts to 176 metres from 15 carries, more than any other prop over the weekend, a phenomenal achievement and demonstrating how smart a purchase he has been.
Lees meanwhile, has thrived since coming on to the scene at St Helens, proving to be a valuable asset in their forward pack rotation throughout 2019.
Friday was no different as he completed 26 tackles and 139 metres from 17 carries plus two clean breaks as his career develops no doubt with great interest from other clubs hoping for his services as well as the Saints.
Hooker – Kruise Leeming
This was a difficult choice but edging it was Huddersfield’s Kruise Leeming, who led the way in their all-important away win over Salford on Thursday.
Though Daryl Clark thrived in London, Leeming was the man for the position as not only he enjoyed a top performance, but also what it meant to his club as they edged closer towards safety.
As for Leeming himself, a try, two assists, 41 tackles, two busts, two attacking kicks and 80 metres from 12 carries; any more words needed?!
Second-row – Liam Farrell & Ukuma Ta’ai
On to the back row and arguably Wigan’s best forward in Liam Farrell returns to the team, along with Huddersfield’s powerhouse Ukuma Ta’ai.
The Wigan local was another who led by example in their easy win over Hull KR, scoring two tries, one assist 27 tackles, five busts and up to 180 metres from 21 carries.
Such high involvement cannot go ignored as Farrell thrived throughout, but as did Ta’ai in the Giants’ win over Salford.
Ta’ai managed one of his side’s tries, completed 28 tackles and three tackle busts as well as 108 metres from 12 carries in another top effort.
Loose-forward – Trent Merrin
Retaining the position from last week is Leeds Rhinos’ Trent Merrin.
Merrin was arguably Leeds’ top man once again as the Rhinos recorded a crucial 18-10 away win at Castleford, completing a home and away double in the process.
His contribution saw him score a try, complete 21 tackles, four tackle busts and 104 metres from 12 carries.
He may have faced criticism throughout his time at Leeds but now possibly, he is living up to expectation as he and Leeds may have turned over a new leaf heading into the business end?!