Betfred Super League Team of the Week Nine

Desperate times, desperate measures for some clubs whereas others are unable to make their minds up whether to be pretenders or contenders.

Regardless, another selection of Team of the Week returns, check out who made the list below as some clubs prepare for an early shot at the Coral Challenge Cup next week!

 

Coach – Steve McNamara

A difficult selection as some coaches guided teams to famous victories, but Steve McNamara steering Catalans to a win over St Helens stood out.

A remarkable turnaround as his side were thumped by Wigan 42-0 last week but what better a response than to take out their unbeaten arch-rivals against all the odds?!

Superb stuff as the Dragons demonstrated that they should never be underestimated and could possibly have an impact on the Play-offs come the business end of the season.

Full-back – Craig Hall

Securing his first appearance of the season in the team is Hull KR’s Craig Hall.

Since arriving from Leigh midway last year, Hall has been a revelation for the Robins and Thursday’s dominant win over Leeds was no different.

Assisting in a try, ten tackle busts and a staggering 217 metres from 23 carries really saw him at his attacking best, the perfect form heading into a Challenge Cup meeting with his former club this Thursday!

 

Wingers – Tom Lineham & Fouad Yaha

Lining up on the wings are two big guns in Tom Lineham and Fouad Yaha.

Lineham, unofficially the flying pig, scored a hat-trick in Warrington’s heavy win over London but was also heavily involved throughout.

Three tackle busts as well as 108 metres from 18 carries demonstrates his sheer power with ball in hand as he continued his successful stint with the Wolves.

Similar superlatives befall Yaha however, as the man mountain thrived in his side’s win over St Helens.

Yaha bagged a try, managed four busts and tallied 112 metres from 16 carries that helped his side return to winning ways in superb fashion.

Centres – Konrad Hurrell & Josh Griffin

Returning to the centre positions are both Konrad Hurrell and Josh Griffin.

The deepest sympathies for Hurrell, arguably the only player in the Leeds side who deserved credit in their disappointing defeat at Hull KR on Thursday.

The Tongan heroically scored four tries, amassed 13 tackle busts and tallied over 235 metres from 15 carries that also saw Leeds come close to a remarkable comeback but ultimately came up trumps.

Griffin though enjoyed an afternoon against his former club, scoring all of Hull’s three tries in a hard-fought win for the Airlie Birds.

He also made over 100 metres with ball in hand and seven tackle busts that kept the hosts busy and saw Hull return to winning ways.

 

Stand-off – Blake Austin

Remaining at stand-off is Man of Steel favourite Blake Austin.

As expected, Austin and Warrington bagged another two points against London, but Austin’s level of involvement was once again simply superb.

The Australian bagged another two tries, provided as many assists and tallied over 100 metres with ball in hand, taking his side up to the top of the Betfred Super League in the process!

Scrum-half – Danny Brough

Rounding the back line off is ‘tireless’ veteran Danny Brough.

The 36-year-old was in fine form against his former employers as he helped steer Wakefield to a tense win over Huddersfield.

Brough provided two try assists, managed five busts, nine attacking kicks and 64 metres with ball in hand, even slotting over the drop-goal for good measure as Trinity remained in contention for the Play-offs.

 

Props – Liam Watts & David Fifita

The front row is an all “West Yorkshire” combination in Castleford’s Liam Watts and Wakefield’s David Fifita.

Watts was key in Castleford’s remarkable comeback against reigning champions Wigan on Friday.

Completing 28 tackles, five busts, 150 metres from 15 carries really saw him at his best as he helped the Tigers come from 20 points behind twice to win and consolidate their place in the Play-offs.

Fifita arguably went even better though; bagging two tries is a fantastic achievement for a prop, but add 34 tackles, 13 tackle busts and 134 metres from 16 carries, you really do have a ‘go to’ man.

And make no mistake, this is a mouth-watering battle between two ‘titans’ when they meet over Easter!

 

Hooker – Adam Milner

Slotting in at hooker is Castleford’s Adam Milner.

Filling in for the suspended Paul McShane, Milner enjoyed a superb game in Castleford’s famous win over Wigan.

The 27-year-old scored a try, assisted in two and tallied 124 metres from 13 carries as he helped steer Castleford around the park in an unbelievable contest.

 

Second-row – Mark Minichiello & Ukuma Ta’ai

The back row is an unlikely combination perhaps in Hull’s veteran Mark Minichiello and Huddersfield’s utility forward Ukuma Ta’ai.

Minichiello has been under the radar this season, with many people criticising the decision to remain at Hull due to his age but the 36-year-old must have had extra spinach as he enjoyed arguably his greatest performance of the season so far.

He completed 28 tackles, managed five busts and 117 metres from 18 carries as he helped Hull remain dangerous throughout down their left side and ultimately helped them return to winning ways after the huge body blow dealt by Warrington.

As for Ta’ai, despite being a ‘loser’, he remains one of the league’s most potent forwards as his side came ever so close to another win.

The Tongan managed over 130 metres whilst in possession and completed 25 tackles.

It may not have been enough for a win but the giants remain competitive and could yet challenge the Play-offs, especially if Ta’ai remains in the team throughout 2019.

 

Loose-forward – George Lawler

Completing the line-up is Hull KR’s local lad George Lawler.

The Robins have their fair share of absentees but one who’s been solid in their pack is Lawler, who enjoyed his best performance of 2019 so far against Leeds.

The 23-year-old completed 30 tackles, three busts and 140 metres from 18 carries, even awarded the Man of the Match by the commentary panel in what was a highly crucial win for the red and whites!

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