Betfred Super League Team of the Week: Round 17

Coach: Danny Ward

Easily the shock of the season as London Broncos, against all odds, defeated league leaders St Helens.

They never know when they are beaten and rightfully so, as Danny Ward guided his side to a famous victory to throw the race for survival well and truly open.

Full-back: Peter Mata’utia

An unsung hero was Peter Mata’utia, who completed a superb yet crucial fightback in Castleford’s golden point win over Huddersfield on Friday.

The Tigers were trailing for most of the match before a last gasp win kept them in the top five, with Mata’utia providing a valuable contribution.

On top of his seven goals and winning drop-goal, he managed three tackle busts and 156 metres from 18 carries , working overtime throughout and once again demonstrating how crucial he is to the club.

Wingers: Josh Charnley & Jermaine McGillvary

Two players who boast England international experience in both Josh Charnley and Jermaine McGillvary line up on the wing.

Charnley bagged himself a try as well as managing 149 metres from 22 carries in Warrington’s surprisingly comfortable win against Catalans Dragons.

He worked hard, but as did McGillvary, despite ending up a ‘loser’ as he helped the Giants push Castleford to the death on Friday.

From 11 busts to 120 metres from 18 carries, he’s always a handful for most opposition and well worthy of his position here as well as for England.

Centres: Dan Sarginson & Ryan Morgan

A very difficult choice but Wigan’s Dan Sarginson and London’s Ryan Morgan are selected at centre.

Sarginson bagged a try, eight busts and up to 200 metres from 22 carries in Wigan’s win at Hull Kingston Rovers.

But Morgan secured a brace as well as completing 23 tackles and 77 metres in a remarkable win against his former club, in what could be the turning point of 2019 for his side.

Stand-off: Albert Kelly

Former Man of Steel contender Albert Kelly lines up at stand-off as Hull backed up their Challenge Cup quarter final win with a hard fought home victory over Salford.

Kelly scored two tries, provided two assists , completed 18 tackles, nine busts and 103 metres from nine hit-ups in a complete performance from the Australian, with plenty more to come no doubt?

Scrum-half: Morgan Smith

A debutant at scrum-half in London’s Morgan Smith as he slotted home the drop goal that secured his team’s most remarkable win of 2019.

He also had the luxury of providing an assist, 16 tackles, two busts, as many kicks and 53 metres from eight carries in a superb individual performance.

Props: Liam Watts & Mickey Paea

Two former team mates in Liam Watts of Castleford and Mickey Paea of Hull FC are named as front rowers.

Watts continued his resurgence towards a Great Britain call-up with yet another top performance for the West Yorkshire club.

The former Hull man contributed with a try, 41 tackles, two busts and a staggering 194 metres as his side just got over the line against the Giants.

As for Paea, he will be making Lee Radford’s selection headache much more difficult with another top performance for the Airlie Birds, silencing his critics yet again.

Paea completed 20 tackles, three busts and 113 metres from 13 carries as his hard hitting and go forward was enough for Hull to secure back-to-back wins in their quest for a potential double.

Hooker: Daryl Clark

Overshadowed at the start, now leading the way arguably at hooker in this country is Warrington’s Daryl Clark. The 26-year-old was sensational in their 34-4 thumping of Catalans.

Clark scored a try, assisted with another two, 32 tackles, five busts and 123 metres from 11 carries in a complete performance from the Yorkshire man that helped Warrington reduce the gap to just four points at the top.

Huddersfield Giants 40-0 Widnes Vikings

Second-row: Ukuma Ta’ai & Pauli Pauli

An all ‘exiled’ combination at second-row in Huddersfield’s Ukuma Ta’ai and Salford loanee Pauli Pauli.

Despite losing, Ta’ai enjoyed another strong performance as Huddersfield went within inches of securing a crucial win.

He completed 33 tackles, four busts and 134 metres from 20 carries as he remains a strong asset for the Giants heading forward.

But as does Pauli in this country as he tormented the Black and Whites for the third time in 2019.

Pauli scored twice, provided an assist, 20 tackles, four busts and 85 metres from 12 runs as his time at Salford seems to benefitting the juggernaut.

Loose-forward: Trent Merrin

A controversial figure but one capable of quality is Leeds forward Trent Merrin. The veteran has spoken of home but led by example in a scrappy yet valuable win for Leeds Rhinos at Wakefield Trinity on Friday.

He completed 34 tackles, three busts, and 144 metres from 16 carries in a match dominated by the conditions and that required patience and grit, something Merrin has plenty of experience in as he and Leeds moved one more step towards survival!