NRL Magic Round: Team of the Week

Forget the wizarding world of Harry Potter or Doctor Strange, the Magic Round of the NRL provided the public with plenty of magic over at the Suncorp stadium. Newcastle Knights opened the weekend with a hard-fought win over Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs before an Adam Reynolds inspired performance led Brisbane Broncos to a resounding win over Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles on home soil.

Day two saw South Sydney Rabbitohs hold off a late fightback from the New Zealand Warriors followed by Gold Coast Titans edging St George-Illawarra Dragons in golden point as well as Penrith Panthers with a surprisingly comfortable win against Melbourne Storm.

The final day of action witnessed Canberra Raiders stunning the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, Sydney Roosters held off Parramatta Eels in a thriller before North Queensland Cowboys continued their surge against the Wests Tigers. But after all that who makes our team of the week?

Full-back: James Tedesco
The 2019 Dally M Award winner retains his spot from last week and was arguably the difference for the Roosters. Edging out the likes of Jayden Campbell and Blake Taaffe, James Tedesco scored a good try as well as registering a staggering 263 metres from 24 carries. A worthy inclusion as he no doubt leads the way for international selection as well as the upcoming State of Origin series.

Wingers: Selwyn Cobbo & Murray Taulagi
An even more difficult choice but Selwyn Cobbo and Murray Taulagi are chosen. Cobbo was a hat-trick hero for the Broncos as well as putting in 203 metres with ball in hand as well as three tackle busts. Taulagi may have only scored two tries in comparison as well as managing 158 metres with ball in hand but what made him stand out was arguably the try assist of the century that got the Cowboys in motion early doors and they never looked back.

Centres: Moses Suli & Izack Tago
This league never ceases to make choices difficult but here is why Moses Suli and Izack Tago are chosen. Despite being on the losing side, Suli was a stand-out performer for the Dragons, scoring a try, providing an assist, putting in 13 tackles, four busts and 164 metres from 16 carries. Tago meanwhile, is having an outstanding season with the Panthers, adding another two tries to his tally against the Storm as well as 198 metres from 14 carries, taking the Champions back clear at the top of the table.

Stand-off / Five-Eighth: Jarome Luai
Joining Tago in the team is colleague Jarome Luai. The New South Wales representative was another star performer for the league leaders, scoring a try and providing two assists for good measure. Adding to that, four tackle busts and 77 metres helped keep the Panthers on top as the Storm just never got a look in.

Scrum-half / Halfback: Adam Reynolds
Many may have seen this coming but Reynolds is chosen at scrum-half. Although Nathan Cleary and Mitchell Moses enjoyed strong performances, Reynolds demonstrated that he is a natural leader as he appears to be the missing link the Broncos have lacked for many years. Reynolds scored a superb individual try as well as providing two assists in the contest but also over 20 kicks which kept the Sea Eagles on the back foot throughout as they were unable to simply get going, courtesy of Reynolds leading the way.

Props: Tevita Tatola & Reuben Cotter
Plenty of hard graft from all of the front rowers over the weekend but Tevita Tatola is selected alongside Reuben Cotter. Tatola led by example at prop, helping South Sydney race into a big lead that in the end proved too unassailable for the Warriors. His stats include 42 tackles and 200 metres from 19 carries, a monumental effort. Cotter in comparison only recorded 169 metres and 40 tackles but his stand out moment was his superb try following a line break before an outrageous dummy to send Starford To’a the wrong way to score under the black dot.

Hooker: Damien Cook
The experienced and dependable Damien Cook returns to the side and here is why. The New South Wales representative was a try scorer for the Bunnies as well as amassing 79 metres with ball in hand to help his side back to winning ways.

Second-rowers: Hudson Young & Isaiah Papali’i
In the back row, Hudson Young is chosen alongside Isaiah Papali’I. Young produced a top performance for the Raiders, scoring a try, putting in 22 tackles, two busts and 174 metres from 15 carries to help his side back to winning ways. Papali’i may not have been on the winning side but still proved to be troublesome for the Eels in the thriller against the Roosters. The juggernaut claimed a brace of tries as well as 178 metres from 18 carries and three busts, and even put in 36 tackles. If he can avoid injury, the Eels will remain a difficult side to beat for the remainder of the season.

Loose-forward: Tino Fa’asuamaleaui
Last up is another ‘big boy’ in Gold Coast Titans’ Tino Fa’asuamaleaui. One of many players no one would like to tackle, Fa’asuamaleaui notched up 219 metres from 22 carries, the highest amount from a ‘lock’ over the weekend. He also put in 31 tackles to help restrict the Dragons’ options throughout.

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