NRL Round Four: English players overview – how did England’s potential World Cup stars get on?

Round four of the NRL was not a happy period for the contingent of English players down under.

They were all on the wrong side of results for their respective teams with one copping a yellow card.

With six players vying for a spot in Shaun Wane’s World Cup squad lets take a look at how each individual fared over the weekend.

Oliver Gildart
Oliver Gildart is yet to be on the winning side in the NRL as the Wests Tigers lost for the fourth week in a row, conceding a last minute try to leave them bottom of the ladder. In a game of very little quality Gildart struggled to impose himself on the fixture as both teams failed to show any attacking threat. He did make 92 metres with the ball in hand and made 16 tackles. The Tigers have been on the wrong side of close scores on numerous occasions this season and will be looking at Gildart to help improve their play with ball in hand.

Tom Burgess
Although the South Sydney Rabbitohs lost in their Grand Final rematch against the Penrith Panthers, Tom Burgess put in a monster shift at prop in his best performance of the season. Souths lost starting forward Mark Nicholls early to an ankle injury which meant Burgess was given more minutes than he has had in any game so far this season. He made the most of his extended period on the pitch running for 145 metres and making 42 tackles in a bruising contest. With the injury to Nicholls set to see him sideline for a significant length of time, Burgess looks set for a stint in the starting 13 and will be looking to build off this performance and cement his place in Shaun Wane’s squad.

Dominic Young
The electric winger had scored in every game he’d played in this season going into Round Four but failed to do so against a Cronulla Sharks team who look set to compete for the Premiership this year. Young was unable to make a line break and the Sharks held him to under 100 metres for the first time this season. He still made 4 tackle breaks but was mostly well contained throughout. Young also spent some time in the bin as he was penalised for a tip tackle in the second half, although it was a soft penalty. This experience will be a learning curve for the winger who will be looking to bounce back next weekend.

Elliott Whitehead
After last week’s rollercoaster performance last weekend, the Raiders were unable to win back-to-back games as the Manly Sea Eagles proved too good for them. New loose forward Elliott Whitehead had his quietest game of the season during the defeat as he saw his minutes drop to under 40 for the first time, playing just over half an hour. In his short spell Whitehead wasn’t able to get involved in the game from an attacking sense with Manly dominating play. He made 17 tackles and 41 metres during his time on the field which are both season lows. Canberra need to start piecing together 80 minute performances if they want to make the playoffs again this season and captain Whitehead is going to be crucial in steering them towards the top 8.

Herbie Farnworth
After starting the season in great form, the Brisbane Broncos have slipped back into their old habits in the last two rounds as they were well beaten by the New Zealand Warriors. Herbie Farnworth has arguably been the Broncos’ best player this season but he had a tough afternoon against the Warriors as opposite centre Jesse Arthars scored two tries in the first half. Farnworth ran under 100 metres for the first time since the opening weekend but made a season high 14 tackles as the Warriors spent a lot of time attacking. This blip in performance shouldn’t keep Farnworth down for too long as his showings so far this season will have put him into contention for Shaun Wane’s squad.

Luke Thompson
After starting a couple of games on the interchange bench, Luke Thompson was back in the starting line-up but could do very little as the Melbourne Storm proved too good for the Bulldogs beating them 44-0. As an individual, Thompson produced his best performance since his last start in Round One as he made over 100 metres and 25 tackles but the Bulldogs were no match for the Storm as the difference in quality was evident. With talks surrounding Thompson’s future at the club it will be interesting to see if he can continue his stint in the starting line-up with his future uncertain after not ruling out a return to Super League where he enjoyed massive success with St Helens.

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Badapple
Badapple
2 months ago

Thompson will be back in St Helens before July.

Bob Edwards
Bob Edwards
2 months ago
Reply to  Badapple

Great fit for Melbourne

Luke Taylor
Luke Taylor
2 months ago
Reply to  Badapple

Surely saints can’t afford his 450k a year wage