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Jamie Lyon

Sea Eagles

Sea Eagles
 
Sea Eagles

Johnathan Thurston

Cowboys

Now in his sixth season with Manly and 11th in the NRL since debuting with Parramatta in 2000, Jamie Lyon has developed into one of the most complete attacking players in the Telstra Premiership. The Sea Eagles co-captain has been inspirational in 2012 with his dynamic running game – combined with his playmaking abilities – helping Manly re-establish their standing as one of the competition’s powerhouses.
Jamie Lyon
 
Johnathan Thurston
The true value of Johnathan Thurston in attack is his ability to weigh up the options in front of him – and his favourite play ball comes left with runners in motion. This is where Thurston employs two main options. The first is to run a second-man play with Matt Bowen sweeping around the back in the hope of creating an overlap. However, should the defence over-read the play in an identical situation, Thurston will dummy and run himself.
 
 

Fringe King

Friday 10th August

Second-man play

Friday 4th May

Fringe King
Second-man play

A graceful carrier of the football on the right edge, Lyon can beat his opposite number with a classic in-and-away, or send his winger or fullback through with a brilliant piece of improvised skill (as he did against the Broncos in Round 25, scoring a try himself and also setting up Brett Stewart). Lyon has scored nine tries this season and has added six line-breaks and 51 tackle-breaks; however it is his value as a ‘third half’ in the centres that sets him apart.

A favourite play of North Queensland captain Johnathan Thurston is to attack down the blind side (he does exactly the same while playing for both Queensland and Australia) so it’s no surprise that the Cowboys have produced far more short-side plays than any other side in the NRL. Thurston and co. have attacked down the left on 189 occasions this season and 142 on the right for a total of 331 short-side plays – in total 50 more than any other side.

 
Round 22 Cowboys v Sea Eagles

Round 22 Cowboys v Sea Eagles

Saturday 4th August

The Sea Eagles emerged 8-6 winners over the Cowboys following a gritty one-try-apiece encounter at Dairy Farmers Stadium in Round 22. Despite missing 57 tackles throughout the 80 minutes the visitors proved a shade too good, sealing the win courtesy of a Jamie Lyon penalty goal. Manly were also aided by the Cowboys’ clumsy 15 errors that released the pressure valve on their opponents at key moments.

 
 
CowboysJohnathan Thurston