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Johnathan Thurston proved again on the weekend why he's the NRL's best.

Andrew Voss on Thurston, why Blake Ferguson's injury is crucial for the Roosters, another horror tipping week and more.

Is Johnathan Thurston the best player in the NRL?

Yes he is.

His role in the Cowboys' win over the Storm on Monday night was absolutely amazing.

He reminded us that he is the complete package: highly skilled; the ultimate competitor; performer under pressure; and superb goal-kicker.

Ranking superstars will always create debate but I am content to argue the side of Thurston ahead of Greg Inglis. 

As for the other playmakers in the game who can all boast impressive form such as Mitchell Pearce, Cooper Cronk and Adam Reynolds… there is no doubt they are outstanding players. 

Fact is, Thurston is just better. But there is no shame in being in the shadow of JT.

How big is the loss of Blake Ferguson for the Roosters?

Very big in my opinion.

I give Blake enormous credit for getting his life back in order, and for what he was producing on the field for the Roosters in the first month of the Telstra Premiership.

There is no question he was proving to be a real X-factor at right centre, and his form had a return to representative honours written all over it.

His positive attitude in dealing with his foot injury was also impressive. I hope he has a speedy recovery. The Roosters' chances of winning the premiership in 2015 are far greater with Ferguson in their side.

Are we seeing the same old Warriors in 2015?

I don't think so… yet.

I am prepared to stick by my pre-season prediction that Andrew McFadden's side is capable of making the top four this year.

However a two-and-two start is hardly making those who didn't rate them a genuine contender anxious to change their minds.

If you could possibly draw a positive from last weekend's loss to Brisbane it would be that the Warriors made 18 handling errors and still almost won. 

And with the likes of Sam Tomkins, Konrad Hurrell, Ngani Laumape, David Fusitua and Glen Fisiiahi to come back from injury, they will field a vastly more potent backline if everyone is available.

Should Phil Gould be honoured for his contribution to Penrith?

Yes… and he has.

It received little media attention but I can tell you that last week Gus was awarded life membership of the Penrith football club at their annual general meeting.

From being the youngest ever first-grade captain of the club as a 20-year-old to his administrative role now, Gus has given so much to the Panthers. The life membership honour is richly deserved.

I admit to being biased because I am proud to say that Phil is a mate, but if there were more like him across the sport, the future of rugby league wouldn't have a worry in the world. 

Isn't there a Test match on soon?

Yes there is … May 1 at Suncorp Stadium with tickets available now.

Allow me to hop on my high horse now because Test rugby league continues to be shunned.

This is the only international that Australia will play this year.

The build-up should already be underway as the Kiwis are the defending Four Nations champions… remember?

But have you read barely a line anywhere about it? When it comes to player selection talk all we get bombarded with is State of Origin.

That's fine, but if only we attempted to place Test matches on the same pedestal. Build up the anticipation. As I see it there are plenty of places up for grabs in the Kangaroos side.

Maybe someday the value of international rugby league will actually be appreciated. Someday…

Is it already dartboard time for tipsters?

Well it is for me.

Please don't go through to the tipping page as I have had a bit of a shocker through the opening four rounds. Last weekend was embarrassing!

If I don't come good in Round 5, I will volunteer to be replaced by a dartboard.

Enjoy your Easter weekend of footy. I'm off to Albury for the Fox Sports coverage of Manly against Canberra, and will back up on Monday at ANZ when the Tigers play the Eels.

Giddy Up!

Twitter: @AndrewVossy

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of the NRL or

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