Home Timber and Hardware Hard Plays of the Month: June
Desperate defence, momentum-swinging tries, magic assists and a contender for tackle of the season. Here are Home Timber and Hardware Hard Plays of the Month for June.
Try-scoring freak turns provider
Curtis Rona has been scoring tries for fun since moving to the Bulldogs in 2015. Sixteen four-pointers from 15 games is a fair strike rate, and it has Rona out on top of the NRL try-scorers list at the conclusion of Round 16. But against the Dragons in Round 13, it was the winger who provided a wonderful assist for his inside man Josh Morris.
Mbye's classic cover tackle
There are few quicker in the NRL than James Roberts, and when the Gold Coast centre broke the line close to his own in-goal, it looked as though the Titans would run almost the length of the field to score a remarkable try. But young playmaker Moses Mbye wasn't about to let that happen, turning on the afterburners to force Brad Tighe across the line before he could dive over in the corner.
'Woodzilla' lights up the MCG
At any level of the game, you expect hard runs and plenty of work in the middle from your front-rowers. Crossing for momentum-swinging tries in a must-win Origin match certainly isn't part of the usual job description for a prop. But that's exactly what NSW's Aaron Woods produced in Origin II, stepping and pushing his way past Matt Scott and Billy Slater en route to the try line.
Johnson mesmerises the Titans
Shaun Johnson might have started 2015 slowly, but since the Anzac Test he's taken his game to another level. It's not the first time, and it certainly won't be the last time he does it, but a trademark run to the try-line against the Titans in Round 15 had Warriors fans at Cbus Super Stadium on their feet.
We've seen some spectacular tries this season, but perhaps the most amazing assist belongs to Newcastle's Jake Mamo. Returning to first grade at fullback, Mamo chased down a kick that appeared destined to roll dead and didn't give up, instead soaring through the air and batting back for Carlos Tuimavave to claim the simplest of tries. There was nothing straightforward about that assist, however.
'The Hitman' strikes again
You don't earn a nickname like 'The Hitman' for no reason. Sea Eagles hardman Steve Matai has a reputation for pulling off some of the biggest hits in the game, and his shot on unsuspecting Rabbitohs prop Dave Tyrrell will go down as one of the best of season 2015.