Fantasy winners & losers: Finals Week 2
Winners were grinners in NRL Fantasy this week with the triumphant Cowboys and Raiders sides dominating the top Fantasy scores in the NRL Telstra Premiership semi-finals.
Cowboys v Broncos
Days after winning the RLPA Players' Champion award for 2016 Jason Taumalolo produced one of his best performances of the year in the Cowboys' win over Brisbane, piling on 79 Fantasy points thanks largely to 11 tackle breaks and a whopping 265 run metres.
Taumalolo's back-row teammate Coen Hess – a late inclusion in the starting side for the injured Ethan Lowe – was the next best with 68, while Justin O'Neill grabbed a couple of tries for 64 points and Michael Morgan scored the match-winner to get to 60 points. Hooker Andrew McCullough was the best of the Broncos with 61, while Ben Hunt and Darius Boyd both made 49.
Ideal Match Day team: Andrew McCullough, Josh McGuire, Jason Taumalolo (c), Michael Morgan, Justin O'Neill (vc), Darius Boyd.
Raiders v Panthers
With Blake Austin and Josh Hodgson returning for the Raiders this weekend Canberra won this game fairly easily despite Penrith's heroics last week, and they dominated the Fantasy scores as well with 10 of the 11 best individual totals on Saturday night. Front-rower Junior Paulo was the surprise top-scorer with 61, ahead of centre Jarrod Croker and fullback Jack Wighton who both made 55. Josh Papalii was the other player to hit the half century in this game, with Penrith's best Trent Merrin managing 49.
After making a surprisingly fast return from an ankle injury Hodgson scored a solid 43, with Aidan Sezer, Joseph Leilua, Elliott Whitehead and Sia Soliola all passing 40.
Ideal Match Day team: Josh Hodgson, Junior Paulo (c), Josh Papalii, Aidan Sezer, Jarrod Croker (vc), Jack Wighton.