Holden Cup wrap: Round 11
All the key stats, breakout players and talking points from Round 11 of the National Youth Competition.
The streak… is over
They are the words immortalised by WWE commentator Michael Cole after Brock Lesnar ended the Undertaker's WrestleMania streak and they are always worth reviving when the Panthers finally drop a game in the Holden Cup. Last year's finalists went nine games without a loss before they were pipped in the final two minutes by a long-range try to Knights fullback Matt Cooper on Sunday morning. The Panthers have been the best team in the NYC for the last three years, but for some reason have struggled against the Knights with four straight losses in Newcastle.
Winless Warriors desperately unlucky
For eight seasons, the Warriors were the envy of the NYC. How times have changed. Last year signalled their decline with the New Zealanders missing the finals for the first time on the back of a 15-loss season. It was the first time they'd lost more than 11 games in a campaign, and worryingly they look like doing much worse in 2017 after starting the year winless through the opening 11 rounds. They should have won on Friday night but managed to blow a 22-10 lead against the Dragons in the final 20 minutes. The Warriors looked good for an hour but were starved of possession in the final quarter and were down to 12 men when Joseph Vuna was sent to the sin bin for a professional foul. The longest losing streak in NYC history is 14 matches (2008 Roosters) and form suggests the Warriors could match it.
Kudos to the Tigers
Humbled by the 15th-placed Rabbitohs in an 18-0 shutout the week before, the struggling Wests Tigers responded in style with a gritty 22-12 win over the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium to record their second upset in Queensland this season. The result keeps them one spot above the Rabbitohs who made it back-to-back victories with a huge win over the Storm at Redfern Oval.
Players of the round
We're tracking the best performances every round this year with a good old-fashioned 3-2-1 points system.
3 - Titans halfback AJ Brimson continued his stellar season with his second hat-trick of the year in his side's 36-12 win over the Sea Eagles. The No.7 added 215 metres, nine tackle breaks and three line breaks to cap a man-of-the-match performance.
2 - Sharks winger Sione Katoa confirmed his status as one of the most explosive players in the game with 12 tackle breaks, 207 metres, three line breaks and two tries in the comeback win over the Cowboys.
1 – The drums are beating louder for Greg Leleisiuao to earn an NRL debut after the Eels winger filled the stats sheet with 238 metres, 12 tackle breaks, two line breaks and a try in the thrilling win over Canberra.
Sharks 40 – Cowboys 24
Warriors 22 – Dragons 24
Broncos 12 – Wests Tigers 22
Rabbitohs 44 – Storm 18
Titans 36 – Sea Eagles 12
Eels 23 – Raiders 22
Knights 28 – Panthers 22
Bulldogs 14 – Roosters 44