Round 12 Team of the Week
A shortened round gave some new faces the chance to shine while some familiar ones rediscovered old form and a couple of old Sharks turned back the clock to prove the difference in their team getting the two competition points.
1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Warriors)
A threat to the Broncos defence all evening, Tuivasa-Sheck amassed 209 run metres and showed blistering speed to race through on a Shaun Johnson grubber kick to score under the posts just before half-time.
2. Jordan Rapana (Raiders)
In a game where the Raiders allowed a number of try-scoring opportunities to be squandered Rapana made the most of his, contorting his body over the line in the 13th minute for his 10th try of the season and 10 minutes later scoring his 11th by evading two Roosters defenders. Added 14 tackle breaks and 170 run metres to his tally for good measure.
3. James Roberts (Broncos)
Scored two tries in the space of 10 minutes to bring his team back into the contest midway through the second half, his awe-inspiring pace finishing off a wonderful movement that started with a Ben Hunt cross-field kick from inside Brisbane's 20-metre line.
4. Jarrod Croker (Raiders)
Typically polished display from the Canberra skipper who followed through on an Aidan Sezer kick to score the 104th try of his career in his 202nd game for the Raiders.
5. Semi Radradra (Eels)
The two tackle breaks he was credited with don't do justice to just how hard Semi was to stop against the Rabbitohs, running for 190 metres and backing up Clint Gutherson to score a simple try in the first half.
6. Clint Gutherson (Eels)
Combined superbly with Mitchell Moses, their up-tempo playing styles running a sluggish Rabbitohs outfit ragged. His dummy-half dart from inside Parramatta's half to set up Radradra's try was one born of pure instinct and opportunity.
7. Shaun Johnson (Warriors)
Responded to a fortnight of criticism with a sparking display that had the Broncos on the ropes by half-time. A double-pump saw Blake Ayshford score the first try, he scored the second himself with some dazzling footwork and then a perfectly-weighted grubber saw Roger Tuivasa-Sheck cross just before the break.
8. Aiden Tolman (Bulldogs)
With front-row partner James Graham limited to just 20 minutes Tolman played the entire game, putting his hand up for 21 carries that yielded 148 run metres but more importantly making extra efforts in defence that don't register on the stats sheet. One Bulldog who definitely didn't deserve to be on the losing side.
9. Kaysa Pritchard (Eels)
Earns his spot in this team for putting Sam Burgess on his backside twice in the first half as the Eels asserted their dominance early. Forced from the field after suffering a gash to the head just before half-time, Pritchard produced the most enterprising game of his young career, unlucky not to set up a try after splitting the Rabbitohs apart with a line break late in the first half.
10. James Gavet (Warriors)
Rewarded for another high-energy performance with a bullocking try 14 minutes from full-time to seal the result for the home side. Set the tone early with some strong charges against his former club, racking up 91 metres from just nine carries along with 24 tackles.
11. Luke Lewis (Sharks)
May have bombed a golden opportunity late in the first half but made up for it when his team needed it most, trapping a Bulldogs kick and racing 60 metres down-field to swing momentum the way of the Sharks. Ran for 133 metres and made 40 tackles in 73 minutes.
12. Tepai Moeroa (Eels)
Looks to have begun what could be a dangerous combination with Mitchell Moses on the Eels' right edge, busting the Rabbitohs wide open to score after just seven minutes and threatening to do further damage each time Moses came to him. Ran for 142 metres and made 34 tackles.
13. Paul Gallen (Sharks)
Two plays late in the game typified what Paul Gallen means to the Sharks. His quick-thinking to be in position to get a Bulldogs grubber kick out of Cronulla's in-goal led to his side's one and only try of the game and his 20-metre charge to the 'Dogs' 10-metre line provided the perfect platform for Chad Townsend's match-winning field goal. Finished with a total of 22 carries for 240 metres and 27 tackles.
14. Mitchell Moses (Eels)
The Eels half tormented the Rabbitohs – and in particular South Sydney fullback Cody Walker – with late changes of direction of the attack that either led to points or extra sets for his team. A switch and short ball led to Tepai Moeroa's try and his kicking game also made it a nightmare game for Walker and the Rabbitohs' back three.
15. Issac Luke (Warriors)
Like his high-profile teammates it was the type of performance the Warriors expect of Luke on a weekly basis with powerful runs from dummy-half including one clean line break that led to Ken Maumalo's second half try.
16. Ryan Matterson (Roosters)
The Roosters were starved of possession for long periods but with each touch Ryan Matterson looked capable of causing the Canberra defence all sorts of problems. Late footwork at the line makes his big frame hard to contain, the 22-year-old playing 80 minutes in the back row and running for 136 metres with two tackle breaks, an offload and a line break.
17. Danny Fualalo (Bulldogs)
Having played more than 40 minutes just once previously in his career redefined what he is capable of in the top grade, playing 74 minutes at lock forward, running for 128 metres and making 43 tackles, missing just one.