Tough Plays of the Month: May
The month of May included Representative Round along with three rounds of NRL, and we've picked out five Mazda BT-50 Tough Plays of the Month.
Isabelle Kelly – Jillaroos v Kiwi Ferns – Rep Round
Is there anything better than scoring a try for your country in your Test debut? Jillaroos winger Isabelle Kelly was a late call-up for the Women's Test against New Zealand and didn't disappoint selectors, showing her toughness in scoring a stunning solo try and running for 160 metres in the game. Kelly's kick return in the 10th minute of the match set the tone for the Jillaroos as the debutant busted a tackle and sprinted to the line for the opening try. Australia went on to win the game 16-4.
Waqa Blake – Panthers v Warriors – Round 10
The Panthers trailed the Warriors 28-6 at half-time at Pepper Stadium, but a second-half blitz of five tries in 29 minutes stunned onlookers and rugby league statisticians alike. In the 55th minute a move started on Penrith's own 20m line, with Panthers second-row forward Isaah Yeo putting on a fend and offloading to centre Waqa Blake on his outside. The speedy Blake sprinted 45 metres before encountering the cover defence of Warriors fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. That proved no barrier for Blake, who ran straight over the hapless Tuivasa-Sheck to score a tough individual try.
Dylan Walker – Titans v Sea Eagles – Round 11
It was a right-side riot for the Manly Sea Eagles as they ran several plays at the Titans' left-edge defence in their Round 11 clash at Cbus Super Stadium. Manly right winger Akuila Uate and right centre Dylan Walker both scored doubles as the visitors won 30-10. In the 20th minute Uate received a long cut-out pass from halfback Daly Cherry-Evans and broke into clear space. He then broke through a Tyrone Roberts tackle and shrugged off Dale Copley before passing to Walker who scored his first try. Uate's toughness and speed were on show for all to see as he played one of his best games in Manly colours.
Chad Townsend – Sharks v Cowboys – Round 11
There are not many more fearsome sights in rugby league than a rampaging Andrew Fifita charging through the middle of the field. That's what happened to the North Queensland Cowboys in the 62nd minute of their visit to Southern Cross Group Stadium in Round 11. Fifita took a regulation hit-up 40 metres out from the Cowboys' line before knocking over defenders like skittles, including fellow big man Jason Taumalolo. Fifita then provided a one-handed offload to Chad Townsend, who was trailing through in support as all good halfbacks should.
Kalifa Faifai Loa – Warriors v Dragons – Round 11
Without the likes of Gareth Widdop, Josh Dugan and Euan Aitken, the Dragons backs were expected to struggle against the Warriors in Waikato. But they instead turned on an attacking masterclass with their opening try starting 25 metres out from their own line before going through four different sets of hands, and one player handling twice. Right winger Nene Macdonald started it with a run from dummy-half, and several offloads and tackle breaks later, left winger Kalifa Faifai Loa was the beneficiary. Roll the video tape to see one of the toughest NRL tries from the month of May.