There were plenty of exciting games in the Betfred Super League this weekend, maybe none more so than Warrington Wolves vs Toronto. However, Castleford and Wakefield fans may disagree.
With Saints featuring in the World Club Challenge against Sydney Roosters, five Super League games took place. Toronto are still winless, and Huddersfield remain unbeaten. But is that enough to place some of the Giants in this squad.
1. Matty Ashton
After a week off rest for the Warrington full-back, he showed Steve Price exactly why he should be playing every week. He was electric in the full-back role against Toronto, which pushed Stefan Ratchford into the centres. The youngster picked up a great try when he busted through the tackle of both Josh McCrone and Blake Wallace before out pacing Liam Kay to reach the line. On top of his try, Ashton carried for 168 metres, including five tackles busts, and 2 clear breaks. All that in just 12 carries.
2. James Clare
He picked up two crucial tries in the Tigers victory over Wakefield, but it was more than his brace which impressed on Friday night. His powerful runs brought him 139 metres, at an average of nine metres per carry. In his 16 carries, he made five tackle busts and three clean breaks in an impressive second half showing. With both Sosaia Feki and Greg Eden out injured, Clare is certainly staking his claim for a starting spot when the both returned.
3. Josh Griffin
This makes it three selections in just four rounds for the Hull FC, and you can understand why. He made 16 carries for a huge 198 metres, with 12 metres gained per carry. Including in those carries were eight tackle busts and four clean breaks. He went on to score one and assist the other of Hull’s tries against Wigan. He wasn’t as noticable in defence with only nine tackles made, but only missed 1 which is not bad considering he can sometimes lack good defensive positioning. He also picked up a yellow card but Wigan did at the same time so his team weren’t left short a man
4. Konrad Hurrell
Hurrell was very impressive both going forward and in defence. In attack, he made a total of 12 carries for a total of 135 metres, with 11 metres per carry. In defence he only made 13 tackles but they were vital in the Red Devils not breaking through the Rhinos left hand edge. His ball playing skills were then on show, as he offloaded out of a tackle to Ash Handley which led to Jack Walker’s try.
5. Josh Charnley
The Warrington winger was class once again in Wolves’ victory against the Wolfpack. Although he only made six tackles, a try-saving tackle on Hakim Miloudi in the closing stages was instrumental in Wire picking up the two points. Going forward, the winger made 20 carries, for 129 metres as well as picking up a try of his own.
6. Blake Austin
Austin once again showed why he is so influential to the Warrington side. Although he only made 66 metres in his 12 carries, it was his 23 tackles in a solid defensive effort which kept Toronto from coming back into the match towards the end of the game. He picked up a try assist again for his second of the season. That assist came from one of his three clean breaks as he proved why his running game is such a running threat.
7. Jacob Trueman
In a tough first half against Wakefield, Trueman showed that he was still a little raw. However, it was a very impressive second half in which he racked up his stats. He made 17 carries for 116 metres, as well as making 19 tackles as Trinity were kept to nil by the Tigers in the second half. In those 17 carries, the half-back made five tackle busts. One thing that Trueman must do is rack up some try assists as Cas aim to become more clinical.
8. Mitch Garbutt
In only his second game of the season, Garbutt came off the bench and impressed straight away. The prop-forward made 36 tackles in a solid defensive effort. Going forward, he made 18 carries, for 126 metres with a gain of seven metres per carry with three tackle busts coming in those carries. Despite Kingston Rovers losing out to Huddersfield, Garbutt set a platform for the Robins to play from, but it was not the props fault for the defeat. In my opinion, Leeds let Garbutt go too early and has shown them during his time ar the Robins.
9. Paul McShane
His running game was one of the many reasons that Cas managed to overcome Wakefield on Friday night. He ran for 102 metres in just 9 carries with all those carries coming straight from dummy-half. His perfectly weighted grubber kicks were once again on show as he picked up a try assist with Cheyse Blair the recipient. In defence, McShane made 25 tackles as he picked up three Steve Prescott Man of Steel points.
10. Suaia Matagi
The Huddersfield Giant’s prop was seriously impressive during the victory over Hull KR. A total of 15 carries for 126 metres for an average of 8 metres per carry allowed Aiden Sezer and Lee Gaskell to play off the back of a solid platform. After 29 tackles against Salford last week, Matage went one better to make 30 as they kept Rovers to just one try. He also picked up a try himself to complete a great all-round performance for the so-far unbeaten Giants.
11. Liam Farrell
For a second round in a row, the Wigan forward makes an appearance in the team of the week. Despite not scoring this week, Farrell managed to pick up another try assist. He made 35 tackles in a great defensive effort but it was his running which impressed the most. The England international made 13 carries for 101 metres. That is four weeks in a row where he’s run for over 100 metres with 10 or more carries in consistent performances.
12. Sonny Bill Williams
The cross-code New Zealand international was instrumental in Toronto’s off the cuff style of play, which nearly shocked Warrington on Friday night. In his 20 carries, Williams made nine offloads and still managed to make 95 metres with the ball in hand. His 20 tackles was also a great effort in a game which the Wolfpack made Warrington average at best before the final 15 minutes.
13. Cameron Smith
This is another regular occurrence in this segment, as Cameron Smith once again features in the team of the week. He made 50 tackles for the Rhinos to hold Salford out in the second half. His 84 metres over 14 carries was also impressive as Leeds look to be making waves once again in Super League with two wins out of three. Richard Agar’s men will need Smith to make plenty more tackles in the next few weeks in order to beat more threatening sides but things are certainly looking up.