Round 2 of the NRL competition just shows what a spectacular and close competition 2004 has in store for us. With such an amount of negative publicity against the Rugby League game in general, it's great to see the players answering their critics with quality play on the field.
Based on the opinion received from the Leagueunlimited.com live updaters, we have put together what we think is the team such an exciting and sometimes controversial round.
1. Luke Burt - After a shocking 1st round performance, the Eels managed to pull one back, against a Broncos unit that were odds on favourites. Burt had an excellent game at fullback helping his side to escape the danger zone on many occasions. Not to mention 5/6 kicking attempts.
2. Amos Roberts - Not featured in the Leagueunlimited players of the match, Roberts certainly had a dream debut for the Panthers, and deserves a spot in the team based on his performance. A 90 metre intercept try must rate highly in the great comeback match for Penrith on Friday night.
3. Benji Marshall - This youngster from a small town in NZ is set to make a big name for himself in 2004. Playing in the centres seemed to give him a lot of space to which he used repeatedly, a fine effort.
4. Matt Cooper - Cooper is on report for a lifting charge along with Hornby, but this certainly didn't deter the centre from a stand out performance against the highly rated Warriors side. His try in the 35th minute of the game was great reward for a fine effort in the match.
5. Chris Hicks - Two tries in the match against the Roosters have a few people taking notice of this flying winger. A superb solo effort with one of his tries showed what pace the lad from the Sea Eagles club has.
6. Preston Campbell - The feisty little five-eighth for the Panthers was everywhere on Friday night, in the come from behind win for the Panthers. His defence was outstanding, and in attack, he was all over the place causing the Raiders defenders havoc moreso in the 2nd half.
7. Adam Dykes - The Eels were expected to have a tough game in the heat of Brisbane, and this they did. Someone must have forgotten to tell Adam Dykes as for the whole 80 minutes of the match he ran around continuously causing havoc amongst the Broncos defenders.
8. Jason Cayless - Although Cayless retired injured from the game in the 45th minute of the match against the Sea Eagles with medial damage, during the time he was on the field Jason scored two tries in the first half to help set up the Roosters nicely for their win.
9. Michael Sullivan - Coming off the bench for the Sharks, Sullivan was one of the Sharks players that stood out in the game against the Bulldogs. His dummy half running certainly had the Dogs defensive line stretched on quite a few ocassions.
10. Ned Catic - A fine performance by the Roosters prop sees him in the Leagueunlimited team this week. Hard tackles and fine hitups, Catic helped his side to cause a bit of strife for the Sea Eagles. And his try in the first half was one he will savour for a long time.
11. Bryan Fletcher - As usual Fletch lead his troops from the front and helped them keep their composure during the extra time play against the Tigers. A try in the second half certainly kept his team right in the match.
12. Ben Kennedy - In one of the great matches from the weekend, Kennedy certainly showed his worth in the Knights line-up. A tireless defender, he kept numerous attempts by the Melbourne side to break away at a minimum. Hopefully Kennedy will have a relatively injury free year, as he's one player the Knights need in their side.
13. Trent Waterhouse - A try to the big man, and plenty of work on the field has shown us just what talent Waterhouse possesses. His try just after the halftime break help set up the mighty comeback by the Panthers and the fact that he ran 25 metres and dusted off 3 Raiders defenders, will be one he will retell time and time again.
14. Andrew Johns - What a bench with Johns on it. Certainly made his presence felt in the game against the Storm. While his kicking wasn't up to his usual standard, his play on the field, and his direction to the other players in the team was outstanding.
15. Brent Kite - Brent certainly had an impact on the match against the Warriors, coming from the bench. A stand out performance by the young lad.
16. Matthew Head - He certainly had big boots to fill in a Dragons side without a lot of the big names, but Matthew, along with a lot of other players, played with passion and certainly deserved the victory. A player that has a tremendous amount of talent
17. Steve Simpson - He's a big man, and he knows how to defend. An asset to the Knights side that is brimming with confidence shown clearly in the match against the Melbourne side on Sunday.