The weekly column here at Leagueunlimited is to highlight what we here on the site think are the best players in each round of the 2004 NRL competition. Based on the opinion received from the Leagueunlimited.com live updaters, we have put together what we think is the team of the Round 3.
Special mention must be made this week of the injury received by Andrew Johns when the Newcastle Knights faced Parramatta on Saturday night. It looks as though the knee injury Johns received will see him out for the rest of the season. A big blow for the Newcastle side, and league in general. We wish him all the best.
The Leagueunlimited team - Round 3:
1. Anthony Minichiello - As usual Anthony Minichiello caused the opposition a lot of strife from the back. The Bulldogs defenders had no answers as the fullback carved his way through their line time and time again. Minichiello certainly had his share of bombs to defend as the Bulldogs tried very hard to score, however he never looked under pressure at all as his team put in a top effort.
2. Amos Roberts - Roberts is certainly paying dividends for the Panthers club. Four tries to the flying winger against a hapless Warriors outfit, and so close to scoring more. Roberts went looking for work all over the field and caused mayhem for the opposition whenever he had the ball in hand. 'Famous Amos' was the call from the television commentators and they're not wrong, the intercept king is poetry in motion.
3. Justin Hodges - He may be a tough cookie but Justin Hodges is definitely a man you would want on your side. His general play both in attack and defence certainly helped the Roosters well on their way last Friday against the Bulldogs. His try in the last few minutes of the game sealed a superb win for the Roosters.
4. Ben MacDougall - Storm coach Craig Bellamy asked his charges to run hard and straight, and MacDougall certainly listened to his coach. Some hard yards put in by the Storm centre certainly put the strain on the Dragons' defence many times. A deserved try to MacDougall capped off a fine day for him and his team.
5. Chris Walker - Chris Walker scored two tries against a lack lustre Bulldogs outfit, and look very impressive in what was a great win for memorable win for the Roosters. He also had a hand in many attacking movement right throughout the match.
6. Darren Lockyer - Once again Lockyer has shown just how well he has slotted into the five-eighth role. While by his own standards Lockyer did not have a good day with the boot, he certainly made up for it in general play, helping his side in four out of their five tries against the fired up Tigers side.
7. Matt Orford - The Melbourne Storm halfback is going from strength to strength after an inner ear infection had fearsin the Melbourne camp it could be much worse. He obviously is back to full fitness as he weaved his magic over the Dragons side that was expected to perform a lot better than they did.
8. Shane Webcke - Webcke suffered concussion in the second half of the match against the Tigers and had to be assisted from the field. In the time he was playing, the big man once again led from the front, causing strife amongst the Wests Tigers' players.
9. Danny Buderus - The Knights may have lost a quality player in Andrew Johns, but once again Danny Buderus has shown there is still plenty of class left in the Newcastle side. Although his side went down to the Parramatta Eels in a thrilling match on Saturday night, Buderus with his dummy half running, and his outstanding tackling, showed his true class and scored two tries in the process.
10. Robbie Kearns - He seems to have been around for a long time, but Robbie Kearns showed us yesterday just what an important part of the Melbourne Storm side he is. The domination by the Storm forwards around the ruck area was a telling point in the game against the Dragons, and Kearns was right there amongst it all.
11. Ruben Wiki - The old master in the Canberra side, Ruben Wiki may be near the end of his playing career but no one has told him it seems. He was the Raiders player of 2003, and has set the tone for the same in 2004. The Cowboys were not going to let the Raiders have an easy time in Townsville but with the likes of Wiki committed as ever, the win to the Raiders was not pretty, but sweet. Wiki was placed on report for a high shot early in the game but this did not deter him from leading the forwards as always.
12. Nathan Hindmarsh - The Eels in front of their home crowd made things very tough for the Knights. Hindmarsh may not figure in the scoring statistics but certainly made the hard yards when it counted, and his defence on the night was outstanding.
13. Glenn Morrison - As solid as ever for the Cowboys outfit, Morrison put in a tremendous effort at Dairy Farmer Stadium. Although he's on report for a high shot, once again early in the game, it certainly didn't put him off his normal 100% effort. The try Morrison scored just before the break in the game, certainly looked to set up the Cowboys in the second half. Unfortunately for them, the final scoreline was not in their favour.
14. David Peachey - Peachey along with Kimmorley, helped set up the Sharks win over the Sea Eagles at Toyota Park. His general play and stability at fullback lend him to being once again an asset to the side. Also bagging two tries certainly helped achieve a tough win.
15. Billy Slater - This young Storm player certainly has a brilliant future awaiting him. His speed and general ability anywhere on the field is an important part of the Melbourne Storm's attack, and it is paying off.
16. Adrian Morley The big man from Great Britain sure let the Bulldogs' players know they'd been in a match last Friday night. His commitment to his team is certainly something to admire.
17. Ian Hindmarsh - The tough men amongst the Canberra Raiders forwards certainly play a big part in the make up of the pack. Hindmarsh is an important part of the unit and his presence is felt week in, week out.