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 5.
A few of the top teams so far in the competition had their work cut out in Round 5 as they fought to the wire to secure their wins, the Bulldogs and the Panthers especially.
1. Matt Bowen - The Cowboys notched up their first win in 2004 with an impressive victory over the Sharks, and fullback for the Cowboys, Matt Bowen played a very important part in the win. Scoring a try in each half, Bowen also helped with a lot more attacking play to seal the Cowboys win away from home.
2. Eric Grothe - The speedster for the Parramatta side certainly showed his worth in the side against Souths on Easter Monday. Both in defence and breaking through the opposition line, Grothe showed the talent he possesses on a number of occasions.
3. Matt King - King played very well against the might of the Penrith Panthers. His two second half tries were almost enough for the Melbourne side to claw their way back into the match after an 18-6 deficit at halftime. Great on attack, King showed a power of strength in his first try, definitely someone to keep an eye on.
4. Shaun Berrigan - Two tries to the little Broncos centre on Friday night against the Roosters certainly capped off a fine performance by Shaun Berrigan. His defence was outstanding and he most certainly had the wood on his opposite Justin Hodges.
5. George Carmont - An unknown player earlier in the year, Carmont is starting to show his speed and his talent for the Newcastle side. Playing back in NZ, Carmont was impressive in the Knights win over the Warriors. He now seems to have cemented his place in the Knights starting line up.
6. Trent Barrett - Barrett's game seems to be improving with each round in 2004. The way he's reading the game, leading his side is impressive. The opposition is struggling to shut him down.
7. Kurt Gidley - A lot of speculation as to whether Kurt Gidley could fill the big boots of Andrew Johns however as the weeks roll by, Gidley has proved he is more than capable. Gidley ran rings around the big Warriors pack continuously, having a superb game in the end.
8. Paul Rauhihi - Rauhihi had a fine match against the Sharks on Saturday night, and has done more than put his hand up for the Kiwis in the upcoming test against the Kangaroos on April 23rd. It certainly was great to see the big man on fire.
9. Aaron Payne - The Cowboys hooker had a busy night on Saturday night against a woeful Sharks outfit. Nice to see Payne score a great try after a superb offload from team mate Rauhihi. Aaron Payne's general play certainly helped the Cowboys to a great victory.
10. Martin Lang - The sight of Martin Lang's head being almost snapped backwards as he heads full steam into the opposition defence is something we as the fans have become accustomed to. Lang only know one speed when he takes the ball up and against the Storm on Sunday, he certainly had his fair share of the workload for his team.
11. Nathan Hindmarsh - He may have his shorts hanging down almost falling off, but it doesn't seem to interfere with the way Hindmarsh can play. A very consoistent player, you can guarantee when you are tackled by Nathan Hindmarsh, you feel it, as many Rabbitohs players found in the game on Easter Monday. Great to see Nathan score a try he richly deserved.
12. Steve Price - Love him or hate him, you have to admit Steve Price leads his team from the front. He is in the face of the defence, and in the face of the ref, just as a captain should be. A cool level head was what was required when the Sea Eagles launched their come from behind attack, with the Bulldogs hanging on just, for the win.
13. Shaun Timmins - Timmins defence is to be commended. He is certainly a very tough competitor. His solo try on Sunday afternoon against the Tigers was a great reward for a job well done.
14. Brent Sherwin - Sherwin was everywhere he should've been in the Sunday match against the Sea Eagles. The Bulldogs halfback certainly kept his cool as the Manly side fought their way back into the game.
15. Adam Dykes - The Eels have certainly a great little hooker in Dykes. An exceptional runner from dummy half, Dykes causes his opponents a lot of headaches as the Rabbitohs found out on Easter Monday.
16. Josh Perry - The more experienced Newcastle players were asked to step up in their match against the Warriors in Auckland after their thrashing in Round 4 at the hands of the St George Dragons, and Josh Perry made sure he played his part in doing so. A power of strength against a woeful Warriors pack.
17. Petero Civoniceva - The big Broncos forward was inspirational in his side's win over the Roosters in what was deemed to be a tough match. Civoniceva helped to make his coach's 400th game in charge of the Broncos a truly memorable one.