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 12.
With many players backing up from the first State of Origin match on Wednesday, Round 12 could've been the round where teams with rep players suffered. Instead the opposite evolved when we saw the Broncos two nights after the game, play almost to their limit to defeat the Dragons. The Roosters stroll over the Warriors and the Panthers and Bulldogs play their hearts out for 80 minutes. Not to mention the fine performances put in by the other sides in the NRL competition.
Leagueunlimited Team of the Week - Round 12:
1. Karmichael Hunt - The young fullback for the Broncos was put under enormous pressure time and again when the Dragons came to Brisbane last Friday night. Like a seasoned professional, he was terrific under the high ball and spirited on attack.
2. Amos Roberts - The injured ravaged Panthers played with heart when the took on the Bulldogs at home on Sunday afternoon. Roberts moved around the different positions as one by one the Panthers team left the field with injuries. With the loss of Girdler and later on, Campbell, the experience of Amos Roberts was very noticeable.
3. Joel Monaghan - The speedster for the Raiders was on fire on Saturday night against the Sea Eagles. Scoring three superb tries all within 12 minutes, when the game was evenly poised, Monaghan's vision was the turnaround in the match. He now is the second top try scorer in the NRL competition this year.
4. Justin Hodges - Backing from State of Origin 1, Hodges had one of his best games so far this season against a Warriors outfit that didn't look as though they'd turned up to play. Scoring three tries in the match, Hodges put his hand for more representative matches.
5. Luke Covell - In front of record crowd at Leichhardt Oval, the Tigers demolished the Parramatta Eels in a fine display of football. Ten minutes into the match and Covell already had two tries under his belt, with his third not long after the break. Great stuff.
6. Braith Anasta - In what had to be the match of Round 12 in front of a packed house at Penrith Stadium the Bulldogs played their hearts out, only to go down to the Panthers which could've been anyone's game until near the end. Anasta was fantastic the way he marshalled the troops around the paddock. A field goal just before the break gave them a 7 point buffer, but the might of the Panthers pack came through in the end.
7. Matt Orford - Unbelievably Matt Orford played the second half of the match against the Knights on Saturday night with a suspected broken hand, scans have cleared his hand of any break. Celebrating skipper Stephen Kearney's 250th NRL match in style by recording the club's first ever win in Newcastle, Orford laid the platform well for many of the point for the Melbourne side.
8. Ryan O'Hara - Another player backing up from State of Origin duties, Ryan O'Hara had a terrific match when the Raiders faced the Sea Eagles on Saturday night. Scoring a try in the match and putting in a lot of hard work paid off for his side as the Raiders put on a fine display for the fans at Canberra Stadium.
9. Michael Sullivan - Originally named on the bench for the Sharks in the game against the Rabbitohs, Sullivan found himself in the game early due to an injury. He caused havoc amongst the Rabbitohs defence, especially with his dummy half running, and was well rewarded with 2 tries in the match.
10. Petero Civoniceva - Hard to believe that two nights earlier Civoniceva had been playing for the Maroons in the State of Origin match. Making a mammoth making 29 tackles and 19 hit ups just 48 hours after a strong performance for Queensland was certainly to be admired as his side shrugged off the post Origin blues.
11. Ruben Wiki - Leading from the front as usual, Ruben Wiki helped his side to a well deserved victory over the Manly Sea Eagles at Canberra Stadium on Saturday night, finally ending a 4 match losing streak. Not scared to take the ball up continuously, Wiki helped cement a top performance by the Raiders.
12. Lance Thompson - Returning from injury once again Lance Thompson put in a solid effort for his side when they faced up to the Broncos on Friday night, in what was a very even contest. The top tackler for the Dragons, although he took a heavy knock midway through the first half, Thompson finished as he started, a menace for the opposition.
13. Luke Ricketson - As steady as ever for the Roosters, Ricketson left his mark on a Warriors pack that didn't turn up to play on Sunday. Hitting the ball up many times against some woeful defence, Ricketson made ground continuously. And then when the Warriors had the ball, Ricketson along with his team-mates stopped the attack before it started.
14. Brett Finch - Brett Finch had a very impressive game against the Warriors on Sunday. Although the defence lined him up for some hard hits, it obviously had little affect as he rallied his troops and set up play perfectly for many of the 11 tries the Roosters scored, even scoring one for himself.
15. Luke Priddis - In a come from behind win for the Panthers over the Bulldogs on Sunday, the experience of Priddis was valued as the side went through three captains on the day. With 5 players backing up from SOO, the freshness of Priddis darting from dummy half was paramount in his side gaining metres against a fired up Bulldogs pack. A try early in the match also for the Penrith hooker.
16. Scott Prince - A fine performance in the first SOO game for the Maroons was followed up by a top game for the Tigers up against the Eels on Sunday. Scotty Prince after making his Origin debut, combined well with Marshall at stand-off and was brimming with confidence throughout the match, even popping a field goal in the second half when the Tigers were well in control.
17. Danny Nutley - This man doesn't know how to take a rest as was shown when his side took on the Rabbitohs at Toyota Park on Saturday evening. Relentless in his defence the Souths side, although starting well, soon felt the pressure from the Sharks defence, led by a fired up Nutley. He also showed late in the game that he still has pace as he made an impressive bust through the defence which unfortunately just fell short of another try for the Sharks.