The NRL week that was

PLAY OF THE ROUND: Pat Richards (Tigers): The veteran winger kicked the winning field goal that got the Tigers home with seconds left. It was brilliantly constructed with young Luke Brooks setting up for the shot before flinging the ball to Richards (pictured). But, why was he given so much space?

BIGGEST FLOP: Plenty of contenders, including Anthony Milford, Johnathan Thurston, Ben Barba and Shaun Johnson. Winner: Where were you Anthony?

BEST DEFENSIVE EFFORT; (Roosters V Cowboys): The Roosters smothered the Cowboys with a brand of defence that could take them all the way to the grand final. They made shutting down Thurston, despite him playing behind a powerful pack, look easy.

TRY OF THE ROUND: Chris Sandow (Eels). His chip and regather against Manly, regaining the ball with an outstretched right hand while stepping the opposition, to set up a try for newcomer Brad Takairangi was brilliant.

QUOTE OF THE ROUND: "In a cynical way I am glad we played them first up to see where we are (which is a long way off the pace)". Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett said after being touched up 36-6 by South Sydney.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: Several contenders, including the Broncos, Sea Eagles, Cowboys and Warriors. The boys from north Queensland, however, take the honours because they should have been so much better.

MOST EYE-CATCHING EFFORT: Take your pick out of Souths, Sydney Roosters and Parramatta. The Rabbitohs were scarily good against a disappointing Brisbane, the Eels exposed Manly up the middle, while the Roosters muscled up defensively against the Cowboys.

UNDER MOST PRESSURE: Manly. The Sea Eagles forwards were totally dominated by Parramatta's pack which featured two former Manly hard men, Anthony Watmough and Darcy Lassick. Things could turn ugly at Brookvale if the team loses to Melbourne at home this weekend.

ESCAPE OF THE ROUND: How in God's name young Wests Tigers five-eighth Mitchell Moses was not sent off for an old-fashioned 'coathanger' on Titans flyer William Zillman defies belief. Bigger escape than his namesake surviving a trip down the Nile in a basket.

team of the week

FULLBACK: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Roosters) 8

WINGER: Semi Radradra (Eels) 8

WINGER: Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (Panthers) 8

CENTRE: Dane Gagai (Knights) 7.5

CENTRE: Dylan Walker (Rabbitohs) 8

FIVE-EIGHTH: Corey Norman (Eels) 7.5

HALFBACK: Chris Sandow (Eels) 9

PROP: Jesse Bromwich (Storm) 8

HOOKER: James Segeyaro (Panthers) 8.5

PROP: Jarred Waerea-Hargreaves (Roosters) 7.5

SECOND ROW: Ryan James (Titans) 8

SECOND ROW: Boyd Cordner (Roosters) 8

LOCK: Dale Finucane (Storm) 8



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