2022-07-11 23:40:00

Wayne Bennett’s young rugby union convert is carving up Queensland Cup for the Dolphins, while a solution to the Storm’s outside backs woes may have emerged.

Matt Lodge played his first game of rugby league since signing with the Roosters and Manly centre Brad Parker returned from a knee injury.

And it was the week of the prop with several big men shining — including Newtown’s 190cm, 125kg Franklin Pele who scored a hat-trick.

Read on for the latest Reserve Grade Wrap.

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ALL EYES WERE ON

Matt Lodge returned to the field via Roosters’ feeder side, North Sydney Bears. The 27-year-old wasn’t a standout but got through 43 minutes unscathed, finishing with 88 running metres and 27 tackles with five misses.

Lodge was granted an immediate release from the Warriors in May after a fallout with the club owner. He kept fit by playing suburban rugby union before inking a short-term deal with the Roosters for the rest of the season.

Star Manly centre Brad Parker also made his return over the weekend after suffering a partially torn ACL in Round 8. Parker only played the first half, finishing with 39 running metres and five tackles with zero misses.

Lodge and Parker weren’t the only high profile names running around in reserve grade with several clubs taking advantage of the split round to drop back some players to get more minutes into their legs.

Raiders hooker Tom Starling was one of those players with the star hooker getting a full game under his belt for the first time since Round 6.

Starling was a class above in Canberra’s 30-16 win over North Sydney, setting up three tries and getting four linebreak assists, while also running for 77 metres and making 38 tackles with three misses.

Starling’s Raiders teammate Corey Harawira-Naera also had a big day out, getting a try assist, a linebreak, a linebreak assist and four tackle busts to go with his 147 running metres and 28 tackles with zero misses.

Meanwhile, Wayne Bennett has got himself a good one in 21-year-old centre Valynce Te Whare. The 192cm, 108kg rugby union convert signed a two-year Top 30 deal, which will commence next season, with the Dolphins last December.

In the meantime he’s been learning his craft with the Dolphins’ Queensland Cup side and has been a revelation in the five games he’s played.

Last Saturday’s was his best performance to date with a try, two linebreaks, eight tackle busts, 210 running metres and 11 tackles with zero misses.

He has now scored seven tries in five games, while averaging 174 running metres and nine tackle busts per game.

Valynce Te Whare for the Dolphins. Photo: Josh Springfield PhotographySource: FOX SPORTS

Tigers centre James Roberts found himself in reserve grade after returning from injury for the Tigers just a week earlier.

Roberts started off the game at fullback but after a costly knock on led to an Eels try he was switched to the centres. The veteran finished with 122 running metres and combined nicely with Tyrone Peachey to score a try.

Elsewhere, Matt Dufty set up a Bulldogs try with a perfectly weighted grubber in their 22-12 loss to the Panthers. He also ran for 251 metres and got eight tackle busts.

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STANDOUTS

Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy said last week that he will likely have to hit the market for an outside back and there’s one that he should keep a close eye on — Hayze Perham.

The Storm need could do with some more depth in both the outside backs and halves given they played Nick Meaney — a winger — played at five-eighth last week. Perham can play any position in the backline and scored four tries in a huge performance for the Eels on Saturday. The 23-year-old also notched up two linebreaks, six tackle busts and 163 running metres.

And the good news is he doesn’t have a preference on what position he plays.

“Whatever the coach wants me to play… we put the jersey on and whatever job we’ve got to do, we just do so I’m willing to put the team first,” Perham told Fox League after the game.

Perham comes off contract at the end of the season and at the moment is stuck behind the likes of Maika Sivo, Bailey Simonsson, Tom Opacic, Waqa Blake and Will Penisini, while Sean Russell is considered to be a part of the future plans.

It was the week of the props with several big men shining for their respective sides.

Penrith’s Liam Henry proved exactly why he was locked in on a two-year deal last month with a huge effort off the bench on the weekend.

The 20-year-old prop, who stands at 190cm and weighs 105kg, notched up 192 running metres — 102 post-contact — five tackle busts and made 43 tackles with five misses in 55 minutes.

Henry will join the Panthers’ development squad next season and the Top 30 in 2024.

190cm, 125kg Newtown prop Franklin Pele scored a hat-trick in their 46-14 win over Mounties — and two of those tries were within three minutes. The 21-year-old also notched up two linebreaks, two linebreak assists, six tackle busts and 184 running metres… all in 37 minutes.

Canberra’s Ata Mariota also put in a performance worth celebrating — two tries, six tackle busts and 162 running metres, as well as 24 tackles with zero misses in his 56 minutes at prop.

Emry Pere scored a try, got a linebreak, three tackle busts and ran for 216 metres — 106 post-contact — in Townsville’s huge win.

Newtown duo Kade Dykes and Jayden Berrell pulled the strings in their team’s win.

Dykes, a five-eighth that can also play fullback, scored a try, set up another, got five linebreaks, nine tackle busts and ran for 186 metres. Meanwhile, reserve grade veteran Berrell set up two tries, got a linebreak, two linebreak assists. He also made 33 tackles but had five misses.

Solo Wane, a winger for PNG Hunters, scored a double in his side’s 36-22 win while also getting a linebreak, three tackle busts and 273 running metres.

CQ Capras escaped with a two-point win over Sunshine Coast and second-rower Ethan O’Neill had a game to remember with a try, a try assist, a linebreak, a linebreak assist, six tackle busts and two offloads while also running for 120 metres and making 28 tackles with two misses.

Townsville local Tomas Chester ran amok at fullback for the Blackhawks, scoring a hat-trick, setting up a try, getting two linebreaks, a linebreak assist, nine tackle busts and 195 running metres. No wonder the Cowboys have locked him in on a two-year Top 30 deal starting next season.

Blackhawks five-eighth Shaun Nona also played a huge role in the win, setting up five tries and getting three linebreak assists too.

Titans centre Esan Marsters showed his experience in Burleigh’s 52-10 win over Ipswich. The 25-year-old bagged a double, got two linebreak assists, seven tackle busts and ran for 137 metres.

His Burleigh teammates halfback Guy Hamilton and fullback Taine Tuaupiki had a hand in several tries. Hamilton scored one and set up three more, while Tuaupiki scored one and set up another two, while also getting two linebreaks, a linebreak assist, 10 tackle busts and 170 running metres.

Norths Devils fullback Matthew Milson proved to be hard to handle in his side’s 38-20 win over Mackay with a try, three try assists, two linebreak assists, seven tackle busts and 150 running metres.

As did Brisbane Tigers centre Solomona Faataape with a try assist, a linebreak, a linebreak assist, eight tackle busts and 177 running metres. In the same game, Northern Pride fullback Julian Christian was a standout in a losing side with three linebreaks, 10 tackle busts and 239 running metres.

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SPOTTED

South Sydney winger Izaac Thompson’s try-scoring streak has come to an end. The 25-year-old had scored in the last five games prior to Round 17 including doubles in three consecutive weeks and four tries in Round 9. He still notched up an impressive 166 running metres and nine tackle busts though while playing in the centres.

Penrith rested several of their regular Cup players which could suggest they may be called on next week to fill in for the Origin stars. Sean O’Sullivan, Kurt Falls, Charlie Staines and Soni Luke were among the players missing on the weekend.

Bulldogs playmaker Brandon Wakeham returned from the four-game suspension he copped for eye-gouging Tyrell Sloan.

In a huge blow for the Raiders, gun forward Harry Rushton suffered a fractured jaw and is expected to miss eight to 10 weeks, effecitvely ruling him out of the rest of the NSW Cup season.

The Broncos had to dig deep into their reserves last week due to injuries and Origin commitments. It meant their three feeder sides lost a stack of experience and one in particular suffered — Souths Logan were hammered 72-nil buy Townsville Blackhawks. Townsville finished the game with a 65 per cent of the possession and Souths Logan made a huge 330 tackles (50 missed) compared to Townsville’s 169 (11 missed).

#reserve #grade #wrap #NSW #Cup #Queensland #Cup #stats #Valynce #Whare #Dolphins #Matt #Lodge #Roosters #Brad #Parker #return #Hayze #Perham #Eels

Source by [graycupnews.com]

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