2019 Rookie Rankings – Round 15

Thomas Mikaele

1. Payne Haas (Brisbane Broncos – last week: 1st)
v Newcastle – 59 minutes, 16 runs, 164 metres, 66 post contact, 3 tackle breaks, 36 tackles, 0 missed, 2 ineffective, 1 penalty conceded

Despite another Broncos’ loss in Round 15, Payne Haas continues to perform in the front row. The 19-year old ran for a massive 164 metres, breaking three tackles, and perhaps more impressively, made 36 tackles with zero misses.

2. Briton Nikora (Cronulla Sharks – 2nd)
v Canterbury – 80 minutes, 8 runs, 67 metres, 28 post contact, 2 tackle breaks, 33 tackles, 2 missed, 7 ineffective, 2 penalties conceded

Briton Nikora was solid once again the Cronulla’s loss to Canterbury. A week after making his Test debut for New Zealand, he played the full 80 minutes and made 33 tackles.

3. Maika Sivo (Parramatta Eels – 3rd)
v Canberra – 19 runs, 168 metres, 67 post contact, 2 tackle breaks, 3 tackles, 2 missed

Maika Sivo was at his hard running best in Parramatta’s come from behind victory over Canberra in Darwin. The Fijian international ran for 168 metres from 19 runs, 67 of those post contact.

4. Jack Williams (Cronulla Sharks – 4th)
v Canterbury – 35 minutes, 8 runs, 143 metres, 21 post contact, 2 tackle breaks, 22 tackles, 0 missed, 3 ineffective, 2 errors, 1 penalty conceded

Jack Williams almost scored the game-winning try in the Sharks’ loss to the Bulldogs, scooping up a kick and running the length of the field before being brought down short of the line. Starting at prop, he made 143 metres and 22 tackles without miss in 35 minutes.

5. Braden Hamlin-Uele (Cronulla Sharks – 5th)
v Canterbury – 44 minutes, 11 runs, 111 metres, 31 post contact, 4 tackle breaks, 31 tackles, 2 missed, 2 ineffective

Braden Hamlin-Uele was a force off the bench again for Cronulla in Round 15. In 44 minutes, he ran for 111 metres, breaking four tackles, and made 31 tackles.

6. Bronson Xerri (Cronulla Sharks – 6th)
v Canterbury – 13 runs, 143 metres, 29 post contact, 1 tackle break, 5 tackles, 0 missed

Bronson Xerri was back to his best this past weekend after a concussion-shortened game in Round 14. The 18-year old ran for 143 metres and made five tackle without a miss.

7. Cade Cust (Manly Sea Eagles – 7th)
v Gold Coast – 15 runs, 98 metres, 1 line break, 1 line break assist, 1 try assist, 1 tackle break, 16 tackles, 2 missed, 1 ineffective, 4 kicks, 110 metres, 1 forced drop out, 3 errors

Cade Cust continues to show that he can be the long term halves partner for Daly Cherry-Evans after another bright performance against the Titans. The Scone junior set up a try, made 16 tackles with just two misses and ran for 98 metres.

8. Brian To’o (Penrith Panthers – 8th)
v Warriors – 17 runs, 142 metres, 38 post contact, 4 tackle breaks, 5 tackles, 0 missed, 1 error

Brian To’o was strong again the Panthers’ golden point win over the Warriors in Auckland. He ran for 143 metres, breaking four tackles, and was solid defensively, making five tackles without miss.

9. Thomas Mikaele (Wests Tigers – 9th)
v South Sydney – 43 minutes, 12 runs, 123 metres, 55 post contact, 1 offload, 27 tackles, 0 missed, 1 error

Thomas Mikaele crossed the 100 metre mark off the bench once again for the Tigers in their win over South Sydney. The Ipswich product was just as strong defensively, making 27 tackles without miss.

10. Ryan Papenhuyzen (Melbourne Storm – not ranked)
v Sydney – 1 try, 27 runs, 251 metres, 59 post contact, 1 line break, 4 tackle breaks, 3 tackles, 4 missed, 2 ineffective, 1 error

Ryan Papenhuyzen returns to the rankings after a very impressive outing in Melbourne’s win over the Roosters. Starting at fullback, he scored a try, ran for a whopping 251 metres and broke four tackles.

Honourable mentions:

  • Shane Wright started at second row in the Cowboys’ loss to the Dragons, playing the full 80, running for 133 metres and making 45 tackles without a miss.
  • Scott Drinkwater played his first game of 2019 and his first for the Cowboys in Round 15 and made an immediate difference. Starting at fullback, he scored a try, set up a try and ran for 121 metres.
  • An early leader in the rankings, Parramatta’s Dylan Brown returned from injury against the Raiders and looked promising. He ran for 79 metres, made 24 tackles and forced a drop out.
  • Brent Naden scored an impressive double in the Panthers’ one-point win over the Warriors. He added 121 metres, five tackle breaks and 20 tackles.
  • Mikaele Ravalawa was hard to stop in the Dragons’ win over the Cowboys. He scored his eighth try of the year and ran for 169 metres, 55 of those post contact.

The 18th Man’s Rookie Rankings, released after each round, take into account a player’s previous round performance and their season as a whole.

We are using the NRL’s criteria for Dally M Rookie of the Year; the player must not have played more than four NRL games prior to the current season to qualify. Unlike the NRL, a player won’t be taken off the rankings if he becomes ineligible through suspension.

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