2019 Rookie Rankings – Round 20

Corey Horsburgh

1. Payne Haas (Brisbane Broncos – last week: 1st)
15 games, 3 tries, 176.7 metres per game, 976 post contact metres, 3 line breaks, 65 tackle breaks, 92.4% tackle efficiency

Despite the big loss to Melbourne, Payne Haas still ran for 156 metres, slightly down from his ridiculous 176 per game average. Defensively, he made 36 tackles at 85.7% efficiency in his 69 minutes of play.

2. Briton Nikora (Cronulla Sharks – 2nd)
18 games, 5 tries, 92.1 metres per game, 9 line breaks, 43 tackle breaks, 4 try assists, 5 line break assists, 89.2% tackle efficiency

Much like Cronulla, Nikora has returned to form over the past few weeks. Against South Sydney, he scored his fifth try of 2019, ran for 82 metres and made 28 tackles, missing just two.

3. Maika Sivo (Parramatta Eels – 3rd)
18 games, 15 tries, 144.2 metres per game, 782 post contact metres, 15 line breaks, 66 tackle breaks, 83.2% tackle efficiency

Maika Sivo remains the NRL’s top try scorer after crossing the stripe for his 15th of the season in Parramatta’s win over the Dragons. He added a barnstorming 192 metres and seven tackles breaks in another strong performance.

4. Ryan Papenhuyzen (Melbourne Storm – 5th)
16 games, 5 tries, 100.8 metres per game, 9 line breaks, 38 tackle breaks, 4 try assists, 76.4% tackle efficiency

Ryan Papenhuyzen jumps a spot in our rankings after coming off the bench for 208 metres, two line breaks and five tackle breaks in the Storm’s win over Brisbane. He’d be a serious challenger for Haas’ top spot were he Melbourne’s starting fullback each week.

5. Bronson Xerri (Cronulla Sharks – 8th)
16 games, 10 tries, 121.4 metres per game, 11 line breaks, 61 tackle breaks, 4 try assists, 83.5% tackle efficiency

Bronson Xerri is a big mover in the rankings after a superb performance against the Rabbitohs. He gave James Roberts trouble all night, scoring twice and running for 156 metres. In defence he made 10 tackles without miss.

6. Braden Hamlin-Uele (Cronulla Sharks – 4th)
15 games, 3 tries, 101 run metres, 511 post contact metres, 3 line breaks, 39 tackle breaks, 90.4% tackle efficiency

Braden Hamlin-Uele’s numbers were slightly down on his season averages in Cronulla’s win over the Rabbitohs. The former Junior Kiwi made just 39 metres from five runs in 37 minutes but did set up the line break for Josh Morris’ try with a nice offload.

7. Jack Williams (Cronulla Sharks – 6th)
19 games, 1 try, 101.5 metres per game, 625 post contact metres, 2 line breaks, 26 tackle breaks, 89.5% tackle efficiency

Like Hamlin-Uele, Jack Williams’ output was down on his yearly numbers although he only played 23 minutes. He made 62 metres for seven runs and added 12 tackles with just one miss.

8. Reuben Garrick (Manly Sea Eagles – 7th)
19 games, 13 tries, 106.7 metres per game, 482 post contact metres, 10 line breaks, 47 tackle breaks, 61.4% tackle efficiency

Reuben Garrick took his try tally to 13, with two tries in Manly’s win over Newcastle. His first try was an impressive effort, in which he brought down a Daly Cherry-Evans kick to score in the corner.

9. Corey Horsburgh (Canberra Raiders – not ranked)
14 games, 92.6 metres per game, 486 post contact metres, 7 tackle breaks, 90.6% tackle efficiency

Corey Horsburgh returns to the top 10 after a great showing off the bench in Canberra’s win over the Warriors. In 34 minutes, the Caboolture junior ran for 147 metres, broke two tackles and made 26 with just one miss.

10. Jai Whitbread (Gold Coast Titans – not ranked)
13 games, 89.7 metres per game, 409 post contact metres, 15 tackle breaks, 92.5% tackle efficiency

Jai Whitbread was one of the few Titans who could hold his head high after their huge loss to the Roosters. The South Tweed junior ran for 113 metres and made 40 tackles with only one miss in 65 minutes.

Outside looking in

  • Bailey Simonsson ran for 155 metres in Canberra’s win over the Warriors and scored twice to take his season total to seven.
  • Dylan Brown will be back into the top 10 before long if he has another game like he did against the Dragons. He scored a try, ran for 113 metres and broke four tackles in Parramatta’s win.
  • Brian To’o was hard to bring down in Penrith’s disappointing loss to the Bulldogs, running for 185 metres and breaking five tackles. He’s now averaging 168.6 metres and 4.1 tackle breaks per game.
  • Liam Martin played 80 minutes at second row for Penrith in their loss to Canterbury. He ran for 138 metres and broke five tackles, tackling at 80% efficiency.
  • Thomas Mikaele ran for 99 metres in just 36 minutes in the Tigers’ big win over North Queensland. The Goodna junior was a rock defensively, making 20 tackles without a miss.

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; players are eligible for the Rookie of the Year in their debut season and the subsequent two NRL seasons. Once a player plays his fifth NRL Premiership match (or Super League match), he becomes ineligible for the Rookie of the Year in any subsequent seasons.

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