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26th June 2017, 19:11 | steve_mascord

Home & Away: NRL Round 16

Home & Away: NRL Round 16

By Steve Mascord

ENGLAND star James Graham praised Canterbury team-mate Josh Jackson for an incident which resulted in him being sent to the sin bin during round 16 of the NRL.

Second rower Jackson, backing up just 48 hours after representing New South Wales in the second State of Origin match on the other side of the Tasman, was dispatched for a professional foul after pulling off a try-saving tackle on the Warriors’ Shaun Johnson.

“I’m not here to criticise the decision,” Graham said when asked about the incident.

JAMES GRAHAM: 112 metres and 37 tackles in just 52 minutes for Canterbury in their 21-14 loss to the Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium

GARETH WIDDOP: An amazing four try assists for St George Illawarra in a 32-28 win over Newcastle in the battle of the steel cities at Kogarah

“I thought it was an absolutely outstanding effort from Josh to get back.

“He definitely saved six points. It was an unbelievable effort from him. I’d rather focus on that.”

Graham's Bulldogs are struggling somewhat, with six wins and nine losses leaving them languishing in 13th. Graham was lavish in his praise of Jackson and fellow NSW forward David Klemmer for backing up so soon after a rugged Origin game.

Stand-off Gareth Widdop fended off compliments after setting up four tries in St George Illawarra’s surprisingly difficult 32-28 win over Newcastle at Kogarah Oval on Sunday. The win arrested a worrying slide for the joint venture but according to Widdop, they're not out of the woods yet.

“Our defence was pretty average, we weren’t winning the ruck, they were running harder than us,” Widdop conceded

CHRIS HEIGHINGTON: 41 minutes off the bench in Cronulla’s 35-18 loss to Manly at Southern Cross Stadium, making 20 tackles

JOSH HODGSON: Set up a try with a textbook dart out of dummy half and made 40 tackles in Canberra’s loss to Brisbane

“A few of our kicks gave them seven tackles. Coming into half-time we knew we had to stick to the process, got back to simple football.

“We need to be better.”

England second rower Chris McQueen hopes to be back in action this weekend after missing Gold Coast’s big away win at the same ground where he made his Test debut – Campbelltown Stadium.

McQueen is currently missing due to a neck injury, in his absence Joe Greenwood flew St George’s Cross on Saturday.

ELLIOTT WHITEHEAD: 37 tackles and five missed in the 30-20 defeat at GIO Stadium

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