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3rd June 2019, 15:18 | englandrl

England Watch | NRL

England Watch | NRL

There was a reduced round of fixtures in the NRL this weekend, but that didn’t stop our Englishmen Down Under making headlines. 

None more so than John Bateman who returned just three weeks after fracturing his eye socket and put in a stellar display as Canberra Raiders edged out Canterbury Bankstown-Bulldogs. 

Bateman – who returned almost five weeks earlier than expected – scored Canberra’s second try of the afternoon after managing to put boot to ball on two occasions before having the pace to plant down in the corner before the ball ran into touch. 

The former Bradford and Wigan man played the full eighty minutes at loose forward despite returning from injury and made 32 tackles as well as averaging ten metres per carry from his 12 carries. 

Elliot Whitehead was solid in defence for the Raiders making 46 tackles in the back-row; more than any other Canberra player. Prop-forward Ryan Sutton made an impact from the interchange bench once again taking nine tough carries and making 30 tackles, averaging almost one a minute while on the field. 

Wayne Bennett’s South Sydney Rabbitohs were in action on Friday but unfortunately fell to surprise defeat against Parramatta. The Rabbitohs headed into the game on the back of their best start in the NRL for 30 years. 

Tom Burgess scored his first try of the season powering over the Eels defence from close-range after 54 minutes. Despite falling to defeat, Tom Burgess was a constant threat going forward for the Rabbitohs racking up 158 metres with 49 coming post-contact.

Sam Burgess also ticked over the 100-metre mark totalling 111 from 11 carries as well as making 26 tackles. George Burgess also started the game and made 97 metres with over a third coming after contact. 

The Rabbitohs will be hoping to get back to winning ways next week when they host Newcastle Knights. Canberra travel to Wests Tigers looking for back-to-back victories.

Ryan Hall could feature for Sydney Roosters as they visit Penrith Panthers. James Graham’s St George Illawarra Dragons face Canterbury, but the prop-forward is likely to be sidelined.