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14th May 2019, 10:33 | englandrl

England Watch | NRL

England Watch | NRL

It was the NRL’s inaugural Magic Round this weekend and our Rabbitohs boys – led by England Head Coach Wayne Bennett- certainly put in some magical performances as they beat North Queensland Cowboys 32-16. 

Sam Burgess opened the scoring after just ten minutes for the Rabbitohs and set them on course for their 8th win of the season as they maintained pace with leaders and rivals Sydney Roosters. The second-rower has scored six tries already in 2019; more than any other forward in the NRL.

The former Bradford man also made 156 metres from 15 carries, averaging over ten metres per carry with almost a third of these metres coming post-contact.  

It was brother Tom Burgess who was the biggest metre-maker on the field however with a huge 167 metres in total. Of Tom’s 167 metres, 55 came post-contact and the prop-forward also made 24 tackles in another impressive performance.  

George Burgess made an impact coming on from the bench to make 90 metres from just seven carries alongside 18 tackles.

Canberra Raiders couldn’t quite get the victory against current NRL leaders Sydney Roosters falling to a 30-24 defeat with three of their England contingent in action. 

As has come to be expected, Josh Hodgson made more tackles than any other player on the field with 39. He also made 39 metres from his three dummy half runs in addition to making 85 passes and two kicks. 

Elliot Whitehead wasn’t far behind the hooker in terms of his defensive effort making 38 tackles against a strong Roosters side. Ryan Sutton made 30 tackles.

There was also defeat for James Graham’s St George Illawarra Dragons as they were edged out 26-18 by New Zealand Warriors at Suncorp Stadium. 

The prop-forward was consistent once more however making 41 tackles which was the highest on the field alongside Warriors’ Isaiah Papali'I. Graham also made 106 metres from 16 carries in a huge 66-minute spell.

Next weekend six of the England lads Down Under could collide as Canberra Raiders host South Sydney Rabbitohs on Saturday. Elliot Whitehead, Josh Hodgson and Ryan Sutton could be in action for the Raiders while all three Burgess brothers – Sam, Tom and George – could feature for Souths. 

There could also be a return to action for Ryan Hall who has missed the start of the Roosters’ season through injury. Hall could debut against Brisbane Broncos on Friday. 

James Graham’s St George host Newcastle Knights on Sunday.