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17th August 2020, 12:16 | englandrl

England Watch | NRL

England Watch | NRL

John Bateman and George Williams on the scoresheet

Canberra Raiders’ English quartet were instrumental in a 36-8 victory over Brisbane Broncos on Saturday morning which took Ricky Stuart’s side up to 5th in the NRL ladder.

The Raiders trailed 6-8 at the break, but a George Williams try five minutes into the second half would be the catalyst for a sterling second half performance from the Raiders as they scored 30 unanswered points.

Williams’ try came following a surging run from fellow Englishman John Bateman down the right-hand side.

The former Wigan duo would link-up again 15 minutes later with Williams turning provider as his perfectly weighted kick fell into the grateful arms of Bateman who scored his first try since last year’s memorable late try against Melbourne Storm in the NRL play-offs. 

Raiders boss Stuart wasn’t present at the game, but Assistant Coach Andrew McFadden, speaking to the NRL, hailed Bateman’s impact in attack.

“John’s certainly brough a different dynamic to us, he gives us a real edge.

“He doesn’t play like most other players in the NRL. He’s awkward, he’s unorthodox but he’s very effective. He creates stuff and he makes people around him a lot better,” McFadden said. 

Fellow former Wigan star Ryan Sutton made more tackles than any other Canberra player in the victory racking up 37 defensive efforts while also running for over 100 metres. Elliott Whitehead wasn’t far behind with 34 tackles.

Youngster Herbie Farnworth was on the scoresheet in the first half for Brisbane but couldn’t inspire his Broncos side to victory. Farnworth has now scored five tries in 13 appearances this season.

Tom Burgess’ South Sydney Rabbitohs left it late to claim a 30-31 victory against North Queensland Cowboys with Adam Reynolds’ 79th minute drop-goal proving the difference between the sides.

Despite only featuring for 39 minutes, Burgess made an impressive 119 metres – with 51 coming post-contact – in a win that opened up a four-point gap between the Rabbitohs – in the final play-off spot – and the chasing pack.

Fellow Englishman Luke Thompson was on the wrong side of a late drop-goal as Luke Brooks’ 77th minute one-pointer saw Wests Tigers knock off Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 29-28 at Bankwest Stadium. 

Thompson has featured in six consecutive games for the Bulldogs since moving Down Under but has only been on the winning side on one occasion back in Round 11 against Newcastle Knights. Canterbury remain bottom of the NRL ladder two points behind Brisbane and North Queensland.

Ryan Hall’s Sydney Roosters fell to a 6-24 defeat against Melbourne Storm on Thursday although the former Leeds winger didn’t feature. He will be hoping to return to the side next weekend against Wests Tigers.

The Canberra contingent will be looking to make it back-to-back victories as face Justin Holbrook’s Gold Coast Titans while Thompson’s Bulldogs face New Zealand Warriors as their search for a victory continues. 

Burgess’ Rabbitohs face Manly Sea Eagles on Saturday in a game which could have big implications on the final play-off spots.