With no NRL Club matches being played over the weekend, Cronulla Sharks fans could have been forgiven for looking to put the feet up and enjoying a cup of Joe!
However, this was not the case as the Sharks players in action over the weekend truly stepped up to the mark.
1. The G-Train shows no signs of stopping
The Sharks skipper Paul Gallen returned to the international stage for the first time since 2014 and showed no sign of slowing down.
Running for 208m, Gallen eclipsed the next best in James Tamou who ran 141m, and made 32 tackles to earn himself the Charles Savory Medal and be awarded Man of the Match.
Having shown stellar performances like these in Sharks colours prior to Friday’s Test match, Cronulla fans will be hoping to see much of the same for the remainder of 2016.
2. Nu found confidence
Cronulla Sharks contracted player Nu Brown certainly was the stand out in Saturday night’s Pacific Test clash between Samoa and Tonga.
Having not played first grade football since the 2014 NRL season, Brown did not look out of place in the International arena, steering his side to an 18-6 victory.
With form like this, Brown is certainly keeping Sharks coach Shane Flanagan aware of his ball-playing abilities.
3. Jimmy puts his hand up for Laurie
James Maloney did his State of Origin hopes no harm during yesterday’s Country City Origin clash in Tamworth.
Captaining a losing Country side, Maloney’s kicking game took a while to warm up. However when it did, the former Origin five-eighth put his side into good field position throughout the match.
Maloney finished the match with two tries which also did his Origin selection chances no harm.
4. The City Country clash still has meaning
After a great deal of speculation prior to the Country City Origin clash, that the match would be nothing short of a failure, the match proved to be a success with 74 points being scored on the afternoon.
With both sides playing without the defensive structures of their NRL Clubs, both sides were able to throw the ball around and play with an element of flair and creativity that had the fans on their feet.
This game historically has seen some of the games greats in Laurie Daly, Andrew Johns and Steve Menzies pave out their journey into higher representative honours and it would be a shame for this to be lost.
5. Our great game is alive and well in the Pacific
As it has now for the past few years, the Pacific Test Match evening captures the hearts and minds of the Rugby League faithful.
Played in front of a parochial crowd at Pirtek Stadium, both the Fiji v PNG Test and the following Samoa v Tonga Test had it all.
From big hits to fleet footed backs, it was great to see all four sides put on a display worthy of the International headline.
A strong game in the Pacific is good for the game overall.
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