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Rookie Watch – Round 13

RLPA.com.au each week provides an update on NRL rookies around the Clubs, highlighting the best performers in the lead-up to the Rookie of the Year medal at the annual Players’ Champion awards night.

Two more players made their first grade debuts in Round 13, with Brandon Smith (Melbourne) and Esan Marsters (Wests Tigers) both impressing for their respective sides.

A total of 35 players have now made their debut during the 2017 season, with 15 of those taking the field over the weekend despite Cronulla and South Sydney having the bye.

Smith managed to score a try in his first NRL match, barging over from dummy half in the Storm’s 40-12 win over the Newcastle Knights.

On Saturday, Marsters set up a try in a short but impressive stint alongside fellow rookie Moses Suli who amassed 186 metres for the Wests Tigers in their narrow loss to the Dragons.

Later that night, Gold Coast Titans forward Morgan Boyle played his first 80-minute NRL game, making 37 tackles in his side’s 20-8 loss to the Cowboys.

Rounding out the weekend was another impressive performance from Penrith Panthers rookie forward Corey Harawira-Naera who scored his fourth try of the season as his side cruised past the Bulldogs.

 

NRL – ROUND 13 

Storm vs Knights

Brandon Smith* (Storm) – 40 minutes, 18 metres, 16 tackles, 1 line-break, 1 try

Sam Stone (Knights) – 32 minutes, 9 metres, 18 tackles

Luke Yates (Knights) – 50 minutes, 29 metres, 30 tackles,

 

Eels vs Warriors

No rookies played.

 

Dragons vs Wests Tigers

Hame Sele (Dragons) – 22 minutes, 56 metres, 10 tackles

Moses Suli (Wests Tigers) – 80 minutes, 186 metres, 11 tackles

Esan Marsters* (Wests Tigers) – 43 minutes, 88 metres, 13 tackles, 1 try-assist

 

Broncos vs Roosters

No rookie played.

 

Cowboys vs Titans

Morgan Boyle (Titans) – 80 minutes, 70 metres, 37 tackles

Max King (Titans) – 42 minutes, 18 metres, 27 tackles

 

Sea Eagles vs Raiders

Brian Kelly (Sea Eagles) – 82 minutes, 76 metres, 15 tackles, 1 try-assist

Nick Cotric (Raiders) – 82 minutes, 80 metres, 2 tackles

 

Bulldogs vs Panthers

Marcelo Montoya (Bulldogs) – 80 minutes, 89 metre, 5 tackles

Matt Frawley (Bulldogs) – 80 minutes, 26 metres, 30 tackles

Francis Tualau (Bulldogs) – 23 minutes, 25 metres, 10 tackles

Corey Harawira-Naera (Panthers) – 80 minutes, 118 metres, 29 tackles, 1 line-break, 1 try

Viliame Kikau (Panthers) – 9 minutes, 16 metres, 4 tackles

 

* Debut in Round 13