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Rookie Watch – Round 15

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.

Despite only four games being played during Round 15, an incredible 16 rookies took the field – including four debutants.

Phillip Sami (Titans), Dean Britt (Storm), Kyle Laybutt (Cowboys) and Matt Eisenhuth (Wests Tigers) were the new faces in first grade, bringing the total number of debutants to 40 for the 2017 season.

Wests Tigers’ rookies Esan Marsters and Malakai Watene-Zelezniak both crossed for the first try of their NRL careers on Saturday night – with the latter of the two running for an incredible 195 metres.

In the same game, Eisenhuth made a massive impact with a try-assist early in the match and an astonishing 193 metres.

Other notable rookie performances in Round 15 included Souths’ winger Braidon Burns with 124 metres, Wests Tigers centre Moses Suli who made 146 metres and Melbourne hooker Brandon Smith who crossed for a try and set up another in their thrilling win over North Queensland.

 

NRL – ROUND 15

 

Rabbitohs vs Titans

Tyrell Fuimaono (Rabbitohs) – 80 minutes, 116 metres, 30 tackles

Braidon Burns (Rabbitohs) – 80 minutes, 124 metres, 5 tackles, 1 line-break

Phillip Sami (Titans)* – 80 minutes, 108 metres, 5 tackles

Morgan Boyle (Titans) – 35 minutes, 40 metres, 15 tackles, 1 line-break

Max King (Titans) – 50 minutes, 78 metres, 30 tackles

 

Storm vs Cowboys

Ryley Jacks (Storm) – 84 minutes, 43 metres, 29 tackles

Brandon Smith (Storm) – 46 minutes, 26 metres, 28 tackles, 1 line-break, 1 try-assist, 1 try

Dean Britt (Storm)* – 20 minutes, 56 metres, 8 tackles

Kyle Laybutt (Cowboys)* – 75 minutes, 31 metres, 15 tackles

Corey Jensen (Cowboys) – 16 minutes, 12 metres, 11 tackles

 

Sharks vs Wests Tigers

Jayden Brailey (Sharks) – 48 minutes, 22 metres, 40 tackles

Moses Suli (Wests Tigers) – 80 minutes, 146 metres, 7 tackles

Esan Marsters (Wests Tigers) – 80 minutes, 75 metres, 21 tackles, 1 line-break, 1 try

Malakai Watene-Zelezniak (Wests Tigers) – 80 minutes, 195 metres, 4 tackles, 1 line-break, 1 try

Matt Eisenhuth (Wests Tigers)* – 52 minutes, 193 metres, 22 tackles, 1 try-assist

 

Eels vs Dragons

Hame Sele (Dragons) – 35 minutes, 31 metres, 30 tackles

 

* Debut in Round 15