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Sparkling Latrell form triggers NSW selection debate

3 minute read

A snapshot of round 14 of the NRL season, where Latrell Mitchell and Zac Lomax starred.

LATRELL MITCHELL.
LATRELL MITCHELL. Picture: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

SNAPSHOT OF ROUND 14 OF THE NRL SEASON:

PLAYER OF THE ROUND: Zac Lomax kicked nine from nine and bagged three tries to lead St George Illawarra to a huge 56-14 win over Wests Tigers. Lomax was untouchable backing up just two days after making his State of Origin bow for NSW and has shown why he will be one of the first names on the Blues' team list for game two.

QUOTE OF THE ROUND: "If the actions don't change, then the players will change" - Benji Marshall took no prisoners after the Tigers' latest abject loss to the Dragons. Wests haven't won in their last nine games and are facing a mounting injury toll ahead of their return to Leichhardt Oval on Saturday.

TALKING POINT: Does Michael Maguire roll the dice on South Sydney superstar Latrell Mitchell? The Rabbitohs No.1 had a day out in the Bunnies' 46-12 win over the Gold Coast Titans to send a message to the NSW coach that he was ready for a State of Origin recall. Maguire needs a centre and at his destructive best Mitchell can strike fear into Queensland.

MAGIC MOMENT: The wing duel between Penrith's Brian To'o and Manly flyer Tommy Talau was worth the admission price alone at Penrith. Talau bagged four tries, and To'o got a hat-trick as well as the last laugh as the Panthers claimed a 32-22 win.

STAT THAT MATTERS: It took Canterbury 24 rounds to win seven games in 2023 but already in 2024 they have matched that number in round 14 thanks to Monday's 22-18 win over Parramatta.

CASUALTY WARD: Haumole Olakau'atu (calf) - Manly, Liam Martin (toe) - Penrith, Reece Walsh (concussion) - Brisbane, Jayden Sullivan (finger) - Wests Tigers, Lachlan Galvin (hand) - Wests Tigers, Bailey Hayward (concussion) - Canterbury, Josh Curran (neck) - Canterbury, Jacob Preston (ankle) - Canterbury.

JUDICIARY WATCH: Sam Verrills (dangerous contact) - Gold Coast, Josh Aloiai (dangerous contact) - Manly, Nathan Brown (dangerous contact) - Manly, Kai Pearce-Paul (dangerous throw) - Newcastle, Eli Katoa (dangerous contact) - Melbourne, Kurt Mann - (crusher tackle) - Canterbury.

UNDER PRESSURE: North Queensland coach Todd Payten has endured an up and down season but looked to have turned a corner until Saturday's ugly 42-12 loss to the Warriors at home. Payten's men face a tough away trip to Canberra before facing Penrith in a real test to see if their recent upturn in form was anything more than a flash in the pan.

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