New South Wales great Andrew Johns has urged Blues coach Laurie Daley to select the entire Roosters left flank after their destruction of the Tigers last weekend.
Winger Daniel Tupou bounced back to form with a hat-trick in the side’s 36-4 beatdown of the Tigers that Johns said left Daley with no choice but to have the club combination in his Game I side when it is named on Tuesday week.
That also means going with James Maloney and Mitchell Pearce as the halves.
“Laurie’s talking about combinations, the left side for NSW will be [Boyd] Cordner, [Michael] Jennings and Tupou,” Johns said.
“And you put Maloney in there because that’s the (Roosters’) left side.
Storm fullback Billy Slater also signalled his immediate return to Origin-level form with a starring effort in Melbourne’s comfortable 28-10 win over Parramatta.
The win pushes the Storm into second spot on the NRL ladder, while the Eels join Manly and Cronulla at the bottom of the table.
The Sea Eagles recorded back-to-back wins for the first time this season with a convincing 30-10 win over Newcastle, who have now lost five on the trot.
The streaks also continued up in Townsville, where North Queensland made it six straight, after Michael Morgan rescued his side from an embarrassing defeat with a long-range try at the death.
After leading 12-0 at the break, the Cowboys fell behind before Morgan and Johnathan Thurston came up with a couple of clutch plays to give the Bulldogs their fourth loss in five matches.
Perhaps the biggest winners of the round were Canberra, whose resounding 56-16 victory pushed them into outright fifth.
Five-eighth Blake Austin again starred for the home side with two tries, while centre Jarrod Croker finished with a personal haul of 24 points.
Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson carried his sublime Test form into the NRL premiership after coming up with some clutch plays in his side’s 20-16 victory over Cronulla.
The Broncos were also clutch performers; Corey Oates’ try in the 79th minute gave the Broncos a thrilling 8-5 win over Penrith.
Wayne Bennett protege Darius Boyd made his long-awaited return in Broncos colours and should be available to slot straight into the Queensland team to be picked next week.
“It’s good to be back with the boys and enjoying a win,” Boyd said.
“I have been nervous the first eight weeks to be honest.
“But I was really excited as well – I couldn’t wait to get back out on the field.”