A snapshot of round 12 of the NRL season
SNAPSHOT OF ROUND 12 NRL ACTION
PLAYER OF THE ROUND: In his 200th NRL game, Luke Brooks went from maligned to magnificent to help Wests Tigers post their biggest score in the combined 207-season history of Balmain, Western Suburbs and the joint venture. The halfback ran for 212 metres and set up two tries as his Tigers belted North Queensland 66-18.
QUOTE OF THE ROUND: "It feels like I am really just getting started" - Nathan Cleary became the youngest player in premiership history to reach 1300 points when Penrith defeated Brisbane. He's a two-time premiership winner and incumbent State of Origin half, but the 25-year-old is adamant his best is yet to come.
TALKING POINT: Is Tom Trbojevic back? A string of injuries has scuppered Trbojevic in the year-and-a-half since he won the Dally M Medal, but on the eve of State of Origin selection, the Manly ace turned it on with a hat-trick in the Sea Eagles' big win over Canberra.
STATS THAT MATTER: Parramatta's upset defeat of in-form South Sydney broke a six-game losing streak that pre-dated the COVID-19 pandemic - their longest dry spell against any NRL side. Elsewhere, Canterbury's Karl Oloapu became the youngest starting half in the NRL era when he took the field against Gold Coast. The Brisbane junior turned 18 in January.
MAGIC MOMENT: St George Illawarra were down by four points in the final 20 seconds when Tyrell Sloan spied Mathew Feagai on the left edge and put in a kick. The winger retrieved the footy and cruised over for a try that stole victory from the Sydney Roosters and halted a six-game losing streak that cost Anthony Griffin his job on Tuesday.
CASUALTY WARD: Dragons - Jack Bird (knee), Blake Lawrie (hand); Roosters - Brandon Smith (thumb); Storm - Eliesa Katoa (shoulder); Eels - Ryan Matterson (calf), Andrew Davey (concussion)
JUDICIARY WATCH: Dolphins - Felise Kaufusi (high tackle); Roosters - Victor Radley (striking); Titans - Tino Fa'asuamaleaui (dangerous contact); Bulldogs - Reed Mahoney (dangerous contact)
UNDER PRESSURE: North Queensland came within a try of a grand final berth last year but are only two points off the bottom of the ladder following their capitulation against Wests Tigers. The Cowboys are yet to win in Sydney from three attempts so far this season, losing those games by a combined total of 125-38, and will return south next weekend to face resurgent Parramatta.