Rugby League Week - - News - MARTIN LENEHAN

As he basks in the glory of be­ing crowned the Play­ers’ Cham­pion at the RLPA awards and tak­ing out the pres­ti­gious RLW Player of the Year award, Cow­boys wreck­ing ball Ja­son Tau­malolo can add a per­fect RLW ‘10’ to his grow­ing list of achieve­ments.

At just 23, Tau­malolo has al­ready put to­gether a CV wor­thy of a man 10 years his se­nior, and his per­for­mance against the Bron­cos was one for the ages.

With the Cow­boys’ sea­son on the line, the barn­storm­ing back-rower ran for as­ton­ish­ing 251 me­tres from 23 fe­ro­cious hit-ups. Throw in 11 tackle breaks and 28 tack­les and you have the sort of game re­served for only the elite of the NRL.

Go­ing as strong in the 85th minute as he was in the first, it was a trade­mark Tau­malolo charge that laid the plat­form for Johnathan Thurston to weave his magic and set up the match­win­ning try.

Tau­malolo is only the sev­enth for­ward to re­ceive a ‘10’ since RLW in­tro­duced its ex­clu­sive rat­ings sys­tem in 1970, join­ing team-mate Matt Scott on a list that also in­cludes Sharks cap­tain Paul Gallen, who’ll be do­ing his best to nul­lify the Cow­boys’ big men this Fri­day night at Allianz Sta­dium.

If the Sharks can’t rein in the de­struc­tive Tau­malolo then their sea­son will be done and the Cow­boys will move one step closer to be­com­ing the first team since Bris­bane in 1992-93 to go back-to-back.

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