Highs and lows of NRL round 13

·2-min read

WHAT HAPPENED IN ROUND 12 OF THE NRL

* MAN OF THE ROUND: Matt Dufty. Just a week after being told by St George Illawarra he wasn't wanted for next year, the fullback came out and set up a stunning five tries and scored two of his own in the Dragons' 52-24 flogging of Brisbane. It was enough to catch the interest of the Broncos for next year.

* QUOTE OF THE ROUND: "Hopefully they change their mind and re-sign him because he is definitely the player we need at the back." - Matt Dufty's performance also prompted St George Illawarra teammate Jack Bird to urge the Dragons to reconsider the decision to let Dufty go, claiming they should re-sign him for next year.

* STAT THAT MATTERS: Penrith's unbeaten run came to an end at 12 games, making for the third best start to a season in the rugby league's 114-year history. And even then it only came with seven players out to State of Origin, including both their halves, a hooker and three back-rowers.

* MAGIC MOMENT: There's few sights better in rugby league than seeing the eighth wonder of Leichhardt Oval full and pumping. And while Ivan Cleary might disagree with the feedback he got from some fans, the atmosphere from the old grandstands across to the hill was something special as the Tigers chalked up just their third win at the ground in 24 months.

* TALKING POINT: Is there a better way to manage the State of Origin period? Next year is likely to see the game return to all Origin matches being played on Wednesdays, meaning an extra round of teams missing their best players unless the NRL can come up with a solution.

* JUDICIARY WATCH: Tigers - Moses Mbye (contrary conduct), James Roberts (contrary conduct), Robert Jennings (high tackle); Panthers - Dylan Edwards (contrary conduct); Broncos - Teui Robati (high tackle); Knights - Sauaso Sue (dangerous contact), Enari Tuala (dangerous contact), Jacob Saifiti (crusher), Lachlan Fitzgibbon (dangerous contact); Eels - Tom Opacic (dangerous contact); Storm - Nelson Asofa-Solomona (high tackle/contrary conduct), Reimis Smith (high tackle); Titans - Patrick Herbert (contrary conduct).

* CASUALTY WARD: Dragons - Poasa Faamausili (concussion); Tigers - Thomas Mikaele (knee), Moses Mbye (knee); Storm - Kenny Bromwich (rib); Knights - Starford To'a (groin); Eels - Reed Mahoney (shoulder).

* UNDER PRESSURE: Gold Coast risk being known as a myth for this year. Granted, they were missing key players AJ Brimson, David Fifita and Tino Fa'asuamaleaui for their clash with Melbourne, but the Storm also had five players out to representative duties. And while they came within one pass of shocking Melbourne, the loss marked their sixth in their past eight games. The most hyped team of the pre-season now sit 11th on the ladder and in freefall.

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