The mantle for the NRL’s leading tryscorer goes on the line this Friday night when Parramatta flyer Semi Radradra goes head to head with Canterbury winger Curtis Rona.
Radradra bagged his fifth brace in as many games in his side’s last-start win over the Wests Tigers, a feat not seen in rugby league since Newtown winger Ray Preston in 1954.
Rona, meanwhile, has quickly carved a reputation as one of the best finishers in the league since moving from Townsville to Belmore over the summer.
Both players are currently tied on 16 tries for the season, and while they might not physically meet on the field, teammates admit there’ll be more than four points on the line this weekend.
“They’ll be thinking about it in the back of their mind,” Eels centre Ryan Morgan told AAP.
“They won’t say they will, but they definitely will be.
“It’s good for the game – especially if they go try-for-try.”
Morgan said he was even willing to sacrifice seeing the ball to feed a player he considers the hottest in the competition.
“We like to shift the ball, that’s no secret, and it just so happens that a lot of the times on their side is where we get a lot of opportunities,” he said.
“Our left side’s pretty deadly and (Brad Takairangi) is doing a really good job in feeding him the ball.
“If someone’s hot, you’ve got to feed them the ball as much as possible.”
The man tasked with stopping the “Semi-trailer”, Sam Perrett, considers Warriors veteran Manu Vatuvei his toughest opponent, but now rates Radradra in the same class.
“He’s right up there. Players like him and Manu are very tough competitors and hard to stop,” Perrett said.
“You need 3-4 players to help you out, so I’ll be calling numbers over whenever I can.”
Perrett said Rona was in similar form and also predicted more opportunities for his teammate on Friday night.
“He’s been in some tough positions where you wouldn’t think he’s going to do anything with it and he somehow gets the ball over the line,” he said.
“The way he’s playing individually and the way the team as a combination is going and using him and getting the ball to him, is going great.
“We’ll have to be at our best and get him as much ball as we can and the best opportunities and positions.”