Round 24 Head to Head: Tupou v Mansour
Friday 17 August 2012 10:00 AM
Both Bill Tupou and Josh Mansour have made a big impression on the NRL in only a short time, with speed, power and agility the name of the game. Mansour burst onto the scene this year, while Tupou has been in the Vodafone Warriors side since 2010, but both are young players who have shown off their best finishing skills when called upon this season.
Battle of the Flying Finishers
Bill Tupou - Scouting Report
After making his debut in 2010 as a 19 year old, Tupou has developed into a quality young winger, to the point where he was called up for the New Zealand Four Nations squad in 2011. His speed is his biggest asset but just as importantly he knows how to get the ball across the line and ground it, a skill which is underrated amongst top quality wingers.
In his 21 games this season, Tupou has 7 tries, 6 line breaks, 31 tackle breaks, and averages 97.6m gained per game.
His finishing qualities are undoubted, but don’t simply involve scoring in the corner as can be seen in Round 8 against the Storm where he showed great skill and control to get the ball down from a kick.
With the beast Manu Vatuvei on the left wing, Tupou is sometimes underutilised on the right hand side. As with any winger these days, he can play as an extra forward when getting out of the Vodafone Warriors’ end. But with Konrad Hurrell inside him, there is a devastating combination which the Vodafone Warriors are sure to exploit against the Panthers fringe defenders.
Dream Team Scoop:
While Tupou’s stats aren’t as high as some of the wingers who get involved from dummy half more, he has got the potential to score well when he is scoring tries. This has been his main Dream Team weapon this year, and with 7 to his name it’s a pretty handy return. At just $84,600 he could be a great cheap pick-up who could deliver when required.
Josh Mansour - Scouting Report
He may only have 11 NRL appearances to his name, but there is no doubting the quality in Josh Mansour. He took to first grade football like a duck to water and has grown as a player side, showcasing his speed and power either on the wing or at fullback.
In those 11 games, Mansour has 5 tries, 5 line breaks, 66 tackle breaks and averages 167m gained per game.
It is his finishing ability which first brought him to the attention of the Panthers , and that was clearly on show as he planted down in the 13th minute of his NRL career. His defence can’t be questioned though, as he can also pull off a big hit, as he did later in the Round 9 clash with the Storm to prevent Gareth Widdop from streaking away.
On the left flank Mansour has played a key role outside Michael Jennings. With Jennings missing this week through suspension, he will have a new partner in Travis Robinson, but not a foreign one as they have spent time together in the Panthers’ NSW Cup feeder team Windsor. He will be very important on kick-returns and dummy half running in the Panthers end, particularly against a big Warriors forward pack.
Dream Team Scoop:
Mansour has been a revelation in Dream Team in 2012. His scores and price have plateaued a little after a dynamic start, but with instinctive try-scoring abilities and plenty of tackle breaks Mansour can add plenty to a back line. He also averages just under 17 points per game through metres gained, an often forgotten Dream Team statistic.
Who will make the bigger contribution to their team’s chances of victory on Sunday? Let us know what you think of Tupou v Mansour in the comments below.