Steve Prescott Man of Steel: How the week eight points-scoring went in Super League

James Roby
James Roby missed Saints' win against Hull KR

James Roby's lead at the top of the Steve Prescott Man of Steel standings was narrowed in round eight, as the St Helens hooker was not risked for the win against Hull KR.

Among those to close in were Warrington's Stefan Ratchford, and Blake Austin - the pre-season favourite for the award.

Here are the highlights of round eight, picked by the Super League Man of Steel Panel, led by three-time winner Ellery Hanley.

Dwyer's golden point key for Leeds

Brad Dwyer

Leeds 22-21 Castleford: Thursday, 28 March

Brad Dwyer had never dropped a field goal in his professional career but the diminutive hooker proved the Leeds Rhinos hero in their 22-21 golden point victory against rivals Castleford.

The 25-year-old swung his boot to deflate the Tigers, who had fought back in a thriller to level in normal time.

Leeds enjoyed a hat-trick of Man of Steel selections as former Kangaroos back-rower Trent Merrin and powerful Tongan Konrad Hurrell also notched up points.

Man of Steel points

3 points: Brad Dwyer(Leeds): "Was excellent in his first stint, very quick and effective out of dummy half. Created a try for Trent Merrin before a short break on the sidelines. Came back on to see the game out, then came up with the match-winning golden point drop goal. Ugly but a game breaker!" - Comment from the Steve Prescott MoS panel.

2 points: Trent Merrin (Leeds): Merrin scored a try and made 128 metres from his 18 carries. Also contributed 39 tackles.

1 point: Konrad Hurrell (Leeds): Hurrell has forged an impressive partnership with winger Ash Handley, setting up a try and scoring one in addition to a huge 131 metres.

Warrington's 'bionic man' Austin runs riot

Blake Austin

Hull 12-63 Warrington: Friday, 29 March

Poor Hull FC were on the end of a one-man masterclass from marquee stand-off Blake Austin as Warrington dished out a 51-point margin thrashing on Friday.

Austin was awesome, scoring four tries, running for 180 metres, 12 tackle busts and four clean breaks. Full-back Stefan Ratchford and prop Chris Hill also impressed in a one-sided encounter at the KCOM.

Man of Steel points

3 points: Blake Austin (Warrington): The former Canberra half-back was a constant menace and scored four tries for the first time in his career.

2 points: Stefan Ratchford (Warrington): While Austin and winger Josh Charnley both racked up hat-tricks, Ratchford did not score a try but did set up two, and kicked nine goals. Also registered a whopping 15 metres on average per carry.

1 point: Chris Hill (Warrington): Captain Hill was another monster presence in the Wire ranks, not just with his trademark metre-making carries but also with some wonderful subtlety, particularly his try assist for Austin's first.

Thompson steamrollers to Man of Steel points

Luke Thompson

St Helens 36-24 Hull KR: Friday, 29 March

St Helens' unbeaten record continued despite a bit of a scare from Hull KR at Langtree Park last time out, and prop Luke Thompson was at the heart of their best work.

He made 190 metres, scored a try and gave Saints the platform to play-off. Lachlan Coote was one of the beneficiaries, while his former North Queensland team-mate, and fellow Scotland international Kane Linnett was a shining light for Rovers.

Man of Steel points

3 points: Luke Thompson (St Helens): "He epitomizes and embodies exactly what you want from your front row in laying down the foundations for the period of time he was on the paddock. Great footwork and evasive skills to take his try. His second-half introduction back onto the field lifted his whole St Helens side with immediate effect from his uncompromising direct running." - Comment from the MoS panel.

2 points: Lachlan Coote (St Helens): "His overall influence on the game was a huge contribution to St Helens success. He's a gifted, almost complete player who injects himself into the game at decisive moments when needed. Smart and intelligent footballer - a team player."

1 point: Kane Linnett (Hull KR): "Took his two tries well, especially his second try. To score through St Helens generally-mean defence. The latter try he showed great strength and determination to get through three St Helens players."

Wigan thrash Catalans as academy talents thrive

Joe Burgess

Wigan 42-0 Catalans: Sunday, 31 March

Wigan welcomed back some of their former stars in Sam Tomkins, Lewis Tierney and Matty Smith as Catalans Dragons came to town but three of their current squad ended up being the stars of the show.

Joe Burgess' hat-trick earned him the maximum points while Oliver Gildart and George Williams were also among the points.

Man of Steel points

3 points: Joe Burgess (Wigan): Hat-trick hero Burgess also made 166 metres for the Warriors, tormenting Catalans.

2 points: Oliver Gildart (Wigan): Gildart parted the Catalans defence at will, rampaging for 322 metres with three clean breaks. He made 19 carries with an average 17-metre gain, and scored a try.

1 point: George Williams (Wigan): Williams was a threat with his kicking game, assisted for two tries and scored one of his own.

Wakefield dominate Man of Steel points against tricky Salford

David Fifita

Wakefield 33-22 Salford: Sunday, 31 March

Wakefield Trinity saw off the threat of a lively Wakefield side to move back into the top four, and their Man of Steel points winners reflect the style of their play.

David Fifita's ballast was a big part of their success, with 11 tackle busts and scoring a try, providing the perfect platform for Danny Brough and Ryan Hampshire to run amok behind.

Man of Steel points

3 points: David Fifita (Wakefield): "Strong running, very hard to stop." - Comment from the MoS panel.

2 points: Danny Brough (Wakefield): "Took control of the game when Wakefield needed it."

1 point: Ryan Hampshire (Wakefield): "All over looking very sharp on his feet."

Giants strides made in capital with Broncos win

Lee Gaskell

London 26-38 Huddersfield: Sunday, 31 March

Huddersfield Giants continued their revival with victory against London Broncos, in a game which saw both sides serve up some wonderful football.

Giants stand-off Lee Gaskell was prominent, assisting a try and moving the Giants around the park with his kicking game, while Seb Ikahihifo showed his power with a bludgeoning try of the bench.

Alex Walker's long-range, step-and-dummy-packed try was the highlight of his dynamic performance for the Broncos.

Man of Steel points

3 points: Lee Gaskell (Huddersfield): "Controlled the game and kicked five goals." Comment from the MoS panel.

2 points: Sebastine Ikahihifo (Huddersfield): "He was a beast off the bench, scored a try and imposed his will on the Broncos pack."

1 point: Alex Walker (London): "Was London's main attacking threat in the backs, he scored a show stopper of a try and was his usual solid self in defence."

Overall standings

Man of Steel: Week eight
1James RobySt Helens12311
2Stefan RatchfordWarrington10212
3Paul McShaneCastleford9130
4Danny BroughWakefield9211
5Blake AustinWarrington9300

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