LNR 2021: VB Hard Earned, Moeaki Fotuaika, Gold Coast Titans, fire props before State of Origin

Just weeks away from home state, the Titans are backing Moeaki Fotuaika’s monster VB Hard Earned effort against the Bulldogs on Saturday could not have been more timely.

Fotuaika made his Queensland debut last year and is in the frame to represent his state again in the series opener on June 9.

The 21-year-old will prove to be a handful for NSW to contain if he can replicate his performance from Series 11 in which he topped the VB Hard Earned Index with a score of 94 to help inspire a 30-20 victory .

According to statistics provided by VB, Fotuaika had 15 points – 11 of those for a gain of eight yards or more – for 175m in total as well as nine tackles, two offloads and 32 tackles (two misses) in 60 minutes.

Those numbers led him to hit Warriors center-forward Tohu Harris, who scored 91 points in a win over the Wests Tigers.

As Fotuaika passed the hard-work baseline – the average index score for a starting rower is 57.6 – Sea Eagles star Tom Trbojevic also flew above par for his position.

The average score for a fullback is 46.7, but the scorching Trbojevic posted 82 to make him the highest ranking in the last lap.

Trbojevic had 24 staves, 18 of which were over eight meters. He also broke nine tackles and engaged the line 11 times, scoring one try and putting two more in a 28-6 win over the Eels.

Another chic keeper – Melbourne’s Nicho Hynes, who replaced injured Ryan Papenhuyzen – can claim to be one of the more elusive players as he made 12 tackles against Canberra.

Elsewhere, Broncos agent Matt Lodge produced arguably his best game of the season, scoring 84 points in a Roosters upset.

Overall, reliable Panthers bookend James Fisher-Harris remains on track for his second VB Hard Earned title with Eels second rower Isaiah Papali’i on his heels in second place.

About Alma Ackerman

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