SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 25: Joel Thompson of the Dragons reacts after a try was rules no try during the round eight NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Allianz Stadium on April 25, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Top 10 most underrated players of the past few years

News reports and social media feeds are dominated by the superstars of our game. The Cam Smiths, the Johnathan Thurstons and the Billy Slaters rightfully find their name in lights on the back of match-winning efforts.

For every superstar though, there are a group of players who lay the foundation and for whatever reason often come across as underappreciated. Certainly underrated.

Below are 10 such names. Players who always turn up, play well, but don’t hog the headlines. They are all current-day players who have been underrated over the past three-or-so seasons.

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Matt Prior

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 11: Matthew Prior of the Sharks celebrates scoring a try with team mates during the round two NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the Cronulla Sharks at GIO Stadium on March 11, 2017 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

While the likes of Gallen, Fifita and Graham attract all the headlines, Matt Prior has been going about his business and has been doing a great job for the Sharks.

One of the true heroes of the Premiership run in 2016, Prior joined Fifita as joint winners of the Sharks player of the year award. He completely turned the semi-final match-up against Canberra, in Canberra, with a try and an offload that led to a try.

If the Sharks had lost that game you can almost guarantee a different result come October 2nd.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. The reason Mannering is the last one chasing is because he usually is the one that also missed the tackle in the first place. Yes Mannering is a stat sheet stuffer but he also runs himself into the ground and hurts the team late when our stupid coach lets him play 80 (which he even said himself in a interview that he is really struggling to play long minutes). All this is a easy fix because all you have to is treat him like any other forward and take him off around the 25 minute mark. you will get the same production without him gassing out at the backend of each half similar to what parra have done with Beau Scott but in reverse because Scott usually starts on the bench.

    PS: warriors getting spoon the rest of you guys can rest easy

  2. For a while there I thought ZT was shut down over gooch week.
    I Don’t think Nightingale is underrated. He is a tier 1 international.

    • Nightingale. Aka mr awkward has been the most consistent player for saints and the last man standing from the 2010 GF… scored a double that day btw

      • Couldn’t agree more. Particularly disappointing to read it’s often our fellow fans wanting to put him out pasture. He deserves every accolade & some.

  3. Ryan James is another underrated one. I think if he wasn’t so injury prone early in his career he’d be talked about more and up there in rep discussions. But after 3 good seasons, I think he’ll only start coming into his own and start to hit his prime.

  4. How did Townsend get a run in this list? I don’t rate him at all. The only thing about him that’s above average is his hair!

  5. Mitch Aubusson is only underrated by those idiot NSW selectors. He has played 240 first grade games all for the Chooks. Rooster official’s and fans know exactly how good this bloke is. Aubo has won a premiership and played in the 2010 losing grand final against the Dragons scoring a try in that match. Just only a few seasons ago he decided to stay loyal to the Roosters and knock back a big offer from the Dragons. Every team needs an Aubusson, he is a hole runner and great defensive player. He is the best utility in the comp by a country mile. Usually a second rower, he has filled in at centre, hooker, lock, 5/8 over the years and scored 55 tries for the Roosters. He follows a long line of great utilities at the chooks taking over from the premiership winning Chris Flannery.

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