Felise Kaufusi of the Storm is tackled by Luke Keary of the Roosters during the NRL Preliminary Final match between the Sydney Roosters and Melbourne Storm at the SCG in Sydney, Saturday, September 28, 2019. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Felise Kaufusi of the Storm is tackled by Luke Keary of the Roosters during the NRL Preliminary Final match between the Sydney Roosters and Melbourne Storm at the SCG in Sydney, Saturday, September 28, 2019. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Kaufusi is among top 50 in the game

OPINION: Every year, like others, I make sure I check out the lists from writers and pundits that list the best players in the NRL.

Both Peter Badel and Buzz Rothfield (yesterday) have listed their top 50 but to me have made one notable miss in their lists.

None other than Bundaberg’s Felise Kaufusi.

How he isn’t in the top 50 beggars belief.

I might be biased, given I work for a newspaper based in the same city where Kaufusi grew up.

But the numbers behind him don’t lie.

What is also important is his role in the team, which is often not highlighted.

Kaufusi for starters is one of Australia’s best forwards.

He would have been playing for Australia if he wasn’t injured at the end of last year and featured prominently in 2018 and of course at the World Cup in 2017.

He’s also been one of the best players for the Maroons, playing all six games over the past two years and stepping up as one of the leaders in the team last year.

In fact, he was one of the top five players during the series last year as Queensland lost to NSW in the last moment of game three.

In club land Kaufusi also delivers for one of the most consistent teams in the land, the Melbourne Storm.

The 27-year-old, in terms of statistics, is right up there when it comes to his role in the game.

He was 35th in tackles made and had a career best in average running metres with 91.55 metres.

Now while that doesn’t match with other power forwards and second rowers there is one stat that Kaufusi leads in: most minutes played by a forward.

Kaufusi had the second most, at almost 77 minutes, per game for a forward.

Only his teammate Kenny Bromwich had more with an average of 77.

Kaufusi is one of those players that is a war horse.

He can last the whole game, create an extra interchange, compared to other forwards, and his numbers stack up just as good if not better than others.

His role also allows others, with their short bursts, to get into the game more.

Kaufusi is the ultimate team man but is also one of the first named for any team he plays for.

His impact for the big teams and the fact he plays every minute of every game warrants his selection in the top 50.

Kaufusi is among the best in the game.



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