NZ Kiwis prop James Fisher-Harris has risen to Dally M contention, after a series of standout performances for Penrith Panthers - and the suspension of South Sydney star Latrell Mitchell.
The Rabbitohs fullback currently leads the individual standings with 13 points, but is now ineligible for the award, after copping a four-week ban for a dangerous tackle against Gold Coast Titans the previous week.
Melbourne Storm fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen holds a one-point edge over Fisher-Harris, but also sat out Sunday’s romp over NZ Warriors with an injury.
The Panthers front-rower took maximum points from a 24-6 win over Newcastle Knights, with Penrith skipper Nathan Cleary and Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck another point back.
Fisher-Harris currently ranks fifth in the competition for post-contact metres with 442, and ninth in run metres (1151) and 10th in runs with 120 - the leading forward. He also ranks second in decoy runs with 68, four behind Cronulla Sharks forward Toby Rudolf.
Meanwhile, Kiwis coach Michael Maguire may be battling for his day job, after Wests Tigers stumbled 40-6 against Manly Sea Eagles.
The Tigers’ only win in seven rounds came last month against the Knights, and their board has had to quash rumours that Maguire would be ousted this week - usually a sure sign he’s about to lose his job.
Wests have conceded more points than any other team in the competition this season and their record over the opening rounds make them the worst defensive outfit in club history.
Maguire is their fifth coach in nine years and recently signed a two-year extension.
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