Check it out guys from fox sports Joey slays lame Dragons By Peter Badel April 9, 2006 Dragons 6 Knights 54 END the debate. Andrew Johns is the greatest player rugby league has seen. Prolific ... Johns scored 22 points. That must surely be the case after the Newcastle halfback last night spearheaded his side to a record 54-6 rout of St George-Illawarra. A bumper crowd was left gobsmacked as Johns ran riot as only he can. The New South Wales and Test halfback scored one try and had a hand in four others as the Knights raced in nine tries to one to record their biggest win over the Dragons, eclipsing a 42-8 triumph at Kogarah three years ago. Johns, who was cleared of a neck injury midweek, also landed nine goals from 10 attempts to finish with 22 points. His final goal of the night gave him 2036 career points, taking him past Daryl Halligan into second place on the list of all-time points scorers. The Knights skipper, though, was happy to deflect the praise to his teammates, who looked a different outfit with him in the side after last Sunday's loss to New Zealand Warriors. "It was a great win, but they were understrength without their Test props," Johns, who faces a battle against playmaking heir apparent Johnathan Thurston when the Knights face North Queensland next week, said. Advertisement: "We're all looking forward to playing the Cowboys. It will be a great test for me against Johnathan Thurston and a great test for our whole side. "We'll have 30,000 fans there (at Newcastle) and can't wait." Incredibly, the Knights led just 2-0 after 28 minutes. But six tries in a 20-minute blitz rocked the Dragons, who could only manage a consolation try in the 78th minute to winger Colin Best. The match started at a frenetic pace and Johns was in the thick of it. With his head cleanly shaved, Johns peppered the Dragons line early but the hosts denied the Knights before launching sustained attacks of their own. When the tide turned, the Knights gave the Dragons a lesson in converting pressure into points. Johns potted a simple penalty goal in the 17th minute to open the scoring before they rocked the Dragons with three tries in six minutes. In the 28th minute, winger Brian Carney crossed out wide after a quick exchange of passes involving Johns, Steve Simpson, Clint Newton and Matt Gidley. It was 12-0 three minutes later, centre George Carmont capitalising on an error from Best, who spilled a towering Johns bomb. When Milton Thaiday charged on to a superb flat ball from Matt Gidley on 34 minutes, the shellshocked Dragons were staring at an 18-0 deficit. Then on the stroke of half-time, Johns initiated a short-side rush and found Matt Gidley, who sent Carney flying down the touchline. The British winger turned the ball inside for Johns to score, and he duly converted his own try to give the Knights a 24-0 lead at half-time. The Knights continued their rampage in the 43rd minute when replacement Riley Brown crossed. Johns added his fifth conversion to make it 30-0. Nothing was going right for the Dragons and their night got uglier when Johns fired a pass to Carmont, who carried two Dragons across to touch down in the 48th minute. On the hour it was 42-0 when Carmont sliced through and put Kurt Gidley over to heap further embarrassment on the outclassed Dragons. Hooker Danny Buderus then showed off his pace and strength to score a fine individual try to add to the Dragons' misery, with Johns' conversion taking the score to an incredible 48-0. But then we have this article Thurston 'better than Joey' By Barry Dick April 10, 2006 NORTH Queensland wizard Johnathan Thurston has surged past Andrew Johns as the best player in the game, according to Queensland legend Wally Lewis. Thurston ... maybe too good to ignore. The greatest player Queensland has produced challenged the Australia selectors to "show some courage" and have Thurston in the Test 17 for next month's Suncorp Stadium showdown with New Zealand. Thurston has three NRL matches left in which to stake his Test claims, starting with Sunday's top-of-the-table blockbuster against the Knights at Newcastle's EnergyAustralia Stadium, where he will clash head-on with Johns. The Cowboys will then be away to the Sharks at Toyota Park before hosting the Roosters in Townsville the night before the Test squad is named. "There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Thurston is the No.1 player in the game at the moment, bar none," Lewis said last night. "His performances in the first five rounds of the NRL have put him marginally ahead of Andrew Johns, who has been rated the best player in the world, so I'm saying Thurston is the best in the game." Thurston and Johns gave sparkling displays at the weekend. Thurston scored a try and kicked six goals from seven attempts for 16 points in North Queensland's 32-12 win over the Wests Tigers while Johns scored a try and kicked nine from 10 for 22 points in Newcastle's 54-6 thrashing of St George-Illawarra. Thurston has scored 78 points from five matches this year while Johns has contributed 75 from four and the temptation will have to be to unleash them against the Kiwis, who will be weakened by the unavailability of star five-eighth Benji Marshall. Advertisement: Lewis, who played 33 Tests and 31 State of Origin matches in a stellar career, said it was incumbent on the national selectors to pick the best 17 for the May 5 Test. "If the selectors have any say any more, and believe me, that is an if with a capital I and F. He has to be there. As long as the selectors show some courage, Thurston will be there." Former Test centre Steve Renouf said he was stunned by talk that Thurston might be overlooked for the Test. "I've watched a lot of football this year and I'm a huge fan of Thurston," Renouf said. "I honestly can't see how they can leave him out of the Australian team. They can't ignore him, can they? "If they stick with Andrew Johns and Darren Lockyer in the halves, I could understand them having Thurston on the bench but it would be an absolute joke if they put Trent Barrett at five-eighth ahead of him." Cowboys coach Graham Murray said Thurston's man-of-the-match performance against the Tigers last Friday night should have boosted the five-eighth's chances of making the Kangaroos squad, which will be selected on April 30 at the completion of round 8. "He was outstanding again. I'll leave the accolades to you but he's just a brilliant player and playing great football for us," Murray said. "I wrote that in my newspaper column last week (that he should be in the Australian team) and nothing has changed. He's probably enhanced (his chances). All I can do is answer your question about whether I think he's up to it. He's certainly up to it." Thurston said the Test selection was out of his hands and he "wouldn't lose any sleep" if he missed out. IMO Thurston is playing the best footy I have seen from someone that isnt Joey.........its about time we got some other skills to watch........seeing Joey just stomp all over opposition is getting boring, and is defying some scientific rules - which need to be kept in place. The Joey v Thruston clash is going to be awesome........whether it be SOO or Club is yet to be confirmed. Someones gotto take Joey out for the seaon otherwise the KNIGHTS WILL WIN THE 2007 GF AND YOU HEARD IT HERE 1ST!!!!!!!!!