Cody Walker played like Cliff Lyons in that thumping of the Roosters

South Sydney's Cody Walker.
South Sydney's Cody Walker.

The greatest compliment you can give to South Sydney's Cody Walker in that remarkable 60-8 win over the Sydney Roosters last weekend was that he played like former Manly maestro Cliff Lyons.

Immortal Andrew Johns said playing against Lyons, with his deceptive skills, "was like a magic trick". Fellow superstar Brad Fittler said in the mid-1990s, Lyons "was unstoppable".

These days it's called "eyes up" footy or "play what you see".

Forget the trendy buzz phrases. It used to be called a 'natural'.

Lyons could see something seemingly seconds before it happened. He took a number of intercepts, but not from long cut out passes, rather it was within a metre of the player passing the ball.

That combination with second-rower Steve Menzies is the sport's version of caught Marsh, bowled Lillee.

And the way he drifted across field, showing the ball in and out, was mesmeric.

Walker too appeared to hynotise the Roosters.

There's been some cracking individual performances this year, like James Tedesco's round five display against the Bulldogs, but Walker's will take some topping.

If Rugby League Week was still around, it was the classic 10 from 10 performance.

He had seven try involvements. Two tries, three try assists and two line breaks.

Walker still has a long way to go to match Lyons, who played 332 first grade games and represented NSW and Australia.

"Playmaker, magician, they don't make them like Cliffy Lyons any more," Phil Gould once said.

Maybe they do.

This story Cody Walker produces Cliff Lyons-type performance first appeared on The Border Mail.