Super League returned for another full instalment following the World Club Challenge and gave us plenty to think about!
Clinical performances, plenty of tension and of course history being made, check out who made the third edition of Team of the Week!
Coach – Lee Radford
No doubt at all, the guy who has been under most pressure for a while now but Lee Radford’s Hull FC finally came out on top.
They created Super League history by being the first ever club to triumph in golden point extra time but more of that to come.
A result not many would have seen coming and perhaps the kick-start to what could be an interesting season ahead now for Radford’s Hull side.
Full-back – Peter Mata’utia
A tough one but helping Castleford Tigers to an impressive performance down in London was full-back Peter Mata’utia.
The 28-year-old is thriving under Daryl Powell and this game was no exception. Having scored a try, assisting in another and managing over 150 metres with ball in hand helped the Tigers overcome a plucky London side.
The Tigers had a mini-crisis at full-back but ‘Pete’ has slotted in nicely and resolved any issues they had as he and Castleford are heading for another season at the top.
Wingers – Ratu Naulago & Derrell Olpherts
A controversial choice perhaps as Hull’s Ratu Naulago and Salford’s Derrell Olpherts are chosen.
Naulago celebrated signing a full-time contract with the Airlie Birds by scoring two tries on his Super League debut.
The Fijian was heavily involved in the action before departing the field due to injury, having made over 60 metres from 13 carries, and even two clean breaks for good measure.
Olpherts was arguably as much, if not more impressive in Salford’s comeback win at Hull KR, something the Red Devils are making a habit of doing.
He notched a try, made 12 tackle busts and over 120 metres from 19 carries that kept the Robins on their toes before helping tire them out in a remarkable win.
Centres – Samisoni Langi & Konrad Hurrell
A rarity, two players on the losing side slot in at centre in Samisoni Langi and Konrad Hurrell.
Langi was a stand-out player in Catalans’ defeat at Wakefield. Scoring both their tries, managing five tackle busts, 120 metres from 13 carries and up to 28 tackles was nothing short of fantastic.
He certainly did not deserve to be on the losing side but credit to Wakefield for doing enough to keep his side at bay, but regardless, Langi remains a threat in the competition.
As does Hurrell in Leeds’ close, and slightly controversial defeat, at St Helens.
He faced scrutiny early doors but he is slowly proving to be a huge threat. He was heavily involved in the match, scoring a try, assisting in another, managing six tackle busts then of course his 158 metres from 21 carries.
Two fantastic players who should produce similar, if not better, performances for their respective sides this season.
Stand-off – Blake Austin
Returning to stand-off is Warrington’s key signing Blake Austin.
Contender for Man of Steel and with good reason, Austin led Warrington to a third win from as many matches to keep them on course for another shot at silverware.
Scoring a try himself, providing an assist as you expect from a potent half-back but also his ten attacking kicks, 22 tackles and 96 metres demonstrated how important a player he is to the Wolves.
Perhaps lucky to have been playing due to his incident with Joel Tomkins but take nothing away from him, Austin oozes class and plenty more to follow no doubt!
Scrum-half – Marc Sneyd
Now “golden boy” Marc Sneyd as he literally kicked Hull FC to their first win since last June in unbelievable fashion.
The game looked gone when Gildart scored his second try but never say die in rugby league as Hull got within range before Sneyd, calm as you like, dropped arguably the most important goal of his career, adding to his three conversion, to send Hull into delight!
Not his only contribution, he sent Naulago in for his second try, put in ten tackles and managed four tackle busts and 51 metres.
Superb stuff from the former Lance Todd Trophy winner, silencing his doubters and showing just how important he is to the Airlie Birds.
Props – Junior Moors & Alex Walmsley
Another difficult choice but edging the front row positions are Junior Moors and Alex Walmsley.
Moors thrived in Castleford’s win over London; scoring a try, four tackle busts and 159 metres from 21 carries, plus 31 tackles to help restrict the hosts to just six points.
A remarkable effort, replacing two-time team mate Liam Watts for the position.
Joining him is Yorkshireman Walmsley, who was key helping the Saints remain unbeaten.
A rarity for a prop is scoring a try, let alone two but that is just what Walmsley did.
Also completing 20 tackles as well as four busts and 115 metres from 16 carries, Walmsley and Moors edged out the likes of Chris Hill and David Fifita in what could have been a season defining weekend for either of their clubs.
Hooker – James Roby
Taking his place back at hooker is former Man of Steel James Roby.
He has contested such an honour on multiple occasions and is on course to repeating such heroics as he led the way for Saints against Leeds.
The 33-year-old assisted in two tries, completed 42 tackles and made 114 metres from just ten carries.
Plenty of energy left in him as he and the Saints remain as one of the teams to beat in 2019!
Second-row – Josh Jones & Jesse Sene-Lefao
The back row sees Josh Jones maintain his spot, this time joined by one of Castleford’s best forwards in Jesse Sene-Lefao.
Jones is arguably one of Salford’s most lethal forwards, especially in attack having notched a try, nine tackle busts and 125 metres from 16 carries in their comeback win at Hull KR plus was on hand to make 24 tackles.
Sene-Lefao was equally as potent, scoring a try himself, providing an assist as well as four busts and 146 metres from 20 carries.
Superb stuff from both back rowers, setting up what could be a mouth-watering clash when both come head-to-head.
Loose-forward – Joe Westerman
Last but not least, Hull’s Joe Westerman completes the line-up.
A big risk by FC to gain his services for the second time but since his return from injury, has been a revelation for the Black and Whites.
His try was certainly a special one, as was his seven busts, 70 metres, two clean breaks and his 36 tackles that was all enough to help Hull secure a memorable win.