Another outstanding weekend of NRL action has been and gone. Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles continued their revival with a dogged win against Newcastle Knights before New Zealand Warriors edged North Queensland Cowboys in golden point.
Sydney Roosters got the better of the Brisbane Broncos in a thriller at the Suncorp stadium before Melbourne Storm and South Sydney Rabbitohs got the better of Canberra Raiders and St George Illawarra Dragons respectively. Parramatta Eels held off a late surge from the Gold Coast Titans before Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks went ‘oh so near’ to blanking the Wests Tigers before reigning champions Penrith Panthers showed last season’s bottom club Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs no mercy.
But who makes our team of the week?
Full-back: Clinton Gutherson
Facing stiff competition from Scott Drinkwater and Dylan Edwards, Clinton Gutherson of the Parramatta Eels sneaks in at full-back. Gutherson scored two tries as the Eels’ won against the Titans as well as managing six tackle busts and 196 metres from 16 carries.
Wingers: Corey Oates & Sione Katoa
He may have been on the losing side but hattrick ‘hero’ Corey Oates is joined by Cronulla’s Sione Katoa. Oates also amassed five tackle busts for the Brisbane Broncos as well as 169 metres from 18 carries and was certainly a player who did not deserve to be on the losing side. Katoa scored two tries in comparison but also made seven busts as well as 153 metres.
Centres: Katoni Staggs & Joseph Manu
Another Bronco Katoni Staggs is selected alongside opposite number Joseph Manu. Staggs scored Brisbane’s remaining try on the night as well as putting in 18 tackles, 14 busts and 196 metres with ball in hand, the latter two being the highest of any centre in the round. Manu scored two tries in the same fixture as well as managing 16 tackles, seven busts and 107 metres from 12 carries, even topping the Roosters’ fantasy points tally on the night.
Stand-off: Cameron Munster
Australian international and Queensland representative Cameron Munster lines up at stand-off. Munster demonstrated his credentials with an outstanding performance against the Canberra Raiders. His main stats include two try assists, 13 tackles, six busts, nine kicks and 160 metres from 15 carries, something you expect from a talented individual such as him.
Scrum-half: Jahrome Hughes
Joining Munster is club teammate and international rival Jahrome Hughes. The Kiwi was also sensational for the Storm, scoring two tries, seven tackle busts, and 93 metres with ball in hand, edging out the likes of Mitchell Moses to take the seven spot.
Props: Reagan Campbell-Gillard & Payne Haas
Reagan Campbell-Gillard is named at prop alongside New South Wales representative Payne Haas. Campbell-Gillard got through plenty of hard work for the Eels, tallying 37 tackles as well as 241 metres, the highest from any player of the course of the weekend. As for Haas, despite not getting the win with Brisbane, the juggernaut produced another impressive performance, with 33 tackles, three busts and 150 metres from 13 carries.
Hooker: Damien Cook
Another Australian international is named in Damien Cook. Cook led by example for the South Sydney Rabbitohs, putting in 47 tackles, four busts and 102 metres. Narrowly beating Harry Grant to the position, Cook remains a key figure for the Bunnies.
Second-row: Keaon Koloamatangi & Isaiah Papali’i
This was incredibly difficult but Keaon Koloamatangi is joined by Isaiah Papali’i. Koloamatangi was a try scorer for the Rabbitohs as they won against the Dragons and also put in 30 tackles. He also managed four busts on top of 167 metres from 17 carries. Papali’i went even better though. The Eels powerhouse managed 189 metres from 17 carries as well as 39 tackles and even a try assist, demonstrating why he has been on the competition’s star performers in recent seasons.
Loose-forward: Josh Curran
Another close call but edging it is Josh Curran of the New Zealand Warriors. Curran helped the Warriors back to winning ways in what was a tense contest. He scored a try as well as putting in a staggering 54 tackles plus 97 metres for good measure.