NRL Round Seven: Team of the Week

Fresh out of the Easter period, there has been no stopping all the action from down under despite the festivities. This week, Melbourne Storm caught the eye with a rampant 70-10 win over the New Zealand Warriors. St George-Illawarra Dragons edged the Sydney Roosters earlier on Monday, whereas on Sunday, reigning champions Penrith Panthers made short work of Canberra Raiders.

Parramatta Eels kept their try line intact in their heavy win over Newcastle Knights plus Wests Tigers repeated last weeks’ heroics with a late drop-goal over South Sydney Rabbitohs.

North Queensland Cowboys claimed the bragging rights against Gold Coast Titans, with Adam Reynolds inspiring Brisbane Broncos back to winning ways as Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks held off a second half fightback from Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles. On the back of all this, who makes our team of the week?

Full-back: Ryan Papenhuyzen
A hot contender for the Australian international side at one, Ryan Papenhuyzen starred once again for the Melbourne Storm. The Storm produced a rampant second half display, scoring 54 points with reply and Papenhuyzen was prominent. Scoring two tries and seven goals as well as providing three try assists, three tackle busts and 158 metres from 16 carries, he was a man on a mission as the Storm look red hot to try and claim their NRL Premiership back.

Wingers: Xavier Coates & David Nofoaluma
There was no denying Xavier Coates a place in this side after his four tries and he’s joined by Wests Tigers’ player of the match David Nofoaluma. On top of his tries, Coates amassed 200 metres with ball in hand. Nofoaluma scored two tries in comparison for the Tigers but managed six tackle busts as well as 140 metres from 18 carries. He got through a lot of hard work in what was another surprising victory for the club.

Centres: Siosifa Talakai & Stephen Crichton
Another easy choice, Siosifa Talakai was player of the match for the Sharks and he is joined by hat-trick hero Stephen Crichton. Talakai was everywhere for Cronulla, scoring two tries, providing three assists as well as eight busts and 262 metres from 20 carries, a staggering amount in what was a complete performance from the powerhouse. Crichton scored half of Penrith’s tries in a one-sided display against Canberra.

Stand-off / Five-Eighth: Cameron Munster
Cameron Munster provided three assists in the rout over the Warriors as well as 11 tackles, seven busts, six kicks and 188 metres from 18 carries as he and the Storm proved simply unplayable.

Scrum-Half / Halfback: Jahrome Hughes
Jahrome Hughes is named alongside Munster in the team of the week. Whilst the likes of Nathan Cleary and Reynolds starred over the weekend, Hughes was another star in the dominant team performance for the Storm. Scoring two tries, providing three assists as well as nine tackles, six kicks and 137 metres with ball in hand, it was not a bad evening for the New Zealand international.

Props: Payne Haas & James Tamou

Payne Haas got through a lot of hard work for the Broncos this week, putting in 39 tackles as well as 254 metres from 23 carries, the highest amount from a prop over the weekend. Meanwhile, James Tamou made 159 metres from 17 carries as well as 30 tackles. He may not have registered as many as Paas but his graft arguably helped his side to another dramatic win as the Tigers continue their climb up the table.

Hooker: Harry Grant
Harry Grant was another try scorer in Melbourne’s big win and also put in 30 tackles, five busts and 125 metres from 18 carries, the highest amount made from any hooker over the weekend.

Second-row: Keaon Koloamatangi & Isaiah Papali’i
Keaon Koloamatangi produced another impressive individual performance for the South Sydney Rabbitohs, scoring a try as well as putting in 35 tackles, five busts and the highest amount of metres from a second-rower over the weekend with 205. Isaiah Papali’i meanwhile is arguably the most consistent forward for the Parramatta Eels and their easy win at Newcastle was no different from the juggernaut. Scoring two tries as well as registering 31 tackles, six busts and 147 metres from 15 carries, the match never looked in doubt as they bounced back to winning ways.

Loose-forward: Isaah Yeo
Once again, Penrith Panthers co-captain Isaah Yeo is selected. Yeo was a try scorer in the win over the Raiders as well as putting in 33 tackles and 126 metres from 19 carries, helping the Champions remain unbeaten in 2022.

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