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NRL Team of the Week: Round 1

Serious About Rugby League’s NRL writer Jordan Evans picks his Team of the Week from the opening round.

1. Kalyn Ponga

Ponga recorded 12 of his sides 20 points against the New Zealand Warriors in Round 1, including a try in the second half after pouncing on a Mitchell Pierce kick. He also leads the NRL in run metres after making 235 on the opening weekend.

2. David Nofoaluma

A great showing by Nofoaluma in a superb opening performance by the Tigers. The winger had 20 carries for 196 metres and added a deserved brace of tries.

3. Kotoni Staggs

Staggs was impressive in both attack and defence in his side’s defeat of the Cowboys. Caused issues for North Queensland for the full 80 minutes, and was rewarded with a try in the first half.

4. Curtis Scott

Scott had a great debut for his new side earning praise from his new coach Ricky Stuart. The centre made 134 run metres from 15 carries and made zero errors during his first 80 minutes for the Raiders.

5. Suliasi Vunivalu

Was lucky to not to be punished for leading with the knee in that first half, but Vunivalu scored two quick tries in the final quarter of the game to seal a win for the Storm away at the Sea Eagles.

6. Jack Wighton

Started the 2020 season as he ended the previous campaign. Scored an early double in a win over the Titans and had a devastating kicking game with a forced drop-out and a 40/20.

7. Benji Marshall

Rolled back the years with a massive performance in the opening round. You wouldn’t have been blamed for believing it was 2005 again with the performance that Marshall produced. He scored a try and assisted two others along with four forced drop-outs.

8. Payne Haas

Haas was devastating against the Cowboys in Round 1, making 214 metres which is the most by any forward in the league. Expect to see more of this in the coming weeks.

9. Apisai Koroisau

Koroisau was immense for the Panthers in his first game for the club since his return. He produced a Man of the Match performance after making 110 metres and 59 tackles.

10. Josh Aloiai

Aloiai had 15 carries and made 187 metres with the ball in hand. He also made 20 tackles despite only spending 40 minutes on the pitch.

11. David Fifita

Fifita produced one of the best solo tries that we will see in the NRL this season. He also made 150 metres and looked almost unstoppable at time. It’s clear to see why he has got such a big reputation in the game already.

12. Luciano Leilua

Leilua lined up against his former side in Round 1 and put in a great 80-minute performance that saw him score a try. The 23-year-old is set for a big season and don’t be surprised to see him in more of these teams.

13. Isaah Yeo

Yeo had 171 metres against the NRL’s reigning champions that helped his side fight back from a 12-0 deficit. He was formidable in defence making 33 tackles and showed he can match it with the best forwards in the game.

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