With seven games done and dusted, the 2021 NRL is shaping up to be an incredible season.
From Brisbane’s woes to Penrith’s stupendous unbeaten run, the rugby league on offer has been a joy to watch.
But, just who are the five most in-form players at present?
Slowly but surely, David Fifita has been getting up to speed with his new team and he has showed just how important he is going to be for the Titans in 2021 throughout the opening seven rounds. The man mountain has already registered two hat-tricks, one against the Knights and the second against the Rabbitohs. If the Titans are to reach the play-offs then Fifita will certainly be the go-to man. And, with Fifita in this form, who’s to say they will be stopped?
Melbourne Storm picked up Reimis Smith from Canterbury almost under the cover of darkness heading into the new season. Just 23 years of age, Smith has been a part of every Storm game so far in 2021, looking every bit a premiership-quality centre, following the departure of former star back Suliasi Vunivalu. One of the most exciting youngsters in the game, the centre has struck up a deadly partnership with new winger George Jennings too, with the duo scoring seven tries between them.
A return from injury for Tom Trbojevic two weeks ago was timely for Manly who had been languishing near the bottom of the table following a disastrous start to the season. And, after playing a leading role in the 36-0 thumping of the Titans a week earlier, Trbojevic was the man-of-the-match in the 40-6 thrashing of Wests. In just two games, the Sea Eagles fullback has scored two tries, set up five others, made six line-breaks and run for 380 metres, underlining just how integral “Turbo Tom” is to Manly’s play-off hopes.
Having signed for Canterbury for the 2022 season and beyond, the chance for Matt Burton to crown his exit from Penrith in style was somewhat limited at the beginning of the year. But, with Brent Naden out with a drugs suspension ever since the first week of the season, Burton has deputised at centre and boy has he showed what he can do. In fact, the utility man has been so successful in his new role that the Panthers have backflipped on their willingness to let him go to the Bulldogs without a fight.
If Melbourne are heading for another Premiership title, then Jahrome Hughes will be crucial. And, so far, the diminutive halfback has demonstrated just why, guiding the Storm around the field and allowing fellow half Cameron Munster to showcase his devastating running game. Hughes’ kicking game and game-management is up there with the best in the competition and he already seems to be better than last season – if that was even possible.