I’ve long had plans to start/make one of these weekly articles, but time constraints or other things always came up. Now that the time is there, it’ll become a weekly thing – a Team of the Week. My Team of the Week. If you agree or disagree, comment via Twitter or leave a comment on the article itself. Any comment’s a good comment. And we’re off.
1. Greg Inglis – You could list all the words that describe the play of Greg Inglis, but I’m sure you all saw just how damaging he was against the Penrith Panthers. Already sitting among the top players on the Dally M Leaderboard, you would imagine that is where he’ll be staying for the duration of the season, provided he’s fit.
2. Reece Robinson – Yes, he played fullback, but with Inglis playing as well as he did, it’s hard to put them all in one position. Robinson had an electrifying game at fullback for the Raiders and to some fans is actually quite under-rated as a player. With the departure of Josh Dugan and only youngsters threatening his position, you can only see Robinson improving even more from here on out.
3. Krisnan Inu – It’s safe to say that whatever Des Hasler has told Krisnan Inu over the last 6-12 months, it’s worked, as he seems like a different player altogether than his previous Eels & Warriors stints. Whilst his side lost the game, Inu’s work in the second half was vital to the Dogs and it very nearly got them over the line.
4. Jarrod Croker – A centre who cops his fair share of criticism, Croker is well-liked by Raiders fans, and after a strong performance against the Dragons where he bagged his first two tries of the year, they’ll be hoping he can have a consistent season in 2013.
5. Nathan Merritt – Another under-rated player who perhaps doesn’t get the plaudits he deserves, but eventually will. Souths fans love him and as he nears the club’s try scoring record held by Benny Wearing, there will only be more to cheer about for this much loved Souths winger.
6. James Maloney – He has only played 3 games for the Tri-colours so far, but Rd 3’s performance against the Broncos was his best. One of the best hole-runners you will see in the game, Maloney prides himself on ensuring he finds the right gap on the back of the work from his forwards.
7. Cooper Cronk – The best halfback in the game right now. Three straight rounds, he has played brilliantly for the Storm, whether it’s scoring tries or assisting them via the boot or pass. He was good last year, but he seems to have taken his game to another level this year.
8. Nate Myles – One of the most consistent props you’ll see in the NRL, capable of playing long, long minutes every game. It’s taken him a while to find his mojo at the Titans, but as one of their best forwards so far this year, it looks likely that he’ll have a better overall season in 2013.
9. John Morris – Not the first name that comes to your mind when you think of elite hookers in the NRL, but he knows what his job is and he goes out there and does it. Played one of his best games for the Sharks and has been rewarded for it, retaining the starting role for next week.
10. Sam McKendry – A New Zealand international, McKendry can be criticised for being inconsistent, but you wouldn’t be saying that about his form so far in 2013, as he’s recorded very solid numbers in metres gained this year so far and you wouldn’t put it past him to continue doing so at this rate.
11. Sonny Bill Williams – Since his return to the NRL, he has copped his fair share of criticism, but he had his best game on the weekend and is slowly getting back towards the form we saw from him in his last NRL stint. The scary thing for opposition teams, is he can and most likely will get better.
12. Tohu Harris – A Storm young gun who has a very, very bright future in front of him. Offered a chance to see what he could do at the World Club Challenge, he’s taken it, and is likely to hold his spot. A talent for the future.
13. Trent Merrin – Normally a prop, under Steve Price this year, lock has been the position he’s selected in, but if you’re Trent Merrin, that doesn’t matter. Has been the Dragons best forward all year and despite his side losing, he had a mammoth game.
14. Chris Sandow – The criticism was and still is well and truly there for Chris Sandow, but after 3 games in which he has been the most consistent performer for the Eels, you’d presume that this is the year Eels fans can expect consistency from their live-wire halfback.
15. Tyrone Roberts – Filling in due to injuries, Roberts has taken his chance at halfback ever so well. He scores tries, creates tries and is the perfect back-up half to have, as he knows & gels with most of the players already at the club.
16. Dallas Johnson – Johnson epitomises what the workhorse NRL player is all about. He tackles and tackles and tackles, and, you guessed it, tackles some more. Very safe in defence and a fantastic work-ethic.
17. Martin Kennedy – A young Roosters prop who goes out there, does his job, and has the potential to become an even better player. Hard nosed and aggressive, he’s a perfect replacement for when Waerea-Hargreaves & Moa exit the field.
Ricky’s Player of the Week: Reece Robinson.