Here we are again. Another Team of the Week edition. Time flies by fast but that doesn’t stop the stellar performances players are putting in. A lot of top-notch games by many.
Who will make the team and who will miss the cut. Without further adieu – and again, note that this is based using a certain criteria, one that sees 17 players selected and potentially playing somewhat out of position -, here’s the side:
1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck – Perhaps one of the best emerging talents in the game, Tuivasa-Sheck has long been touted with a move to fullback, something that may happen this week. Still relatively new to the game of rugby league, the skills, precision, speed and scintillating step that RTS possesses, are what make him a potent yet under-rated force in the Roosters line-up. Still only young, it might be a matter of time before he’s one of the best players in the game.
2. Manu Vatuvei – From a youngster, to a veteran. We all know what The Beast is capable of and the fan favourite is currently enjoying a decent run of form of his own, on the back of a recent resurgence by the Warriors. With a running style that’s hard to counter and a physicality in his game that makes him hard to tackle, when in form, Manu is up there with the best wingers in the game. He’ll be a key part of the Warriors charge for the finals.
3. David Mead – A true utility back, Mead not only offers versatility but he also offers speed and a large array of skills. Moving to fullback recently to cover the loss of William Zillman, it’s a role that he has excelled in, offering a fantastic amount of support play and speed to burn when returning the ball. A key component of the Titans easy win last week, the club and fans will be hoping it’s similar for him this week.
4. Mahe Fonua – Another versatile utility back player, Fonua played perhaps the best game of his NRL career, scoring three tries & producing one ripper try assist. If you remember the similar play by Greg Inglis in the Centenary Test, you’ll imagine what this one is like. Leaping through the air past the dead-ball line and batting it back in the field of play for Will Chambers to score. Performances like that and he may well keep his spot in first-grade.
5. Kyle Feldt – Making a debut for a player can always be tough but for some, like Kyle Feldt, you take it in your stride and put on a blistering display. Retaining his spot for this week, he’ll be looking for more of the same, with the highly-rated Cowboys youngster making the most of his opportunity, after many fans sought out a start for him in first-grade, one has now recieved.
6. James Maloney – He might have been in a bit of a slump in the weeks after the Origin period, but boy did Maloney burst out of the blocks and blow the opposition away, putting on a master-class that was too hot for the opposition to handle and one that left him with some stellar statistics. With the ball seemingly on a string for him at times, there was just no stopping him, as Roosters fans will look for the same this week.
7. Johnathan Thurston – Without a doubt, the game’s premier half. Enjoying a shift to his favoured position of five-eighth, halfback was a position that Thurston played for some time but he offers the same impact and experience regardless of the position he’s in. With an accurate boot and perhaps the best all-round game in a half (running, passing & kicking), Thurston’s mantle as the game’s best half is well and truly shining.
8. Andrew Fifita – Is there any end to Fifita’s blistering 2013 form? Week after week, he puts up the consistent numbers that rival the best props in the game and there is seemingly no end in sight. He runs hard, is a behemoth to tackle and puts on fends galore as he looks to make the most of the opportunities his side is awarded. With this sort Online Casino of form, it’d be hard to deny him a chance to play at the World Cup.
9. Daly Cherry-Evans – Playing in a sort-of hooker-type role during the Origin period, Cherry-Evans is a player that dictates the fortunes of Manly in 2013. Starting the year out relatively slowly compared to previous years, the last couple of months has seen the live-wire halfback re-capture that form and lead the Sea Eagles to some impressive wins over the last few weeks.
10. Sam Kasiano – Another prop whose consistency is phenomenal. Billed as the heaviest prop forward currently in the game, don’t be fooled into believing that his size will slow him down or hinder his ability. Perhaps one of the hardest players to tackle because of his size, his ability to offload and create opportunities for support players is perhaps among the best in the NRL. Oh, and he scores tries at will.
11. Boyd Cordner – Another player enjoying an absolute stellar run of form and a try-scoring record to boot – Cordner just cannot stop scoring. With his form, he would easily be up there with the best back-rowers in the game right now. His work-ethic, link-up play, awareness and general solid play are big reasons behind his success and the Roosters success, traits and aspects that will stick with the side moving forward.
12. Tony Williams – It has been quite a lean year in regards to form for T-Rex but he can take solace in the fact that he played well last night for the Dogs, scoring two tries in the process. Close to the line, his power, strength and physical ability was too much for the Dragons defence to handle, as he looks for similar performances in coming weeks to ensure not only consistency for himself, but to get fans of the Bulldogs back onside.
13. Corey Parker – Regarded as a Supercoach God based on his form and rightfully so, Parker is one of the most well liked and well received players in the entire NRL. A hard-worker, toiler and monster when it comes to accumulating consistent statistics, Parker’s effort is tireless as he runs hard, defends hard and offloads at will, even when you wouldn’t expect him to do so.
14. Ryan James – Another player who has enjoyed a lean run of form this year, that has seen him go in and out of the Titans side as a result, James had perhaps his break-out game of the season if not his career, after producing mammoth numbers when given the opportunity to start. Still young and learning the game, he will get better and with performances like that, hopefully he uses it to create consistency in his game.
15. Sam Tagataese – With the Sharks boasting representative forwards like Paul Gallen and Luke Lewis, the spotlight can often shy away from the likes of Tagataese, but he is just as devastating when on song as any other forward in the Sharks line-up. With great impact and versatility from the bench, Tagataese continues to lay the platform even after the rep forwards for the Sharks have gone. Having just re-signed, Sharks fans can enjoy some more stellar performances from the man they call ‘Taga’.
16. Josh McGuire – It was just before the Origin period when McGuire took his game to another level and he has since continued that form, with another mammoth performance. Seeming to make both metres and tackles at will and making it look easy in the process, he is perhaps the most improved player over the course of the last couple of months. With uncertainty over the return of Ben Hannant, the work-rate from McGuire has been phenomenal.
17. Tim Mannah – In what has been a poor and often turbulent season for the Eels both on and off the field, that hasn’t stopped club captain Tim Mannah from pouring his heart and soul into his performance every game, as he continues to stand up and try to make the difference needed. With the spotlight on other props in the NRL, Mannah’s effort and work-rate is tireless, as he leads from the front when the Eels need him most.
Player of the Week: Mahe Fonua