With the 2020 season right back into its groove, I take a look at 13 players who have potentially been the league’s top performers so far.
Stephen Crichton (Penrith Panthers)
It has been an incredible breakout year so far for the young Penrith centre as he proves to be a lethal addition to the Panthers attack.
Overall, Crichton has 11 tries to his name and it looks now as if he will certainly be a big part to Ivan Cleary’s premiership aspirations this year.
Sione Katoa (Cronulla Sharks)
The Sharks winger is starting to make a habit out of scoring tries on a consistent basis as he continues to showcase his great finishing ability.
The Tongan international has the most tries in the competition at the moment with 12.
Cronulla’s top eight aspirations may be down to whether a player such as Katoa can continue this fine form.
Shaun Johnson (Cronulla Sharks)
The New Zealand international’s first year with Cronulla was filled with injuries and inconsistency.
But during 2020, Johnson has recaptured some of that form that made him one of most elite halfbacks in the game.
So far this year, Johnson has the most try assists with 16 and has been an influential figure in guiding the Sharks to 6th place on the ladder.
Reagan Campbell Gillard (Parramatta Eels)
The move to Parramatta has completely rejuvenated RCG’s overall game as he continues to put up outstanding numbers this year while proving to be an absolute handful for his oppositions.
Overall, the big man has the fifth most metres in the league right now with 2,061 and remains one of the Eels most influential figures.
Isaah Yeo (Penrith Panthers)
You know exactly what you get when it comes to Yeo as the Panthers star has been one of their most consistent and reliable players all year.
He has been a hugely influential figure in the Panthers forward pack.
The 25-year-old has the second most tackles and the fourth most metres by a Penrith player with 460 and 1,555 retrospectively.
James Tedesco (Sydney Roosters)
The 2019 Dally M Medal winner continues to show why he is one of the best players in the world.
His ability to break the defensive line and continuously rack up the metres results in him being a genuine spark in the Roosters offence.
As it stands, Tedesco has the most linebreak assists in the league with 15 along with the second most metres at 2,156 along with the second most tackle busts with 69.
Nathan Cleary (Penrith Panthers)
The Panthers are flying high right now and are beginning to show exactly what they could be capable of this year as they sit atop of the NRL ladder.
If there was any player more instrumental to their success this year then that will undoubtedly be Cleary.
The NSW representative may have had issues off the field but the 22-year-old still looks to make up for it on the field.
He has single-handedly put a game on his back on a couple of occasions this year.
Zac Lomax (St George Illawarra Dragons)
Undoubtedly one of the best young centres in the world right now.
Whenever the Dragons have been performing well this season, you can guarantee that Lomax is one of the mains reasons why.
The 20-year-old has the capacity to play in most positions along the backline.
With his excellent ball playing, speed, agility and goal kicking, it makes him a player to keep a close eye on over the next few years.
Maika Sivo (Parramatta Eels)
The Fijian flyer has followed up his sensational try scoring form from last year into the new season.
He is a consistent nightmare for opposition players down the Eels flank (just ask Adam Doueihi what it is like to try and defend him).
After topping the try scoring charts last year, Sivo looks well on his way to doing the same as he sits with the joint second most tries so far with 11.
Harry Grant (Wests Tigers)
The Tigers will feel like they got a bit of steal when they were able to bring in youngster Harry Grant on loan.
The dynamic dummy half has added an extra edge to the Tigers attack and defence while thrusting himself into unexpected Dally M contention.
Brett Morris (Sydney Roosters)
Even at the age of 33 years old, Morris still performs at an elite level with his phenomenal work rate in defence and fantastic finishing making him one of the best wingers in the world.
Alongside his brother Josh, Brett has again been in epic form this year for the Roosters despite missing a couple of games with injury.
The former Kangaroos international has the most linebreaks by a Roosters player with 12 while scoring nine tries in 10 games.
Clinton Gutherson (Parramatta Eels)
There is no question that the Parramatta captain is one of the most consistent and reliable fullbacks in the league.
When Mitch Moses had to sit out a few games due to injury, Gutherson was right there to pick up the pieces and was instrumental in the Eels continued success.
The Eels skipper has the third most try assists this year with 12 while also being one of seven other players to exceed 2,000 metres so far this season.
Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm)
The ageless Cameron Smith once again continues to cement his legacy as one of the best players to ever grace the game.
The all-time leading points scorer in Australian rugby league has turned in some vintage displays this year as Melbourne chase top of the table once more.
His game management and rugby league IQ is unlike many others in the league.
David Nofaluma, Luke Keary, Jason Taumalolo, Jack Wighton, Matt Dufty, Reed Mahoney, Kyle Feldt, Kyle Flanagan, Mitchell Pearce