Sonny Bill Williams

6 rounds in already, can you believe it? A lot of impressive performances this week by individual players, so I’ll cast my eye on who I believe were the best 17 players from this round. Will you agree or disagree? Have your say by commenting on this post or replying on Twitter.

1. Jarryd Hayne – His side may have lost the game, but there’s no denying that it was Jarryd Hayne who got the Eels going early on, as he scored two tries to surpass Eric Grothe Sr. and Ray Price on the Eels most tries scored list and some of his kick returns/plays, often criticised by fans, were a huge improvement.

2. James McManus – Not the flashiest winger by any means, McManus is a toiler. He has a job, he knows how to do it and he executes it. He keeps on adding those tries to his name in season 2012, highlighting how good of a finisher he really is.

3. Jack Reed – Criticised somewhat for a bit of a slow start to the year, some of the monkeys are off Reed’s back, who put in a stellar performance against the Cowboys and wreaked havoc on his side with Josh Hoffman, creating numerous fantastic opportunities on his own or for his team-mates to score.

4. Daniel Vidot – Mainly a winger but able to play centre, Vidot is another player who cops a lot of flak, but he produced a colossal effort against the Tigers as he amassed an incredible 220m in a wonderful display of speed, agility, strength and toughness.

5. Josh Hoffman – Hoffman goes from strength to strength as a player every week. Suffering from the Broncos poor start, Hoffman has exploded out of the blocks over the last few weeks scoring tries left, right and centre – so much so, he sits in equal 2nd on the try-scorers list for 2013.

6. James Maloney – He was on this list last week and he will be on it again this week, after another electrifying display to dismantle the Bulldogs. Whether he’s running the ball at the line and evading defenders, or putting in deft kicks and passes for his team-mates, he’s just on a roll at the moment.

7. Cooper Cronk – Quite simply, on form, he’s the best half in the game. Cronk is just on fire this season, as opposition teams have a hard time shutting him down and nullifying his efforts, no matter what they try to do.

8. Sam Burgess – You know exactly what you’re going to get from Burgess and yet again, he put in a fantastic display of controlled aggression, agility, hard running and flair. He’s the sort of player that you can rely on to play consistently every week.

9. Jake Friend – A bit of an under-rated hooker, Friend has endured some career as we all know – but the little hooker found a way to have a huge involvement in his side’s big win over the Dogs, playing perhaps the best game of his career.

10. Aaron Woods – He may possibly be injured which would sour his performance, but my word is Woods the in-form prop of the competition at the moment. He’s just on fire. Consistently putting up big numbers and his spot in the City v Country match is justified.

11. Justin Horo – Playing his first season for the Sea Eagles after departing the Eels, Horo’s start to the year has been a bit stagnant, but he exploded out of the blocks for Manly this week, wreaking havoc on the fringes, playing his best game of the year.

12. Sonny Bill Williams – Under fire given the high pressure game against his former club, SBW put all that behind him and put on a masterclass as he carved up the Bulldogs to produce his best performance of the season.

13. Shaun Fensom – Fensom epitomises a true workhorse player in the NRL. He reminds many of a young Nathan Hindmarsh – solid as a rock in defence but capable of causing havoc at the line in attack. Baffling how he can’t get any sort of representative jumper with the form he’s in.

14. Jamie Soward – Criticised perhaps more than he should be, yet again, it was Jamie Soward that led the Dragons to victory, kicking the winning field goal against the Tigers. He now has 4 for the season already.

15. Tim Grant – With the potential to be one of the form props when on his game, Grant has been a mixed bag this season for the Panthers, but he has the opportunity to show his worth for NSW, after being picked to play in the City/Country clash.

16. Corey Parker – He might not have Supercoach God status anymore but he is still one hell of a player when on his game, and Parker put in a stellar performance to guide the Broncos to their victory. The veteran knows when to stand up and make himself be known.

17. Mark Minichiello – At one stage, it looked like he’d fallen out of favour this year at the Titans, but in his return game, talk about a massive performance. He was causing all sorts of problems for the Eels and with that game, he might have just said to John Cartwright, ‘Pick me more often.’

Ricky’s Player of the Round: Sonny Bill Williams

By ricky

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