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ISP NSW Team Of The Week | Round 5

NSWRL.com.au staff writers

FARAIMO FIRE: With the largest metre count of Round 5, Bureta Faraimo makes the Round 5 Team of the Week. Image: NRL Photos.
FARAIMO FIRE: With the largest metre count of Round 5, Bureta Faraimo makes the Round 5 Team of the Week. Image: NRL Photos.

Each week, the NSWRL.com.au staff writers will name their 17 best performers from the weekend's Intrust Super Premiership NSW. These selections, heavily based on statistical data, are the opinions of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSWRL.

1 - Nick Meaney
Club: Newcastle Knights; 2017 TOTW Selections: 0.

12 total runs, 161 total metres, one try-assist, two line-breaks, seven tackle-breaks, 17 tackles.
Meaney has been solid for the Knights this season and put forward his best showing of the year against the Jets, propelling his side to an unexpected victory. Hard to handle at the back, he is settling into the fullback rolw in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW nicely.

2 - Bureta Faraimo
Club: Wentworthville Magpies; 2017 TOTW Selections: 2.

16 total runs, 243 total metres, two line-breaks, six tackle-breaks, one try.
With the most run metres of Round 5, Faraimo makes his third consecutive Team of the Week as he continues to push for an NRL return. His try wasn’t enough to get the Magpies home against Mounties, but the 26-year-old continues to impress in the Wentworthville side.

3 - Lachlan Stein
Club: Penrith Panthers; 2017 TOTW Selections: 1.

13 total runs, 150 total metres, one line-break, seven tackle-breaks, 17 tackles, one try.
Stein, identified as one of many stars of the future at Penrith, has already made the competition’s best 17 once and followed it up with a good performance in a losing effort at St Marys. Despite going down to the Bulldogs, Stein was always a threat and even scored a consolation try in the 79th minute – while it was simply too late, it confirmed the effort was there until the final whistle.

4 - Esan Marsters
Club: Wests Tigers; 2017 TOTW Selections: 0.

21 total runs, 200 total metres, two tackle-breaks, 11 tackles.
After Faraimo, Marsters was the only other player to reach 200 running metres on the weekend and was heavily involved as the Tigers overcame the Bears. His 21 runs make him a big part of the much-needed victory.

5 - Chris Centrone
Club: Wyong Roos; 2017 TOTW Selections: 0.

14 total runs, 167 total metres, two line-breaks, five tackle-breaks, two tries.
A Chris Centrone double highlighted the Roos’ big win over Illawarra on Sunday, while the winger also topped the game’s metre count alongside inside man Matt Ikuvalu. Seven dummy-half runs proved helpful to the Roos’ momentum, which they capitalised on throughout the game.

6 - Justin Hunt (c)
Club: Wests Tigers; 2017 TOTW Selections: 0.

One try-assist, two tackle-breaks, 14 offloads, two tries.
Hunt earns the captaincy in his first Team of the Week selection of 2017, following a sensational individual performance which saw the Tigers turn their fortunes around. The five-eighth was heavily involved in all three of his side’s tries, scoring two and setting up the other to help the Tigers to their first win of the season.

7 - Mitch Cornish
Club: Wyong Roos; 2017 TOTW Selections: 2.

10 total runs, 173 total metres, two try-assists, three line-break-assists, one tackle-break, one offload, one try, one goal.
It was almost impossible to split Cornish from Hunt as the captain this week; the former set up two tries and scored one as Wyong dominated the defending premiers at home. Shaping as one of the most consistent halves early in 2017, Cornish’s efforts have been central to the Roos’ success.

8 - Robbie Rochow
Club: North Sydney Bears; 2017 TOTW Selections: 0.

16 total runs, 151 total metres, one line-break, 45 tackles.
A solid effort with and without the football from Rochow didn’t go unnoticed, despite the Bears’ disappointing result at Chatswood Oval. In his first outing for the Bears, the former Knight was impressive in the starting front row position, but will hope to find himself back in South Sydney colours as soon as possible.

9 - Tyler Randell
Club: Newcastle Knights; 2017 TOTW Selections: 0.

Two try-assists, one tackle-break, 29 tackles.
It was a standout display from the Newcastle no.9, who laid on two tries while still putting in a good effort defensively against the Jets. With several former star hookers surrounding him at the Knights, Randell is benefitting from the added experience as he looks to progress his game.

10 - Francis Tualau
Club: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs; 2017 TOTW Selections: 0.

13 total runs, 107 total metres, one line-break-assist, one line-break, three tackle-breaks, one offload, 25 tackles, one try.
Arriving from the Melbourne Storm at the start of the season, Tualau had his best performance to date for the Bulldogs as they produced their best team effort against the Panthers. With solid attack and defence, the Auckland product was deserving of a try which came in just the fifth minute – his first in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW.

11 - Tony Williams
Club: Newtown Jets; 2017 TOTW Selections: 1.

17 total runs, 174 total metres, one line-break, four tackle-breaks, 20 tackles, one try.
Williams earns a second Team of the Week selection as he continues to impress and apply pressure on the forwards currently playing for the defending NRL premiers. A try early in the game set up a big performance from the former VB Blues impact player, while he proved damaging with 82 post-contact metres.

12 - Pat Mata'utia
Club: Newcastle Knights; 2017 TOTW Selections: 0.

18 total runs, 173 total metres, four tackle-breaks, 27 tackles, one try.
With undoubted potential, Mata’utia showed his class with a good all-round game for Newcastle, contributing nicely with the team’s largest metre count. He had a good battle with Williams as the competitors brought out the best in each other.

13 - Sione Katoa
Club: Penrith Panthers; 2017 TOTW Selections: 0.

16 total runs, 176 total metres, one line-break, two tackle-breaks, 46 tackles.
Huge running metres and tackles confirm Katoa’s place in the Team of the Week as he played well for Penrith on Saturday. It wasn’t quite enough for the Panthers, who lost a close match which had three tries apiece, but Katoa’s efforts were solid regardless.

INTERCHANGE

14 - Jayden Nikorima
Club: Wyong Roos; 2017 TOTW Selections: 0.

11 total runs, 129 total metres, one line-break-assist, one line-break, five tackle-breaks, two offloads, two tries, three goals.
The fact that Nikorima finds himself on the Team of the Week bench speaks volumes about the playmaking quality displayed in Round 5. Combining brilliantly with Cornish, Nikorima piled on 14 of the Roos’ 48 points and proved hard to handle for the game’s duration.

15 - Bunty Afoa
Club: Warriors; 2017 TOTW Selections: 0.

Two line-breaks, five tackle-breaks, 37 tackles, two tries.
While Afoa’s big defensive effort might have gone unnoticed as the Warriors continued their winning run over the Sea Eagles, his two tries were clear for all to see. With a string of good performances, the former Holden Cup star must surely be on his way to more NRL game time in the near future.

16 - Cheyne Whitelaw
Club: North Sydney Bears; 2017 TOTW Selections: 1.

13 total runs, 131 total metres, 53 tackles.
It’s back-to-back Team of the Week selections for Whitelaw, who this week made more tackles than any other player and contributed strongly with the ball in hand. A solid and key part of the Bears’ pack.

17 - Tyrone McCarthy
Club: Illawarra; 2017 TOTW Selections: 1.

15 total runs, 122 total metres, three tackle-breaks, one offload, 50 tackles.
McCarthy’s half century of tackles was second only to Whitelaw and the noted defender did all he could for the defending premiers, missing just two attempts. The Illawarra captain will be disappointed with the end result, but his own performance was a good one.

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