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ISP NSW Team Of The Week | Round 18

NSWRL.com.au staff writers

The Penrith Panthers host the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles in Round 18 of the Intrust Super Premiership NSW. Image: NRL Photos.
The Penrith Panthers host the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles in Round 18 of the Intrust Super Premiership NSW. 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. Jarome Luai

Club: Penrith Panthers.

16 total runs, 149 total metres, one try-assist, one line-break-assist, 11 tackle-breaks, two tries.
With Dylan Edwards cementing a spot in the first grade squad, Jarome Luai has certainly made the no.1 jersey his own in recent weeks and put in another strong display in his side's 54-0 victory. His involvement throughout the contest was first class with a handy try-assist and line-break-assist before scoring two tries of his own to finish off a brilliant game.

2. George Jennings
Club: Wentworthville Magpies.

20 total runs, 258 total metres, 63 post-contact metres, one try-assist, one line-break, two tries.
It was a close encounter at Henson Park on Saturday afternoon but George Jennings put in masterful performance that ultimately proved the difference in the Magpies' 22-10 victory. He was constantly working hard out of his own end running for over 250 metres, with his second try coming at a crucial stage that eventually sealed a hard-fought victory and have his side sit just one point outside the top eight.

3. Christian Crichton
Club: Penrith Panthers.

Eight total runs, 85 total metres, one try-assist, one line-break-assist, two line-breaks, five tackle-breaks, two tries.
There were a host of players who put in starring performances for the Panthers and Crichton was certainly one of them. He opened the scoring in just the second minute before scoring again soon after the half-time break which was a huge contribution to his side's momentum. Crichton also broke five tackles and ran for 85 metres to help his team earn two valuable competition points.

4. Kirisome Auva'a
Club: Wentworthville Magpies.

14 total runs, 151 total metres, 54 post-contact metres, one line-break, three tackle-breaks, 25 tackles, one try.
He may of been a late inclusion into the run-on side but that didn’t stop Kirisome Auva'a from dominating his counterpart in as strong individual performance. He proved to be a wrecking ball in attack with 151 running metres and three tackle-breaks, while put in some hard-working defensive efforts with 25 tackles that was capped off with a try in the opening 25 minutes.

5. Maika Sivo
Club: Penrith Panthers.

Seven total runs, 106 total metres, two line-breaks, eight tackle-breaks, two tries.
A lot of hard-work was made through the middle third in the Panthers thumping win over the Workers but Sivo made sure their well-executed backline movements would be finished to perfection. Averaging over one tackle-break per carry and running for over 100 metres, Sivo reaped the rewards as he found himself on the scoreboard on either side of the half-time break.

6. Tyrone May
Club: Penrith Panthers.

12 total runs, 91 total metres, one try-assist, two line-break-assists, one line-break, 13 tackle-breaks, one try.
Tyrone May joins his halves partner in the Round 18 Team of the Week after a masterful display on Saturday afternoon that saw him heavily involved in the Panthers' clinical attacking display. His running game was at its potent best with 95 running metres and 13 tackle-breaks, and rounded off his huge performance with a classy try-assist and two line-break-assists after crossing for their second four-pointer of the contest.

7. Darren Nicholls (c)
Club: Penrith Panthers.

13 total runs, 111 total metres, two try-assists, one line-break-assist, two line-breaks,, 201 total kick metres, nine tackle-breaks, 19 tackles, one try.
Just one week after putting in a match-winning performance against the Bears, Darren Nicholls claims this week’s captaincy after steering his team to their ninth win of the season. Heavily involved in a host of his team’s tries, he caused havoc for the Sea Eagles' defence with his crafty ball skills laying on two tries and a line-break-assist, while kicking perfectly throughout the contest with 201 kicking metres and converting seven goals from 10 attempts.

8. Kurt Dillon
Club: Newtown Jets; TOTW selections:

19 total runs, 203 total metres, 76 post-contact metres, 40 tackles.
Despite being on the wrong end of the scoreline once again, Kurt Dillon's efforts never ceased to amaze as he put in a powerful 80-minute stint. His strong carries through the middle third saw him crack over 200 metres once again, but his defensive efforts were the cornerstone of another tireless performance that saw him make 40 tackles.

9. Tyler Randell
Club: Newcastle Knights.

40 total metres, one line-break, three tackle-breaks, 23 tackles, one try.
He may have only played out 42 minutes, but that didn’t stop Tyler Randell from earning himself back to back Team of the Week selections. His short stint was of sheer quality as he extended his side's lead early in the first half with a handy try, and was continuously working hard for his teammates as he busted out 23 tackles.

10. Viliame Kikau
Club: Penrith Panthers.

19 total runs, 229 total metres, 94 post-contact metres, five tackle-breaks, four offloads, 15 tackles.
A massive part of the Panthers' commanding win on the weekend came down to the huge performance of their forward pack and Village Kikau was undoubtedly the most dominant. He continued to dent the opposition forward pack with 229 metres while his huge 94 post-contact metres made a huge contribution to the Panthers go-forward which lead to a large majority of their tries.

11. Kaide Ellis
Club: Penrith Panthers.

17 total runs, 171 total metres, 71 post-contact metres, two tackle-breaks, 25 tackles.
Kaide Ellis has proved instrumental in his side’s success in 2017 and his big performance on the weekend was a testament to exactly that. Running for 171 metres saw him play a key part getting his side valuable field position to perform their attacking raids, and worked constantly in defence with 25 tackles in a gritty 80-minute performance.

12. Jack Gosiewski
Club: North Sydney Bears.

17 total runs, 124 total metres, one line-break, five tackle-breaks, one try.
He had to endure a large stint on the sidelines for the first half of the 2017 season but Jack Gosiewski has certainly come back with a point to prove with another tough performance. His try in the 65th minute all but sealed an upset victory for the Bears, and proved a handful for the Roos defence as he broke five tackles and ran for 124 metres.

13. Rod Griffin
Club: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.

20 total runs, 173 total metres, 67 post-contact metres, one line-break-assist, three tackle-breaks, 45 tackles.
It was another barnstorming display from the brutal lock forward on the weekend with some massive numbers in the Bulldogs' 24-4 loss to the Knights. His 45 tackles proved to be a game-high while he was dominant with his 20 carries as he posted over 170 metres and recorded 67 post-contact metres through his strong leg drive.

14. Josh Cleeland
Club: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.

Seven total runs, 85 total metres, one try-assist, two line-break-assists, two tackle-breaks, 16 tackles.
Cleeland was unable to guide his team to victory on the weekend but he was once again a shining light in a losing side. Setting up his team’s only try early in the second half, he was constantly threatening with the ball-in-hand as he laid on two line-breaks while desperately trying to spark his side to a potential comeback with his clever kicking game.

15. Magnus Stromquist
Club: Wentworthville Magpies.

16 total runs, 158 total metres, 52 post-contact metres, 47 tackles.
The Magpies recorded a grinding victory over a struggling Jets outfit and Stromquist's' tireless work in the middle proved to be the difference. Along with Jennings, his big carries throughout the entire contest continuously put his team on the front foot, and was the leader of his pack defensively as he recorded 47 tackles in another virtuoso performance. 

16. James Fisher-Harris
Club: Penrith Panthers.

17 total carries, 165 total metres, 57 post-contact metres, one line-break, four tackle-breaks, 15 tackles, one try.
Fisher-Harris returned from injury through the Panthers' Intrust Super Premiership NSW team on the weekend and although he played just 47 minutes it was certainly a brilliant showing. He ran for 165 metres from 17 tackle-bustling carries before scoring a try for good measure and coming off for a well-deserved break.

17. Cameron Murray
Club: North Sydney Bears.

15 total carries, 121 total metres, 36 post-contact metres, one offload, 40 tackles.
Cameron Murray’s first grade experience in 2017 has clearly paid dividends as the rising star held his own in a physical encounter on Saturday afternoon. He was hard to crack defensively as he posted 40 tackles, with his work with the ball-in-hand far from unnoticed as he ran for over 120 metres from just 15 carries.

The next generation of NRL and NSW VB Blues players come directly from the Intrust Super Premiership NSW – click here for the latest on NSWRL’s blue-ribbon open-age competition.