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ISP NSW Team Of The Week | Round 20

NSWRL.com.au staff writers

The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs host the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles in Round 20 of the Intrust Super Premiership NSW. Image: Wally Bitar.
The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs host the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles in Round 20 of the Intrust Super Premiership NSW. Image: Wally Bitar.

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. Josh Bergamin
Club: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs; 2017 TOTW selections: 0.
12 total runs, 215 total metres, 1 linebreak, 3 tackle breaks, 2 tries

Livewire Bulldogs fullback Josh Bergamin earns his first start in the 2017 Intrust Super Premiership NSW Team of the Week on the back of an eye-catching performance in his side’s win over the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles at Belmore. The nippy number one proved a tough man for the Sea Eagles defence to keep under wraps, breaking tackles at will, and going over for a double in the 42-30 win.

2. George Jennings
Club: Wentworthville Magpies; 2017 TOTW selections: 5.
16 total runs, 209 total metres, 5 tackle breaks, 3 linebreaks, 1 linebreak assist, 1 try

Hard-to-handle Magpies winger George Jennings impressed at every time of asking in Wentworthville’s big win over the Wests Tigers in Round 20. In a dominant display from go-to-woe, Jennings’ combination with his inside man in Kirisome Auva’a proved lethal in the Magpies’ 46-10 win at Ringrose Park. In a rich vein of form, the selection in the Round 20 Intrust Super Premiership NSW Team of the Week is Jennings’ forth inside the last six rounds.

3. Reubenn Rennie
Club: Newtown Jets; 2017 TOTW selections: 2.
17 total runs, 174 total metres Inc. 77 post-contact metres, 10 tackle breaks, 1 try

Newtown centre Reubenn Rennie was rewarded for his efforts with a second-half try against the Warriors, though only after turning in a barnstorming performance on the Jets’ right-edge. Accruing a remarkable 10 tackle breaks in the side’s 26-point win, Rennie earns entry to the Team of the Week – his third selection this season.

4. Kirisome Auva’a
Club: Wentworthville Magpies; 2017 TOTW selections: 2.
16 total runs, 160 total metres, 3 linebreak assists, 4 offloads, 1 try assist

Powerful Wentworthville centre Kirisome Auva’a was a potent force in the Magpies’ one-sided affair with the Wests Tigers at Ringrose Park. A feature on the left edge inside rangy winger George Jennings, Auva’a put his outside man into space time, and time again, to leave the Tigers languishing at the foot of the Intrust Super Premiership NSW ladder. The selection in the Round 20 Team of the Week is the third entry for the 2014 NRL Premiership winner, this season.

5. Thomas Cronan
Club: Newcastle Knights; 2017 TOTW selections: 0.
18 total runs, 207 total metres, 1 tackle bust, 1 try, 19 tackles

It was a dashing snatch-and-grab effort from Newcastle winger Thomas Cronan which had the Knights back in the thick of the contest in their match-up with the Bears at the North Sydney Oval. The run – which lead to an eventual try – was one of 18 by Cronan in his side’s two-point loss to the Bears, which in all, totaled more than 200 metres. Sound in defence also, Cronan put together 19 tackles before the Knights fell at the final hurdle – an 80th minute penalty goal consigning the Novocastrians to a disappointing loss in Round 20.

6. Josh Cleeland
Club: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs; 2017 TOTW selections: 4.
8 total runs, 145 total metres, 9 tackle breaks, 3 linebreaks, 3 tries

It seems a matter of when – not if – Bulldogs five-eighth Josh Cleeland makes the rise from the Intrust Super Premiership NSW competition to the NRL, so if his Round 20 efforts are a sign of the pivot’s true abilities. Running in three tries of his own in the Bulldogs’ 42-30 win over the Sea Eagles, Cleeland looked a class above as the Canterbury-Bankstown side shored up their place in the Premiership’s top four.

7. Darren Nicholls
Club: Penrith Panthers; 2017 TOTW selections: 4.
11 total runs, 80 total metres, 2 linebreak assists, 2 try assists, 5 tackle breaks, 8 from 8 conversions

Commanding the spotlight in the Panthers’ 48-18 win over Illawarra in Penrith, Darren Nicholls earns his third Intrust Super Premiership NSW Team of the Week entry in as many weeks, coinciding with his side’s race up the competition ladder.  An ever-present in everything positive that the Panthers churned out against Illawarra, Nicholls played a hand in two tries while remaining flawless from the kicking tee, slotting eight conversions from as many attempts. Guiding the Panthers into second on the ISP NSW ladder, Nicholls now heads the competition for points scored, with 135 to his name this season.

8. Magnus Stromquist
Club: Wentworthville Magpies; 2017 TOTW selections: 1.
23 total runs, 171 total metres Inc. 73 post-contact metres, 3 tackle breaks, 29 tackles

In a textbook, work-horse performance against the Wests Tigers, Wentworthville’s Magnus Stromquist takes his place in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW Team of the Week for Round 20. Laying the platform for Magpies’ halves pairing Jeff Robson and Troy Dargan to work on the back of, it was the efforts of Stromquist and his fellow forward pack members that set the tone in the side’s landslide win over the last-placed Tigers on Sunday (24 July).  

9. Adam Clydsdale
Club: Newtown Jets; 2017 TOTW selections: 0.
5 total runs, 1 try, 2 try assists, 1 linebreak assist, 30 tackles

A mid-season recruit from Mounties, Newtown hooker Adam Clydsdale was solid on both sides of the ball in the Jets’ 26-point win over the Warriors at Henson Park in Round 20. Clydsdale crossed for an early try to consolidate the Jets lead before laying on a try for fellow Team of the Week member Reubenn Rennie with a deft kick behind the NZ defensive line. The Jets will be hoping for much of the same from the rake in the coming weeks, as the side continues its push towards a berth in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW finals series.

10. Liam Knight
Club: Mounties; 2017 TOTW selections: 0.
20 total runs, 184 total metres, 4 tackle breaks, 21 tackles, 2 offloads

A feature in Mounties surprise, 41-point upset over league-leaders the Wyong Roos, Liam Knight got the better of his former teammates in the nine-tries-to-two win at Morry Breen Reserve. Bending the Roos’ defensive line back at every opportunity, Knight ensured he – and his new club mates at the Mounties – walked away with the bragging rights over the Premiership favourites.

11. Rhyse Martin
Club: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs; 2017 TOTW selections: 5.
13 total runs, 103 total metres, 44 tackles, 2 tackle breaks, 7 from 7 conversions.

A mainstay in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW Team of the Week, Rhyse Martin earns his sixth appearance for the 2017 season on the back of another trademark effort in his side’s win over the Sea Eagles in Round 20. A defensive powerhouse with a big motor, Martin capitalised on the good work of the Bulldogs’ try scorers, slotting seven goals from as many attempts in the 42-30 points-fest at Belmore.

12. Sam Tagataese
Club: Newtown Jets; 2017 TOTW selections: 0.
15 total runs, 152 total metres, 2 linebreaks, 2 tries, 6 tackle breaks, 21 tackles, 0 missed tackles

‘Slammin’ Sam Tagataese was at his hard-running best in the Jets’ win over the Warriors, breaking the line at will and crossing for a double in the side’s seven-tries-to-two win at Henson Park. Alongside his brace, perhaps a statistic more pleasing to coach Greg Matterson – and Cronulla Sharks’ head coach Shane Flanagan – was Tagataese’s work in defence. 21 tackles made, for zero misses, shows the big man’s mind was on the job for all his 58 minutes spent on the field on Saturday (23 July).

13. Scott Sorensen (C)
Club: Mounties; 2017 TOTW selections: 4.
17 total runs, 201 total metres, 2 tries, 1 try assist, 3 linebreak assists, 15 tackles, 0 missed tackles

An impressive performance in both attack and defence earns Mounties’ back-rower Scott Sorenson the mantle of ‘Captain’ in the Round 20 Intrust Super Premiership NSW Team of the Week. Crossing for a double in his side’s 41-point win over the Roos, Sorensen’s efforts set the tone for his teammates to follow – and that they did – running in another seven tries to partner the Raiders-contracted forward’s brace.

INTERCHANGE

14. Joseph Paulo
Club: Newtown Jets; 2017 TOTW selections: 0.
7 total runs, 57 total metres, 1 try, 2 try assists, 2 linebreak assists, 12 tackles

‘Mr. Versatile’ for both the Newtown Jets and the Cronulla Sharks this season, natural footballer Joseph Paulo again showed his wares at the weekend, playing the pivot role in the Jets’ win over the Warriors at Henson Park. Taking it upon himself to steer the Jets’ in the absence of regular number six Fa’amanu Brown, Paulo laid on two tries, and crossed for one of his own, all before slotting four goals from six attempts from the kicking tee.

15. Joseph Ualesi
Club: Wentworthville Magpies; 2017 TOTW selections: 0.
15 total runs, 186 total metres, 3 tackle breaks, 20 tackles

Much alike his front-rower partner Magnus Stromquist, Joseph Ualesi earns selection in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW Team of the Week for the work done in providing the side’s outside backs space to cross for points. With metres and space at their offering, the Magpies’ outside backs capitalised, running in nine-tries-to-two over a disappointing Wests Tigers outfit at Ringrose Park.

16. Marata Niukore
Club: Wentworthville Magpies; 2017 TOTW selections: 2.
14 total runs, 150 total metres, 1 try assist, 2 linebreak assists, 3 tackle breaks, 23 tackles, 1 offload

Much of the credit behind Wentworthville’s 20-0 half-time lead over the Wests Tigers – although not reflected on the scorer’s sheet – can be accredited to the work of Marata Niukore, who put together sensational numbers in the side’s 36-point win at Ringrose Park. Niukore joins four other Magpies in the Round 20 Intrust Super Premiership NSW Team of the Week, an indication of the dominant effort turned in by Wentworthville.

17. Bill Cullen
Club: Mounties; 2017 TOTW selections: 0.
19 total runs, 189 total metres, 3 tackle breaks, 14 tackles

The numbers speak for themselves for Mounties’ lock-forward Bill Cullen, who churned out a mountain of work inside his 54 minutes on the field against the Roos. Cullen played a perfect foil to teammate, and ISP NSW Team of the Week captain Scott Sorensen, in the Mounties’ 41-point win over the Roos at Morry Breen Reserve.

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.

 

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.