Every week of the Intrust Super Premiership, NSWRL.com.au picks the best-performers of the previous round. Here’s who impressed us the most in Round 4.
1 – Mitch Brown (Newtown Jets)
Moved to fullback in a pre-game reshuffle, Brown was dominant and a significant factor in the Jets’ 22-4 half-time lead. He had a hand in Newtown’s opening two tries, which included a perfect cut-out ball to set up the first, and also ran for 148 metres. It wasn’t an ideal game with the boot, kicking just one from six conversion attempts, but it mattered little as the Jets beat the Sea Eagles.
2 – Ken Maumalo (New Zealand Warriors)
After the Roos raced out to a 36-nil half-time lead, there was little hope for the Warriors in the second half, but Maumalo contributed significantly to a valiant fight-back for a more respectable 36-20 full-time scoreline. The winger scored a treble in the second stanza, including two speedy efforts to chase down kicks late in the game. A running tally of 141 metres from three line-breaks also confirmed Maumalo as the best in a losing side.
3 – Matt Allwood (New Zealand Warriors)
Allwood was even more involved than Maumalo, running 13 times and breaking six tackles to make 127 metres. He laid on one of Allwood’s line-breaks and combined beautifully in the second half; the Warriors’ left-edge attack was effective in attack and not necessarily the biggest issue in defence as the team leaked 32 points.
4 – Chance Peni (Wests Tigers)
Peni has been unlucky not to be selected in previous weeks; his accurate reading of opposition defences has been overshadowed by the brilliance of Josh Addo-Carr and Watson Heleta. It was the centre’s turn this week as he came up with two impressive try assists to Jayden Wheelhouse and looked dangerous at all times with the ball.
5 – Kato Ottio (Mounties)
Like Peni, Ottio had come close to making the Team Of The Week in the competition’s opening three rounds, but another great performance finally earns him a selection in Round 4. The Papua New Guinea International showed incredible acrobatics to pluck a Maurice Kennedy kick from the air and score Mounties’ third try, also running a massive 218 from a huge 17 runs. Ottio broke 7 tackles in a very strong game in attack.
6 – Omar Slaimankhel (Wyong Roos)
In a very unfamiliar five-eighth position, Slaimankhel was impressive with more involvement defensively and 12 runs with the ball. He scored a nice try in the first half against former club the Warriors, as the entire Roos attack looked like a well-oiled machine. It will be interesting to see where the 24-year-old is named for Wyong’s Round 5 clash with the Bulldogs.
7 – Arana Taumata (Newtown Jets, captain)
Taumata was moved to halfback before the game with Fa’amanu Brown relegated to bench and his performance as a ball-running half earns the captaincy. The NRL journeyman made 121 metres – outstanding for any first-receiver – through two line-breaks, scoring a try and also setting up one. After numerous NRL chances, the 26-year-old suggested he still has what it takes to compete in the top grade.
8 – Luke Bateman (Mounties, second appearance)
Bateman was the Man Of The Match in Mounties’ victory, having run the ball 16 times for 183 metres. The starting prop was aggressive with the football and made two line-breaks - one of which resulted in a four-pointer next to the posts. Along with his 27 tackles it was the huge performance that we’ve come to expect from the 21-year-old.
9 – Hugh Pratt (Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles)
The Sea Eagles hooker was once again impressive in the side’s loss, making 34 tackles and busting five. Two of Pratt’s four dummy-half runs resulted in tries and gave the home side a fighting chance against the Jets; while his NRL prospects remain bleak he is performing strongly in the second grade.
10 – Daniel Alvaro (Wentworthville Magpies, second appearance)
Alvaro was close to earning the captaincy with his second selection in the competition’s best-17, thanks to a massive 21 carries, 216 tackles and 50 tackles. It is the first time a player has cracked the half-century in this year’s Intrust Super Premiership NSW and particularly incredible for a prop; it seems inevitable that Alvaro will add to his eight NRL appearances in 2016.
11 – Addin Fonua-Blake (Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, second appearance)
Even a sin-bin couldn’t prevent Fonua-Blake from making his second Team Of The Week, as he ran for 192 metres from his team-high 14 runs. The second-rower was destructive with the ball, earning a line-break and making 27 tackles. The 10-minute stint on the sideline for fighting puts a small dampener on what was otherwise one of the best individual efforts in the game.
12 – Chris Lewis (Illawarra Cutters)
Lewis earns a surprise selection in this week’s side by bagging two four-pointers. Elevated to the starting second row in a late change, Lewis busted five tackles, broke the line twice and set up another line-break through some outstanding support play.
13 – John Palavi (New Zealand Warriors)
The Warriors lock worked particularly hard in Round 4, with 39 tackles and 155 metres to show for it. It wasn’t enough to earn his side the victory, but with a quartet of tackle breaks he also kept fighting throughout the entirety of his 80 minutes.
14 – Eli Levido (North Sydney Bears)
North Sydney’s second-half fightback was largely thanks to their halfback Levido, who injected life into the scoreless Bears from half-time. The diminutive number seven had a try assist, line break and late try from a beautiful show-and-go – but perhaps his most memorable moment was a monster hit on Mounties big man Mitch Barnett, which forced an error.
15 – Mitch Barnett (Mounties, second appearance)
Unlucky not to be named Man Of The Match in Mounties’ victory, Barnett was typically outstanding for the home side. The 21-year-old ran 215 metres from a game-high 19 carries, including six tackle-breaks, a line-break, a line-break assist and a barnstorming try to open the scoring. One of Mounties’ best in season 2016.
16 – Zane Tetevano (Wyong Roos, second appearance)
The Wyong prop provided positive go-forward to give his side the ascendency early, notching up 138 metres and busting two tackles. Tetevano also made 20 tackles and laid on a first-half try to give the Roos an insurmountable first half lead.
17 – Luke Yates (Newcastle Knights)
Yates notched up 39 tackles in the side’s victory, as the Knights held the Magpies scoreless in the second half to fight back to a full-time lead. Six tackle-busts and 11 supports add to what was a strong performance with and without the ball.
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