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 6.
1 – Eddie Aiono (Mounties)
Despite playing on the wing, Aiono needed to be shifted in what is a star-studded back line in the Round 6 Team Of The Week. The former Panther ran for 192 metres in Mounties’ victory and his game-high eight tackle breaks tell the story of a frequently-broken Wentworthville defence. In a wide open game he was perhaps only outshone by opposite wing man, Kato Ottio.
2 – Dominic Reardon (Wyong Roos)
Reardon played at centre for the Roos, but like Aiono is involved in a reshuffle to get all five outstanding outside backs into the team. Notching up a cool 207 metres with the ball, the 24-year-old set up the first of Wyong’s five tries, made two line breaks and broke six tackles. While defence is an area of improvement, Reardon did all he could with the football to get the Roos within reach of former club the Sea Eagles.
3 – Brayden Williame (Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles)
It is hard to look past Williame’s tally of four tries against the Roos on Saturday; the Sea Eagles centre is the first to notch up a quadruple so far in the 2016 Intrust Super Premiership NSW. Making the feat even more incredible, Williame sits on the cusp of an unwanted NRL record – having lost all 13 of his first grade matches to date, one more will be the worst start to a career in history. After that effort, the 23-year-old might get the chance for a 14th game sooner rather than later.
4 – Malakai Watene-Zelezniak (Penrith Panthers)
Watene-Zelezniak was on fire for the Panthers, crossing for a hat-trick as they beat the Knights in Newcastle. The centre was the go-to man in a lot of Penrith’s attacking raids, on the end of some good service to get the triple. It was a great weekend for the Watene-Zelezniak family – older brother Dallin also crossed for a double in the Panthers’ NRL defeat to the Cowboys.
5 – Kato Ottio (Mounties, third appearance)
Ottio was just as involved as Aiono, but his 18 runs cracked the 200 metre mark this week. It earns the former PNG volleyball representative a third consecutive selection, as he also crossed for two tries to maintain his standing as the competition’s leading tryscorer. It now must be a question of when, not if, Ottio earns his NRL debut.
6 – Feleti Mateo (Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, captain)
Mateo had been identified as a major threat by Roos coach Joe Grima in the lead-up to their Round 6 match and after being named as the starting five-eighth he proved why. His 170 metres were the second-most in that game, while he also made four offloads, four tackle busts, two line break assists and scored his own brilliant try in the win. He and halves partner Pita Godinet were dominant for 80 minutes, earning Mateo the captaincy for this week.
7 – Sam Williams (Mounties)
Williams was, as expected, the go-to man for the slick Mounties attack and is our Man Of The Round for Round 6. The 25-year-old showed his experience throughout the contest, putting in 12 kicks which were frequently pin-point as the visitors applied pressure on the Magpies’ line.
8 – Lloyd Perrett (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
Perrett’s 159 metres and 39 tackles have him as the best Bulldog in Round 6. The prop, who has played all 24 of his NRL games from the bench, was relegated to the Intrust Super Premiership NSW on Friday night, but ran hard to bust four tackles and come up with three offloads.
9 – Mitch Williams (Wyong Roos, second appearance)
Williams will be disappointed with the loss but was still solid in a beaten side on Saturday. With reduced minutes once again, the Roos skipper still made 33 tackles and set up two tries in the defeat – impressive given he ran the ball himself just twice.
10 – Clay Priest (Mounties)
Priest’s 154 metres was the most by a forward in Mounties’ win, coming from 17 runs. While Wentworthville’s defence appeared tired and slow-paced right from kick-off, the prop played a typically strong and hard game and didn’t allow the opposition pack to dominate at any point in the contest. Priest has been an unsung hero in a very impressive Mounties side.
11 – Shaun Lane (New Zealand Warriors, second appearance)
Lane has appeared once thus far in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW Team Of The Week – that was back in Round 1, wearing Bulldogs colours. The mid-season swap between Lane and Raymond Faitala-Mariner saw the giant second-rower debut for the Warriors last weekend against the Bears, running hard and frequently looking for opportunities to break through the North Sydney defence. The 21-year-old has his sights set on more NRL game time this year – NSWRL.com.au spoke to Lane after the Warriors’ victory.
12 – Jai Ingram (Wyong Roos, second appearance)
Ingram earns a second call-up to the Team Of The Week with 122 metres and a massive 12 tackle breaks. Most importantly, Ingram bagged a double including a show of sheer strength to score his second. The second-rower has been improving every week for the Wyong side.
13 – Kaysa Pritchard (Wentworthville Magpies)
With the return of Nathan Peats to the Parramatta Eels in Round 6, Pritchard returned from his NRL stint in impressive fashion – earning two line breaks and notching up 29 tackles. While he was named at lock, Pritchard played most of the game in the more familiar position of hooker, darting over from dummy-half to score the Magpies’ first and get them back within reach in the shadows of half-time. The best in a disappointing Magpies outfit on Saturday.
14 – Josh Cleeland (Newtown Jets, second appearance)
Cleeland is judged the utility in the Round 6 Team Of The Week after an outstanding display for the Jets on Friday night. The five-eighth’s two line breaks and two tries don’t even go part of the way to describing how involved he was; he was disallowed another two tries earlier in the game, while an unlucky bounce stopped him from setting up Jacob Gagan in the first half. It was his second try that sealed the win for Newtown at the death.
15 – Zane Tetevano (Wyong Roos, fourth appearance)
Tetevano’s fourth consecutive Team Of The Week appearance now has him as one of the form players in the competition; the Round 5 Man Of The Round ran another 148 metres and busted four tackles in a strong 74-minute performance, also sending Ingram over to score his first try.
16 – Addin Fonua-Blake (Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, third appearance)
Fonua-Blake’s 150 metres in just 45 minutes sees him make the bench of the Team Of The Week alongside Round 6 opposite number Tetevano. The promising young prop busted three tackles and offloaded twice, providing much-needed impact to the Sea Eagles who went on to beat the Roos.
17 – Tyrone Peachey (Penrith Panthers)
Peachey was relegated to the Intrust Super Premiership NSW for the first time this year and sent a strong message to selectors. The 24-year-old started in the second row and stamped his influence on the game through some strong runs – one of which brought a try in the final quarter.
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