You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content

Each week, the 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 - Brad Abbey
Club: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.

180 total metres, three line-breaks, six tackle-breaks, one try-assist, one try.
Now in his second year at the Bulldogs, Junior Kiwis representative Abbey started his season in impressive fashion with a superb all-round performance from the back. While the visitors fell short of defeating Mounties - largely due to a round-high 20 errors in the wet conditions - Abbey held his own and will hope to continue his improvement.

2 - Dale Copley
Club: Wyong Roos.

137 total metres, six tackle-breaks, three tries.
While Dale Copley has reportedly been shopped around by NRL club the Roosters, he showed no signs of being put off by the news in his Round 1 outing for the Roos. Thanks in part to some good service by returning centre Josh Mantellato - who himself is unlucky to miss out on the Team of the Week - the former Bronco bagged a second-half hat-trick and would have had a fourth if not for a regrettable fumble late in the first half.

3 - Reubenn Rennie
Club: Mounties.

124 total metres, one try-assist, one try.
Against his former club, Reubenn Rennie was a key part of Mounties' 22-14 victory over the Bulldogs, scoring a crucial first-half try to give his side a 10-8 lead at the break. Rennie showed early signs that he will fit into a strong Mounties back line nicely.

4 - Robert Jennings
Club: North Sydney Bears.

159 total metres, one try-assist, two line-breaks, two tries.
Another club debutant to make the weekend's best 17, Jennings continually threatened the Wentworthville defence as the Bears held on to a 32-24 victory. Bagging a double and setting up outside man Braidon Burns for a try, Jennings was impressive for his new club in difficult conditions.

5 - Braidon Burns
Club: North Sydney Bears.

146 total metres, five tackle-breaks, two tries.
Burns made sure his first outing in North Sydney colours was a success, notching up a classy double thanks to a slick combination with Jennings. The former Panther, who also scored twice for the Rabbitohs in the pre-season Charity Shield, has done everything he can to secure a first grade position at South Sydney - and with the long-term injury of Greg Inglis, it might just be between he and Jennings for that spot this week.

6 - Cameron Cullen
Club: Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles.

151 total metres, two try-assists, two line-breaks, four tackle-breaks, one try.
While the Sea Eagles couldn't get the chocolates in their first game as the joint venture, it wasn't through lack of trying from Cameron Cullen. The former Titan was in everything during his 80 minutes, combining well with Jonathan Wright to set him up for two tries. A piece of individual brilliance from dummy-half saw Cullen cross for the side's third as he thoroughly impressed the Blacktown crowd.

7 - Mason Lino
Club: Warriors.

Three try-assists, two tackle-breaks, 14 kicks, eight goals.
The Warriors captain, who was close to making the 2016 Intrust Super Premiership NSW Team of the Year, picked up where he left off with a stunning performance for the New Zealand side. The Warriors ran out to an insurmountable 42-4 half-time lead and Lino was a big part of the scoreline, setting up three tries and slotting eight of his nine conversion attempts. If this game is to be an indication of the 2017 season, Lino will be a major ingredient in the Warriors' success.

8 - Alex Twal
Club: Wentworthville Magpies.

20 total runs, 193 total metres, 36 tackles.
Twal finished second for the round in the total metres category, with a big 60 minutes against the Bears. The 20-year-old was a workhorse in the Magpies pack, which is exactly what the team needed in the conditions, but unfortunately couldn't quite get it done against the men from North Sydney.

9 - Mitch Rein
Club: Penrith Panthers.

10 dummy-half runs, two try-assists, three line-break-assists, three tackle-breaks, 42 tackles.
Rein arrived back at his old stomping ground of UOW Jubilee Oval in Round 1, but it might not have been how he anticipated; signed with the expectation of a first grade spot at the Panthers, the former Dragon found himself playing in the Intrust Super Premiership. As the visitors overcame Illawarra 28-6, Rein was a class above in both attack and defence, which will help his chances of a first grade selection next week.

10 - Kelepi Tanginoa
Club: Wentworthville Magpies.

135 total metres, five tackle-breaks, one line-break, one try.
Tanginoa partners teammate Twal in the starting front row this week, in what was a pleasing outing for the Magpies forwards. They might not have got the two competition points, but Tanginoa helped his side with an important try early, barging his way over to initially tie things up at Ringrose Park. The 23-year-old followed up with a solid outing in attack and defence as the Magpies went down 32-24.

11 - Corey Harawira-Naera
Club: Penrith Panthers.

128 total metres, one try-assist, four tackle-breaks, three offloads, 28 tackles.
Harawira-Naera combined well with new second row partner Jed Cartwright, who was the beneficiary off a well-timed offload in the first half to score on debut. The 21-year-old has now been in the side for some time but showed how important he is to the Panthers' hopes in 2017.

12 - Jamil Hopoate
Club: Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles.

161 total metres, three tackle-breaks, two offloads, 33 tackles.
Hopoate was particularly hard to handle against the Jets yesterday with some damaging runs regularly getting the Sea Eagles on the front foot. An 80-minute game was very promising for the second-rower, who has already gone close to breaking through to first grade at Manly.

13 - Zane Tetevano (c)
Club: Wyong Roos.

24 total runs, 261 total metres, 99 post-contact metres, two tackle-breaks, three offloads, 32 tackles.
With by far the largest metre tally of Round 1 - Tetevano ran for 68 more metres than Alex Twal, who was second - Tetevano earns the captaincy in the first Intrust Super Premiership NSW Team of the Week. In 80 minutes, Tetevano was a workhorse and also registered a big effort in defence, clearly displaying why he was the judged Lock of the Year in 2016. The former Knight is on an NRL contract with the Roosters this season and you can expect him to be used in the top grade at some stage.


14 - Mitch Cornish
Club: Wyong Roos.

Three try-assists, two line-break-assists, 359 kicking metres.
The Roos might have farewelled former halfback Tyler Cornish this season, but they welcomed his older brother to the no.7 jersey in 2017. Cornish was impressive in his Wyong debut and kicked further than anyone else in Round 1, with coach Rip Taylor lauding his efforts with the boot in wet conditions. The older Cornish is always up there as one of the competition's premier halves and early signs are that 2017 will be no different.

15 - Eloni Vunakece
Club: Wyong Roos.

160 total metres, 24 tackles.
It is rare that a player named on the Team of the Week bench will actually have started on the sidelines that weekend, but that is the case for Eloni Vunakece. The Wyong prop spent 42 minutes on the park and contributed greatly with and without the football as his side put on a second-half demolition of the Tigers.

16 - James Gavet
Club: Warriors.

163 total metres, 19 tackles.
Gavet is certainly an NRL-standard prop and while he might not have stood out during the Warriors' dismantling of the Knights' defence, he was an important part of their Round 1 success. The big man was second only to fullback Matt Allwood in metres made.

17 - Tony Williams
Club: Newtown Jets.

133 total metres, five tackle-breaks, 21 tackles.
The upcoming season is an important one for Williams, who finds himself at Newtown after spending four seasons at Canterbury-Bankstown. T-Rex was relegated to the Intrust Super Premiership NSW at various points last season, but will need to work his way back up to regain his status as a valuable NRL starter. It was a solid first outing in Jets colours, albeit one which featured three errors - the NSW True Blue will need to work on this if he is to pin down a spot for the Sharks.

For full stats reports from Round 1, click here