VB Blues Team Of The Week | Round 4
Each week of the NRL season, the NSWRL.com.au staff writers will have their say on the round's best performing New South Welshmen. These are based entirely on the opinions of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSWRL or the State of Origin selection process.
1 - Tom Trbojevic
Club: Manly Sea Eagles; Origin appearances: 0; 2017 TOTW selections: 1.
199 total metres, two line-breaks, four tackle-breaks, one try.
In Round 2, Trbojevic made the VB Blues Team of the Week on the back of a standout performance in a losing side. Since then the Sea Eagles have experienced a remarkable resurgence to hand heavy defeats to both the Cowboys and Bulldogs, but the fullback has remained among the side's best. Trbojevic made life miserable for the Canterbury-Bankstown men with another big metre tally and two line-breaks, while he enjoyed a relatively quiet day in defence, forced to make just two tackles. He marginally beats Josh Dugan, who was also strong in Round 4, to the no.1 selection.
2 - Daniel Tupou
Club: Sydney Roosters; Origin appearances: 4; 2017 TOTW selections: 1.
113 total metres, two line-breaks, one try.
In his 100th NRL game against traditional rivals South Sydney, Daniel Tupou stepped up. Points were hard to come by in a match derailed by rain and wind, but it was the work out of his own half that earns Tupou his position in the VB Blues team of the week. He was rewarded for his efforts, and his milestone, in the 57th minute, when Latrell Mitchell put him over for a try.
3 - Joseph Leilua
Club: Canberra Raiders; Origin appearances: 0; 2017 TOTW selections: 1.
154 total metres, one try-assist, five tackle-breaks.
There's little doubt that Kiwi Jordan Rapana was among the Raiders' best as they fell one point short of the Broncos, but as usual his inside man was a big part of that. A fantastic flick pass from Leilua provided Rapana's try as the Green Machine clawed their way back in the second half, while he was also hard to handle when in possession.
4 - Latrell Mitchell
Club: Sydney Roosters; Origin appearances: 0; 2017 TOTW selections: 2.
One try-assist, one line-break, one try.
Latrell Mitchell has transitioned from fullback to centre with ease, putting in yet another great performance against South Sydney on Thursday night. He opened the Roosters’ account with a try, was a threat for the entire game, and set up Daniel Tupou for the final try of the match in his 100th NRL game.
5 - Brian Kelly
Club: Manly Sea Eagles; Origin appearances: 0; 2017 TOTW selections: 0.
One line-break, 11 tackles, two tackle-breaks, two tries.
In just his fourth NRL game, Brian Kelly proved why he has long been on the NSWRL Pathways radar; the Ballina Seagulls junior scored a brace of tries as the Sea Eagles destroyed the Bulldogs. The double takes Kelly's tally to four in as many matches, meaning he is clearly a go-to man for the Manly side. As the only player to ever score four tries in an Under-20s State of Origin match, Kelly's try-scoring prowess is well known and will figure heavily in the Sea Eagles' chances this year.