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. This is the Team of the Week selected from Round 9, prior to the Intrust Super Premiership NSW Residents' loss to Queensland.

1 – Luke Sharpe
Club: Wyong Roos; 2017 TOTW selections: 1.

One line-break-assist, one line-break, seven tackle-breaks, one try.
As the top two teams in the competition battled it out at Mt Smart Stadium, six players from the game find themselves in the Round 9 Team of the Week – and first on that list is Roos fullback Luke Sharpe. The Doonside-turned-Wyong Roo was dynamic at the back for his side, earning a second selection in the competition’s best 17.

2 – Chris Centrone
Club: Wyong Roos; 2017 TOTW selections: 1.

11 total runs, 165 total metres, one try-assist, three line-breaks, six tackle-breaks, one try.
Centrone is the second Roo to make the Team of the Week and was also rewarded for his early-season form with an Intrust Super Premiership NSW Residents selection. The winger was dangerous almost every time he touched the ball on Sunday, frequently streaking down the left touch line – resulting in one try for himself and another for inside man Latrell Mitchell.

3 – Latrell Mitchell
Club: Wyong Roos; 2017 TOTW selections: 0.

One line-break, six tackle-breaks, 12 tackles, two tries.
After a solid, but not game-changing performance in his Intrust Super Premiership NSW debut the week previously against the Newtown Jets, Mitchell hit his straps nicely in his second hit-out in the competition. With the hard task of taking on the competition leaders, Mitchell scored a double; his first came from some nice work by Centrone but his second required sheer strength to get across the line in the second half. To top it off, Mitchell pulled off a vitally important tackle at the game’s death, preventing a potential Warriors comeback.

4 – Watson Heleta (c)
Club: Wests Tigers; 2017 TOTW selections: 0.

21 total runs, 181 total metres, one try-assist, one line-break-assist, five line-breaks, 15 tackle-breaks, one offload, four tries.
While Heleta fought off tough competition in halfback Rankin for the Team of the Week captaincy, he was named the player of the round following a simply outstanding game against the Knights. The numbers speak for themselves as the utility back scored four tries and laid on another in a dominant win at Leichhardt Oval.

5 – Manu Vatuvei
Club: Warriors; 2017 TOTW selections: 0.

15 total runs, 176 total metres, one line-break, seven tackle-breaks, one try.
In and out of the Intrust Super Premiership NSW in recent times, Vatuvei was after a strong showing to get back into the top grade – and might have just done so with a good game against the Roos. Initially bumping off Johnny Tuivasa-Sheck for an early try which was vintage Vatuvei, the Warriors club legend was hard to handle for the duration and a valuable asset for the home side.

6 – Josh Cleeland
Club: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs; 2017 TOTW selections: 1.

Nine total runs, 107 total metres, one line-break-assist, one line-break, five tackle-breaks, one offload, 16 tackles, one try.
After taking out the Intrust Super Premiership Five-Eighth of the Year title in 2016, Cleeland had only made the Team of the Week once in the opening eight rounds – but a good game against Mounties earns him a second in Round 9. He had a solid all-round performance as the Bulldogs just went down to a classy Mounties side at ANZ Stadium.

7 – Jordan Rankin
Club: Wests Tigers; 2017 TOTW selections: 0.

10 total runs, 113 total metres, one line-break, one tackle-break, 370 kick metres, one try, seven goals.
The Tigers halfback was second only to Heleta as the best on ground for the Tigers, racking up an exceptional 18 points and putting the Knights to the sword. Rankin performed well with the boot both in and out of general play; he kicked for 370 metres during the game and also slotted seven conversions from as many attempts in Round 9, in addition to a first-half try.

8 – Alex Twal
Club: Wentworthville Magpies; 2017 TOTW selections: 2.

15 total runs, 176 total metres, three tackle-breaks, 37 tackles.
Fast becoming one of the form props in the competition in line with a vastly improved Magpies side, Twal had a strong defensive workload and big running metres once again for Nathan Cayless’s men. He is the first of three Wentworthville forwards to crack 170 running metres, with all three making the competition’s best 17 this week.

9 – Sam Cook
Club: Warriors; 2017 TOTW selections: 0.

One line-break, two tackle-breaks, one offload, 34 tackles, one try.
Cook is judged the competition’s best hooker in Round 9, despite his Warriors narrowly going down to the Roos on Sunday morning. Catching the Wyong defence napping to score an important try, the no.9 was dynamic and still held his own defensively in the Warriors’ middle third.

10 – David Gower
Club: Wentworthville Magpies; 2017 TOTW selections: 0.

17 total runs, 172 total metres, one tackle-break, three offloads, 33 tackles.
While the Intrust Super Premiership NSW Residents side would have been the goal for many players last weekend, Gower went one better; the prop was selected for Brad Fittler’s KARI City Origin side to take on VB Country Origin one final time on Sunday afternoon. The selection highlight’s Gower’s class and he partner’s teammate Twal in the Team of the Week front row as the Magpies forwards ensured a victory over the Jets.

11 – Rhyse Martin
Club: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs; 2017 TOTW selections: 2.

17 total runs, 149 total metres, three tackle-breaks, 27 tackles, one try, two goals.
Martin continues to impress for the Bulldogs and was good again in what was the side’s most impressive losing effort of 2017 so far. A tally of 149 running metres and 27 tackles is solid, with the second-rower also crashing over to level scores with Mounties in the first half.

12 – Scott Sorensen
Club: Mounties; 2017 TOTW selections: 0.

15 total runs, 156 total metres, two try-assists, one line-break-assist, two line-breaks, six tackle-breaks, three offloads, 32 tackles.
Sorensen was certainly among the best on the field at ANZ Stadium on Saturday afternoon and for a second-rower was one of the most creative players of the weekend. Laying on two tries and still making 32 tackles, Sorensen may have been the difference as the men from Mount Pritchard downed the ’Dogs 20-16.

13 – Paul Carter
Club: Wyong Roos; 2017 TOTW selections: 1.

18 total runs, 197 total metres, one line-break-assist, four tackle-breaks, four offloads, 34 tackles.
Along with Mitchell and Vatuvei Carter is yet another NRL regular who played a very good game for Wyong on Sunday. With a first half that kept the Roos firmly in the contest, the former Rabbitohs forward was on fire in attack and defence, also running further than any other player in Round 9.

INTERCHANGE

14 – Te Maire Martin
Club: Penrith Panthers; 2017 TOTW selections: 0.

15 total runs, 111 total metres, one try-assist, two line-break-assists, four tackle-breaks, one offload, 20 tackles.
Returning from a neck injury via the Panthers’ Intrust Super Premiership NSW outfit, Martin did so in ideal fashion as he eyes off an NRL call-up. Laying on a try in the Panthers’ 28-12 victory, the former Junior Kiwi showed signs of full fitness which is pleasing for Penrith fans.

15 – Marata Niukore
Club: Wentworthville Magpies; 2017 TOTW selections: 1.

15 total runs, 173 total metres, seven tackles, 29 tackles.
Niukore is the third Magpies forward to make the Team of the Week with a similarly impressive showing at Ringrose Park. As Wentworthville ran almost 300 more metres than Round 9 combatants Newtown – and missed just 19 tackles, the lowest of the round – Niukore was a big part of that and has helped the side right back into form after a slow start to the year.

16 – Cheyne Whitelaw
Club: North Sydney Bears; 2017 TOTW selections: 4.

21 total runs, 169 total metres, one line-break, three tackle-breaks, 36 tackles, one try.
The second Team of the Week selection to also make the Intrust Super Premiership NSW Residents side, Whitelaw’s place in both is justified; he has been one of the competition’s most consistent defenders while also performing well against Illawarra on the weekend. A try was a bonus for the lock in a good team win.

17 – Jamil Hopoate
Club: Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles; 2017 TOTW selections: 3.

20 total runs, 176 total metres, two tackle-breaks, two offloads, 38 tackles.
It’s a fourth Team of the Week selection for Hopoate, who continues to be one of the Sea Eagles’ best in 2017. Another big metre tally and big tackle count highlighted a typically strong showing for the rampaging Blacktown forward.

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