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.
1 – Dylan Edwards (c)
Club: Penrith Panthers; 2017 TOTW selections: 2.
13 total runs, 138 total metres, one line-break-assist, one line-break, five tackle-breaks, one offload, two tries, five goals.
Edwards earns the Team of the Week captaincy with his second consecutive selection, following a game-winning performance against the Knights on Sunday. Bagging a double and constantly looking a threat, Edwards also continued to take kicking duties over Darren Nicholls, slotting five conversions in the victory.
2 – Bureta Faraimo
Club: Wentworthville Magpies; 2017 TOTW selections: 3.
12 total runs, 115 total metres, two line-breaks, one tackle-break, two tries.
Faraimo extended his lead of the Intrust Super Premiership NSW top try scorers’ list, scoring his 12th and 13th of the season as the Magpies fell just short of overcoming the in-form Warriors. He now sits three ahead of the next best try scorer, Chris Centrone.
3 – Brent Naden
Club: Mounties; 2017 TOTW selections: 1.
10 total runs, 113 total metres, one line-break, six tackle-breaks, one offload, 16 tackles, one try.
With a solid all-round game for Mounties, Naden impressed in the side’s narrow win over the Wests Tigers on Saturday. A try in the 53rd minute was vital, returning Mounties to the lead as they outscored the Tigers 20-18.
4 – Nathan Ross
Club: Newcastle Knights; 2017 TOTW selections: 0.
18 total runs, 152 total metres, five tackle-breaks.
Dropped to the Intrust Super Premiership NSW for disciplinary reasons, Ross made his enthusiasm clear in a losing effort against the Panthers. The Newcastle fan favourite led his side out on Sunday and ran further than any of his teammates, with a performance that is sure to see him return to the top grade when the Knights next play NRL in Round 13.
5 – Moses Leota
Club: Penrith Panthers; 2017 TOTW selections: 1.
17 total runs, 162 total metres, two offloads, 28 tackles.
While he was initially selected on the wing, Leota certainly didn’t play there in what was an obscure Panthers team list to face the Knights in Round 11. Having spent time in the front row this season, Leota had no trouble in muscling up for 28 tackles and providing offloads when necessary as Penrith recorded the most dominant victory of the weekend.
6 – Adam Clune
Club: Illawarra; 2017 TOTW selections: 0.
One try-assist, two line-break-assists, one offload, 15 tackles, one try.
Into the starting five-eighth role since Round 10 to fill the void left by Jai Field, Clune earns a debut in the Team of the Week after a good showing against the Jets. A key figure in Illawarra’s come-from-behind victory, the former NYC half scored a try and set up another at Henson Park.
7 – Will Smith
Club: Wentworthville Magpies; 2017 TOTW selections: 0.
Two try-assists, three line-break-assists, two tackle-breaks.
Credited for two of the Magpies’ three tries, it was an afternoon to remember for Will Smith. While he was a late inclusion to the side, Smith worked well alongside Jamal Fogarty in the two-point defeat.
8 – Alex Twal
Club: Wentworthville Magpies; 2017 TOTW selections: 4.
14 total runs, 124 total metres, one try-assist, one tackle-break, 40 tackles.
Twal is fast becoming the most consistent member of the Intrust Super Premiership NSW Team of the Week following his fourth consecutive selection in the no.8 position. That came due to another fine showing against the Warriors last weekend – while he didn’t match the running metres of previous weeks, he was superb defensively with 40 tackles.
9 – Grant Garvey
Club: Wyong Roos; 2017 TOTW selections: 0.
One try-assist, two offloads, 35 tackles.
Grant Garvey was denied the chance to take on brother Craig in last week’s Intrust Super Premiership NSW clash, with the elder sibling promoted to the NRL – but he took the opportunity to assert himself regardless. While neither the Bulldogs nor the Roos could be split at Belmore Sports Ground, Garvey made 35 tackles and set up a four-pointer to help his side.
10 – Lloyd Perrett
Club: Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles; 2017 TOTW selections: 0.
19 total runs, 182 total metres, two tackle-breaks, two offloads, 29 tackles.
Perrett, the Bulldogs’ Intrust Super Premiership NSW Player of the Year in 2016, earns his first Team of the Week call-up of this season with a good showing in the Sea Eagles’ upset victory. Providing spark in attack and 29 tackles, Perrett was key as the Sea Eagles toppled the Bears at North Sydney Oval.
11 – Rhyse Martin
Club: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs; 2017 TOTW selections: 3.
19 total runs, 187 total metres, seven tackle-breaks, one offload, 17 tackles, one try, five goals.
Martin was sensational against the Roos on Saturday and narrowly misses out on the Team of the Week captaincy, having ran further than any other player on the field. The second-rower also slotted five conversions from as many attempts, which would prove vital in the 30-all draw.
12 – Cam Murray
Club: North Sydney Bears; 2017 TOTW selections: 0.
14 total runs, 106 total metres, one tackle-break, two offloads, 42 tackles.
As one of the Bears’ most consistent players, it’s a wonder that Cam Murray had been yet to make the Team of the Week in 2017 – but he takes a place in the competition’s top 17 this week after a good defensive performance. The Bears were upset by an enthusiastic Sea Eagles outfit, but the two-time NRL player did his chances of a return no harm.
13 – Rod Griffin
Club: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs; 2017 TOTW selections: 2.
19 total runs, 169 total metres, one line-break, two tackle-breaks, one offload, 27 tackles, one try.
In no.13 this week is Rod Griffin, who put forward a performance similar to that of teammate Martin against Wyong. Running further than any other lock in Round 11, the Papua New Guinean international also scored a try and was impressive in defence.
14 – Mitch Cornish
Club: Wyong Roos; 2017 TOTW selections: 3.
One line-break, five tackle-breaks, 14 tackles, two tries, one goal.
Two tries to Mitch Cornish put him firmly in this week’s top 17, offering a steady hand to the Roos in their 30-all draw. The Origin call-up of Mitchell Pearce has Cornish in the no.17 jersey for the Roosters this week and time will tell if he makes the cut against former club the Raiders.
15 – Mitch Rein
Club: Penrith Panthers; 2017 TOTW selections: 5.
One try-assist, three line-breaks, two tackle-breaks, one offload, 33 tackles, two tries.
Rein was likely the best hooker yet again in Round 11 – but having been selected at prop, he instead finds himself on the bench. The established rake, of course, played predominantly at dummy-half and managed two tries in his efforts, also setting up another in what we have come to expect from this NRL-standard hooker.
16 – Albert Vete
Club: Warriors; 2017 TOTW selections: 1.
14 total runs, 172 total metres, five tackle-breaks, two offloads.
Huge post-contact metres (64) earn Albert Vete a place in the Team of the Week and a likely return to the top grade, having been named on the bench against the Broncos. Hard to handle at the worst of times, he will hope to cause the Brisbane defence troubles in their clash on Saturday night.
17 – Luciano Leilua
Club: Illawarra; 2017 TOTW selections: 2.
13 total runs, 143 total metres, three tackle-breaks, one offload, 21 tackles.
Leilua continues to be a point of difference for the Illawarra forward pack and demonstrated his destructive abilities again when they took on the Jets. It is his third selection in the Team of the Week for 2017.