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 - Matt Evans
Club: Newtown Jets; 2017 TOTW selections: 0.
11 total runs, 120 total metres, two tackle-breaks, one line-break-assist, three goals.
Evans was a key figure in Newtown’s late comeback on Saturday afternoon, with the elusive fullback taking over the kicking duties and had the chance to win the game from 40 metres out. Although missing the conversion, Evans was instrumental in their second-half performance with vital carries out of his own end helping set up his team’s three unanswered tries.
2 - Johnny Tuivasa-Sheck
Club: Wyong Roos; 2017 TOTW selections: 1.
17 total runs, 163 total metres, one try, three tackle-breaks.
After the Roos’ slow start against the Mounties on Saturday, Tuivasa-Sheck’s first try delivered the spark to get his side back into the contest. Recording the most runs and metres for his team, his willingness to do the hard work off his team’s try line was a significant factor in getting the Roos on the front foot.
3 - Brent Naden
Club: Mounties; 2017 TOTW selections: 2.
Nine total tuns, 142 total metres, two tries. two line-breaks, four tackle-breaks.
With back-to-back selections in the Team of the Week, Naden was a stand-out performer in a losing side on the weekend with Mounties’ backline movements well executed when he got the ball in his hands. His second try came at a vital time that saw the Mounties gain the lead with 25 minutes remaining, with his 142 running metres a testament to his hard work – which was unfortunately short-lived as the Roos ran away with the victory.
4 - Chase Stanley
Club: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs; 2017 TOTW selections: 0.
11 total runs, 94 total metres, two try-assists, one line-break-assist, two offloads, 14 tackles, three goals.
After a long stint on the sidelines with an ACL injury, Chase Stanley made his long-awaited return to Rugby League with an impressive performance in the Bulldogs’ 26-all draw against the Newtown Jets. Keeping a perfect kicking record in the first-half, Stanley continued to shine with two key try-assists helping his side take a handy 16-point advantage late in the second half. Performances like these can’t go unnoticed and will shortly see him in the mix for first grade selection throughout the Origin period.
5 - Chris Centrone
Club: Wyong Roos; TOTW selections: 3.
12 total runs, 153 total metres, one try, one try-assist, two line-breaks, eight tackle-breaks, one offload.
Chris Centrone joins his Roos counterpart in the Team of the Week for the second time in three weeks, after a match-winning performance against Mounties. His 74th-minute try to capture the lead extended his total for 12 tries for the season, while constantly threatening the defence of the Mounties with some darting runs that saw him break eight tackles and record team-high 43 post-contact metres.
6 - Leigh Higgins
Club: Newtown Jets; TOTW selections: 0.
Eight total runs, 95 total metres, one try, 14 tackles.
After a lacklustre team performance that saw the Jets trail 26-12 with just 25 minutes remaining, Higgins brilliant support play delivered the much-needed try that sparked another incredible comeback for Newtown. He worked well with halfback Penani Manumalealii in the closing stages to help gain valuable field position to score the crucial final try, with his potent running game allowing his forwards to get on the front-foot.
7 - Lachlan Lewis
Club: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs; TOTW selections: 0.
10 total runs, 69 total metres, two tries, one line-break, one line-break-assist, two offloads, 20 tackles.
It was all one-way traffic for the Bulldogs as they ran out to a convincing 16-point advantage early in the second half and Lewis was a key figure in his team’s strong start. He opened the scoring with a darting run in the first minute of the game, and showed great awareness to cross for his second in the 51st minute. Although blowing their advantage late in the game, Lewis can take confidence in his classy performance for the Bulldogs.
8 - Kurt Dillon
Club: Newtown Jets; TOTW selections: 2.
14 total runs, 156 total metres, 27 tackles, 53 post contact metres.
He’s shown why he is a future leader throughout 2017 and Kurt Dillon further stamped his claims as a future star with an inspirational performance on Saturday afternoon. It was a physical encounter at Henson Park and Dillion was instrumental in getting his team the much-needed momentum to record their comeback victory, running for 156 metres, which was a game high, while also working tirelessly in defence to record 27 tackles. His 53 post-contact metres is a key reflection of his strong carries that dominated the opposition forward pack in the final stages.
9 - Manaia Cherrington (c)
Club: Newtown Jets; TOTW selections: 1.
Five total runs, 90 total metres, one try, one try-assist, three line-breaks, two tackle-breaks, 104 kicking metres.
Cherrington may have started from the interchange bench and played just 50 minutes of football on the weekend, but his significant impact and influential performance couldn’t be ignored as he cements a starting spot and captaincy in the Team of the Week for Round 12. His strong carries out of dummy half provided significant momentum for his team and allowed his forwards to roll through the middle with sheer momentum. His three line-breaks in the second half proved instrumental in their comeback, including a sneaky try from dummy-half getting his team right back in the contest with just 15 minutes remaining.
10 - Royce Hunt
Club: Mounties; TOTW selections: 0.
12 total runs, 146 total metres, 68 post contact metres, 14 tackles
In a game that Mounties needed to win to stay in touch with the top two teams in the competition, they needed someone to lead from the front – and Hunt delivered exactly what they were after. In just 46 minutes of game time, Hunt recorded 146 metres at an average of 12 metres per carry. His 68 post-contact metres were the highest of any player in the competition in Round 12 and will be looking to put in another dominant performance against the Magpies this Sunday.
11 - Patrice Siolo
Club: North Sydney Bears; TOTW selections: 0.
15 total runs, 118 total metres, 27 tackles, one offload.
After another disappointing performance form the Bears, Siolo proved to be one of their strongest performers. Named in jersey 21, he put in a gutsy 80-minute performance that saw him continue to fight hard for his team with 27 tackles while running for 118 running metres- the only forward in his team to do so.
12 - Makahesi Makatoa
Club: Mounties; TOTW selections: 1.
13 total runs, 134 total metres, 50 post-contact metres, 29 tackles.
Along with fellow teammate Hunt, Makatoa was another strong performer in a losing Mounties side. Named in the front row before being listed in the back-row an hour before kick-off, Makatoa was strong in his 51-minute stint that saw him post the second highest running metres of any forward in his side, while also recording a team-high 29 tackles.
13 - Rod Griffin
Club: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs; TOTW selections: 3.
12 total runs, 105 total metres, one try, one line-break, seven tackle-breaks, 36 tackles.
In the Bulldogs’ dominant 60-minute period, Griffin was in the thick of the action with a host of barnstorming runs through the Newtown defensive line. His try saw him palm off a host of defenders before barging his way over the try-line, while his efforts in defence didn’t go unnoticed with 36 tackles to his name.
14 - Justin Toomey-White
Club: Wyong Roos; TOTW selections: 0.
Nine total runs, 76 total metres, one try, one line-break, four tackle-breaks, 38 tackles.
After being moved to lock after being named in the front row, Toomey-White put in a strong showing as he lead his team to victory on Saturday afternoon. His strong efforts in defence saw him make a team-high 38 tackles, while running strongly with the ball-in-hand with 76 running metres. In the absence of key forwards due to first-grade selection with the Roosters, Toomey-White stood up and delivered in one of his best performances in 2017.
15 - Isaiah Papalii
Club: New Zealand Warriors; TOTW selections: 0.
11 total runs, 120 total metres, 26 tackles, three tackle-breaks.
Isaiah Papalii has been strong throughout his performances in 2017, and played another key role in the Warriors’ victory over the North Sydney Bears. He was the only player in his side to run for over 100 metres, while also making 26 bone-crunching tackles to cement the first spot on the bench for the Intrust Super Premiership NSW Team of the Week.
16 - Bronson Garlick
Club: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs; TOTW selections: 0.
Nine total runs, 93 total metres, two tackle-breaks, two offloads, 41 tackles.
Having been unable to cement a consistent spot in the Bulldogs’ 17 this year, Garlick did himself no harm with his performance on the weekend. Threatening the defensive line with some strong carries, his 41 tackles were his highlight which was the second most in the competition in Round 12. Having grown up primarily as a hooker, Garlick may have found himself a new home in the back row for the Bulldogs.
17 - Saulala Houma
Club: Newtown Jets; TOTW selections: 0.
Eight total runs, 96 total metres, one try, one line-break, six tackle-breaks, one offload, 17 tackles.
Houma was another player who played a significant role in the Jets’ comeback on the weekend, and in just 40 minutes of football ran for nearly 100 metres while also scoring the crucial match-levelling try as he crashed his way over through a heap of defenders. His 44 post-contact metres and six tackle-breaks thoroughly reflect his damaging performance.