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 – Nick Meaney
Club: Newcastle Knights; TOTW selections: 1
14 total runs, 178 total metres, 3 linebreak assists, 4 try assists, 8 tackle breaks, 1 offload
A five-star performance from Newcastle’s Nick Meaney proved the catalyst for the Knights' 12-point win over Illawarra at Kogarah on Sunday. Good work done on both sides of the ball, Meaney’s four try assists – including one inside the game’s opening five minutes – set the Knights on their way to an important win. Having twice toured with NSWRL representative sides in 2017 (ISP NSW Residents, NSW Under-20s), Meaney showed all of his class against the 2016 premiers in Round 16.
2 – Mason Cerruto
Club: Penrith Panthers; TOTW selections: 0
18 total runs, 175 total metres, 74 post-contact metres, 1 try, 5 tackle breaks, 1 line break
A late withdrawal from the NSWRL Ron Massey Cup representatives team at the weekend, Cerruto travelled across the Tasman with the Intrust Super Premiership NSW Panthers, turning in an impressive performance to earn selection in the Round 16 Team of the Week. Renowned for his strong carries, Cerruto proved too difficult to handle for the NZ Warriors’ defence, crossing late in the contest to secure a vital two points for the Penrith outfit.
3 – Nathan Davis
Club: Wentworthville Magpies; TOTW selections: 1
15 total runs, 185 total metres, 2 tries, 4 tackle breaks, 4 offloads
Speed, power, strength, agility. There’s plenty of superlatives you could use to describe the efforts of Wentworthville’s Nathan Davis in the side’s win over Mounties in Round 16 – another perhaps, ‘dominant’. Davis’ work on the Magpies’ left-edge set the tone in the eventual 36-18 win, earning the 21-year-old a second start in the ISP NSW Team of the Week this season.
4 – Lachlan Stein
Club: Penrith Panthers; TOTW selections: 3
19 total runs, 205 total metres, 78 post-contact metres, 9 tackle breaks, 1 offload
Quickly becoming known for tough, gritty ‘play two’ carries, Penrith’s Lachlan Stein again proved a metre-eater in the side’s last-gasp win over the Warriors in Auckland. Eclipsing 200 metres with ball in hand, Stein also had a hand in fellow Team of the Week selection Cerruto’s try. Short in stature but big of heart, Stein’s efforts in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW aren’t going unnoticed.
5 – Tom Hughes
Club: Newcastle Knights; TOTW selections: 0
17 total runs, 168 total metres, 3 tries, 3 line breaks, 2 offloads
The beneficiary of the good work done by Newcastle teammate Nick Meaney, Tom Hughes earns his maiden selection in the 2017 Intrust Super Premiership NSW Team of The Week, having crossed for a hat-trick in the Knights’ win over Illawarra. Forever a danger with ball in hand, Hughes’ hard work done in bringing the Steeden out from his own end was rewarded with four-pointers at the other.
6 – Jack Cogger
Club: Newcastle Knights; TOTW selections: 0
6 total runs, 1 try, 6 kicks, 212 total kick metres, 23 tackles, 1 offload
Such was the dominance of the Newcastle side in the win over Illawarra, Jack Cogger earns his first start in the 2017 Intrust Super Premiership NSW Team of The Week. Cogger’s rounded performance – capped with a second-half try – set the Knights on their way to an important two competition points. The perfect foil to halfback Trent Hodkinson, Cogger’s steady hand in the Knights backline saw the side cross for six tries, one of which his own.
7 – Jeff Robson
Club: Wentworthville Magpies; TOTW selections: 0
5 total runs, 1 try, 1 try assist, 8 kicks, 179 total kick metres, 25 tackles
Experienced halfback Jeff Robson pips fellow NRL regular Trent Hodkinson for a place in this week’s, Team of the Week. Known to take the line on when playing at his best, Robson asked plenty of questions of the Mounties defence, crossing for a try in the Magpies’ 36-18 win at Ringrose Park. Just as capable without the ball in hand, Robson accumulated 25 tackles in defence.
8 – Kurt Dillon (C)
Club: Newtown Jets; TOTW selections: 4, TOTW captaincy selections: 1
70 minutes, 19 total runs, 188 total run metres, 78 post-contact metres, 40 tackles, 0 missed tackles.
Big minutes and even bigger numbers earns Newtown’s Kurt Dillon a place in the Round 16 Intrust Super Premiership NSW Team of the Week, with the mantle of ‘captain’ to boot. Churning out phenomenal numbers that are sure to catch the eye of NRL-affiliate club, Cronulla Sharks’ coach Shane Flanagan, Dillon did his all to help the Jets’ cause in their narrow loss to the Wests Tigers. Though yet to make his NRL debut, it seems a matter of when – not if – Dillon earns a first grade call up.
9 – Craig Garvey
Club: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs; TOTW selections: 2
7 total runs, 113 total run metres, 2 tries, 1 try assist, 1 linebreak assist, 3 tackle breaks, 34 tackles
A two-try effort from the Bulldogs captain set the Canterbury-Bankstown side on their way to a big – and arguably, a surprising – win over the North Sydney Bears in Round 16. Not one to shy away from the tough stuff in the middle of the park, Garvey showed his awareness of when to run the ball in his side’s 18-point win at North Sydney Oval.
10 – Alex Twal
Club: Wests Tigers; TOTW selections: 7
65 minutes, 16 total runs, 157 total run metres, 51 tackles, 2 offloads
A mainstay in the 2017 Intrust Super Premiership NSW Team of The Week, Alex Twal’s efforts against the Newtown Jets again earns selection amongst the week’s best performers. In a no-nonsense, trademark effort, Twal continued to churn out the big numbers, against a Newtown forward pack boasting plenty of NRL experience.
11 – Cameron Murray
Club: North Sydney Bears; TOTW selections: 1
80 minutes, 16 total runs, 154 total run metres, 5 tackle breaks, 31 tackles, 1 offload
Though unable to swing the result in favour of his North Sydney Bears, NSW Under-20s captain Cam Murray again impressed in his side’s 18-point loss at the hands of the Bulldogs. The hard-working backrower again got through plenty of work on both sides of the ball, further cementing his status as one of the game’s most exciting prospects.
12 – Ashley Nisbet
Club: Wests Tigers; TOTW selections: 0
80 minutes, 14 total runs, 158 total run metres, 4 tackle breaks, 30 tackles
Former Cronulla Sharks Holden Cup backrower Ash Nisbet got the bragging rights over his former teammates in the Wests Tigers’ 18-12 win over the Newtown Jets on Saturday. Nisbet had reason to celebrate, both collectively and on the back of his own performance, after racking up big numbers in the 6-point win at Henson Park. The Round 16 acknowledgement is Nisbet’s first TOTW selection for this season, and a well-earned one at that.
13 – Sione Katoa
Club: Penrith Panthers; TOTW selections: 1
73 minutes, 5 total runs, 61 total run metres, 2 line break assists, 2 try assists, 44 tackles
While perhaps not the ‘well-rounded’ performance Panthers fans have come to expect from Sione Katoa this season, it was the two try assists to his name which played a big hand in his side’s eventual 3-point win over the Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium. Making a name for his high involvement rates, Katoa made 44 tackles in the win, including a handful of ‘bone-rattlers’ that kept the NZ forwards on notice.
14 – Manaia Cherrington
Club: NZ Warriors; TOTW selections: 1
10 total runs, 109 total run metres, 1 linebreak assist, 6 tackle breaks, 40 tackles
Arriving at new club the Warriors after moving from the Cronulla Sharks (Newtown Jets) system that week, Manaia Cherrington turned in an impressive performance in his club debut. A running hooker by trade, Cherrington darted out of dummy-half on eight occasions, and asked plenty of questions of the Penrith middle-third defenders. Playing 66 minutes, the promising number nine put together an impressive 40 tackles.
15 – Scott Sorensen
Club: Mounties; TOTW selections: 3
80 minutes, 16 total runs, 156 total run metres, 2 tackle breaks, 24 tackles
Earning an NRL debut earlier this season, a fourth selection in the 2017 Intrust Super Premiership NSW Team of The Week suggests a Raiders return isn’t far off for Mounties’ Scott Sorensen. A big man with a big motor, Sorensen took it upon himself to be a source of inspiration for his forward pack members – the only forward (excluding hooker Adam Clydsdale) to play out the duration.
16 – John Folau
Club: Wentworthville Magpies; TOTW selections: 0
80 minutes, 14 total runs, 154 total metres, 22 tackles, 1 offload
Winger-turn-backrower John Folau continued to impress in the Magpies’ win over Mounties at Ringrose Park in Round 16. Always proving a threat, Folau’s efforts against the 2016 Grand Finalists earns the bullocking edge-runner a maiden 2017 Intrust Super Premiership NSW Team of The Week selection.
17 – Tyrone McCarthy
Club: Illawarra RLFC; TOTW selections: 1
15 total runs, 115 total run metres, 35 tackles, 0 missed tackles, 2 offloads
A gallant effort in a losing side earns Illawarra lock Tyrone McCarthy selection in the Round 16 Intrust Super Premiership NSW Team of The Week. A short stint on the interchange bench was offset by plenty of involvement and influence when on the field – turning in a 64-minute, well-rounded performance in Illawarra’s 12-point loss to the Knights at Kogarah.