VB Blues Team Of The Week | Round 24
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 – Alex Johnston (c)
Club: South Sydney Rabbitohs; Origin appearances: 0; 2017 TOTW selections: 2.
13 total runs, 235 total metres, three line-breaks, one try-assist, one offload, four tackle-breaks, three tries.
There were some fantastic fullback performances in Round 24, but Alex Johnston’s hat-trick on Friday night earns him the no.1 spot – and the Team of the Week captaincy. The game began in less-than-ideal fashion for Johnston, who came up with an early error which resulted in the Warriors’ opening try, but he responded with tries in the 15th, 58th and 73rd minutes to extend his lead as the competition’s leading try scorer. The fullback now has 22 tries and also came up with a try-assist for good measure against the struggling Warriors.
Please note the captaincy is awarded to the chosen best performer each round and is not based on any club captaincy or leadership qualities.
2 – Marcelo Montoya
Club: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs; Origin appearances: 0; 2017 TOTW selections: 1.
11 total runs, 107 total metres, three line-breaks, four tackle-breaks, two tries.
Wins have been few and far between for the Bulldogs this season, but Montoya has been one shining light in an otherwise forgettable year. The Bankstown Bulls junior crossed for an early double off two similar right-side shifts, taking his season tally to 10 and getting the Bulldogs on the front foot against the Sea Eagles. While his game time was then reduced due to a Head Injury Assessment, he was similarly dangerous upon his return.
3 – Josh Morris
Club: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs; Origin appearances: 14; 2017 TOTW selections: 1.
One try-assist, one offload, one tackle-break, two line-break-assists, one try.
With a struggling attack in season 2017, Bulldogs fans have had few chances to enjoy a sight that has featured prominently in the NRL and representative football over the years: the Morris twins combining for tries. On Sunday, Josh sent brother Brett over for two vital four-pointers, as well as scoring his own when capitalising on a Daly Cherry-Evans error. The three tries went a long way to the Bulldogs’ best attacking game of 2017.