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NSW Team of the Week | Round Three

Following each week of the NRL season, selects the round’s best 13 of New South Wales eligible players. These selections are based on the opinions of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSWRL or the selection process for the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues. Captaincy is awarded based on that week's on-field performance and is not based on club captaincy or leadership qualities.

1. Tom Trbojevic. Club: Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. SOO appearances: 8. TOTW selections: 1.

While the Sea Eagles fought their way to a one-point win over Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, Trbojevic played a huge role in their anticipated return to Brookvale with plenty of tough carries under difficult conditions.

On top of his 17th-minute try to open his side’s account in front of the newly constructed Bob Fulton Stand, the 2021 Dally M Medal winner had 25 runs for 237 metres including 76 post-contact, and made four tackle busts.

2. Daniel Tupou. Club: Sydney Roosters. SOO appearances: 7. TOTW selections: 2.

Tupou was again one of Trent Robinson’s best against the traditional archrivals without giving up any four-pointers in his corner of the field, despite the tricolours coming up 12 points short on the scoreboard.

The seven-time NSW representative winger scored his second try for 2022, made one line-break, had six tackle busts and surpassed the 200-metre mark, which included 86 post-contact.

3. Izack Tago. Club: Penrith Panthers. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 1.

Tago has wasted next to no time to prove he is more than ready for the NRL with another superb performance for the reigning premiers.

The young centre crossed for two tries, produced two try assists and one line-break assist, made one line-break and ran for 117 metres.

4. Stephen Crichton. Club: Penrith Panthers. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 2.

In 2022, Crichton has certainly picked up from where he left off since last season’s Grand Final-winning intercept try, earning a second selection in the NSW Team of the Week with another strong display for the Panthers.

On Saturday’s win over Newcastle, Crichton scored a try and set up another for Charlie Staines, had one line-break and line-break assist, ran for 184 metres including 68 post-contact, and made 12 tackles.

5. Taylan May. Club: Penrith Panthers. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 1.

May’s second NRL appearance was one to remember for the Penrith youngster who stepped into the left wing spot for Round Three in place of Brian To’o.

Remarkably, May was involved in four tries with a hat-trick and one try assist, made one line-break, had four tackle busts and ran for 162 metres from 19 carries.

6. Jack Wighton. Club: Canberra Raiders. SOO appearances: 9. TOTW selections: 2.

When the Raiders were staring down a 22-0 deficit at halftime against the Gold Coast Titans, Wighton took it upon himself to change the momentum of the contest for the Green Machine.

As the Raiders succeeded in an unlikely comeback, the Canberra five-eighth produced one  try assist, had two tackle busts, ran for 110 metres, tallied 278 metres off the boot and made 25 tackles.

7. Nicho Hynes. Club: Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 2.

Hynes has quickly made his case as arguably the form player in the competition with another starring role in a Sharks victory, this time for the derby clash against St George Illawarra.

The halfback led Craig Fitzgibbon’s side to a dominant 36-12 victory, recording a try and one try assist, one line-break, three tackle busts, 102 run metres, 552 kick metres and 24 tackles.

8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard. Club: Parramatta Eels. SOO appearances: 1. TOTW appearances: 1.

Campbell-Gillard is closing in fast on 200 NRL games but there’s plenty of life left in those legs.

In 55 minutes on the field he topped the Eels’ stats with 197 metres from 20 runs, making 31 tackles and busting out of two himself, plus an offload. He also led his teammates in post-contact metres with 74. 

9. Damien Cook. Club: South Sydney Rabbitohs. SOO appearances: 12. TOTW appearances: 2.

Cook made a strong return to his best form in Round Three with 10 dummy-half runs, six tackle busts, a line-break, a try assist and topping his side for tackles – again – with 42, and only missing two.

The South Sydney hooker dashed left and right, and straight down the middle, as he kept upping the ante in attack.

10. Junior Paulo. Club: Parramatta Eels. SOO appearances: 6. TOTW appearances: 2.

Paulo covered a staggering 192 metres in his 58 minutes on the field against Melbourne Storm, along with his two offloads and tackle busts.

Apart from Reed Mahoney, Paulo has the fastest play-the-ball of any Eels forward, but it was the power behind those 20 runs that makes him such an eye-catching prop.

11. Keaon Koloamatangi. Club: South Sydney Rabbitohs. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW appearances: 1.

This 2021 NSW Blues squad member wouldn’t be denied on Friday night. After his first try was disallowed in the 58th minute for a loose carry he powered over the line five minutes later to get his four-pointer.

He also had a line break in his 18 runs for 146 metres, and in defence was just as resolute missing just one tackle from 34.

12. Ray Stone. Club: Parramatta Eels. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW appearances: 1.

Like the surname says, his effort in upsetting the Storm at home will be now be etched in stone.

He scored to put his team ahead in 70th minute, and then the match-winner in Golden Point extra time by collecting the ricocheting ball off the uprights – all in the space of 11 minutes. Stone seriously injured his right knee in the process but he saved the day for Parramatta on Saturday night.

13. Cameron Murray (c). Club: South Sydney Rabbitohs. SOO appearances: 7. TOTW appearances: 1.

Scoring the opening try is one way to inspire your teammates, but setting up another two, making two line-breaks and three tackle busts while running for 152 metres is certainly a champagne captain’s knock.

He equalled Damien Cook in making 42 tackles, but ended the night having eight stitches inserted in his scalp. Tough as teak.

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Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.