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NSW Team of the Week | Round Nine

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

1. Clint Gutherson. Club: Parramatta Eels. SOO appearances: 3. TOTW selections: 1.

Dynamite from dummy-half, Gutherson scored two by swivelling around defenders as part of his first NRL hat-trick on Friday night against Newcastle.

That earned him his first TOTW selection for 2023 although the quality of his play – scoring eight tries in nine rounds – has been top shelf. Against the Knights he made 24 runs for 192 metres, two line-breaks and nine tackle busts.

2. Albert Hopoate. Club: Canberra Raiders. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 3.

The young, powerful winger showed a glimpse of his strength with 62 post-contact metres among his 160 in total from 18 runs.

In his seventh NRL game of the year, he made 10 tackle busts through the Dolphins’ defence to prove what a handful he is in full flight.

3. Campbell Graham (c). Club: South Sydney Rabbitohs. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 3.

Graham earned his second NSW Player of the Week nomination after his second hat-trick of the year in the statement-making 26-point win over the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium.

He is either always in the right place – like his first try off Lachlan Ilias’ grubber – or he’s too strong and direct with his runs – busting through Kurt Capewell’s tackle on his way to the try-line. Campbell made 15 runs for 151 metres, a line-break, line-break assist, try assist and seven tackle busts alongside his three tries.

4. Jake Averillo. Club: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 2.

Bulldogs centre Averillo produced two long-range tries in the win over the Dragons – first a 70-metre run in the first half and then 80 metres in the second.

Those two four-pointers contributed to his 241 metres off 11 runs and gave him two line-breaks for the match. He also had 31 post-contact metres, three tackle-breaks and an offload.

5. Mathew Feagai. Club: St George Illawarra Dragons. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 1.

While the Dragons didn’t get the win Feagai tried hard for it by scoring a try, and amassed 70 post-contact metres to prove how hard he was to get on the ground.

He made 16 runs for 177 metres, busted out of nine tackles, and defused a kick to earn his first TOTW selection.

6. Jack Wighton. Club: Canberra Raiders. SOO appearances: 10. TOTW selections: 1.

Not only was Wighton’s input against the Dolphins decisive with a line-break, two line-break assists and six tackle busts, but after the week he had off the field it was remarkable.

Wighton was at his best in Wagga, making 17 runs for 128 metres with 33 post-contact, scoring the second of the Raiders’ five tries, making three offloads, a dummy-half run, and six kicks for 174 metres.

7. Mitchell Moses. Club: Parramatta Eels. SOO appearances: 1. TOTW selections: 2.

Scoring his fourth try of the year and putting teammate Clint Gutherson over for the Eels’ sixth try of the night were just two key plays in what was a big night for Moses against the Knights.

He made the most line-breaks (three) of anyone on the field, busted out of 10 tackles in his 170 metres off 12 runs, kicked 11 times for 373 metres, had a perfect conversion rate from seven attempts, and kicked a field goal.

8. Tevita Tatola. Club: South Sydney Rabbitohs. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 1.

A familiar face in last year’s TOTW, Tatola has been troubled by injury which has limited him to four games so far this year. But he turned back the clock in his 45 minutes at Suncorp Stadium last Friday.

He had 20 runs, the most of any Rabbitohs player, making 192 metres with 87 post-contact. He also made two tackle busts along with 22 tackles of his own.

9. Api Koroisau. Club: Wests Tigers. SOO appearances: 3. TOTW selections: 1.

Koroisau has been working tirelessly for his new club this season and was rewarded for his efforts on the weekend.

Finally the win came for the Wests Tigers in Round Nine over the back-to-back Premiers in Penrith. Koroisau helped get the upset with his constant, searching runs from dummy-half for 74 metres, his four tackle busts, a line-break, an offload, 31 tackles, and three kicks in his 60-minute stint.

10. David Klemmer. Club: Wests Tigers. SOO appearances: 14. TOTW selections: 2.

Every hooker looks for his front-rower to pass to and it was usually Klemmer in Bathurst on Saturday night. He made 23 runs for 215 metres in just 47 minutes on the field, with 86 post-contact metres.

Klemmer also made two offloads and in wet conditions, and pulled off 25 tackles without missing any.

11. Teig Wilton. Club: Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 1.

Plenty of Sharks players shone in the 38-point win over the Cowboys last Thursday and Wilton was certainly one of them.

He made 17 runs for 143 metres (48 post-contact), a line-break, tackle bust, and scored his third try of the season. Wilton had the fastest play-the-ball of any Shark (3.07 seconds) and was just as reliable in defence, making 38 tackles with no misses.

12. Nat Butcher. Club: Sydney Roosters. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 1.

Mt Smart Stadium was a wet and windy venue on Sunday, but Nat Butcher topped the tackle count of both sides with 57 and didn’t miss one.

He also scored the Roosters’ opening try late in the first half, had the fastest play-the-ball (2.67 seconds) of his team, made three tackle busts and 21 post-contact metres. Hard work appears to run in the family – younger brother Egan had 53 tackles without missing any.

13. Cameron McInnes. Club: Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 1.

McInnes has been filling in at starting lock in the absence of Dale Finucane (suspension) and the Sharks haven’t missed a beat.

He made 15 runs for 110 metres in his 47 minutes against the Cowboys – 24 post-contact. A noted defender with a 98 per cent tackle efficiency, McInnes made 30 on Thursday without missing any.

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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.

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