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NSW Team of the Week | Round 23

During the 2023 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. 

1. James Tedesco. Club: Sydney Roosters. SOO appearances: 22 TOTW selections: 3

Tedesco helped the Roosters bounce back to a win on Thursday night with an impressive performance against Manly Warringah Sea Eagles in Round 23.

The fullback ran had 17 runs for 169 metres, set up a try and had six tackle busts. He also came up with a line break and line break assist and a crucial try-saver on Reuben Garrick.

2. Daniel Tupou. Club: Sydney Roosters. SOO appearances: 10 TOTW selections: 3

Tupou’s double in the first 40 minutes helped his team jump back into the winner’s circle, with the Roosters now only sitting two points out from the top eight.

The Roosters winger also made three tackle busts, two line breaks and ran for 157 metres.

3. Zac Hosking. Club: Penrith Panthers. SOO appearances: 0 TOTW selections: 2

Filling in for the injured Izack Tago, Hosking showed his versatility by shifting to the centres for the Panthers 26-0 win over the Storm on Friday night.

Setting up both tries for his winger Brian To’o, the newly appointed centre also had a line break, 115 run metres including 45 post-contact, and made three tackle busts.

4. Siosifa Talakai. Club: Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks. SOO appearances: 2 TOTW selections: 5

Helping his team snap a three-game losing streak, Talakai played his part in helping the Sharks topple South Sydney Rabbitohs.

The Sharks centre had two try assists along with a line break assist, two offloads and 144 run metres, including 59 post-contact.

5. Brian To’o. Club: Penrith Panthers. SOO appearances: 9 TOTW selections: 8

Continuing his impressive form for 2023, To’o scored his third double of the season to take his tally to 14 tries for the season – one try behind his personal best of 15 in 2021.

He also ran for 204 metres – 72 post-contact – had three tackle busts and two line breaks.

6. Jack Wighton. Club: Canberra Raiders. SOO appearances: 10 TOTW selections: 2

Earning his second TOTW selection this season, Wighton helped the Raiders secure the win despite a late second-half surge from the Tigers.

He managed a try assist, two line breaks and line break assists, while also having 133 run metres.

7. Nathan Cleary. Club: Penrith Panthers. SOO appearances: 14 TOTW selections: 7

Securing himself in the TOTW for the third week in a row, Cleary steered the Panthers one win closer to this year’s Minor Premiership with a convincing performance over the Storm.

Kicking for 425 metres – with two forced drop-outs – the halfback also had two try assists, two line breaks, and landed five from six conversions.

8. Junior Paulo. Club: Parramatta Eels. SOO appearances: 2 TOTW selections: 11

With his regular front row partner Reagan Campbell-Gillard unavailable through suspension, Paulo led from the front to keep the Eels in touch with the top eight.

Along with scoring a crucial try to give his team the lead, the prop ran for 174 metres – 63 kick return metres – made four tackle busts and 33 tackles from his 62 minutes on the field.

9. Phoenix Crossland. Club: Newcastle Knights. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 1.

With the Knights in scintillating form for the second half of the season, Crossland has earned his first TOTW selection.

Playing a pivotal role for the Knights in their fifth consecutive win, the hooker scored a try to put his team in front and made 42 tackles missing only one.

10. Payne Haas. Club: Brisbane Broncos. SOO appearances: 11 TOTW selections: 13

Earning his 13th TOTW selection, Haas continued his damaging form to help the Broncos win the local derby against the Cowboys on Saturday afternoon.

Running for 219 metres – the most of any player – including 90 post-contact, the prop had five tackle busts along with 44 tackles – missing none.

11. Ryan Matterson. Club: Parramatta Eels. SOO appearances: 1 TOTW selections: 4

With the Eels fighting to keep their season alive, Matterson helped spark the Eels second half comeback with a sublime pass to put Junior Paulo under the posts.

Along with the try assist, Matterson had three tackle busts, one line break assist and 129 run metres from 17 runs.

12. Jackson Ford. Club: New Zealand Warriors. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 1

Ford scored his fourth try of the season during the Warriors’ 28-18 win over the Titans on Friday night on the Gold Coast.

The second-rower also ran for 158 metres – 58 post-contact – made a line break and had six tackle busts.

13. Isaah Yeo. Club: Penrith Panthers. SOO appearances: 11 TOTW selections: 9

Yeo has once again found himself in the TOTW with another strong performance for the Panthers.

The lock ran for 200 metres – the third time he has done so this year – made 40 tackles without missing one, and had one tackle bust.

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.

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