Team Of The Week | Round 14
Supreme playmakers, thrill-a-minute outside backs and hard-working big blokes with a touch of class all feature in the Round 14 Team of the Week.
1. Billy Slater (Storm)
He would normally combine with his halfback on Melbourne's right side but with his side down by a point in the final five minutes took matters into his own hands to complete another fine all-round display with a try assist for Felise Kaufusi's match-winner.
2. Ken Maumalo (Warriors)
Enormous literally and figuratively on the left wing for the Warriors, taking advantage of some quick thinking from Kieran Foran to score a first-half try and getting his side on the front foot with strong carries from deep, accumulating 215 run metres with five tackle busts.
3. Josh Morris (Bulldogs)
Tried to put brother Brett over in the first half and was then Joshy-on-the-spot to back up a break by Will Hopoate to score the first try of the game and put the Bulldogs on the path to an upset win. Ran for 128m with four tackle busts and two offloads.
4. Tautau Moga (Broncos)
Provided plenty of momentum for the Broncos with some searching runs down Brisbane's left edge, accumulating 194 run metres and four tackle busts.
5. Latrell Mitchell (Roosters)
Split the Tigers defence with some brilliant footwork for the first of Connor Watson's two tries and then put in a perfectly-weighted left foot kick for Mitchell Pearce to score centimetres inside the dead-ball line. Had nine tackle busts and ran for 162m.
6. Matt Moylan (Panthers)
Pulled a rabbit out of the hat by orchestrating two tries in the final two minutes to allow Penrith to make a great escape from Bathurst with the two points. Also scored a try of his own to add further weight to a permanent shift to five-eighth.
7. Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys)
The Eels might have forgotten not to fall for the Thurston dummy but the Cowboys captain returned with a virtuoso performance, scoring his second try of the season, laying on three others for teammates and kicking six goals from seven attempts, and sending shudders all throughout New South Wales in the process.
8. Martin Taupau (Sea Eagles)
With torrential rain falling all game possession and territory were paramount and no one contributed to that for Manly more than Taupau, who rumbled forward for 235m, almost half of which came post-contact with Newcastle defenders. Six tackle busts show just how hard he was to contain.
9. Cameron Smith (Storm)
Minus fellow architect Cooper Cronk put on a 40/20 kick and two try assists in the first eight minutes of the game to take control of the contest and trust that his team's defence could hold the Sharks to a manageable total. Fifty-one tackles and 141 kick metres completed another imperious performance.
10. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (Roosters)
Because everyone loves a tough front-rower who can also lay on a try as Waerea-Hargreaves did for Connor Watson in the closing stages of the Roosters' big win over the Wests Tigers. Racked up 189m, three tackle busts and 28 tackles.
11. Isaah Yeo (Panthers)
One of the most improved players in the NRL this season, Yeo played all 80 minutes against the Raiders and proved a handful on the left edge all game, running for 194 metres and making 32 tackles.
12. Matt Gillett (Broncos)
A return to form for arguably the best back-rower in the world, smashing Rabbitohs attackers with brutal defence, providing second phase play with four offloads and backing up Kodi Nikorima to score a first-half try.
13. Jake Trbojevic (Sea Eagles)
Perhaps the only player on the field who actually enjoyed the monsoon-like conditions at Lottoland, running for 152m and making 38 tackles.
14. Shaun Johnson (Warriors)
Revelled in the time and space afforded by his dominant forward pack, running riot on the fringes to provide the final pass for tries to Ryan Hoffman, Blake Ayshford and Ata Hingano as the Warriors ran out convincing winners.
15. David Klemmer (Bulldogs)
Made an early statement with a crunching tackle on Dragons prop Russell Packer and was the embodiment of a Bulldogs team desperate to make up for their last-start effort. Ran for 162m with three offloads and a tackle bust.
16. Luke Lewis (Sharks)
Speared back on an angle like only he can to get his side on the scoreboard after Melbourne's first start and had a further line break and six tackle busts on his way to 149 run metres.
17. Josh McGuire (Broncos)
Stood up to a determined South Sydney forward pack to register 151 run metres and 29 tackles to go with two tackle busts and an offload.