Team of the Week: Round 16
1. Brett Stewart (Manly)
Stewart did enough in many people's eyes to be touted as the player of the round with his influential performance over reigning premiers the Roosters. 'Snake' produced the goods with a sharp try, 148 run metres, two line breaks, five tackle breaks and a try save to almost single-handedly get the Sea Eagles over the line.
2. David Nofoaluma (Tigers)
The Tigers winger crossed for two early tries to keep his team afloat against the Raiders on Saturday and although injury cut his game time on the field, Nofoaluma made up for it in the form of 149 metres, a line break and four tackle breaks in a close Tigers victory.
3. Konrad Hurrell (Warriors)
The Warriors centre managed to blow two kisses to Mum on the weekend during his side's win over the Panthers. While the bullocking Hurrell made a line break, 13 tackles and 74 metres, it was his four tackle busts and pair of tries that proved vital for his team in the grand scheme of their victory.
4. Shaun Kenny-Dowall (Roosters)
The Roosters were beaten in the grand final rematch (and possible grand final preview) against Manly in a cracker of a contest on Friday night, but Kenny-Dowall was one of the Tricolours' best. SKD was heavily involved in attack, with seven tackle breaks,106 run metres and a try.
5. Darius Boyd (Knights)
The Knights fullback, and sometimes Queensland winger, was awarded Man of the Match in the Knights' victory over the Eels. The bearded custodian made 207 metres, including a 95-metre runaway try, a line break and seven tackle breaks as he continues his revival after an early-season slump.
6. Gareth Widdop (Dragons)
The Red V five-eighth took out Man of the Match honours for his outstanding performance against his old club the Melbourne Storm. Widdop set up a try for himself before producing a line break and 102 metres for his team in their upset 24-12 win.
7. Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys)
Switched to halfback for the first time this season, Thurston managed to outshine most of the NRL's regular No.7s to guide the Cowboys to victory over South Sydney. The veteran impressed with a line break assist, a try assist and 522 metres kick metres for good measure in a welcome return to form for the Queensland star.
8. Josh McGuire (Broncos)
The Broncos firebrand did his chances of a Queensland Origin debut no harm after producing, once again, an outstanding performance for Brisbane. Going up against Paul Gallen, the front-rower was a significant figure on Friday night as he racked up 145 metres, 55 tackles, three tackle breaks and a try save.
9. Matt Ballin (Manly)
Behind any good team performance is usually an equally solid game from the hooker. Ballin was no exception on Friday after his 100-plus touches of the ball allowed the rake to rack up 88 metres from dummy-half for the Sea Eagles. Shirked nothing in defence either after generating 42 tackles against the might of the mammoth Roosters pack.
10. Paul Gallen (Sharks)
Does this man have a never-ending supply of fuel? Captain Gal left punters wondering once again as to how he continues to produce amazing numbers like he does. The inspirational Sharks leader smashed out a try, 41 tackles, a line break, six tackle breaks and a cheeky 223 metres against the Broncos on Friday – earning him a massive 99 points in Holden NRL Fantasy in the process.
11. Beau Scott (Knights)
Scott was one of the Knights' best in their win over the Eels on Sunday. The NSW back-rower constantly threatened and it showed in his 97 metres and three tackle breaks. The Newcastle veteran was also a rock in defence with 28 tackles, including six one-on-one efforts, ultimately helping the Knights stick solid throughout the game.
12. Sonny Bill Williams (Roosters)
The skilful Roosters back-rower isn't going to bid adieu to the NRL without leaving every stone unturned. Williams again impressed in both attack and defence against the Sea Eagles with 115 metres, 24 tackles, a line break assist and a try assist.
13. Sam Burgess (Rabbitohs)
There is always one guarantee to come out of a Rabbitohs game and that is that Burgess will produce the goods, no matter the circumstances. Despite the Bunnies losing, Burgess proved his worth, especially with brother George missing from the team, with four tackle breaks, 152 metres and 46 tackles.
14. Todd Carney (Sharks)
While his NRL career is now in tatters, the former Sharks halfback in perhaps his final game finished it off with a bang in Cronulla's comeback win over the Broncos. With a line break assist and a line break to boot, Carney was influential in every try after conjuring three try assists and crossing for one of his own as Cronulla stormed home from 22-0 down to beat the Broncos.
15. Jarryd Hayne (Eels)
The Parramatta fullback was the most dangerous man on the field for the Eels on Sunday and left Newcastle fans very nervous whenever he had control of the ball, a testament to his 11 tackle breaks. Hayne made an astronomical 272 metres, the most from any man in any NRL fixture this season, including an 80-metre runaway try.
16. Jeremy Latimore (Panthers)
Latimore returned to his old home ground with a vengeance off the bench for the Panthers. Having signed a new contract to remain at the Panthers for next season earlier in the month, the relieved prop had his best game of the season with 143 metres and 16 tackles off the interchange.
17. James Tamou (Cowboys)
The Cowboys prop lifted again in a time of need. With counterpart Matt Scott missing, Tamou produced the goods when it mattered after coming out of the fixture against the Rabbitohs with 33 tackles and 174 metres. The Cowboys will sorely miss him against the Dragons in Round 17 when he's forced to have the week off due to NSW Origin duty.