Team of the Week: Round 17
1. Matt Moylan (Panthers)
The Panthers fullback stood up when it mattered against the Tigers on Sunday afternoon. With Peter Wallace going down early in the game, Moylan had a hand in four of Penrith's five tries after scoring one himself. Made a further two line break assists and five tackle breaks for good measure.
2. Jacob Gagan (Sharks)
The young Sharks winger made it three tries from three NRL appearances after scoring a double against the Roosters on Saturday night. While most wingers would have scored his first try, his second proved that Gagan doesn't look out of place in first-grade after touching down in the corner with two men tackling him. The 21-year-old topped off his efforts with an outstanding try-saving tackle on opposite winger Brendan Elliot.
3. Jamal Idris (Panthers)
In his second game back from a club-imposed suspension the Penrith centre capped off his brilliant performance against the Tigers with his first four-pointer in Panthers colours. Idris broke free from 12 tackles and made 14 tackles of his own, plus a line break and 169 run metres in the Panthers' 26-10 win.
4. Mitchell Aubusson (Roosters)
The ever-reliable Mr Fix-It has been plugging the gaps in the centres at the Roosters since Michael Jennings went down with lat injury during Origin II. Aubusson crossed for a double (going very close to a hat-trick in the dying seconds of the game) before making a line break and a further 84 metres against the Sharks.
5. Jason Nightingale (Dragons)
Dragons fans were left wondering "Brett who?" after Nightingale put forward perhaps his best showing of the season against the Cowboys on Saturday night. The Kiwi international crossed for a hat-trick and made 138 metres, three line breaks and seven tackle breaks on the right flank for St George Illawarra.
6. Gareth Widdop (Dragons)
The Dragons' mid-season revival continues on the back of the St George Illawarra's five-eighth's outstanding form. Widdop put the game out of reach with a late field goal and contributed 210 kicking metres, two line break assists and a try assist in his team's 27-24 win against North Queensland.
7. Tony Williams (Bulldogs)
Don't laugh. This is a legitimate selection based on T-Rex's performance and the Bulldogs' win against the then table-topping Sea Eagles on Friday night. Williams looked like a different man after being picked to lead the team around the paddock. Wearing the No. 12 jumper, Williams produced 140 kick metres and two tackle breaks. Trent Hodkinson beware.
8. Ben Creagh (Dragons)
The Dragons captain has been quite influential since moving to front row. One of 'Mary' McGregor's first motions as head coach was to move the usual back-rower in one position further towards the middle. Creagh was unlucky not to cross for a try late but still made up for it with 156 metres, 24 tackles and two tackle breaks.
9. Michael Ennis (Bulldogs)
With Trent Hodkinson and Josh Reynolds missing Friday night's game due to Origin duty, Ennis's involvement against Manly proved vital. With 111 involvements to his name, the Bulldogs captain produced the match-winning field goal and a try, 237 kicking metres and two try assists to accompany his 42 tackles.
10. James Graham (Bulldogs)
The English international maintained his barnstorming form, which was more vital than ever against Manly considering his brother-from-another-mother Aiden Tolman went down early with a hamstring injury. Graham punched out 163 metres, a line break and 38 tackles as well as scoring the Bulldogs' first try in another inspirational performance.
11. Jamie Buhrer (Sea Eagles)
With Anthony Watmough and Glenn Stewart missing through suspension and injury respectively, Buhrer was almost the Sea Eagles' best player in their loss to the Bulldogs. He left no stone unturned after conjuring a game-high 46 tackles and a respectable 76 metres.
12. Wade Graham (Sharks)
Stand-in captain Graham put in another 'Gallen-like' performance with the NSW captain missing on Saturday night. With the Sharks pulling off a miraculous win over the Roosters on Saturday, Graham's influence proved fruitful with 127 metres, a line break, 24 tackles and his team's first four-pointer of the night to his name.
13. Dale Finucane (Bulldogs)
Despite starting from the bench young Finucane smashed out a neat 143 metres against Manly. As each week passes the usual Bulldogs lock is further impressing all the right people and it showed in his 25 tackles – and no missed tackles – that he is equally comfortable with both attack and defence.
14. Benji Marshall (Dragons)
A more fluent and poised Dragons halfback is becoming more and more noticeable each and every time he trots out in the Red V jumper, in recent weeks. Marshall wowed his Kogarah audience with 309 kicking metres, 14 tackles (for no misses), a try assist and 75 running metres against the Cowboys on Saturday.
15. Jeff Robson (Sharks)
For the second time this season the Sharks halfback scored a late match-winner in their unbelievable win over the Roosters on Saturday. Without his usual (now sacked) halves partner-in-crime, Robson still produced 247 kick metres, one line break assist and a try assist with young-gun five-eighth Fa'amanu Brown by his side.
16. Paul Carter (Titans)
The young Titans lock was awarded Man of the Match honours following a win that ended the Gold Coast's six-game losing streak. Carter produced 31 tackles and a touch under 150 metres for a Gold Coast team missing influential and inspirational co-captains Nate Myles and Greg Bird.
17. Jeremy Latimore (Panthers)
The Penrith bench prop makes his second consecutive appearance in the Team of the Week after again killing it for the Panthers against the Tigers on Sunday afternoon. The journeyman brought considerable impact from the interchange with 112 metres, 30 tackles and four tackle breaks to his name in just over a half of football.