Team of the Week: Round 1
1. Greg Inglis (Rabbitohs)
The goanna try celebration returned to Suncorp Stadium on Thursday night when Inglis was the receiver of an awesome offload from winger Alex Johnston. While he was disappointing in terms of NRL Fantasy, his 122 metres and strong kick returns more than made up for it. It was a typically strong performance from the Rabbitohs custodian.
2. Semi Radradra (Eels)
Radradra crossed for another Round 1 hat-trick to kick off proceedings. He was a tackle-breaking machine and Manly simply had no answers. His coach Brad Arthur however was more pleased with his defence, telling Triple M on Saturday afternoon that Radradra was one of the Eels' best because of his decision-making in tackling and his enthusiasm in chasing opposition attackers from marker.
3. Dane Gagai (Knights)
Knights centre Gagai stole the show with his performance against the Warriors on Saturday. Whether he was scoring tries, running 200-plus metres or remaining rock solid in defence, Gagai started his year off with flying colours.
4. Brad Takairangi (Eels)
After spending most of the pre-season training at right centre, Takairangi's shift to the other side of the field paid instant dividends for the rampant Eels. While it always helps having someone like Radradra outside of you, the Parramatta recruit was able to score one of his own and make over 100 metres.
5. Pat Richards (Tigers)
The Wests Tigers winger was up to his old tricks on Saturday night when a last gasp 32 metre field-goal enabled his team to leave Cbus Super Stadium with bragging rights. Besides his match-winning play, Richards managed to score 15 of his team's 19 points (two tries, three goals and a field goal).
6. Corey Norman (Eels)
The Eels five-eighth continued his good form from the Auckland Nines into the first round of the NRL Telstra Premiership. Norman's line break assist and two try assists highlighted why he was a valuable member to the Nines' Team of the Tournament.
7. Adam Reynolds (Rabbitohs)
Speaking of amazing pre-season form, Rabbitohs halfback Reynolds continued his fantastic streak of performances with his dominant performance on Thursday night. His inch-perfect kicking was a highlight as was his straight shooting goal kicking, while his defensive mettle and try assist were icing on the cake.
8. Aaron Woods (Tigers)
Easily the best performance from a front-rower in the opening round of the season, Woods made over 200-plus metres and 31 tackles in his team's one-point win over the Gold Coast.
9. James Segeyaro (Panthers)
The new rules surrounding defenders removing themselves from the opponents was always going to benefit attacking players and Segeyaro was definitely one of them in the Panthers six-point win. After melting Tim Lafai's face off with a ridiculous dummy on his way to scoring a memorable try, Segeyaro backed it up with 30 tackles to cap off a solid first up performance.
10. Kade Snowden (Knights)
When he wasn't throwing cut out balls to help contribute to his team's backline movements and tries, Snowden was an absolute rock for Newcastle. Off-contract at the end of the season, the former NSW prop did all the right things on his way to racking up 143 metres and 32 tackles.
11. Boyd Cordner (Roosters)
His support play was impeccable and a huge reason why he was able to cross for two tries in the Roosters huge win over the Cowboys. Destined for bigger and better things in 2015, Cordner racked up 142 metres and 24 tackles against an overall disappointing North Queensland team.
12. Matt Gillett (Broncos)
The best player in a badly beaten team, Gillett came into Round 1 with no trial form following off-season shoulder surgery, not that it showed as he constantly troubled the Rabbitohs defence. Returning Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett would be tempted to start him this Friday night against Cronulla.
13. Shaun Fensom (Raiders)
What made Shaun Fensom's performance so remarkable was how quickly he has been able to bounce back from major knee surgery. Punching out 68 minutes in his return, Fensom ran for 77 metres and made his typical average of 40-plus tackles to keep the big Sharks forwards at bay in the middle of the park.
14. Mitchell Pearce (Roosters)
In his first official performance as Roosters skipper, Pearce ensured it was a memorable one after orchestrating a 28-4 victory over North Queensland. Getting the wood over Australian five-eighth Johnathan Thurston is a feat within itself, his 26 tackles and two try assists can only be seen as a bonus.
15. Jack Wighton (Raiders)
Wighton was relegated to the bench of the team of the week after his brain-explosion cost him 10 minutes in the sinbin. Either side of that, Wighton was everywhere for the Raiders, scoring two tries including a length of the field effort of his own making, running for 162 metres, making three line breaks and a try-assist to top it all off.
16. Tom Burgess (Rabbitohs)
Nudging out his twin brother for a spot in the Round's best performances, Burgess was dominant in his 34 minute stint off the bench. While defending wasn't a priority with the Rabbitohs dominating in attack, Burgess kept Brisbane reeling after racking up 150 metres.
17. Ryan James (Titans)
Getting sin-binned aside, Ryan James showed he was ready for a big year following his first up showing for the Titans. When his big mop of hair is going everywhere, you know James is putting in the hard yards, and the proof is in the pudding when it comes to his 93 metres, 26 tackles and try.