Round 7 Team of the Week
Hat-trick hookers, a demon shoulder and a Newcastle redemption story headline NRL.com's Team of the Week for Round 7.
1. Lachlan Coote (Cowboys)
Despite sending the ball out on the full twice from kick-offs, the Cowboys fullback had a hand in three of North Queensland's five tries (scoring one himself and providing two assists) in their comeback win over the Warriors.
2. Curtis Rona (Bulldogs)
The Bulldogs winger continued his reign as the competition's leading try-scorer with a double in the Dogs' 12-point win against the Sea Eagles.
3. Will Zillman (Titans)
Sharing his time between centre and fullback in the Titans' big win over Penrith, Zillman ran for a huge 268 metres, busted eight tackles and scored two tries.
4. Moses Mbye (Bulldogs)
Earned man-of-the-match honours in the centres in the Dogs' win over Manly after covering for the injured Josh Morris. Quickly proving to be the Des Hasler's Mr Fix-It, Mbye scored one try, set up another and was a rock in defence with 18 tackles and no misses.
5. Akuila Uate (Knights)
A free-flowing Uate did his Origin chances no harm against Parramatta when he scored a try, set up another and ran for 125 metres. His performance will also be remembered for one freakish kick retrieval.
6. Gareth Widdop (Dragons)
The Dragons held on for a tough victory over the Broncos on Friday and much of it was due to the solid kicking game of Red V five-eighth Widdop. His set-up of Eto Nabuli's try with a pinpoint grubber was just one instance of Widdop giving the Broncos grief with his boot to ball prowess.
7. Cooper Cronk (Storm)
The Storm halfback guided his team to victory in an excellent game against the Roosters. His field goal in the final minute earned his team the win after his freakish kick to winger Marika Koroibete allowed Melbourne to open the scoring.
8. Danny Wicks (Eels)
The Eels prop redeemed himself in Newcastle, with the former Knight returning to his old home ground for the first time since joining Parramatta. Wicks's 118 metres and 29 tackles, including a last-gasp tackle in the final minute on Tyrone Roberts, made it a happy return to the Hunter.
9. Jake Granville (Cowboys)
A hat-trick from a hooker is very rare so there's no question Granville deserves his place in Team of the Week after achieving the feat and consequently winning North Queensland the game against the Warriors with mere minutes remaining. The Cowboys rake backed it up in defence with 34 tackles and only one missed tackle.
10. Jesse Bromwich (Storm)
The Storm front-rower continued his brilliant form in his side's win over the Roosters. With the Trans-Tasman Test just around the corner the Kiwis will benefit greatly if Bromwich keeps it up, making 147 metres and 39 tackles against the Tricolours.
11. Will Matthews (Dragons)
In his first NRL game of the season, Dragons back-rower Matthews earned man-of-the-match honours off the back of his demon shoulder in defence. Playing 79 minutes in the Dragons' two-point win over Brisbane, Matthews ran for 117 metres and made 41 tackles, including big hits on Broncos duo Sam Thaiday and Anthony Milford.
12. Luke Lewis (Sharks)
The Sharks back-rower is hitting form at the right time of the year. With Origin just around the corner, Lewis's try, 131 metres and 43 tackles showcased the veteran representative star is returning to his best.
13. Paul Vaughan (Raiders)
Earning a late call-up to the Raiders starting team following Shaun Fensom's withdrawal, Vaughan proved why he's an asset no matter where he plays considering he ended proceedings with 165 metres, four tackle busts and 32 tackles to his name for Canberra.
14. Chris Sandow (Eels)
In his 150th NRL game, Sandow guided his team to victory with two freakish grubbers which led to tries, plus a 40/20, and remained surprisingly solid in defence with 15 tackles and just one miss.
15. Jack de Belin (Dragons)
De Belin did his chances of earning a maiden Country Origin jersey no harm on the weekend, producing 135 metres and made 32 tackles in a 50-minute stint off the bench.
16. Michael Ennis (Sharks)
Only North Queensland's hat-trick hooker kept Ennis from earning a start in our top team this week, after his memorable man-of-the-match performance in the Sharks' waterlogged win against the Rabbitohs.
17. Sio Siua Taukeiaho (Roosters)
Made his first starting appearance in the NRL and didn't let any of his Roosters teammates down. His 163 metres and 41 tackles proved he may be locking the Tricolours' scrum for a long time to come.