Team of the Week: Round 8
Terrific Titans, Naiqama magic, a lone Sea Eagle and a runaway prop headline Round 8's best 17 from what was a memorable Anzac weekend.
1. Matt Moylan (Panthers)
Without Jamie Soward, Peter Wallace or James Segeyaro there to assist him, Penrith fullback Moylan led his team to victory over the Sharks. The talented custodian scored a try, laid on another and kicked five from five in a starring role against an in-form Cronulla side, while also coming up with 10 tackles – showing the City Origin fullback is becoming adept at defence as well.
2. Kevin Naiqama (Wests Tigers)
The Wests Tigers winger just about earned selection for Team of the Week within the first four minutes of his team's big win over the Bulldogs with a magical try assist – flicking the ball back from over the dead ball line to his fullback James Tedesco – in what will be one of the plays of the season. Naiqama went on to lay on another try and score one himself in an impressive attacking display.
3. Ricky Leutele (Sharks)
Sharks centre Leutele has been one of the big improvers in the NRL over the past two years. The 25-year-old was at it again in Penrith on Sunday, making 150 metres, scoring a try and setting up another.
4. Justin Hodges (Broncos)
The Broncos captain returned from a hamstring complaint and brought a new level of class to Brisbane's right edge, providing a try assists and two line-break assists in his side's win over Parramatta.
5. Bureta Faraimo (Eels)
The Eels winger scored all three of his side's tries against the Broncos and backed it up with a solid tally of 148 metres.
6. Anthony Milford (Broncos)
With two tries, two tackle busts and 200-plus metres, Milford produced his best performance in Broncos colours against Parramatta.
7. Kane Elgey (Titans)
The Manly-bound Gold Coast lynchpin played his best game in the NRL yet against the Warriors, scoring two tries and laying on another two for teammates.
8. Josh McGuire (Broncos)
McGuire kept up his good season in the Broncos' win over the Eels with 152 metres, 38 tackles and a runaway try.
9. Kierran Moseley (Titans)
With starting Gold Coast hooker Beau Falloon injured, Moseley came on after eight minutes and stole the show. The young rake set up two tries and scored another while remaining solid as a rock in the middle where he made 36 tackles.
10. Aaron Woods (Wests Tigers)
The Tigers prop solidified his starting spot in the Kangaroos team with solid performance against the Dogs on Friday night, running for 219 metres and making 30 tackles.
11. Ryan James (Titans)
The back-rower is looking more and more like a NSW Origin bolter every time he plays. Against the Warriors, the Country Origin rep scored a try, set up another, ran for 148 metres and made 33 tackles.
12. Josh Papalii (Raiders)
Papalii's personal tally of a try, try assist, 105 metres and 30 tackles may not have been enough to earn the Raiders wrecking ball a Kangaroos recall but it sure kept Ricky Stuart and the Canberra faithful happy.
13. Lewis Brown (Panthers)
The Kiwi international returned from a rib injury, took over the Penrith captaincy and led from the front in his team's win over the Sharks, with 107 metres and 27 tackles.
14. Michael Morgan (Cowboys)
Remained a danger throughout the Cowboys' win over Newcastle, and capped it off by scoring a try, setting up another and breaking through six tackles.
15. Chris McQueen (Rabbitohs)
His Rabbitohs may have suffered their fourth loss in five games, but McQueen celebrated his 100th NRL game against the Raiders on Sunday with a strong performance featuring a try, a long-winding run which led to Greg Inglis's try, five tackle busts and 22 tackles.
16. Scott Bolton (Cowboys)
Came off the Cowboys' bench after one minute when James Taumalolo was injured and never looked like slowing down. Spending 64 minutes on the paddock, Bolton made 158 metres and 35 tackles.
17. Daly Cherry-Evans (Sea Eagles)
After a very low week where his future was once again a source of speculation, the Sea Eagles halfback bounced back in the best way by leading his team to their second victory of the year, with both coincidentally coming from wins over Melbourne.