Team of the Week: Round 17

Round 17's Team of the Week sees young Panthers reign supreme, veteran Cowboys step up without the Origin stars around and some resurgent Eels get their season back on track.

1. James Tedesco (Wests Tigers)

Controversially denied a try against the Eels on Monday night, Tedesco didn't let such things hinder his performance and came up with a ridiculous 222 metres, 14 tackle breaks and a try assist to boot.

2. Jorge Taufua (Sea Eagles)

If his hat-trick wasn't enough, Taufua's spectacular pass in limited space back inside for his centre Steve Matai to score was a highlight in itself in the Sea Eagles' eventual 28-16 win over Cronulla.

3. Euan Aitken (Dragons)

Blatantly targeted by North Queensland in defence, Aitken held his own and then some despite the Dragons going down by six points. Coming up with 33 tackles from the centres, Aitken was still able to make an impact in attack with a try and five tackle breaks. 

4. Kane Linnett (Cowboys)

The second-most experienced back in North Queensland's Origin-depleted team behind winger Antonio Winterstein, Linnett lifted when needed for the Cowboys by scoring two tries and running for 276 metres in his side's win over the Dragons.

5. Semi Radradra (Eels)

Becoming the first winger to score multiple tries in five consecutive games in 61 years, Radradra eventually got the better of Tigers winger Kevin Naiqama to score a double and set up Chris Sandow for another.

6. Kieran Foran (Sea Eagles)

With his future beyond this season settled last week, Foran showed why his combination with Daly Cherry-Evans will be missed in 2016 after proving to be a vital link in the Sea Eagles' backline movements. 

7. Chris Sandow (Eels)

With a try and a try assist, the Eels halfback led his team to their third straight victory in their eventual 12-point win over a disappointing Tigers outfit.

8. Tim Mannah (Eels)

Parramatta's captain scored his first try since Round 6, 2012 and kept the good times rolling in his team's third consecutive win with an impressive 167 metres.

9. Mitch Rein (Dragons)

Unlucky not to be drafted into the Blues camp for Origin III as an injury replacement for Robbie Farah, Rein continued his good form for the Dragons by holding his own in the middle with a round-high 66 tackles.  

10. Ben Hannant (Cowboys)

It's no coincidence Hannant's two Team of the Week berths this year have come in the split rounds, with the veteran dubbed 'Polar Bear' producing 145 metres and 41 tackles without usual Cowboys props Matt Scott and James Tamou available.  

11. Bryce Cartwright (Panthers)

Earning best on ground honours for his starring performance in the Panthers' big victory over South Sydney, Cartwright's flick passing prowess proved vital while his 226 metres weren't too shabby either.  

12. Wade Graham (Sharks)

Who needs Paul Gallen when you have stand-in captain Graham producing Gal-esque numbers for the Sharks? Graham's 188 metres and 26 tackles ensured he was just about the best forward on the field despite Cronulla's 12-point loss to Manly. 

13. Jason Taumalolo (Cowboys)

The wrecking ball continued his good form by playing a huge part in handing the Dragons their fourth straight loss. Taumalolo's 194 metres in just 43 minutes was a testament to the damage he caused in the middle.

Interchange

14. Brett Stewart (Sea Eagles)

With a bone-crunching, try-saving tackle on Sosaia Feki and two try assists for winger Taufua, Stewart deservedly won Man of the Match honours for his efforts against the Sharks.

15. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (Panthers)

Life without Matt Moylan ain't so bad when you have young Dallin Watene-Zelezniak taking care of matters out the back for the Panthers. The 19-year-old broke eight tackles and caused problems for the Rabbitohs all evening.

16. Andrew Fifita (Sharks)

A late try-scoring double kept his Sharks team in the hunt against the Sea Eagles, and he again produced big numbers in attack and defence. 

17. Reagan Campbell-Gillard (Panthers)

One of the more underrated rookies to come from the 2015 season, Campbell-Gillard was a driving force behind the Panthers' solid outing against South Sydney.