Round 21 Team of the Week
A quartet of Eels, a Rooster who could not be contained and a virtuoso performance from Cameron Smith the highlights in the Round 21 Team of the Week.
1. James Tedesco (Tigers)
Scored a somewhat lucky try and set up another for Esan Marsters but truth be told Tedesco looked as though he might score every time he touched the footy against the Titans. Ran for 220 metres with seven tackle busts and three offloads.
2. Josh Addo-Carr (Storm)
He blew both Akuila Uate and Tom Trbojevic away with a last-minute try in the Storm's big win over Manly that gave futher credence to his status as the fastest player in the game today. It was his second line break in a game where he accumulated 247 run metres.
3. Esan Marsters (Tigers)
The 20-year-old is quickly adjusting to life in the NRL, scoring his fourth try in eight games, playing a key role in the try for Tedesco and racking up four offloads, three tackle busts and 112 run metres.
4. Jarrod Croker (Raiders)
The Raiders skipper responded with his team down on troops, scoring his side's opening try, laying on another for Nick Cotric, kicking six goals and running for 132 metres in Canberra's convincing win.
5. Kirisome Auva'a (Eels)
Made the most of his late call-up onto the Parramatta wing, scoring two tries, registering three line breaks, three tackle busts and 153 run metres in a powerful performance.
6. Luke Keary (Roosters)
Few halves take better advantage of a forward pack dominating their opposition and Keary terrorised the Cowboys in the Roosters' second half comeback, out-pacing Ethan Lowe to score, releasing Latrell Mitchell for his first-half try and playing a key hand in the try for Daniel Tupou that gave the Roosters the lead.
7. Mitchell Moses (Eels)
Produced what many described as the pass of the year for the first of Auva'a's two tries, put his body on the line as he kicked through for Tepai Moeroa's try and wrapped up the win with a short side shift for Auva'a's second.
8. James Tamou (Panthers)
In a dour struggle against the Bulldogs work needed to be first done up front and it was Tamou who stepped up to lay the ground work for the win, racking up 113 metres in the first half alone before finishing with 184 metres and 31 tackles.
9. Cameron Smith (Storm)
His 350th NRL game. Four try assists. Big 40-6 win. GOAT.
10. Aaron Woods (Tigers)
After an impressive opening burst from Tim Grant it was Aaron Woods who stepped up to continue the Tigers' dominance in the middle against the Titans, running for 160 metres, busting three tackles, getting three offloads away and even forcing his way past three defenders to score his first try of the season.
11. Manu Ma'u (Eels)
Led an aggressive Eels forward pack in their upset win over the Broncos, playing the entire 80 minutes and racking up 150 metres and 35 tackles along with three tackle busts and an offload.
12. Sio Siua Taukeiaho (Roosters)
He may have started on the bench for the Roosters but the impact Taukeiaho had against the Cowboys was worthy of a place in the Team of the Week starting side. As the Roosters ramped up the intensity Taukeiaho was almost unstoppable, carrying Cowboys defenders with each charge and finishing with an incredible 183 metres in the second half for a total of 214 metres.
13. Nathan Brown (Eels)
A leading contender for signing of the year and the NRL's most improved player, Brown took it to the Broncos' representative forward pack, running for 223 metres and making 43 tackles in what is fast becoming a weekly occurrence.
14. Danny Levi (Knights)
Provided a wonderful spark off the bench against the Dragons, probing around the ruck and getting his forwards over the advantage line as they notched their third win of the season.
15. Jacob Saifiti (Knights)
A crucial inclusion, Saifiti came off the bench and gave the Knights the impact in the second stanza that they have lacked in previous fade-outs, capping his 198 run metres with the match-winning try nine minutes from full-time.
16. Joseph Tapine (Raiders)
Promoted to the Raiders starting team for just the sixth time this season, Tapine stepped up in the absence of Josh Papalii and Sia Soliola, troubling the Rabbitohs with his size and skill as he accumulated 166 run metres and snuck across for a first-half try.
17. Jason Taumalolo (Cowboys)
Another Herculean performance from the Cowboys lock forward, running for 174 metres in the first half alone to put his side in position to open up a 16-6 lead at the break. Finished with another extraordinary tally of 236 run metres from 21 carries, 97 of which came after contact.