1. Valentine Holmes (Cronulla Sharks)
Valentine Holmes’ form over the past three months of football have been so unbelievable that he may sneak home the Dally M Medal for player of the year. In yet another man-of-the-match performance, the 23-year-old scored a try and set up three others in an important win for the club in a time of crisis.
2. Corey Oates (Brisbane Broncos)
As he continues to push for a new contract, Corey Oates may have signed, sealed and delivered his fate after four tries and 300 run metres against Manly on Sunday afternoon.
3. Latrell Mitchell (Sydney Roosters)
After a poor performance last week, Latrell Mitchell shot back to form against cellar dwellers the Parramatta Eels with a hattrick and a try assist. The diminutive centre also broke ten tackles and kicked six goals. The odds-on favourite for Dally M Centre of the Year honours.
4. Peta Hiku (New Zealand Warriors)
Set up what was perhaps the try of the season for wing partner David Fusitu’a with an amazing offload. Would also cross for a try of his own on the way to 130 run metres.
5. Josh Mansour (Penrith Panthers)
Definitely wouldn’t have made the best and fairest team of the week after being sin binned early in the first half, however; Mansour’s two tries, 172 run metres and nine tackle breaks were the difference makers in the end with Penrith picking up a come from behind victory over the Melbourne Storm.
6. Anthony Milford (Brisbane Broncos)
Anthony Milford has become the most improved player over the past six weeks of football. With 193 run metres to add to his whopping 553 metres of territory he would gain for his side through his much-controlled kicking game, Milford was in control of the game throughout the full 80 minutes. Add in his three try assists and two line breaks and it’s easy to see why many are tipping the Broncos as their smokies in the upcoming 2018 finals series.
7. Johnathan Thurston (North Queensland Cowboys)
The end of an era. It will still be dawning on many fans that Thurston’s career is over and that they’ll never see him play another game in the National Rugby League again. But boy did he go out in style, the man they call JT set up two tries and kicked five goals from as many attempts to get the Cowboys home in a tight contest. And as ever, in a typical Johnathan Thurston performance – he was the difference maker between winning and losing – thanks for the memories JT.
8. Agnatius Paasi (New Zealand Warriors)
177 run metres and 28 tackles in 60-minute stint. A strong performance from the ex-Titan, and if he can continue his current reign of form into the finals series, the Warriors will be a true threat.
9. Damien Cook (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
Should have been an NRL starter five years ago. In his first full season of first grade, Damien Cook has become a main stay in our team of the week and is odds on favourite to pick up the Dally M Hooker of the Year award later on this month. Against Wests he recorded a try assist, completed 32 tackles, ran for 90 metres from dummy-half and broke three tackles.
10. Daniel Saifiti (Newcastle Knights)
The best in a losing side, Daniel Saifiti topped 220 running metres and completed 20 tackles in an hour on the field. Is a future prospect for New South Wales and Australia and should be representing his state and country sooner rather than later.
11. Gavin Cooper (North Queensland Cowboys)
On Saturday evening against the Gold Coast, Gavin Cooper became the first forward in the 110-year history of the game to score nine tries in nine consecutive first grade games. In a disappointing season for the Cowboys, Cooper has been a shining light for the side. He has also been one of the better backrowers in the competition this season.
12. John Sutton (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
I truly believe at 33-years of age, that John Sutton has never been better. Had three try involvements with two try assists and a try of his own, ran for 190 metres with ball in hand, broke five tackles, recorded two offloads and completed 20 tackles. Like a fine wine…
13. Joe Ofahengaue (Brisbane Broncos)
Taumalolo who? Ofahengaue has dominated opposition forward packs since being called into the starting lock position for the Broncos this season. Scored a try, ran for 200 run metres and made 22 tackles in just a 59-minute stint.
14. James Tedesco (Sydney Roosters)
15. Blake Ferguson (Sydney Roosters)
16. Matthew Scott (North Queensland Cowboys)
17. Andrew Fifita (Cronulla Sharks)
18th man: Tohu Harris