Round 1 is in the books, and what an opening weekend of the 2023 season it was.

While the inevitable early-season rust was present, there were a number of games that were as good as any that you'll see this year, including that Manly and Parramatta clash on Thursday.

The Broncos beat the Panthers by a point at the foot of the mountains, and there were impressive performance from some of last year's stragglers including the Manly Sea Eagles and Gold Coast Titans, while the Dolphins were also able to pull the Sydney Roosters' pants down in their first ever game.

That has left us with an intriguing first stats-based team of the week for 2023, which also could realistically be mistaken for an objectively chosen team.

Tom Trbojevic is back, the Dolphins have three players, and there is a relatively even split across a number of clubs.

For readers new to the stats-based team of the week, a reminder it is chosen purely off a stats-based algorithm, rather than a subjective approach by any one writer.

Let's get into the first team of the week for 2023.

1. Tom Trbojevic (Sea Eagles)
Tom Trbojevic, at his best, is normally involved in absolutely everything for the Sea Eagles, and that was certainly the case during the season-opener against the Bulldogs.

Scoring the opening try of Manly's season, his troublesome hamstrings held up to allow an almost 80-minute performance where he ran for 173 metres, made two line breaks, assisted a try and had five tackle breaks to go with a pair of line break assists.

2. Jamayne Isaako (Dolphins)
There was seemingly no guarantee of a spot in the starting backline for the Dolphins at the start of the season, but any train of thought suggesting that to still be the case has gone out the back window.

He scored a double in the club's inaugural game, kicking four of the five conversions and running 184 metres in what was potentially his best NRL performance in years.

3. Campbell Graham (Rabbitohs)
Graham was fantastic for the Rabbitohs in their opening-round win over the Sharks, running for 198 metres and scoring the two tries in the second half which ultimately secured the victory.

His runs were full of intent and difficult to stop as well, with the Australian World Cup centre also making three line breaks.

4. Herbie Farnworth (Broncos)
Winning at the foot of the mountains as a visiting team has bordered on impossible in recent seasons, but Farnworth was a key part of the reason the Broncos were able to start the season on the winning foot in one of the toughest road trips there is.

Scoring a double, he also made 154 metres and four tackle breaks while also defending solidly, making eight tackles without a miss.

5. Reuben Garrick (Sea Eagles)
There is no doubt that the whole Sea Eagles' team goes up the gears when Trbojevic is on the field. Garrick was good without him last year, but went to another level with him back on the park.

Garrick's running game was simply electric, making 194 metres, three line breaks and scoring a try whole also holding his own defensively throughout the contest.

6. Adam Doueihi (Wests Tigers)
Doueihi might have been on the losing side for his first game of the year, but was exceptional in defeat for the Tigers.

Scoring one of their two tries, his running game was a constant threat, making 167 metres and 6 tackle breaks.

7. Daly Cherry-Evans (Sea Eagles)
Cherry-Evans was just another of the Sea Eagles' players who went to another level with Trbojevic back on the park.

Scoring a hat-trick of tries, he ran the ball magnificently all afternoon, picking up 123 metres, a try assist to go with the three of his own, and also controlled the kicking game as he always tends to do.

There were significant questions over Cherry-Evans this year as he looks to go to another level alongside an inexperienced halves partner - supposed to be Josh Schuster but Cooper Johns in Round 1 - and he answered them all superbly.

8. Junior Paulo (Eels)
Paulo increased the number of minutes he was able to play last year, and that showed no signs of slowing down coming into the new year.

His algorithm score makes him the prop of the week, and after 68 minutes on the park which included a try, it's not hard to see why. He teamed that up with 208 metres from 20 carries, 86 post-contact metres and a line break, as well as 30 tackles in a mega performance.

9. Reece Robson (Cowboys)
Reece Robson started the 2023 right where he ended the 2022 one - as one of the best dummy halves in the game and playing superb rugby league.

Leading his team for tackles with 49, he played a superb 80 minutes with his running game a constant threat to help the Cowboys to a tense victory over the Raiders.

10. Payne Haas (Broncos)
To beat down the Panthers at the foot of the mountains, your middle third has to be on fire, and that it was for the Broncos. After an exceptionally disappointing finish to 2022, it was Payne Haas who led the way, eating metres and tackling strongly.

He wound up with 204 metres, and the Broncos will need plenty more where that came from to push themselves to the finals this season.

NRL Trial Match - Cowboys v Broncos

11. David Fifita (Titans)
Fifita, who is rumoured to be on the verge of re-signing with the Titans, reminded everyone of his worth with a scintillating performance in the final game of Round 1.

He finished the performance with 206 metres, 4 tackle busts and 27 tackles.

12. Keaon Koloamatangi (Rabbitohs)
Koloamatangi was exceptional on the edge for the Rabbitohs. Crossing for a first half try, he ran for 152 metres in just 13 carries, regularly threatening the line and breaking tackles.

The representative calibre forward also defended strongly, making 33 tackles.

13. Josh King (Storm)
J'maine Hopgood, as the debutant for Parramatta, might have taken all the applause out of this game, but it's difficult not to acknowledge the quiet achievement of Josh King.

The hard-hitting, hard-working middle forward played the entirety of the contest for Melbourne, making 133 metres and 54 tackles in a workmanlike effort.

14. Mark Nicholls (Dolphins)
Nicholls was one of a host of experienced forwards brought into the fold at the Dolphins by coach Bennett, and he excelled in his first game.

He was a surprise try-scorer in the first half but also made 174 metres at a tick over ten per carry to put in a performance which we have simply come to expect of the forward.

15. Connelly Lemuelu (Dolphins)
Lemuelu was a late inclusion on the Dolphins' bench, but ultimately ended up playing 50 minutes for the expansion club in their first outing, and doing it well.

The Cowboys could never find an opportunity for him in Townsville, but he may well generate more opportunities in Redcliffe on the back of yesterday's effort, which saw 104 metres and a try.

16. Tom Starling (Raiders)
Starling was superb for the Raiders off the bench, and will need to be right throughout the 2023 season.

He ultimately scored a try, running 55 metres with some real spark after he came onto the ground, also adding a try assist. Only played 43 minutes, and it feels as if Ricky Stuart needs to find him more minutes in a hurry.

17. Moeaki Fotuaika (Titans)
Fotuaika coming off the bench almost seems unfair, such is his worth. He would not look out of place starting in any representative team.

In just 13 runs, he made 164 metres, lighting up the Tigers's defence with his footwork and leg drive, adding 5 tackle busts and 21 tackles without a miss.

Honourable Mentions: Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow (Dolphins), Murray Taulagi (Cowboys), Young Tonumaipea (Storm), Cameron Munster (Storm), Sean O'Sullivan (Dolphins), Reuben Cotter (Cowboys), Jeremy Marshall-King (Dolphins), Kenneath Bromwich (Dolphins), Patrick Carrigan (Broncos)