SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 08: Ben Hunt of the Dragons looks on ahead of the round one NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Brisbane Broncos at UOW Jubilee Oval on March 8, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

1. Kalyn Ponga (Newcastle Knights)

Proved the critics wrong with a scintillating performance which all but confirmed the 20-year-old is worth the big contract he landed himself in the Hunter. After being heavily targeted by Manly’s defence early in the contest, Ponga bounced back with a try and managed a mammoth 12 tackle breaks.

2. Blake Ferguson (Sydney Roosters)

Ferguson was the stand-out in a disappointing Roosters side which went down 10-8 to a determined Wests Tigers side. Ferguson recorded Easts lone try and ran for a match-high 268 running metres and three-line breaks.

3. Waqa Blake (Penrith Panthers)

After a slow start, Waqa Blake showed his potential with a solo 30-metre four-pointer before putting the final nail Parramatta’s coffin with a second try after half-time. Recorded 111 running metres and six tackle breaks.

4. Esan Marsters (Wests Tigers)

The man of the match during Saturday’s upset victory over the Sydney Roosters, the strong running Esan Marsters recorded 177 running metres and proved a vital aspect of the Tigers second phase play with five offloads.

5. Josh Addo-Carr (Melbourne Storm)

Continued his strong form with a double and 212 running metres. Should come close to representative honours in 2018.

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6. Benji Marshall (Wests Tigers)

Controlled the tempo of the game in his return game. The class of Marshall shone through when halves partner Luke Brooks was sent for a 10-minute stint in the sin bin. Marshall’s coolness and prowess kept Wests in the contest and played an integral part in his club’s victory.

7. Ben Hunt (St. George Illawarra Dragons)

The move across the border proved wonders for Ben Hunt with the former Bronco giving his ex-club nightmares throughout the entirety of the contest. His exceptional kicking game, despite starting off a little clunky, got the Dragons home in the end. Laid on a try assist and wasn’t afraid to take on the line.

8. James Graham (St. George Illawarra Dragons)

The charismatic Englishmen confirmed he still has it. Hit back to form with 125 running metres and 30 tackles in his debut outing for his new club.

9. Issac Luke (New Zealand Warriors)

Issac Luke put in arguably his best performance for the Warriors since he first joined the club in 2015. Showcasing his running game for the first time in years – Luke ran for a total of 115 metres.

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10. Martin Taupau (Manly Sea Eagles)

Continued from where he left off last season in a strong performance for Manly. Taupau ran for over 180 metres and recorded 25 tackles in a thrilling contest against the Newcastle Knights.

11. Viliame Kikau (Penrith Panthers)

After being named to start earlier in the week, Kikau responded to his benching with a near man of the match performance in just his 10th first-grade appearance. Scored a try and was dominating with each of his eight carries.

12. Tohu Harris (New Zealand Warriors)

So far so good for Harris when it comes to ex-Melbourne players succeeding at new clubs. Showed off his good ball playing skills with a try assist and two-line break assists whilst also 135 running metres along with 30 tackles.

13. Jason Taumalolo (North Queensland Cowboys)

Jason Taumalolo remains the best forward in the game. 177 running metres was impressive amongst the best forward pack in the game boasting the likes of Matthew Scott, Jordan McLean and Coen Hess.

3 COMMENTS

  1. 4 try assists, 2 line break assists plus a great kicking game yet Ash Taylor couldn’t make the “team of the week”… this site and their ‘experts’ are an absolute joke.

    • To be fair, Hunt managed to catch all kick offs sent to him, so he obviously deserves half back of the week.

      In all honesty though, Hunt wasn’t actually that great. He had a solid game and threw a good pass, but it was Widdop who stood out for the Saints I think.

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