SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 05: Andrew Fifita of the Sharks is tackled during the round nine NRL match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Parramatta Eels at Southern Cross Group Stadium on May 5, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt Blyth/Getty Images)

1. Alex Johnston (South Sydney Rabbitohs)

Part of the South Sydney backline that put Newcastle to the sword on Friday night. Johnston was dangerous every time he touched the football, recording three-line breaks, two try assists and 146 run metres.

2. Josh Addo-Carr (Melbourne Storm)

The best player in a beaten side, Josh Addo-Carr continues to put his hand up for a State of Origin berth. Broke the line five times to score all three of Melbourne’s tries.

3. Euan Aitken (St George Illawarra Dragons)

Another player who continues to push his claim for a Blues jumper come June 6. Scored two tries and broke through six tackles in his biggest test of the season to date; an 18-point victory over the reigning premiers, the Melbourne Storm.

4. Sione Mata’utia (Newcastle Knights)

As the former captain of his club at just age 20, Mata’utia tried his best to keep the Newcastle Knights in the contest throughout the entirety of the match. Had a hand in all three of his sides’ tries – scoring one of his own and recording two assists – in a performance which proved he still has the potential to once again represent his country at the highest level.

5. Tyrone Phillips (Penrith Panthers)

In a week of strong individual performances from players apart of a losing side, Tyrone Phillips was no exception. Scored two tries, broke five tackles and ran for 150 run metres in a short-lived Penrith comeback.

6. Cody Walker (South Sydney Rabbitohs)

In a week of hardship for South Sydney half Cody Walker, the Nowra product was on fire from the get-go as he aimed to dedicate his performance to his late mother. In the opening seven minutes of the match, Walker laid down the platform, scoring a try and having a hand in another.

7. Adam Reynolds (South Sydney Rabbitohs)

Walker’s halves partner was also in fine form on Friday night. With his exceptional kicking game on display once again, Reynolds provided his side with a half kilometre worth of kick distance and forced a dropout in a dominant performance. Also laid on two tries and kicked six goals from six attempts.

8. Andrew Fifita (Cronulla Sharks)

In a near 80-minute performance, Andrew Fifita once again proved how big a loss he will be for New South Wales in this year’s State of Origin series. Recorded a line break, eight tackle breaks and proved to be the main source of Cronulla’s second phase play with six offloads. Also completed 41 of 42 tackle attempts and ran for 150 metres with ball in hand.

9. Peter Wallace (Penrith Panthers)

Sparked Penrith’s second-half comeback with two tries in quick succession. With 54 minutes on the field, his club really needed him out there for the full 80 who struggled without him.

10.   Matthew Scott (North Queensland Cowboys)

In his best performance of the 2018 season to date, North Queensland stalwart Matthew Scott hit back at his critics in a literal sense. He smashed the Penrith attacking line and forced errors from the opposition all night with his hard-hitting defence.

11.   Rhyse Martin (Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs)

Had to wait a long time for his NRL debut after strong form for the Townsville Blackhawks in the Queensland Cup and Canterbury in the New South Wales Cup over the past three and a half seasons. Didn’t disappoint in his first showing, scoring a try, completing 40 tackles and running for 90 metres in an 80-minute performance on debut.

12.   Bunty Afoa (New Zealand Warriors)

The bustling backrower who hails from Samoa may have only played 37-minutes on Saturday afternoon, but remained an integral cog to his side’s victory. Ran for 158 metres, broke through three tackles and completed 20 of his own with an efficiency of 100%.

13.   Jason Taumalolo (North Queensland Cowboys)

Returned to his best after a dismal performance against the Canberra Raiders. Broke six tackles, broke the line twice and ran for 233 metres with ball in hand.

Interchange

  1. Tevita Pangai Junior (Brisbane Broncos)
  2. Johnathan Thurston (North Queensland Cowboys)
  3. Gavin Cooper (North Queensland Cowboys)
  4. Martin Taupau (Manly Sea Eagles)

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