1) Greg Inglis (South Sydney) – Is it really a surprise that the world’s best player is the full-back in the first NRL team of the week? Inglis has maintained his high expectations with his performance against Brisbane in the opening game of the NLR campaign. As always the big full-back was instrumental in everything the Rabbitohs did as well as getting over the line himself. I’m sure it won’t be the last time we see Inglis’ patented ‘gator’ celebration this season.
2) Semi Radrada (Parramatta) – Radrada has definitely earned player of the week for Round One after he managed to grab
three tries in a 42-12 victory for Parra over Manly. The Eels got their season off to a flyer this time around and Radrada was key to this success. His first two tries were on the back of Taikarangi’s passes before Radrada’s combination of pace and power got him over the try line. His third and final try came after an exquisite ball from Norman before the winger finished with ease to cap off a wonderful afternoon, both personally and, for his team. The first hat-trick of many in this NRL season, hopefully.
3) Dane Gagai (Newcastle) – Dane Gagai was the real catalyst in a solid 24-14 Knights win over New Zealand Warriors on Saturday. Gagai went over the line in the opening minutes to get the Knights off to a fantastic start. Later he forced his way over again to pull Newcastle level, both real centre’s tries. He finished the game with the most tries, line-breaks and running metres proving he really had been a key in Newcastle’s performance.
4) Brad Taikarangi (Parramatta) – Even with his winger Tadrada stealing the headlines Taikarangi still managed to put in a performance which made people take notice. Taikarangi assisted two of Radrada’s three tries and was a nuisance for the Manly defence all game. The centre did get a try of his own later on when he got on the end of Chris Sandows chip over the top.
5) Pat Richards (Wests) – If Radrada was player of the week Richards was a close second. The winger almost single-handedly won Wests their opening game of the season when they defeated Gold Coast 18-19. Richards went in for two tries in the corner both times to pull the Tigers level. This before he kicked a drop-goal in the dying seconds of the game to give Wests the win on the opening weekend. His infamous kicking ability on display again.
6) Corey Norman (Parramatta) – When a team scores 42 points on the opening weekend a lot of this has got to be down to fantastic half-back play and that was the case for Parra. Norman ran the game from the first whistle to the last and every dangerous attack the Eels put together Norman was at the focal point. His moment of the match really came when he threw a rocket of a ball to Radrada, which missed out three men, before the winger touched down. A phenomenal piece of skill.
7) Adam Reynolds (Souths) – Inglis and Reynolds were really the two main cogs which saw the Souths machine dismantle Brisbane on Friday hence his position in the team. Reynolds was key in everything Souths did well in both halves of the field however more so in the attacking third. Reynolds renowned for his kicking expertise showed the world again why he is considered one of the best – kicking five conversions from a possible six. However he made up for his one unsuccessful attempt when he sunk a penalty goal from inside his own half. A truly spectacular effort.
8) Kade Snowden (Newcastle) – Props always seem the most difficult position to pick in a team of the week. However Kade
Snowden was a relatively easy pick. Snowden continuously trudged the ball up against the Warriors and came out on top on most occasions. His solid defensive work with his power going forward helped the Knights battle to an opening weekend victory.
9) James Segeyaro (Penrith) – The 2014 Hooker of the season contunied his great form in the opening round of 2015. Segeyaro commanded the game from start to finish as Penrith defeated last years grand-finalists Canterbury 24-18. Segeyaro also scored try himself when he jumped from hooker and went straight through the Bulldogs defence, something which has become a key feature of the Papua New Guineans game.
10) Aaron Woods (Wests) – Similar to his propping counterpart Snowden, Woods was a real leader in Wests push for their victory at Gold Coast. Richards may have took all the glory but big men such as Woods kept the side in the game in crucial spells when the Titans were on top. Woods was relentless in his go forward even when caught with a few good shots, fully deserved of his place in the team of the week.
11) Boyd Cordner (Sydney) – Cordner was the key danger man, surprisingly, for the Roosters as they defeated North Queensland 4-28. The big second-rower crossed the line on two occasions on the opening weekend. Both of his tries were relatively easy scores after supporting Tuivasa-Sheck for his first before strolling over for his second. However he was in the right place at the right time on both occasions. This on top of a consistent performance as always in defence.
12) Matt Gillett (Brisbane) – Brisbane really didn’t perform well in the opening game against Souths however second-rower Matt Gillett did impress more than the rest of the squad. Gillett got Brisbane’s only score of the game when he took advantage of a gap out wide. As well as being the only Broncos to trouble the Rabbitohs defence he managed to put in a solid defensive performance as well earning him a place in this weeks side.
13) Shaun Fensom (Canberra) – Canberra came out on top in a close encounter with Cronulla and this was in no small part thanks to Shaun Fensom’s display at loose forward. Fensom won his personal duel with Paul Gallen which was pivotal in their small victory. Fensom finished second in hit ups behind only Sia Soliola for his side and racked up an impressive tackle count of 44.