Every week of the NRL season, NSWRL.com.au staff writers will have their say on the Blues' Best Five performing players from that round. More than one player can be selected in a position if their performance is deemed to be in the top five for that week. Selections are purely subjective and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSWRL or the selection process for the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues.
Club: Melbourne Storm Position: Fullback NSW Origin Games: 0
Melbourne Storm’s electric fullback has gone from strength to strength in 2021 and his performance on Friday night was simply astonishing. Brisbane Broncos had all the momentum until Papenhuyzen piled on four tries in 11 minutes to give his side a 24-6 lead at the break.
The Storm ended up 40-6 winners with Papenhuyzen racking up a total of 26 points including four tries and five conversions. He also ran for 298 metres, had two line breaks, one line break assist, one try assist, 10 tackle breaks and three offloads.
Club: Penrith Panthers Position: Wing NSW Origin Games: 0
Brian To’o has proven himself as one of the game’s top wingers and he played his part in the Panthers’ 46-6 win over Manly Warringah Sea Eagles to perfection. The Panthers fan favourite terrorised Manly’s defence all night with his hard ball running and strong leg speed, producing one of his best performances for 2021.
To’o finished the night with two tries, ran for a game high 205 metres including 80 post contact metres as well as two line breaks and eight tackle busts.
Club: South Sydney Rabbitohs Position: Hooker NSW Origin Games: 9
With rule changes increasing the speed of the game in 2021, it’s little surprise that Damien Cook has been one of the standout players. Led by Cook and five-eighth Cody Walker, the Rabbitohs have been impressive since their Round One loss to Melbourne, outscoring the opposition over the past three weeks 90-28.
Souths had a resounding 38-0 win over the Bulldogs on the weekend and Cook was one of the best on ground. He finished with 92 metres, two try assists, two line breaks, two tackle busts and 47 tackles.
Club: Penrith Panthers Position: Five-eighth NSW Origin Games: 0
Penrith Panthers ran riot against Manly Warringah on the weekend and Luai was one of the best on ground after combining with Viliame Kikau, Matt Burton and Brian To’o to terrorise the Sea Eagles’ right-edge defence.
Luai, who was part of the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues extended squad last season, finished the match with 132 metres, one line break, three line break assists, three try assists, two tackle busts and two offloads.
Club: St George Illawarra Dragons Position: Second row NSW Origin Games: 2
The Dragons have had an impressive to start the season recording three wins from four games. Playing in front of a vocal Newcastle crowd is never an easy task although the Dragons were more than capable, coming away with a 22-13 win.
Sims starred for the Red V and finished the game with two tries, including one where he charged down a kick, regathered and raced away to score, as well as 124 running metres, one line break, four tackle breaks, 41 tackles and the award for Man of the Match.