The NSW Team of the Week is back! Each week of the NRL season, nswrl.com.au staff writers will have their say on the round's best performing New South Welshmen. These are based entirely on the opinions of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSWRL or the selection process for the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues. Captaincy is awarded based on that week’s on-field performance and is not based on club captaincy or leadership qualities.
1. Matt Dufty
Club: St George Illawarra Dragons. NSW Origin appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 2.
Dufty has now had a consistent run of matches in the Dragons’ custodian role and continues to reap the rewards for his performances. On Saturday’s 28-22 win against the Bulldogs, Dufty scored two tries, produced one try-assist and line-break assist, made five tackle-breaks and ran for 173 metres.
2. David Nofoaluma
Club: Wests Tigers. NSW Origin appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 5.
Nofoaluma opened the scoring for the Wests Tigers as they outclassed the Broncos 48-0 at Leichhardt Oval. Nofoaluma also came up with a try-assist, made one line-break and five tackle-breaks, and ran for 184 metres including 48 post-contact.
3. Stephen Crichton
Club: Penrith Panthers. NSW Origin appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 2.
Crichton scored a crucial four-pointer in the 58th minute to regain the lead against the Cowboys on Sunday afternoon. The Penrith centre also recorded a try-assist, two line-breaks, three tackle-breaks, four offloads and 163 run metres including 69 post-contact.
4. Bradman Best
Club: Newcastle Knights. NSW Origin appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 4.
Best’s left side combination with Kalyn Ponga was back in full effect on Saturday night, diving onto a grubber for the Knights’ sole try of the second half. Best finished the contest with a try-assist, one line-break assist, five tackle-breaks, two offloads and 193 run metres including 95 post-contact.
5. Josh Addo-Carr
Club: Melbourne Storm. NSW Origin appearances: 6. TOTW selections: 2.
Addo-Carr added to his 2020 try-scoring tally with his first double of the season at Sunshine Coast Stadium in Round 10. He also made one line-break and tackle-break, and ran for 154 metres.
6. Jack Wighton
Club: Canberra Raiders. NSW Origin appearances: 3. TOTW selections: 4.
It was a gutsy team effort from the Raiders who were down on troops yet secured a memorable win over the Roosters in the Grand Final rematch. Wighton played a leading role to steer the side to victory, producing one line-break and three tackle-breaks, running for 110 metres and recording 299 kick metres.
7. Nathan Cleary (c)
Club: Penrith Panthers. NSW Origin appearances: 5. TOTW selections: 5.
While it wasn’t one of Penrith’s most complete performances in Round 10, Cleary stood up when required to seal a hard-fought win against North Queensland in a performance Panthers coach Ivan Cleary referred to as 'Origin-like'. The Penrith No.7 scored a try and assisted another, had two line-breaks and four tackle-breaks, kicked three from four conversions, forced one dropout, ran for 157 metres, made 22 tackles and amassed 632 kick metres.
8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard
Club: Parramatta Eels. NSW Origin appearances: 1. TOTW selections: 5.
Campbell-Gillard can hold his head up high despite a narrow loss to the Sea Eagles after his best front row display for the Eels. In an 80-minute performance, the Parramatta prop ran for a huge 297 metres including 120 post-contact and 85 from kick returns, and made 47 tackles with just two missed.
9. Damien Cook
Club: South Sydney Rabbitohs. NSW Origin appearances: 6. TOTW selections: 2.
Cook led a very late surge for the Rabbitohs on Saturday as they nearly overcame the Newcastle Knights from a 20-point deficit. Along with two tries in final 15 minutes of play, the No.9 recorded one line-break, five tackle-breaks, 128 run metres and 56 tackles.
10. Paul Vaughan
Club: St George Illawarra Dragons. NSW Origin appearances: 6. TOTW selections: 4.
Vaughan was strong again in the middle of the park for the Red V who have now won back-to-back matches for the second time this season. Vaughan ran for 181 metres including 81 post-contact and made 26 tackles with zero missed in Round 10.
11. Joel Thompson
Club: Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. NSW Origin appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 1.
The Sea Eagles were back in a big way when they ambushed the ladder leaders in their return to Brookvale Oval, and Thompson’s 39th-minute try was the killer blow. Thompson also ran for 86 metres with two tackle-breaks and made 50 tackles with only two missed.
12. Luciano Leilua
Club: Wests Tigers. NSW Origin appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 1.
Leilua had a night out at Leichhardt Oval on the try-scoring front with a first-half double against the Broncos. The second-rower had an additional two line-breaks and five tackle-breaks, threw two offloads, ran for 180 metres including 71 post-contact and made 34 tackles with zero missed.
13. Jake Trbojevic
Club: Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. NSW Origin appearances: 9. TOTW selections: 4.
Trbojevic can be proud of his efforts as well as the collective Sea Eagles line-up in a much needed Round 10 win for Des Hasler’s men. From 80 minutes played, Trbojevic ran for 99 metres and made 52 tackles.
14. Clint Gutherson
Club: Parramatta Eels. NSW Origin appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 3.
Gutherson was a standout among a losing side in the Parramatta backline, setting up two tries and two line-breaks, breaking three tackles and running for 249 metres including 60 post-contact and 136 from kick returns.
15. Payne Haas
Club: Brisbane Broncos. NSW Origin appearances: 1. TOTW selections: 7.
The consistent output of 20-year-old Haas cannot go unnoticed in a Broncos side who continues to struggle for results in 2020. In Friday’s loss against the Tigers, Haas played the full 80 minutes and had three tackle-breaks, ran for 141 metres including 73 post-contact and made 59 tackles.
16. James Tamou
Club: Penrith Panthers. NSW Origin appearances: 14. TOTW selections: 3.
The middle-third experience of Tamou remains invaluable for Penrith’s title hopes after another perfect front row performance for the Panthers. From just 37 minutes played, Tamou recorded 166 run metres including 64 post-contact and made 31 tackles with zero missed.
17. Tariq Sims
Club: St George Illawarra Dragons. NSW Origin appearances: 2. TOTW selections: 1.
Sims was hard to stop against the Bulldogs in his second game for St George Illawarra since returning from a wrist injury. The Dragons’ second-rower ran for 147 metres including 65 post-contact, had two tackle-breaks and made 22 tackles with zero missed.