NSW Team of the Week | Round 18

Tom Gibbs & Margie McDonald

Following each week of the NRL season, nswrl.com.au selects the round’s best 13 of New South Wales eligible players. These selections are based 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. Latrell Mitchell (c). Club: South Sydney Rabbitohs. SOO appearances: 7. TOTW selections: 1.

Mitchell was back to his brilliant best against the Bulldogs with damaging carries and slick hands as South Sydney continued their ominous run to the finals.

The fullback laid on two assists for Alex Johnston and one for Tevita Tatola, but his big moment came with 20 minutes to go and trailing by six points – producing a try for the highlight reel by steaming onto an offload, skipping through a pair of defenders and powering past another two to score beside the posts. He also came up with an unstoppable 12 tackle busts from his 137 run metres. 

2. Jason Saab. Club: Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 1.

The Sea Eagles were on song at 4 Pines Park, so it was seemingly a forgone conclusion that the Manly speedster would find his way to the try-line – and he did it twice on Saturday night.

On top of that, Saab made three line-breaks, had as many tackle busts and ran for 223 metres, his second-highest total in a career game to date.

3. Izack Tago. Club: Penrith Panthers. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 3.

With Penrith’s Origin stars having a week off in Round 18 the task required other experienced players to stand up, even including 23-gamer Izack Tago.

As he’s done so often this year, Tago met those expectations with a try, two line-breaks, three tackle busts, 140 run metres and 20 tackles.

4. Paul Momirovski. Club: Sydney Roosters. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 1.

Despite struggling for form earlier in the season, Momirovski had a strong performance at right centre in the Roosters’ first victory since Round 12.

Along with a try in the 69th minute he produced a try assist and line-break assist, busted out of four tackles, ran for 106 metres and made 13 tackles with just one miss.

5. Alex Johnston. Club: South Sydney Rabbitohs. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 3.

It’s only fitting for Johnston to earn his third TOTW selection in game that saw him score a trio of tries, for the 12th time in his career no less.

The 27-year-old, moving to 11th spot on the all-time try-scorers’ list, also managed two line-breaks, two tackle busts and 144 run metres in Sunday’s win.

6. Adam Doueihi. Club: Wests Tigers. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 1.

Doueihi certainly looked at home in his first appearance back in the No.6 jersey since returning from an ACL tear.

In the narrow loss to Penrith he scored a try with a line-break, produced a line-break assist, had nine tackle busts, amassed 517 metres off the boot and ran for 119. He was no slouch in defence either, making 22 tackles.

7. Kyle Flanagan. Club: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 1.

Flanagan had a very solid halfback’s display on the weekend despite the Bulldogs being unable to repel a fast-finishing Rabbitohs outfit.

He assisted three crucial tries and a line-break to keep Mick Potter’s side in the contest, had two tackle busts, threw a pair of offloads and made 11 tackles.

8. David Klemmer. Club: Newcastle Knights. SOO appearances: 14. TOTW selections: 4.

In a beaten side last weekend Klemmer was still the shining example of never giving up week after week – earning his fourth TOTW nomination as a result.

Manly started to skip away with the win in the second half, but Klemmer kept his side going forward with 15 hit-ups for 154 metres in his 69 minutes on the field. Then throw in 62 post-contact metres, three tackle busts, an offload and 31 tackles with just one, and you see why the Knights fans love this front-rower.

9. Lachlan Croker. Club: Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 1.

Croker has been threatening to force his way into the TOTW in the NRL's highly-competitive hooking position for some weeks now, and couldn’t be overlooked any longer.

He provided sterling service to halves Daly Cherry-Evans and Kieran Foran against the Knights, and ended up scoring a try himself alongside a line-break, two kicks for 74 metres and 35 tackles.

10. Tevita Tatola. Club: South Sydney Rabbitohs. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 1.

Another first-timer on the TOTW list, many would like to know Tatola’s pre-game diet based on the output he produced on Sunday night against the Bulldogs.

He ran for 234 metres off 21 hit-ups in just 62 minutes on the field. There was a healthy 82 post-contact metres alongside his five tackle-breaks, making him a hard man to stop on the night.

11. Haumole Olakau’atu. Club: Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 4.

The Manly Warringah second-rower keeps building on his reputation as one of the hardest men to stop as he heads to the try-line.

On Saturday against the Knights he busted out of seven would-be tackles and made a line-break on the way to scoring his ninth try in 15 games this year. He was equally handy in defence, making 31 tackles and missing just one. And Olakau’atu with Jake Trbojevic have the quickest play-the-ball (3.78 seconds) in the Manly side.

12. Keaon Koloamatangi. Club: South Sydney Rabbitohs. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 4.

Another of the go-to forwards in the Rabbitohs line-up who regularly gets over the advantage line.

On Sunday in another power-packed 80 minutes he made 16 runs for 139 metres – 61 of which were post-contact – with a line-break, a try assist, two offloads and two tackle-breaks thrown in. He also made 28 tackles, missing just the one.

13. Jake Trbojevic. Club: Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. SOO appearances: 15. TOTW selections: 1.

Backing up after a torrid State of Origin decider just 72 hours earlier, Trbojevic still found some petrol in the tank for 31 tackles, 12 hit-ups and 92 metres in his 69 minutes on the field.

He is the ‘Mr Reliable' in the middle of the Manly pack with the No.13 on his back, while playing at prop for the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues in the 2021 series and the final two games of 2022.