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. James Tedesco (c). Club: Sydney Roosters. SOO appearances: 19. TOTW selections: 5.
Performances like Friday night’s against the Knights have become all too familiar for Tedesco, who is firmly focused on leading the Roosters to a 2022 finals berth.
In Round 19 the state and club captain recorded a try, two try assists and line-break assists, three line-breaks, 10 tackle busts, and 22 runs for 317 metres – with 67 post-contact.
2. Joseph Suaalii. Club: Sydney Roosters. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 2.
The stocks of Joseph Suaalii are continuing to rise week after week with another superb display for the tricolours.
He scored a double and made two line-breaks during Friday’s win, assisted a try for James Tedesco with a remarkable overhead catch and offload, had seven tackle busts and ran for a career-high 193 metres.
3. Izack Tago. Club: Penrith Panthers. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 4.
From 10-nil behind against Cronulla-Sutherland on Saturday, the Penrith centre came up with a crucial try get the reigning premiers back into their rhythm.
Tago finished the game with a line-break and line-break assist, five tackle busts, 116 run metres and 11 tackles in the Panthers’ 17th win of the season.
4. Jed Cartwright. Club: South Sydney Rabbitohs. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 1.
Cartwright has filled in well at South Sydney during the gruelling Origin period, and against Melbourne he took on the centre role with no problems in the continued absence of Campbell Graham.
In just his third starting 13 appearance from 14 NRL games, the 25-year-old produced a try assist and line-break assist, ran for 108 metres from 12 carries and made 23 tackles on the left edge.
5. Josh Addo-Carr. Club: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. SOO appearances: 12. TOTW selections: 4.
The Foxx was turning defence into attack in Round 19 with two intercept tries on the way to his seventh NRL hattrick.
Addo-Carr’s other try came courtesy of Matt Burton, along with a try assist for his five-eighth in return. Add on four tackle busts and 317 run metres, and it’s hard to argue that could be his best outing in a Bulldogs jersey so far.
6. Matt Burton. Club: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. SOO appearances: 2. TOTW selections: 2.
Burton has really begun to take control of an attack-minded Bulldogs side since his invaluable experience with the 2022 Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues.
Playing a starring role in the Dogs’ 36-26 win, the No.6 scored two tries and set up another, kicked six from seven shots on goal, had two line-breaks and a pair of tackle busts, tallied 249 kick metres, and made 25 tackles.
7. Adam Reynolds. Club: Brisbane Broncos. SOO appearances: 2. TOTW selections: 3.
As we’ve learnt in 2022 the Broncos are simply a different ball game when Reynolds is fit and firing, and he steered the ship to perfection in the win against the Eels – their first victory in Parramatta since March 2016.
The veteran half not only nailed six goals at a 100 percent conversion rate in wet conditions, but also scored a try, had two try assists, kicked for 522 metres and made 28 tackles with only one miss.
8. Payne Haas. Club: Brisbane Broncos. SOO appearances: 9. TOTW selections: 9.
Returning to club football after missing two games and the State of Origin decider, Haas relished throwing off the shackles with 96 post-contact metres, nine tackle busts and two offloads against the Eels.
For a man who averages 170 metres a game, he accelerated way past that mark with 22 runs for 225 metres for the highest yardage of anyone on the field.
9. Reece Robson. Club: North Queensland Cowboys. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 4.
Part of the extended Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues squad for Game Three, Robson earned the promotion because of efforts like he did against the Wests Tigers on Sunday.
He made the most tackles of anyone on the park – 50 and one miss – alongside a line-break, try-assist, two tackle busts, an offload and three dummy-half runs for almost 40 metres.
10. Blake Lawrie. Club: St George Illawarra Dragons. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 2.
Another metre-eater who racked up 201 against Manly, to run further than the outside backs from both clubs on Friday night. And Lawrie managed that feat in just 46 minutes on the field.
Lawrie was certainly in a mood, busting out of six tackles and making 68 post-contact metres in his 20 runs. In addition to all that he had the second-fastest play-the-ball (3.31 seconds) behind teammate Jack De Belin (2.93 seconds).
11. Shaun Lane. Club: Parramatta Eels. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 1.
Along with his loping, long-legged running style, Lane can look dynamite on the Eels edge with his vision and passing skills. He had three offloads against the Broncos, which has been a feature of his game all year and helped win him earn his first TOTW nomination for 2022.
He may have been in a losing side on Friday night, but he made the most runs of any Eel with 19 for 153 metres, had a line-break, a line-break assist and two try assists. He also made 61 post-contact metres, which again topped his teammates.
12. Keaon Koloamatangi. Club: South Sydney Rabbitohs. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 5.
The form that earned Koloamatangi a spot on Brad Fittler’s extended bench in the 2021 Origin series continues each week for the Rabbitohs, earning him a fifth TOTW spot.
Koloamatangi scored the first of his side’s five tries on Saturday night against the Storm, ran for the most metres – 16 runs for 181 – and had a line-break, a line-break assist, a try assist, and busted out of three tackles with two offloads. He also diffused two kicks and had the fastest play-the-ball speed (3.47 seconds) for South Sydney.
13. Egan Butcher. Club: Sydney Roosters. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 1.
His older brother Nat has already made the TOTW this year, so Egan’s performance against the Knights shows the Butcher DNA is alive and well to earn his maiden spot in TOTW.
He scored the last of the Roosters eight tries on Friday, but his first for the season.
Butcher was only on the field for 53 minutes but made his presence felt with 10 runs for 121 metres, three tackle-breaks, two offloads and 31 tackles – missing just one.