NSW Team of the Week | Round 1
Every week of the NRL season the NSWRL will bring you the NSW Team of the Week. The selections are based on performances from that round and are entirely subjective. Players chosen can be existing Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues, Emerging and Future Blues and True Blues.
The Melbourne Storm No.1 held the fort at the back in an arm-wrestle at Brookvale Oval. Papenhuyzen recorded 189 run metres from 21 runs, four tackle-breaks and one forced dropout in a solid opening round performance.
David Nofoaluma was an exceptional performer on the Tigers’ new-look left edge in their 18-14 win over St George Illawarra. Nofoaluma scored two crucial tries for the visitors, amassing 196 run metres including 58 post-contact metres, one line-break, seven tackle-breaks and three offloads.
Kotoni Staggs was strong against North Queensland in a Broncos side that boasted plenty of strike weapons across the park. Staggs’ four-pointer in the 20th minute was vital for Brisbane to regain a six-point lead on the way to their 28-21 victory.
New recruit Curtis Scott had strong first outing for the Raiders in their 24-6 defeat of the Gold Coast Titans at GIO Stadium. Scott produced 134 run metres, one line-break assist, two tackle-breaks, one offload and 13 tackles in a promising opening performance for Canberra.
Josh Mansour was just one of a host of players who was outstanding against the defending premiers on Saturday night. It was Mansour’s piece of brilliance that helped bring the scores level with a kick infield for Stephen Crichton. The Penrith winger finished the match with 146 run metres including 46 post-contact metres.
Jack Wighton has earned the captain’s armband in the NSW Team of the Week after a standout performance in Round 1. Wighton scored the opening two tries within 13 minutes for the Raiders in a stellar display that included 76 run metres, two line-breaks, five tackle-breaks and 17 tackles.
Trailing 12-0 against Roosters, Nathan Cleary took control of the contest as Penrith fought back for a memorable win. The Panthers’ halfback kicked four goals, made 19 tackles and produced a slick offload from close range to set up Viliami Kikau for the match-winner in front of local fans.
The 2019 Dally M Rookie and Prop of the Year picked up where he left off on Friday night with another barnstorming performance against North Queensland. Haas played all 80 minutes in humid conditions with 213 run metres, 86 post-contact metres, seven tackle-breaks, 33 tackles and zero missed tackles.
Returning to his old club in 2020, Apisai Koroisau was one of the players of the round in the opening weekend of competition. Koroisau tallied a monstrous 59 tackles for the Panthers, along with 110 run metres and six tackle-breaks.
Emre Guler had the biggest impact in Canberra’s forward pack despite playing just 45 minutes off the bench against the Titans. Guler ran for 139 metres with one line-break, one try-assist, four tackle-breaks and 19 tackles.
Wearing his non-preferred No.12 jersey for the first time in his NRL career, the Raiders’ Corey Horsburgh certainly didn’t disappoint. He never looked out of place after managing 125 run metres, three tackle-breaks, four offloads and a massive 37 tackles.
Mitchell Barnett put in plenty of hard work on both sides of the ball as the Knights held out the Warriors in a 20-0 victory. The Wingham junior recorded 121 run metres and made 36 tackles.
Isaah Yeo has wasted no time in looking to lock down a back-row spot for the Panthers in 2020, coming up with 170 run metres, one line-break, seven tackle-breaks and 33 tackles against the Roosters.
Cody Walker still managed to cause headaches for his opposition as South Sydney survived a fast finishing Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks at ANZ Stadium in Round 1. The Rabbitohs’ five-eighth ran for 75 metres with one try-assist and made 20 tackles in a strong all-round performance.
Playing 68 minutes in his opening game of the season, Paul Vaughan led from the front in a losing side for the Dragons. The Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues prop ran for 172 metres including 50 post-contact with two tackle-breaks, and 37 tackles.
Daniel Saifiti opened the Knights’ try-scoring account for 2020 in what was a superb performance in difficult conditions against the New Zealand Warriors. Saifiti produced 115 run metres, one line-break, four tackle-breaks and 22 tackles.
Alex Twal was very solid in the middle of the park as the Wests Tigers recorded a four-point win to start their 2020 campaign. In addition to 36 tackles, the Tigers’ prop ran for 161 metres including 56 post-contact, one line-break and three tackle-breaks.