After each round 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 writers' opinions and do not reflect the views of the NSWRL or the selection process for the Westpac NSW Blues. Captaincy is awarded based on that week's on-field performance and is not based on club captaincy or leadership qualities.
1. Will Kennedy (c). Club: Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 1.
Kennedy was in irresistible form on Friday night at CommBank Stadium, helping his side to a 30-26 win over Parramatta Eels in what was arguably the game of Round Two.
The Sharks’ fullback scored a hat-trick of tries – putting the visitors in front all three times – and had three line-breaks, running for 183 metres with four tackle busts.
2. Jacob Kiraz. Club: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 1.
Kiraz was one of a handful of Bulldogs outside backs causing problems for the Melbourne Storm in a 26-12 boilover at AAMI Park.
He scored two tries in the 27th and 44th minute, had two line-breaks and 10 tackle busts, ran for 235 metres with 74 post-contact from 24 carries, threw five offloads and made eight tackles without a miss.
3. Joseph Suaalii. Club: Sydney Roosters. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 1.
The 19-year-old Sydney Rooster has quickly warmed to the centre position in 2023, making an impact for the tricolours in their opening win of the season at Allianz Stadium.
On top of his 231 run metres with 66 post-contact, Suaalii produced a try assist and two line-breaks, had seven tackle busts and made six tackles – missing none.
4. Jake Averillo. Club: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 1.
Averillo was another young Bulldog who brought his best in Round Two against the Storm.
The Canterbury-Bankstown centre scored a 49th-minute try and assisted two others, made four tackle busts and ran for 140 metres.
5. Josh Addo-Carr. Club: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 1.
He’s no stranger to four-pointers at AAMI Park and Addo-Carr reiterated those sentiments on Saturday night to bring his tally to 26, but this was his first in a blue and white jersey.
Addo-Carr also ran for 118 metres with a line-break and seven tackle busts at his old stomping ground.
6. Matt Moylan. Club: Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks. SOO appearances: 3. TOTW selections: 1.
Moylan can at times fly under the radar in a talented Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks outfit, but the five-eighth has been a vital contributor in attack since Craig Fitzgibbon took over the coaching reins.
In Round Two the five-eighth came up with a pair of try assists, one line-break, 89 run metres and 12 tackles in a solid, all-round performance.
7. Mitchell Moses. Club: Parramatta Eels. SOO appearances: 1. TOTW selections: 1.
Albeit in a narrowly losing side, Moses did his best to keep the Eels in the game on Friday against the Bulldogs.
Moses not only scored a brace, but had a line-break, ran for 138 metres, made 20 tackles with no misses, and managed 402 metres off the boot from 12 kicks.
8. Max King. Club: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 1.
Playing against his former club certainly brought out the best in prop Max King. He scored just the second try of his 76-game NRL career, but he was a man possessed when it came to effort.
King had 17 hit-ups for 194 metres – 84 of those post-contact – while making 35 tackles and throwing two offloads to terrorise the Melbourne Storm defenders.
9. Jacob Liddle. Club: St George Illawarra Dragons. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 1.
The Dragons will be hoping injury concerns that plagued Liddle at the Wests Tigers are far behind him after his opening NRL game for the ‘Red V’.
Playing the role of interchange hooker, Liddle scooted out of dummy-half nine times for 93 metres as part of his 11 runs for 132 metres. He scored a try, had a line-break, a try assist, two offloads and capped it all off with 25 tackles.
10. Reagan Campbell-Gillard. Club: Parramatta Eels. SOO appearances: 2. TOTW selections: 1.
The Eels lost in a close one (30-26) to the Sharks but True Blue Campbell-Gillard did everything he could to get the win.
He scored the first of the Eels’ five tries and pumped out 18 runs for 181 metres – 76 post-contact – in a strong 65-minute stint. There was a line-break and two tackle-busts alongside the 31 tackles he made, missing just one.
11. Liam Martin. Club: Penrith Panthers. SOO appearances: 6. TOTW selections 2.
Back-to-back appearances in the NSW TOTW are not hard to achieve when it comes to Martin’s work ethic.
He had seven tackle-breaks during his 13 hit-ups for 134 metres and 31 tackles. Martin’s play-the-ball speed of 2.63 seconds was also the fastest for all the Panthers on Thursday night.
12. Lachlan Fitzgibbon. Club: Newcastle Knights. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 1.
After the players lost to injury, concussion and ill-discipline in Newcastle’s 14-12 win over the Wests Tigers, Fitzgibbon was one of the remaining Knights who really stood up for the visitors.
The back-rower never stopped trying to shut the Tigers down with his 36 tackles and a kick defusal, while in attack he busted out of two tackles and scored a try in his 100th NRL game.
13. Jacob Preston. Club: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. SOO appearances: 0. TOTW selections: 1.
It was only his second NRL game but Preston looked right at home scoring his maiden try in the top grade.
The 21-year-old Belrose Eagles junior was named at lock but played mainly on the right edge to make 12 runs for 116 metres, a line-break, four tackle busts and 39 tackles.