NRL team of the week Round 2

Riley Pettigrew Roar Guru

By Riley Pettigrew, Riley Pettigrew is a Roar Guru & Live Blogger

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    Round 2 of the NRL saw another week of upsets, with the Storm falling to Wests Tigers and the Eels walloped by Manly.

    There were once again a plethora of dazzling performances over the weekend, and we have only two returning players. Here is the NRL team of the week for Round 2.

    Fullback: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Warriors)
    He narrowly missed out on last week’s team of the week, but Tuivasa-Sheck didn’t go unheard as the Warriors went 2-0 with a win over the Titans.

    The Kiwi international was a shining light in a mercurial Warriors outfit, running for 232 metres, scoring a try and setting up another.

    Wing: Nene Macdonald (St George Illawarra Dragons)
    Pulling off one of the most spectacular tries we have seen so far this season on Thursday night, Macdonald was potent in attack for the Red V. The Papua New Guinean dominated the left flank.

    Jacob Saifiti, left, and Tyler Randell of the Newcastle Knights tackle Roger Tuivasa-Sheck of the Warriors

    (AAP Image/David Rowland)

    Centre: Euan Aitken (St George Illawarra Dragons)
    Strong both offensively and defensively, Aitken once again stood tall for St George Illawarra. The Scotsman earned a four-pointer while also making 21 tackles in the Dragons’ derby win.

    Centre: Peta Hiku (Warriors)
    Hiku was very impressive on defence, managing to hold out the Titans’ Phillip Sami from scoring. His 18 tackles were pivotal in the Warriors’ 20-8 win and he combined well with David Fusitu’a.

    Wing: Blake Ferguson (Sydney Roosters)
    Ferguson ran for more than 200 metres for the second week in a row and also nabbed a try for his efforts as the Roosters secured a big win over Canterbury-Bankstown.

    Blake Ferguson evades Penrith's Jamal Idris

    (AAP Image/Paul Miller)

    Five-eighth: Anthony Milford (Brisbane Broncos)
    After a disastrous Round 1 performance, Milford saw a return to his running game, opening up the match for Brisbane with five tackle busts. He was just as good off the boot with accuracy when attacking the line.

    Halfback: Daly Cherry-Evans (Manly Sea Eagles)
    Cherry-Evans took control in Manly’s record-breaking 54-0 win over the Eels. The halfback was monumental, with a great performance off the boot seeing him kick a 40/20 and 9/10 goals while also scoring a try and laying a platform in the medal for the forward pack to dominate the middle of the park.

    Manly's Daly Cherry-Evans

    (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

    Prop: Tevita Pangai Junior (Brisbane Broncos)
    Moving into the starting side at prop, Tevita Pangai warranted his selection with a strong showing in the Queensland derby. He produced 30 tackles and scored a try in Brisbane’s dramatic victory.

    Hooker: Damien Cook (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
    Lethal out of dummy half, Cook provided plenty of energy for the cardinal and myrtle. Despite dropping a 14-0 lead against Penrith, the number nine was the best man on the field, scoring a try after running for 160 metres and working hard defensively to make 49 tackles.

    Prop: Martin Taupau (Manly Sea Eagles)
    Taupau exhibited his usual offloading skills, throwing five for the match and also chewing up the motor in the middle with 147 running metres. He helped Manly to establish their dominance early on as the Silvertails ran out 54-0 victors over Parramatta.

    Martin Taupau

    (Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

    Back row: Aidan Guerra (Newcastle Knights)
    Guerra has continued his transition to the Hunter club with yet another stellar performance for the Knights with their second win of 2018 in as many games. The former Rooster made 45 tackles on defence and scored a try in Newcastle’s 30-28 win over the Raiders.

    Back row: Tohu Harris (Warriors)
    Another outstanding performance on the edge for the Warriors, once again putting in the hard yards defensively with his 43 tackles and making a strong contribution in attack, with four tackle busts and 146 metres gained.

    Lock forward: Jake Trbojevic (Manly Sea Eagles)
    Trbojevic made his impact felt right from kick-off for Manly on Sunday afternoon. He was everywhere on the field, with a strong defensive display and plenty of impressive hit-ups. He scored a try and provided a helping hand in another.

    Sea Eagles player Tom Trbojevic

    (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

    Interchange: James Tedesco (Sydney Roosters)
    Tedesco’s guiding influence at the back was felt in the tricolours’ first victory of the season. He made a sensational 202 metres, set up two tries and nabbed a meat pie of his own.

    Interchange: Johnathan Thurston (North Queensland Cowboys)
    Thurston stepped right back into the thick of the action in Friday’s high-octane Queensland derby. The 301-gamer did all the little things right with plenty of runs and a good kicking game.

    He made three try assists for the night, and it would have been four had the goal post not stopped Scott Bolton from charging over in the dying moments of the game.

    Interchange: Lloyd Perrett (Manly Sea Eagles)
    Only a few weeks after being hospitalised for heatstroke, Perrett came off the bench in searing conditions at Brookvale Oval and didn’t leave a single thing out on the field.

    His impact was felt right from his first hit-up, with several beautiful offloads, a try assist with only his second touch of the game and a try of his own not long after.

    Interchange: Jai Arrow (Gold Coast Titans)
    Arrow put in a spirited effort for the Gold Coast team in Auckland. He hit the double century for metres gained while also making 34 tackles and offloading on three occasions.

    Roarers, who made your team of the week? Which player stood out the most in Round 2 of the 2018 NRL season?

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    The Crowd Says (16)

    • March 19th 2018 @ 9:11am
      Jack said | March 19th 2018 @ 9:11am | ! Report

      Andrew McCullough says hi

    • March 19th 2018 @ 9:57am
      Forty Twenty said | March 19th 2018 @ 9:57am | ! Report

      Jake T says please take down the image of my brother who did nothing and said it was too hot.

    • March 19th 2018 @ 10:17am
      RM said | March 19th 2018 @ 10:17am | ! Report

      A lot of great performances this week – Benji or Widdop could easily be the 6 for this team of the week, McCullough was great at 9, Cronk and Cleary were both excellent at 7…but all that said I can’t actually disagree with the team above.

      Good to see Guerra hitting some form again, too. Not sure what happened to him last season at the Roosters, but he was a shadow of his former self. If he keeps playing like this, he’ll definitely put some pressure on Kevvie to get his Origin spot back.

      Also, how good is Jake Turbo? Not a Manly fan at all, but I love how he plays the game. His brother rightly gets a lot of wraps but I really think Jake is the best Trbojevic.

      • Roar Guru

        March 19th 2018 @ 11:52am
        Riley Pettigrew said | March 19th 2018 @ 11:52am | ! Report

        G’day RM, certainly a lot of impressive performances once again this week. Benji has been a revelation for Wests Tigers this season, so much so it is beginning to look like Josh Reynolds could be made to move to hooker. Nathan Cleary’s composure for Penrith in steering them back from significant deficits two weeks in a row has been outstanding.

        Guerra has definitely come into his own after two rounds this season, he was dangerously close to selection last week and I just couldn’t deny him this week. He and Fitzgibbon have really impressed me, Ese’ese too.

        Newcastle appear to be solid across the park, there are no underlying weaknesses for that team. So many options, Brown has done a really good job. I don’t know whether Guerra will return to Origin though we’ll have to wait and see.

        Jake Trbojevic is undoubtedly one of the best forwards in the game. Like Guerra he was close to being included in my team last week, best lock so far this season. A hard ask given the calibre of guys like Taumalolo, Taylor, Finucane, et al

        • March 19th 2018 @ 12:12pm
          RM said | March 19th 2018 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

          I suppose a case could be made that Benji hasn’t really offered much in attack – the Tigers have only scored two tries in two games, after all – but he has been instrumental in steering an unheralded team to two massive upsets. His towering bombs on Saturday turned one of the best back 3’s in the competition into a collection of schoolboys.

          Really looking forward to the Wests-Brisbane game this weekend. As a Broncos fan, it will be interesting to see which Broncos show up, week 1 or week 2. Will the forwards stand up again? Will Milf and Kodi keep running? On the flip side, how long can this Tigers team keep grinding their way to low-scoring victories?

          One thing in the Broncos favour is how dangerous they looked in attack against the Cowboys – a good defensive team. Scored plenty and still left another 3 or 4 out on the park. Even in the debacle against the Dragons, on the few occasions they actually managed to get some good field position they scored some easy tries. I think if they can score a few tries this weekend the Tigers won’t have the points in them to even get close. If it’s another low-scoring affair though, the belief in the Tigers’ squad will more than likely get them over the line for the third week in a row.

          • Roar Pro

            March 20th 2018 @ 6:39pm
            Davico said | March 20th 2018 @ 6:39pm | ! Report

            Looks like it is going to rain in Sydney for the rest of the week so may turn into a bit of an arm wrestle / grind of a game.

            If the Tigers can find some points in the next few weeks they may have a good chance of making the finals.

            They more than likely won’t be affected by SOO and hopefully can keep fit.

            Will be really interesting to see what IC does with Reynolds when he is fit.

    • Roar Guru

      March 19th 2018 @ 11:59am
      spruce moose said | March 19th 2018 @ 11:59am | ! Report

      Riley

      I don’t envy you doing this. That’s a quality team you’ve picked from some seriously quality performances by 40-45 players this week.

      Anyone keen on doing the ‘worst XIII of the week’?

      Mitchell Moses, Jarryd Hayne, Jason Nightingale, Andrew Fifita would be run up starts.

      • Roar Rookie

        March 19th 2018 @ 2:45pm
        Flat White said | March 19th 2018 @ 2:45pm | ! Report

        Sounds like you’ve put your hand up for the job of creating a weekly ‘C Graders of the Week’ team. The 17 most likely to be demoted to the Thirsty Thirds division at the round’s completion.

      • Roar Guru

        March 19th 2018 @ 2:50pm
        Matt H said | March 19th 2018 @ 2:50pm | ! Report

        Just fill up the rest with Sharks and Eels and you’ll have it.

        Oh and Josh Papalii would almost have to be captain.

    • March 19th 2018 @ 11:59am
      Roberto said | March 19th 2018 @ 11:59am | ! Report

      That nuggety Tigers winger/fullback, Thompson – has impressed for the last two weeks.

      • March 19th 2018 @ 2:24pm
        RM said | March 19th 2018 @ 2:24pm | ! Report

        true. he has really grabbed his opportunity at the Tigers

    • March 19th 2018 @ 12:35pm
      kk said | March 19th 2018 @ 12:35pm | ! Report

      Excellent 17, Riley. Would love to see that squad in action.

      Respect your opinion and highlight your team each week on my team list printout.

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