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Opinion

The Roar’s NRL top 50 wrap: The full list, who voted for who, team of the top 50, plus best clubs and positions

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Editor
6th March, 2020
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James Tedesco is the best player in the NRL. It was no surprise to see the Roosters star crowned the competition’s best in our annual countdown of the top 50 players in the NRL.

But now we’ve revealed the business end of the list, it’s time to dive deeper into how everyone voted, who just missed out on the 50, and how each club and position fared.

First, though, a quick refresher of how this all worked. Five NRL experts – Mary Konstantopoulos, Scott Pryde, AJ Mithen, Joe Frost and Tim Gore – all picked their top 60 players in the NRL, in order. Points were given depending on where a player was picked on each of those lists; 60 for first place, 59 for second, all the way down to a single point for coming in at 60th.

Those points were then tallied up for each player to give us the final list you’ve seen this last week.

To start, let’s look at how each club rated.

Every club had at least one player make it into the top 50. Every club, that is – and it hurts to write these words as a fan of them – except for the Tigers.

It’s not until 58th place that we find a Wests player with new signing (and self-proclaimed best centre in the league) Joey Leilua, who finished some 18 points behind 50th-placed Nelson Asofa-Solomona.

The Bulldogs (Josh Jackson), Titans (Jai Arrow) and Warriors (Roger Tuivasa-Sheck) all had just a single representative, while at the other end of the spectrum it was the Roosters, Melbourne (both six), Rabbitohs and Raiders (both five) dominating, making up almost half of the top 50 between them.

The top 50 by club
Roosters: 6
Storm: 6
Rabbitohs: 5
Raiders: 5
Cowboys: 4
Sea Eagles: 4
Broncos: 3
Dragons: 3
Eels: 3
Knights: 3
Sharks: 3
Panthers: 2
Bulldogs: 1
Titans: 1
Warriors: 1
Tigers: 0

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James Tedesco.

(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

As for positions, it was the props who were best represented in the top 50, with ten front-row forwards making the cut. However, while a fifth of the total players were props, none made the top ten, with Josh Papalii at 13 the highest finisher.

Fullbacks were next with eight, followed by second-rowers and halfbacks (both seven).

It’s clear, though, that our panel don’t have too much time for wingers and centres, with only two players from each of those two positions picked (and that’s being kind to centres, too – we’ve listed Latrell Mitchell there given that’s where he played his footy last year, but he’s expected to wear the no.1 jersey this year).

The top 50 by position
Prop: 10
Fullback: 8
Second-rower: 7
Halfback: 7
Lock: 6
Five-eighth: 4
Hooker: 4
Centre: 2
Winger: 2

Josh Papalii runs the ball.

(Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

If we’re to take the top (or top two) players from each position, we’re left with what is a quite formidable dream team – although only half of the top ten made it due to the presence of three fullbacks and hookers, and two locks and five-eighths there.

Nonetheless, this is still a team which wouldn’t lose too many games – if any.

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The Roar’s NRL dream team
1. James Tedesco
2. Josh Addo-Carr
3. Latrell Mitchell
4. Joseph Manu
5. Blake Ferguson
6. Cameron Munster
7. Daly Cherry-Evans
8. Josh Papalii
9. Cameron Smith
10. David Klemmer
11. Wade Graham
12. Boyd Cordner
13. Jason Taumalolo

Boyd Cordner

(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Finally, it’s time to have a look at the entire list of players who received votes, and how each of our experts cast their votes.

You can sort the below table by the final finishing order, each of our experts’ lists, player name, club, position, last year’s rank, and how far a player has moved since last year (fans of Angus Crichton, Ben Hunt, Anthony Milford, Matt Moylan and Shaun Johnson would be best to avoid that, though).

You can also search for a specific player by last name by using the “Add Filter” option.

Player Club Position Last year Movement Score Mary Scott Tim AJ Joe
01 J Tedesco Roosters Fullback 01 0 300 01 01 01 01 01
02 C Smith Storm Hooker 04 02 288 02 04 02 06 03
03 J Taumalolo Cowboys Lock 02 -01 278 05 05 13 02 02
04 C Munster Storm Five-eighth 10 06 267 07 08 06 09 08
05 J Trbojevic Sea Eagles Lock 12 07 258 09 14 12 05 07
06 R Tuivasa-Sheck Warriors Fullback 14 08 258 17 06 07 11 06
07 T Trbojevic Sea Eagles Fullback 18 11 256 04 07 14 14 10
08 J Hodgson Raiders Hooker 17 09 252 29 03 05 03 13
09 D Cook Rabbitohs Hooker 07 -02 252 03 09 19 18 04
10 L Keary Roosters Five-eighth/halfback 28 18 251 19 02 03 04 26
11 D Cherry-Evans Sea Eagles Halfback 22 11 235 31 10 04 08 17
12 W Graham Sharks Second-rower 33 21 226 16 31 08 12 12
13 J Papalii Raiders Prop 63 50 225 21 16 11 07 25
14 K Ponga Knights Fullback 06 -08 222 06 27 16 25 09
15 B Cordner Roosters Second-rower 15 0 215 08 23 23 31 05
16 J Bateman Raiders Second-rower N/A N/A 215 18 19 18 13 22
17 J Wighton Raiders Five-eighth N/A N/A 208 20 30 09 20 18
18 C Murray Rabbitohs Lock 76 58 200 45 11 17 16 16
19 D Klemmer Knights Prop 29 10 196 15 22 24 29 19
20 L Mitchell Rabbitohs Centre/fullback 05 -15 193 10 21 32 35 14
21 J Waerea-Hargreaves Roosters Prop 79 58 174 33 28 28 15 27
22 P Haas Broncos Prop N/A N/A 163 12 15 43 28 44
23 V Kikau Panthers Second-rower 31 08 155 26 38 31 24 31
24 M Moses Eels Halfback N/A N/A 154 52 12 20 32 35
25 S Taukeiaho Roosters Prop 58 33 153 14 44 10 23
26 M Taupau Sea Eagles Prop 25 -01 148 38 17 22 19
27 C Gutherson Eels Fullback 67 40 147 27 32 21 26 52
28 C Nicoll-Klokstad Raiders Fullback N/A N/A 145 42 26 26 23 43
29 N Cleary Panthers Halfback 13 -16 139 48 58 10 30 20
30 T Frizell Dragons Second-rower 45 15 137 30 50 30 43 15
31 D Finucane Storm Lock 88 57 130 25 35 36 39 40
32 D Fifita Broncos Second-rower N/A N/A 120 39 25 37 47 37
33 B Ferguson Eels Winger 46 13 119 23 34 47 50 32
34 M Pearce Knights Halfback 26 -08 112 53 35 33 11
35 M Morgan Cowboys Halfback 24 -11 109 48 15 44 28
36 J Manu Roosters Centre 51 15 104 44 41 34 21
37 J Arrow Titans Lock 52 15 104 40 29 33 45 54
38 J Addo-Carr Storm Winger 32 -06 101 13 33 52 45
39 A Reynolds Rabbitohs Halfback 47 08 096 36 34 17
40 A Fifita Sharks Prop 11 -29 095 24 42 54 29
41 C Walker Rabbitohs Five-eighth 43 02 091 22 45 45 41
42 J Jackson Bulldogs Second-rower 36 -06 086 46 49 29 49 46
43 C McInnes Dragons Hooker 85 42 084 13 49 42 56
44 R Papenhuyzen Storm Fullback N/A N/A 084 53 25 21
45 P Vaughan Dragons Prop 78 33 083 35 43 46 56 42
46 V Holmes Cowboys Fullback/winger N/A N/A 077 18 27
47 T Pangai Jr Broncos Prop 73 26 077 34 42 30
48 C Townsend Sharks Halfback N/A N/A 068 37 40 38
49 J McGuire Cowboys Lock 41 -08 062 56 27 60 39
50 N Asofa-Solomona Storm Prop 100 50 058 32 57 36
51 C Graham Rabbitohs Winger 87 36 050 11
52 K Bromwich Storm Second-rower N/A N/A 050 48 24
53 N Cotric Raiders Winger/centre 83 30 045 24 55 59
54 A Taylor Titans Halfback 104 50 043 37 50 53
55 J Bromwich Storm Prop 23 -32 042 28 52
56 E Whitehead Raiders Second-rower 50 -06 042 44 36
57 A Fonua-Blake Sea Eagles Prop N/A N/A 041 20
58 J Leilua Tigers Centre 65 07 039 22
59 D Watene-Zelezniak Bulldogs Fullback/winger 77 18 037 59 60 48 40
60 L Brooks Tigers Halfback 35 -25 036 58 39 54 57
61 F Kaufusi Storm Second-rower 90 29 035 54 33
62 A Douehi Tigers Fullback N/A N/A 033 38 51
63 D Gagai Rabbitohs Centre 49 -14 027 34
64 S Johnson Sharks Five-eighth 19 -45 026 55 41
65 J Roberts Rabbitohs Centre 42 -23 025 36
66 D Tupou Roosters Winger N/A N/A 024 41 57
67 C Oates Broncos Winger 61 -06 024 37
68 M Mbye Tigers Centre/fullback N/A N/A 023 38
69 R Matterson Eels Second-rower N/A N/A 023 46 53
70 B Marshall Tigers Five-eighth N/A N/A 022 39
71 V Radley Roosters Lock 56 -15 022 43 57
72 T Sims Dragons Second-rower 44 -28 022 47 53
73 T Harris Warriors Second-rower 59 -14 021 40
74 M Sivo Eels Winger N/A N/A 021 51 52 60 60
75 D Napa Bulldogs Prop N/A N/A 020 41
76 B Smith Storm Hooker/lock N/A N/A 020 55 47
77 J Croker Raiders Centre 80 03 017 54 51
78 AJ Brimson Titans Fullback 62 -16 015 46
79 J Fisher-Harris Panthers Prop/lock N/A N/A 014 47
80 J Ofahengaue Broncos Prop 97 17 014 59 49
81 T Glasby Knights Lock N/A N/A 013 48
82 A Milford Broncos Five-eighth 27 -55 012 49
83 K Maumalo Warriors Winger N/A N/A 011 50
83 M Moylan Sharks Fullback/five-eighth 34 -49 011 50
85 D Saifiti Knights Prop N/A N/A 010 51
85 D Fusitu’a Warriors Winger 48 -37 010 51
87 B Hunt Dragons Halfback 30 -57 010 59 56 58
88 E Lowe Rabbitohs Second-rower N/A N/A 006 55
88 A Crichton Roosters Second-rower 21 -67 006 55
90 R Mahoney Eels Hooker N/A N/A 005 56
91 B Xerri Sharks Centre N/A N/A 004 57
92 S Drinkwater Cowboys Fullback N/A N/A 003 58
92 M Aubusson Roosters Second-rower N/A N/A 003 58
94 T Peachey Titans Centre 54 -40 002 59
95 R Garrick Sea Eagles Winger N/A N/A 001 60

A big thanks to Tim, Mary, Scott, AJ and Joe for making this possible, and, of course, to everyone who read and commented over the past week.

Now, all that’s left is to do is enjoy the footy once it starts on Thursday.

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Although in the meantime, you could always just re-read the top 50…

The best players in the NRL, 50-41
The best players in the NRL, 40-31
The best players in the NRL, 30-21
The best players in the NRL, 20-11
The best players in the NRL, 10-1