Three terrific Wests Tigers, two dominant wingers and a couple of injured halfbacks headline NRL.com’s first Team of the Week for 2016.
1. James Tedesco (Wests Tigers)
Tedesco started his season off with a bang by scoring two tries and breaking seven tackles in the Wests Tigers’ eight-point win over the Warriors.
2. Corey Oates (Broncos)
Broncos winger Oates kept Eels duo Brad Takairangi and Clinton Gutherson on their toes all day by completely dominating proceedings in Brisbane’s 13-point win.
3. Jack Bird (Sharks)
With eight tackle breaks against the reigning premiers, Bird created something out of nothing on several occasions for Cronulla in his first NRL game starting in the centres.
4. Tim Simona (Wests Tigers)
Simona scored a runaway try and regularly caused havoc for the Warriors defence from his left edge in the Tigers’ first-up win.
5. Marika Koroibete (Storm)
Koroibete’s two all-important tries and eight tackle busts were crucial as Melbourne snuck away with a two-point win over the Dragons.
6. Mitch Moses (Wests Tigers)
With his usual halves partner Luke Brooks out through suspension Moses was brilliant in the first half against the Warriors, supplying two try assists on the way to an eight-point Tigers victory.
7. Adam Reynolds (Rabbitohs)
Despite breaking his jaw Reynolds completely dominated proceedings early on against the Roosters. His kicking game and two try assists were key factors in South Sydney’s 32-point win.
8. Adam Blair (Broncos)
With Sam Thaiday starting the game on the bench Blair made the most of his game time in Brisbane’s win over Parramatta, his offloading ability proving too much for Parramatta’s defence at times.
9. Nathan Peats (Eels)
The Eels’ season may have kicked off with a loss to Brisbane but Peats’ 60 tackles (with no missed tackles) held him in good stead against Brisbane in his first game back since breaking his neck.
10. James Graham (Bulldogs)
The Bulldogs skipper showed the reduction in interchanges will have no effect on him this season, playing 71 minutes and making 231 metres and 40 tackles in his side’s 22-point win over Manly.
11. Paul Carter (Rabbitohs)
Carter’s one-handed catch of a towering bomb to score will surely be on highlight reels at season’s end. The back-rower made the most of his starting opportunity in the Rabbitohs’ thrashing of the Roosters.
12. Ethan Lowe (Cowboys)
Lowe’s late match-sealing try was just one of many highlights for the tireless back-rower who was easily North Queensland’s best in their six-point win over the Sharks.
13. Shaun Fensom (Raiders) (c)
Showing his worth as an edge attacking weapon, Fensom capped off Canberra’s eight-point win over Penrith by scoring a memorable runaway try at the death.
14. Greg Bird (Titans)
Bird earned man-of-the-match honours by playing an old-school roaming role at lock in the Titans’ 18-point win over Newcastle.
15. Simon Mannering (Warriors)
Passing on the captaincy wasn’t going to deter Mannering from trying his hardest in the Warriors’ loss to the Tigers. The lock’s try and try assist provided an impetus for a Warriors mini-revival in the second half.
16. Aidan Sezer (Raiders)
Sezer played the majority of the game with a fractured eye socket and still came up with two tries for his troubles in the Raiders’ eight-point win over Penrith.
17. Zeb Taia (Titans)
Taia came back to haunt his former Newcastle team in his first NRL game since 2012 by scoring a try in the Titans’ comfortable victory.