1. Morgan Escare – Wigan Warriors
Morgan Escare edges out Ashton Golding into the full-back berth for this round’s Team of the Week. He was sensational against a disjointed Warrington outfit; solid in defence, when called upon and difficult to handle in attack. He may not have pulled off the try-saving tackles Golding did, but he did his role effectively enough despite only being forced into action of a few occasions; even providing much-needed solidarity in the kicking department from the tee.
2. Reece Lyne – Wakefield Trinity
Moving from the centres into a winger position is Reece Lyne. The former Hull FC flyer was superb against a gritty and honestly unlucky Salford Red Devils. He scored a brace of tries, including the match-clinching score that gave Sam Williams the opportunity to win the game from the touchline.
3. Michael Shenton – Castleford Tigers
Michael Shenton nudges out teammate Greg Minikin – who played centre this round – as he had a hand in everything Castleford did well in both attack and defence. Shenton scored his 100th career try and managed two assists and a total of 96 metres, in a game that typifies the meaning of defence, with a big fat zero next to Widnes’s name.
4. Jimmy Keinhorst – Leeds Rhinos
Jimmy Keinhorst is simply the reason Leeds are back on track, or at least nearing the right direction. His versatility means that he’s just as capable in the centres as the second-row. So when Joel Moon started at stand-off it was no surprise the Rhinos were still able to get the best out of their attack with Keinhorst providing some stand out points including a lovely try, in which he waltzed through the Catalans defence from marker to score – and then he assisted in try for Danny McGuire, making three clean-breaks in total.
5. Liam Marshall – Wigan Warriors
Liam Marshall was the flag bearer in the 2013 Grand Final against Warrington. Four years later, on his second appearance, he scored four tries, making three clean-breaks and 128 metres in what was a dream game for the Wigan youngster. He proves the Wigan youth setup is the best in the business.
6. George Williams – Wigan Warriors (Star Man)
Liam Marshall got Man of the Match against Warrington, but it was because of George Williams that the Warriors ticked in attack so well. He’s easily the best stand-off in the Super League, and he demonstrated why with three beautifully crafted assists, along with deadly attacking plays and a superb running game.
7. Albert Kelly – Hull FC
Albert Kelly has been brilliant for the Black and Whites since his controversial move from neighbours Hull KR. He continued his solid form against hapless Saints, with a brace of tries, at times looking untouchable.
8. Scott Taylor – Hull FC
Scott Taylor was back to his uncompromising best against the Saints. He made 138 metres, assisted a great try and in that run made a brutal clean-break; in doing all that he averaged 7.26 metres per carry and defensively wasn’t shy with a respectable 21 tackles.
9. Micky Higham – Leigh Centurions
Making my Team of the Week for the second time, Micky Higham was again brilliant for the Centurions in a game that saw them batter an extremely poor and tired Huddersfield outfit. In pulling the strings from the breakdown, he assisted two tries and made 24 tackles.
10. Adam Cuthbertson – Leeds Rhinos
Adam Cuthbertson did it all for Leeds in their emphatic response to the rout against the Tigers. He scored two tries, made a huge 40 tackles, 114 metres, all made even more impressive by the fact he got sin-binned for a professional foul. His enthusiasm was infectious for the Rhinos as they battled to show their fans what they’re really about.
11. Danny Tickle – Leigh Centurions
In the second-row I’ve named Danny Tickle, despite playing front-row. He was strong in defence and made the hard-yards when his side needed him to. In doing so he made 35 tackles and 76 metres, setting a platform for the likes of Adam Higson to take advantage.
12. Liam Farrell – Wigan Warriors
Liam Farrell beats the competition into the final second-rower position with a massive performance for the red-hot Warriors. He made 193 metres, two clean-breaks, 28 tackles and seven tackle-busts; a truly all-round display from ‘Ginger pearl’.
13. Matt Cook – Castleford Tigers
At the loose-forward position I’ve chosen Matt Cook over his teammate Junior Moors, who also had a great game for the Tigers. Cook had arguably his best game for Castleford, racking up 29 tackles, a try and 132 metres; the unsung hero of the well-oiled Daryl Powell engine.