1. Jack Walker – Leeds Rhinos
It was a shoot-out between Walker and Golding for this spot and I went with Walker despite starting on the bench. Once injuries hit Leeds and finding themselves 7-0 down at half-time, Walker came on to ultimately play a huge part in the Rhinos narrow win and scored the winning try on 57 minutes.
2. Mason Caton-Brown – Wakefield Trinity
Trinity’s centre-wing partnership of Caton-Brown and Bill Tupou ran the show as they ripped a lacklustre Widnes side apart. This was expertly demonstrated by the try they scored from a kick-off restart – shifting the ball quickly to Tupou who exchanged passes with his winger to go over.
3. Bill Tupou – Wakefield Trinity
Like I said above, Tupou helped destroy the Vikings. He scored a brace of tries, made four clean-breaks and an impressive 245 metres; simply unstoppable from the powerful centre. I feel he’s highly underrated and deserves more praise than he gets from all fans of Super League.
4. Mark Percival – St Helens
Percival yet again showed his class as he collected 22 points in the Saints vital win in their quest for a top four place. He had a part to play in everything Saints did well and deservedly scored a try, as well as his nine goals. At this point I fully expect him to line up for England in the World Cup.
5. Jermaine McGillvary – Huddersfield Giants
‘Jerry’ played a massive part in the Giants securing their place in the Super 8s. He made over 200 metres, assisted two tries and made a credible two clean-breaks. The strength of the England winger is often difficult to handle and those stats prove it to be the case against lowly Leigh.
6. Danny Brough – Huddersfield Giants
Brough was master and architect of the vital win over the Centurions. His kicking game and game management was all class and it’s great to see him and the Giants hit form just as the Super 8s are about to start.
7. Luke Gale – Castleford Tigers
Gale put in another man-of-the-match display as the Tigers overcame a determined Red Devils side. Much like Brough, Gale controlled proceedings with an expert kicking game and beautiful pass selection, opening up Salford’s defence on a consistent basis. This is typified by the lovely forty-twenty he kicked to assert his team’s dominance further.
8. Alex Walmsley – St. Helens
The powerful England hopeful ruined the Dragons pack with massive carries, emphasised by his lung-busting run and silky side-step to round the full-back to score a sensational try. He made 170 metres, thus cementing his place as the top metre-maker in Super League; truly mystifying that he’s overlooked at international level.
9. Daryl Clark – Warrington Wolves
Clark was one of a couple of shining lights in a dire game, as the Wolves overcame a poor Wigan side. He controlled the ruck and hit up admirably in defence for 39 tackles. Tony Smith praised him for his contribution and rightly so – hopefully Clark can carry the form over into the Middle 8s.
10. Mitch Garbutt – Leeds Rhinos
Garbutt was superb for the Rhinos; he made huge carries for an average gain of over nine metres. That stat is even more exceptional when you consider the injuries that hit Leeds and the amount of work the big Australian had to do once Keith Galloway went off injured.
11. Ben Currie – Warrington Wolves (Star Man)
Currie returned to the Wolves line-up after over a year out with injury and didn’t look out of place one bit. He was the lead forward on the field and didn’t shy away from the graft as the game got nervy. He scored a dream try to mark his comeback perfectly, and that alone, after all the adversity, means he’s deserving of the Star Man award.
12. John Bateman – Wigan Warriors
Bateman never has a bad game. The former Bradford youngster was solid for a lacklustre Wigan cause. He scored a try, made 124 metres and still managed to crunch up in defence for 31 tackles. The Warriors as a team should learn from Bateman’s example if they want to seriously challenge the top four this season.
13.Ryan Hinchcliffe – Huddersfield Giants
Hinchcliffe was immense for the Giants as he battered the Leigh forwards – some of which are former internationals. Defensively Hinchcliffe has always been fantastic and he again proved that with another 35 tackles; without his defensive contribution Huddersfield may not be in the top eight at all.