NRL Round 6: Team of the week

With another massive round of NRL action behind us, we take a look at who makes the RealSport NRL Team of the Week for Round Six.

  1. 1 Billy Slater (Melbourne Storm)

    Billy Slater has come in for some criticism as the Storm has struggled to adapt to the post-Cooper Cronk era but a stellar performance at home has the fullback back in the conversation for best custodians in the game.

    Slater was in fine form as the Storm decimated the Knights 40-14 at AAMI Park and he was back to his elusive best in attack while also showcasing the stodgy, try-saving defence that has been a hallmark of his time at the very top of the game.

    Slater may be a touch older and slower each time he takes the field, but he truly wound back the clock with a vintage performance on Friday night, reminding us all just how good he can be.

  2. 2 Matt Dufty (St George Illawarra Dragons)

    While Dufty is a fullback and put together a tremendous performance there against local rivals Cronulla this week, he was just pipped to the spot by Billy Slater after his efforts against Newcastle earlier in the evening.

    That said, we've got to jam him into the side somewhere and I'm confident he'd do a fine job on the wing with Slater at fullback.

    Dufty snared two quality solo tries, showing his astounding speed from standing starts as he also racked up 142m from 14 runs in what is likely his best ever outing at the back.

  3. 3 Euan Aitken (St George Illawarra Dragons)

    The Dragons were absolutely brilliant as they demolished the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks on Friday night and Euan Aitken was amongst their best once again.

    The centre was heavily involved all night, scoring a try, pulling off a stunning try-saver as Edrick Lee looked certain to score and cracking the 100m mark with 102m alongside a solid defensive display.

    Aitken's name has come up as a bolter for the New South Wales Origin squad and it's starting to look more and more possible that he'll be lining up the centres for the Blues in 2018.

  4. 4 Corey Oates (Brisbane Broncos)

    With Anthony Milford putting together one his better performances for the Broncos, one of the main beneficiaries was winger Corey Oates.

    Oates put in a fine performance on the flank for the Broncos as they snared an upset win against the New Zealand Warriors, scoring an early try and putting on a tremendous defensive effort all night to keep the dangerous David Fusitu'a quiet.

    Oates topped the metres for both sides, finishing the night with 166m and two line breaks as he put himself in contention for man of the match honours.

    While Oates played on the wing, he has had to be shifted into the centres in order to put team-mate Jaymane Isaako onto the other flank.

  5. 5 Jaymane Isaako (Brisbane Broncos)

    Jaymane Isaako had more than his fair share of critics coming into week six of the competition. The boom rookie had started the campaign very well but had suffered a slight dip in form coming into this weekend's clash with the Warriors, but a strong showing at Mt Smart Stadium puts him back on the radar and earns him a slot in the Team of the Week.

    Isaako grabbed two valuable tries in the Broncos 27-18 win as well as three conversions and two penalty goals in a match-winning display.

  6. 6 Anthony Milford (Brisbane Broncos)

    There was plenty of pressure on Anthony Milford as the Brisbane Broncos headed over the ditch to New Zealand this week to take on the Warriors.

    Not only were the Broncos trying to hand the Kiwi side their first loss of the 2018 season, the expectation that Anthony Milford needed to have the sort of game where he dominated and took it by the scruff of the neck had been steadily growing as the Broncos continued to struggle.

    Thankfully for Milford, and the Broncos, he put together that sort of performance at Mt Smart Stadium, dragging the Broncos over the line for a much-needed win.

  7. 7 Kieran Foran (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)

    Few players have come in for the sort of criticism that Kieran Foran has ever since he left the comfort of Sydney's northern beaches.

    After a nightmare stint at the Parramatta Eels and some time out of the game, Foran returned for a tough season with the Warriors in 2017 before linking with the Bulldogs for 2018.

    Over the first few weeks there were still plenty of question marks over his worth to his new employer but on this week's effort, there's something left in the tank for Foran.

    For the second time in a few weeks, a halfback went to Townsville and distinctly outshone the champion Johnathan Thurston and this week, it was Kieran Foran.

  8. 8 Jesse Bromwich (Melbourne Storm)

    Any time a prop forward cracks the 100m mark within the first 13 minutes of a game, it's a safe bet they'll show up somewhere in the RealSport Team of the Week.

    Bromwich was at his devastating best as the Storm shattered the Newcastle Knights, finishing the night with 137m and a dozen tackles to lead the way for the boys in purple, an extra special feat given how little this game needed from the big men as the Storm's attacking weapons were on display.

  9. 9 Damien Cook (South Sydney Rabbitohs)

    Never mind Team of the Week honours, Damien Cook would be handed Player of the Week honours this week if we gave them out.

    The Rabbitohs hooker was tremendous as his side outwitted the Sydney Roosters on Thursday night, carving holes through the middle of the Chook's defence all night long.

    Cook's efforts through the middle third laid the foundations for his side and were the driving force behind much of the good work the Bunnies did with the ball in hand.

    Each time he made a break, Cook swung momentum back in his sides favour and he has definitely put his name right up there for an Origin berth as well.

  10. 10 David Klemmer (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)

    What a night for big enforcer David Klemmer.

    Under plenty of scrutiny as part of the Bulldog's poor start to the 2018 season, Klemmer got stuck into the forward battle early and was one of the more dominant forces on the field as Canterbury left Townsville with two valuable competition points.

    Klemmer finished the night with 165m from 18 runs as well as 21 tackles and, for those playing fantasy football, a handy half-century worth of points along the way.

  11. 11 John Sutton (South Sydney Rabbitohs)

    Veteran back-rower John Sutton is another player that has come in for plenty of criticism over the last few weeks as some begin to question whether he still has the legs for top grade football.

    Sutton somewhat answered those questions with a strong performance for the Bunnies on Thursday night as they dismantled long-time rivals, the Sydney Roosters 26-14.

    Sutton grabbed a try late to seal the contest while he managed to notch 128 running metres from just 13 hit ups an 18 tackles on a big night for the former playmaker-turned-ball-runner. 

  12. 12 Raymond Faitala-Mariner (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)

    Almost no one expected the Bulldogs would get a win in Townsville but one of the men most responsible for the shock victory was back-rower Raymond Faitala-Mariner.

    Faitala-Mariner has grown by leaps and bounds over the last season and a half and looks to be a genuine star player in the making.

    He finished the night with 133m from 13 runs, 18 tackles and a try in a dominant performance and thoroughly deserves a run out amongst our Team of the Week for Round Six.

  13. 13 Corey Harawira-Naera (Penrith Panthers)

    On a huge day for the Panthers that featured a massive win at home against the Gold Coast Titans, Corey Harawira-Naera was amongst the best on the park.

    The back-rower snatched two tries, creating one from almost nothing after a horror long pass left him under the pump on the last tackle, in a performance which put him close to the best on ground.

    CHN was amongst ten Panthers who topped 100 running metres for the day, finishing with 121 from 14 attempts along with seven tackles.


  14. 14 James Maloney (Penrith Panthers)

    As good as James Maloney was for the Panthers against the Titans, he'll have to be content with a bench spot this week given the strong performances of Anthony Milford and Kieran Foran who fill out our halves pairing after Round Six.

    Maloney has been in great form since Penrith lost Nathan Cleary, sparking attack and taking on the burden of being the director of the attack and he put together another fine effort on Sunday afternoon at home.

    Maloney found gaps in the Titans defence at will, streaking through on several occasions while also setting up plenty of four-pointers.

    The only downside was a missed conversion attempt which stopped his attempt at the most consecutive successful conversions.

  15. 15 Luke Brooks (Wests Tigers)

    Ok, so maybe a real NRL team wouldn't plump for two halfbacks on the bench, but this team is put together on performance so all four halves deserve to be in the side based on how their played over the weekend.

    Luke Brooks was the driving force behind a Tigers side that was far too good for the Sea Eagles at Brookvale Oval, crafting one of his finest displays in a Wests jersey.

    Brooks scored a try himself and had a hand in several others as his side ran rampant at the old Brookvale Oval, forcing the home fans to boo their own team off the park at the end of 40 minutes.

  16. 16 Trent Merrin (Penrith Panthers)

    Trent Merrin has also come under some criticism since his move to Penrith, but the big forward put in a tremendous effort on home soil against the Titans this weekend.

    Merrin was one of several Panthers who racked up over 100 running metres, finishing his day with 118m from just 12 runs and 19 tackles in the sort of display Anthony Griffin has been seeking from his senior figures.

  17. 17 Jack De Belin (St George Illawarra Dragons)

    Surely, surely, surely by now Jack De Belin has done enough to lock himself in as a State of Origin forward for the New South Wales Blues this year.

    De Belin has been a standout figure for the Dragons for some time now and continues to produce consistently each week.

    Against the Sharks he notched 70 run metres from 8 hit ups and got through 17 tackles. While his numbers weren't glaringly impressive, his overall performance and the impact he had on the contest certainly were.

    Who was unlucky to miss out on RealSport's Round Six Team of the Week? Let us know in the comments below.

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