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NRL 2024, Round 9, Team of the Week, stats

The key men behind the statement victories of some of the NRL’s big players dominate the Team of the Week for Round 9 of the Telstra Premiership.

From Crichton and co at the Roosters to powerhouse Panthers middles, these are the players who stood out from the rest in the round.

Round 9 Team of the Week

1. James Tedesco (cocks)

Had almost everything in hand as the Roosters’ attack kicked into top gear for the second week in a row. Tedesco set up two tries and did a mountain of work on the ball, with his final figures taking him to 260 yards from 21 carries. While there is talk of Dylan Edwards potentially taking over the NSW number 1 jersey, Tedesco is doing everything he can to ensure he remains the Blues fullback.

2. Sunia Turuva (panthers)

Fresh off a week off in Round 8, Turuva returned to the Panthers’ right side with devastating results. With a sweet step attempt and a tricky pass inside for Luke Garner, the 2023 Dally M Rookie of the Year dipped into his bag of tricks to help the Panthers pile more misery on the Rabbitohs on Thursday evening.

Sunia Turuva Try

3. Dane Gagai (Knights)

The 33-year-old was on top of almost everything the Warriors threw at him when they had the ball, with Gagai coming up with 19 tackles and a couple of huge tackles under the high ball in scorching conditions in Newcastle. He also did not shy away from his work on the ball and broke 10 tackles on his way to 127 running meters.

4. Kayal Iro (sharks)

Iro is currently improving with every game, justifying the hype that accompanied him in the lower grades and fitting right into place in a high-performing Sharks backline. A problem for the Dragons when he was on the ball, he finished with a team-high 171 meters and had eight tackle busts.

5. Jamayne Isaako (Dolphins)

The Kiwi international was back at his best against the Cowboys. Isaako haunted North Queensland’s left edge on Saturday, scoring a hat-trick and ultimately giving the Dolphins the winning advantage with a number of impressive conversions from the touchline on his way to 20 points. The match ended with three line breaks, three tackle breaks and 135 run meters.

A hat-trick for Isaaco

6. Kodi Nikorima (dolphins)

The experienced playmaker has turned back the clock to 2024 and is currently pulling the right strings for Wayne Bennett’s side. Set up three tries for the Phins and manage the match well with Isaiya Katoa, in what has become a very productive halves combination.

7. Nicho Hynes (sharks)

Saved the day for his team with a strong second half. Hynes is enjoying a rich run of form at the moment and it is allowing inexperienced five-eighth Daniel Atkinson to play his natural game. Finished the win over the Dragons with 116 run metres, two try assists, two linebreak assists and three tackle breaks.

8. Josh King (Storm)

Made a huge effort to play 71 minutes up front and romped through a team-high 132 metres, 70 of which he made after contact. In the absence of the injured Tui Kamikamica, King was excellent for coach Craig Bellamy. Also earned a few Dally M points for his effort.

9. Reed Mahoney (Bulldogs)

With the Wests Tigers losing their No. 9 weapon to injury, Reed Mahoney took full advantage to make a game-changing difference in dummy half as the Dogs picked up a fourth win of the year. While he found himself at the center of a late scuffle which led to two opponents being sin-binned, Mahoney had enjoyed a strong game before that and as well as setting up a try he also made a team-high 41 tackles.

10. James Fisher-Harris (Panthers)

Although he’s been a little distracted in recent weeks with everything surrounding his move to the Warriors next year, it’s safe to say that JFH is back to dominating the middle of the park. Built a command platform and had 180 meters to his name full-time. The Rabbitohs had no answer to Penrith’s problems on Thursday.

11. Viliame Kikau (Bulldogs)

The mere sight of Kikau at this moment should put pressure on the opposition defenders. The Fijian powerhouse produced a pair of barnstorming runs that set the tone for his side’s second-half comeback, including a highlight-worthy monster defense against Aidan Sezer. Finished with 124 running meters and seven tackles broken.

Kikau is too difficult to deal with

12. Angus Crichton (cocks)

Continued his remarkable return to career-best football with a performance that caused chaos for Brisbane’s left wing on Friday night. Had some huge carries on his way to 154 run meters, with seven tackle busts thrown in. Scored a quick double in the first half to wrestle the momentum back for the Roosters.

Crichton continues his excellent form

13. Isaiah Yeo (panthers)

Somehow he seems to be able to find another gear once Nathan Cleary is out and steps in even more to help fill the void in the game. He got a try assist against the Bunnies and his work ethic on both sides of the ball was excellent as usual, with Yeo clocking 171 run meters and 30 tackles without a miss.

14. Dylan Edwards (Panthers)

A recurring nightmare for South Sydney’s weak left defense, Edwards was all class as he took the maximum six Dally M points to join Nicho Hynes at the top of the leaderboard after nine rounds. He consistently put his side on the front foot with some huge kick returns and it was his clever thinking on a quick tap-in that saw Taylan May attempt a full-field effort.

15. David Fifita (Titans)

Excellent from the bench in the ANZAC round, he started in round 9 and the Titans got quality from the first minute to the last. Registered an absurd 15 tackle breaks on 17 ball carriers. Every time the Maroons star got the ball down the left, with AJ Brimson hovering on his shoulder, alarm bells went off for Melbourne. This combination has the ability to become one of the great combinations as the season progresses.

Fifita breaking tackles

16. Elliott Whithead (Raiders)

Made a world of difference for the Green Machine when he returned from injury, with his leadership and composure crucial to Canberra’s incredible comeback. Set up the first try with a flick pass that Benji Marshall would have been proud of and then crossed two himself in the second.

17. Shawn Blore (Storm)

An impressive performance against a quality Gold Coast back row. Blore’s ability to advance the second phase gave Melbourne a crucial point of difference, with two of his three offloads creating line breaks for teammates. It’s looking more and more like an inspired offseason pickup from Craig Bellamy.