After the eagerly anticipated Super League 2016 kicked off, many players made an exceptional start to the campaign. I’m going to analyse the best players of the round and form a Team of the Week each week throughout 2016, starting here at round 1.
Fullback – Rhys Hanbury (Widnes Vikings)
Rhys Hanbury makes the team of the week after he bagged his first try of the season. The Widnes Fullback also converted all four tries in a 24-16 victory over Wakefield and made the most metres in the Widnes team with 172 metres. A great start to the season for the Vikings and for Hanbury.
Winger – Denny Solomona (Castleford Tigers)
Many fans were pondering whether Solomona could keep up his incredible form of 2015, but after an incredible performance against Hull KR which included a try and two clean breaks, it’s clear to see that the Castleford winger still means business in 2016.
Centre – Jake Webster (Castleford Tigers)
Webster came off the Bench for Castleford after Shenton went off injured after just twenty-five minutes. The former Hull KR centre scored two tries against his former club in an impressive performance for the Tigers.
Centre – Junior Sa’u (Salford Red Devils)
Despite losing to Hull FC, Junior Sa’u put in a great performance in both attack and defence. The centre was involved in three of Salford’s four tries, as he scored twice and assisted another try.
Wing – Josh Mantellato (Hull Kingston Rovers)
Mantellato’s last-minute heroics earn him a place in the team of the week. The Italian international scored two fantastic tries along with an almost impossible touchline conversion in awful conditions to snatch a point for the Robins in the dying embers of the game.
Stand-off – Luke Walsh (St Helens)
Luke Walsh’s joins the Team of the Week after arguably having his best game for Saints. His composed kicking game guided the Saints to victory over the Giants, including a neat grubber kick to set up Atelea Vea to score.
Scrum-half – Chris Sandow (Warrington Wolves)
Sandow was laughed at by many after a disappointing start to life in Super League, however, the Australian Scrum-Half made the doubters eat their words on Thursday as he was involved in both tries, including a solo effort which saw him slip the defence and open the scoring for the Wolves and a lovely kick to the corner which allowed Kevin Penny to score in a closely matched affair.
Prop – Dave Taylor (Catalans Dragons)
Taylor was the standout performer in Catalans’ defeat to Wigan. His impact from the bench change the game as the Prop made one hundred and thirty three metres, three offloads many huge carries in a solid introduction to the Super League.
Hooker – Danny Houghton (Hull FC)
Houghton showed his importance to Hull FC despite their new recruitments in an influential display. Hull FC’s intensity in attack and defence lifts when he is on the field, which was emphasized by his performance as he made the most tackles out of any Hull FC player and also assisted two tries.
Prop – Eorl Crabtree (Huddersfield Giants)
Despite being on the losing side, Eorl Crabtree made a great start to the new Super League campaign. The big prop made thirty five tackles and eighty six metres in a solid performance.
Second-row – Ben Currie (Warrington Wolves)
Ben Currie is a name on many of the fans lips. He followed up on his impressive 2015 season by starting the new season off with a bang. The Second-rower assisted Kevin Penny’s try and made a fantastic clean break to put the Wolves on the front-foot. His all-round contribution made him an easy pick this week.
Second-Row – Atelea Vea (St Helens)
After watching the highlights it’s clear to see that Luke Walsh and Atelea Vea ran the show for the Saints in a big win over Huddersfield. Vea scored a try, made 108 metres and produced 30 tackles in an impressive performance.
Loose-Forward – Sika Manu (Hull FC)
In a very physical battle, Manu set the tone for the evening with a big hit on Gareth O’Brien early on. His work rate was exceptional and his performance included a try assist for the Black & Whites.