In a revived segment for this season, and one we hope stays put all season long, we will be selecting a Betfred Super League Team of the week after every round.
This week, in short, we learnt that Hull FC have recruited extremely well and look formidable. Saints still look a cut above the rest after hammering a much-changed Salford.
Hull KR and Huddersfield may not be fighting relegation like we predicted, but Wakefield do look like they will be dragged towards the bottom of the table.
Also, Sonny Bill Williams and George Burgess aren’t quite up to speed for Super League.
So, here we have it, our first team of the week for the 2020 Super League Season. For clarification, we will be selecting the players in any position they played in during the round.
1. Jack Welsby
Despite, starting on the wing in Saints demolition of Salford, the young utility player filled the boots of the injured Lachlan Coote with such ease. he picked up two tries, and an assist as well as making 77 metres in 17 carries. He possess such silky hands and great footwork he will be a nemesis for all defences he’ll come up against this season.
2. Ben Crooks
What more can you say about the Hull KR winger, Four tries in one game. He has double the amount of five other players already after one game which, yes after round one, isn’t difficult but still impressive. As well as the 16 points he picked up on the pitch, Crooks picked up 82 points in the Fantasy League thanks to 3 clean breaks and 89 metres made over 15 carries.
3. Hakim Miloudi
Yes, the French utility back made a few errors in Toronto’s defeat to Castleford, but when the Wolfpack were doing things right, everything was coming through Miloudi. He picked a try assist, and also scored a spectacular 60 metre interception try on his was to make 197 metres, the highest in round one.
4. Josh Griffin
The powerful Hull FC centre was a definite factor in their victory against Leeds on Sunday afternoon. He picked up eight tackle busts and made a total of 186 metres, over just 18 carries, with an extra carry he could have overtaken Miloudi as the top metre maker, but Griffin will certainly improve as the season goes on for the Airlie Birds.
5. Ratu Naulago
What can we say, Naulago is an absolute beast of a winger. As well as picking up two phenomenal tries and assisting Carlos Tuimavave, the British Army winger was outstanding in defence stopping Ash Handley from picking up a brace. His freakish pace and skill helped Hull FC pick up a convincing two points in round one.
6. Jonny Lomax
What more can Jonny Lomax do, he pulled the strings for the home-side tonight with his kicking, passing and running game. He looks more mature in his decision making and will make Saints an even bigger threat in 2020. He assisted three tries in the victory against Salford as well as making 110 metres in 22 carries. The only other player to make as many carries was Jackson Hastings.
7. Theo Fages
Completing an all St Helens half-back pairing is Theo Fages. Between them, their was a total of one error, which ultimately did come from the Frenchman. However, he was instrumental in moving the Saints around the pitch, with his six attacking kicks and 51 yards. He certainly deserved his try.
8. Alex Walmsley
Yes, another Saints player, they deserve it. Walmsley made a huge 162 metres on Friday night at an average of eight metres per carry. His hard running and commitment to pushing his team forwards makes the platform for Fages and Lomax to play off and create opportunities to score. The big prop forward also picked up two tries on his way to 73 Fantasy Super League points.
9. James Bentley
Before I get into this selection, I’d like to point out that Paul McShane, Joey Lussick and Jordan Johnstone all played superbly this weekend, but due not being a natural hooker, Bentley gets the nod this week. With James Roby currently out injured, Kristian Woolf selected the Leeds-born youngster to deputise in the role. The natural second-rower made 46 tackles with 12 coming from marker. He controlled a large Saints forward pack well and then shifted superbly into the centres after the injury to Lachlan Coote.
10. Mitch Garbutt
A huge performance for the Hull KR prop-forward after a big win against Wakefield. The mobile front-rower made 30 tackles and made 17 carries in a well-rounded performance. Five tackles busts from the Australian, is impressive and he even decided to take a run from dummy-half. The Robins will certainly rely on Garbutt to keep themselves out of a relegation fight this season.
11. Andre Savelio
The former Warrington and St Helens second-rower signed for the Airlie Birds in 2019, and impressed towards the end of last season. This season he looks even better. He only made two offloads in the game but they were impressive ones as his vision and ball skills allowed Josh Bowden and Jamie Shaul to score in an impressive victory of the Rhinos. Due to the size of the forward pack at Hull, Savelio may often fly under the radar, however, that may be a good sign for the 24 year old as he looks to improve his game under Lee Radford.
12. Ben Murdoch-Masila
On a personal level, the large Tongan second-rower played a superb game in his sides defeat to Wigan on Thursday night. He didn’t make a single error. He did only make eight carries, but in half of those he broke through the tacklers and picked himself up a try by bulldozing through George Burgess. He made a total of 24 tackles and gained an average of 5.25 metres over his eight carries. While not hugely impressive on the stats board, He made an impact on the game with his straight running style.
13. Cameron Smith
Without this man, Leeds could well have conceded many more points. However, a total of 61 tackles meant that there was no other option. On top of a solid defensive efforts, the loose-forward made a total of 15 carries, made two tackle busts and made a total of 72 metres.
Let us know in the comments which of these players you agree with, and which you don’t, and which team you would select based on performance and statistics.