Barnstorming forward Suaia Matagi - pictured about to score against Canberra - gave the Vodafone Warriors two players in the team of the tournament at the NRL Auckland Nines. Photo: Photosport
It said much for the team's overall performance that two players were chosen despite the Vodafone Warriors being eliminated at the semi-final stage.
With four tries in his first four outings, Vodafone Warriors captain Shaun Johnson was an automatic choice.
For Matagi the honour added to what has been a remarkable past 12 months. It started with him earning a fulltime NRL contract after being on trial in the offseason.
He went on to make his NRL debut against the Bulldogs, playing 11 first-grade games, being named in the New South Wales Cup team of the year and representing Toa Samoa at the Rugby League World Cup.
The title-winning Cowboys dominated the tournament team.