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As several teams ran up big scores during ANZAC Round, some of the NRL's top playmakers went to town with outstanding individual performances. 

From Sam Walker and Cameron Munster's heroics to open Round 8, to an Adam Reynolds kicking masterclass and a free-running display from Nicho Hynes, the sixes and sevens stood tall this week. 

Round 8 Team of the Week

1. AJ Brimson (Titans)

When the game changed midway through the first half against the Warriors, it was Brimson’s support plays which helped convert the Titans’ dominance into points. Raced through the middle of the park for his first try before hanging off David Fifita’s shoulder for the second, while he handled the aerial raid the Warriors threw at him brilliantly too. 

Brimson at his best

2. Sione Katoa (Sharks)

At his destructive best in his first game back from suspension, putting his hand up for 20 carries which yielded 209 metres in yardage. Scored tries in each half to take his season tally to five in six games.

3. Jesse Ramien (Sharks)

If there does end up being an opening in the centres for NSW this year, Ramien is doing everything within his power to put himself in the frame to fill it. His powerful running was simply too much for the Raiders, who tried and failed to get him with first contact on 10 occasions. Part of a lethal right-side with Briton Nikora and the aforementioned Sione Katoa.

Jesse Ramien Try

4. Reuben Garrick (Sea Eagles)

Manly’s clash with Parramatta was hanging in the balance when the Sea Eagles held a 18-16 lead with less than 15 minutes remaining, before Garrick stepped up to cross for two late tries to seal a 32-18 win. The centre was also perfect with the boot, kicking six from six to add crucial points throughout the game.

5. Dominic Young (Roosters)

The Roosters winger was at his dominant best in his return from a suspension on Thursday, running rampant down the team’s right flank. Young scored a try, ran for 222 metres, broke seven tackles and made three line breaks as he terrorised the Dragons' defensive line.

6. Cameron Munster (Storm)

Had a direct hand in half of Melbourne’s 10 tries on ANZAC Day, with four assists and a four-pointer of his own to cap off his best performance of the season. The third assist for Xavier Coates was a thing of beauty, as Munster somehow spotted an opportunity on the far left and produced a step and kick almost in the same movement to get the ball where he needed to. After a frustrating run with injury, this was the first time in 2024 that the Queenslander appeared to be back to his normal self.

Xavier Coates 3rd Try

7. Sam Walker (Roosters)

The 21-year-old playmaker was all class on ANZAC Day, turning the Dragons around constantly and pinning them in corners with another superb kicking display. Finished the match with a try, two assists and 354 kick metres, while he was perfect off the boot too, kicking 10 goals from as many attempts. 

8. Addin Fonua-Blake (Warriors)

Fonua-Blake starred in a losing effort for the Warriors, doing everything he could to keep his team in the contest. The prop ran for a mammoth 217 metres and scored two tries in a 61-minute outing. The tireless effort also involved 98 post-contact metres, two line breaks and four tackle busts.

Fonua-Blake in fine form

9. Mitch Kenny (Panthers)

The Panthers tackled their way past the Cowboys on Saturday night and Kenny was at the forefront of the effort in Townsville. The dummy-half led his team with 41 tackles as Penrith held on for a gritty win over North Queensland.

10. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (Roosters)

Zapped the energy out of the Dragons’ middles in a ferocious opening stint, with the platform he laid alongside Lindsay Collins setting the Roosters up for a huge win. Averaged over 10 metres per carry on his way to 167 by full-time and made 21 tackles without a miss.

11. Eliesa Katoa (Storm)

Katoa registered a season-high 158 running metres in a dominant performance that laid the platform for Melbourne’s win over the Rabbitohs. The back-rower also broke four tackles and added a linebreak in a breakout performance on ANZAC Day.

12. Haumole Olakau'atu (Sea Eagles)

Recovered from an early trip to the sin bin to contribute plenty for the Sea Eagles in their fifth win of the year. A constant threat down the right, where Manly found success against the Eels, with five tackle busts helping him to 147 metres.

13. Patrick Carrigan (Broncos)

Carrigan set the tone up front for Brisbane in Saturday’s win over the Wests Tigers, ensuring the Broncos' forward pack laid the platform for their brilliant backs. The Queensland lock ran for 175m, including 74 post-contact metres and three tackle breaks.

14. Adam Reynolds (Broncos)

Reynolds picked up where he left off in his return from a hamstring injury to lead the Broncos to a commanding victory. With Ezra Mam absent, the bulk of the playmaking duties rested on the veteran’s shoulders and Reynolds did not disappoint. The halfback finished with two try assists and kicked for 328m as he orchestrated the big win, despite struggling with bad cramps late on which eventually forced him from the field.  

Adam Reynolds defying all odds

15. David Fifita (Titans)

Came on after 20 minutes and made an immediate impact for the Titans, with the Maroons forward wrestling back momentum to help his side overcome a slow start. Finished with a try, 132 metres off 18 runs, eight tackle breaks and 30 tackles.

16. Payne Haas (Broncos)

Didn’t look like someone who hadn’t played for six weeks as he took it to the Wests Tigers’ pack with his physicality and athleticism. Got through 51 minutes in a contest that his side controlled the majority of, running for 138 metres and scoring a second-half try.

Haas looking like he never left

17. Nicho Hynes (Sharks)

Just about everything he touched turned to gold at GIO Stadium, as the Blues-hopeful led his side to a commanding victory with a new halves partner beside him in Daniel Atkinson. Set up two tries, laid on three line break assists and ran for 202 metres himself. Hynes’ defence was outstanding again too and included 25 tackles and a couple of clever intercepts while his side were camped on their own line.

Acknowledgement of Country

The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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