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Resurgent Rabbitohs, surging Sea Eagles headline Team of the Week

Latrell Mitchell's starring role for the Rabbitohs headlined a number of strong performances throughout Round 15 with Lindsay Collins, Haumole Olakau'atu, Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow and Daly Cherry-Evans also named in the Round 15 Team of the Week.

Panthers duo Brian To'o and Moses Leota feature after Penrith's hard-fought win over the Knights while Origin hopefuls Damien Cook, Bradman Best and Stefano Utoikamanu all delivered arguably their finest performances of the season.

1. Latrell Mitchell (Rabbitohs)

Turned in an almost faultless Origin audition to help the Rabbitohs to a morale-boosting 22-12 win over the Broncos. His highlight reel had it all with a try, an assist, a long-range break that led to another try and also some momentum shifting kicks in play. 

2. Daniel Tupou (Roosters)

The Roosters all-time leading try-scorer was again in fine form for the Tricolours, bagging tries in each half as his side downed the Eels in a hard-fought contest. The veteran winger finished the game with 199 metres from 15 carries, including two linebreaks and a linebreak assist.

Two for Tupou

3. Bradman Best (Knights)

Made a strong return from his hamstring injury and was a constant threat on Newcastle’s left edge on Sunday.  Threatened to steal the victory over the Panthers late in the match with a try and a dangerous break down the edge. Finished with a team-high 209 run metres and 14 tackles. 

4. Herbie Farnworth (Dolphins)

The England international was at his damaging best in the Shire on Thursday night, racking up 215 run metres, including a game high 97 post-contact metres. Helped himself to a try as the Dolphins exploded to a 22-0 lead after 25 minutes and got the better of a tantalising duel with the Sharks’ Origin hopeful Jesse Ramien. Has struck up a great combination with young gun Isaiya Katoa and will be a key figure in the Dolphins’ charge towards a maiden finals berth. 

Herbie firing for the Dolphins

5. Brian To'o (Panthers)

Blues winger Brian To'o continued his impressive midseason form with another busy performance as Penrith downed Newcastle. To'o had 239 metres from 21 runs as well as a try with six tackle busts, marking the third time in the last four weeks that the Panthers winger has topped the 200-metre mark.

6. Kodi Nikorima (Dolphins)

Kodi Nikorima marked his return to the Dolphins side with a starring performance at five-eighth in their upset win over the Sharks, setting up two try tries and adding two linebreak assists to complement the work of fellow young gun Isaiya Katoa

7. Jahrome Hughes (Storm)

With his team in a hole at 14-0 down after a whirlwind Warriors start, Hughes set about steadying the ship and then methodically picking the home team apart with precise kicking and passing. By the time the siren had sounded on the Storm's 10th win of the season, Hughes had racked up four try assists and three line break assists - an absolute playmaking masterclass that gave him a knockout victory over fellow Kiwi halfback Shaun Johnson. 

Hughes can do it

8. Stefano Utoikamanu (Wests Tigers)

With 66 games to his name, Utoikamanu was one of the most experienced Tigers on the park and he showed the way up front with 18 powerhouse runs for 204 metres in 57 quality minutes. Got through 31 tackles as well as the Tigers held firm in defence to collect their first win since early April. 

9. Damien Cook (Rabbitohs)

Amidst conversations circling around his future amid interest from rival clubs, Cook let his performance do the talking on Friday night with a dominant 80-minute display at hooker. Set the tone early, darting out of hooker for the opening try and finished with a team-high 41 tackles. 

10. Lindsay Collins (Roosters)

Helped his side to an early lead in a powerhouse opening stint alongside new starting partner Spencer Leniu. Finished with 41 tackles, 88 running metres and two tackle breaks in his 53-minute stint up front.   

Olakau'atu immense on the edge

11. Haumole Olakau'atu (Sea Eagles)

Stood up when Manly lost their two starting front rowers to injuries early in the match. Crashed over for an important try just before half time and also provided plenty of service out the right edge, with an early assist for Lehi Hopoate and another two line break assists. Finished the match with 147 run metres and 11 tackle breaks. 

12. Eli Katoa (Storm)

Continues to grow in the second-row position for Storm, showing why he got the jump over several of his teammates this season. Made more tackles than any other player on the field with 38 and ran for 136 metres to go with his side’s opening try with an incredible jump and strip tackle on Adam Pompey.

13. Keaon Koloamatangi (Rabbitohs)

Has almost reinvented himself following a shift full-time to the middle. Koloamatangi bagged a try in the Rabbitohs' upset win over the Broncos but it was the effort he put in against Origin forwards Payne Haas and Patrick Carrigan which impressed most, topping all Souths forwards with 200 metres from 21 carries and 29 tackles.

A commanding performance from Cherry-Evans

14. Daly Cherry-Evans (Sea Eagles)

Down on troops with a slew of injuries, Daly Cherry-Evans controlled the contest perfectly for Manly as they somehow held off the Dragons – setting up three tries with a linebreak and a linebreak assist to go with his three conversions. Cherry-Evans' kicking game was again the difference, amassing 454 kick metres and two forced dropouts while also running for more than 100 metres with the ball in hand.

15. Moses Leota (Panthers)

With the game in the balance throughout the second half, Moses Leota's linebreak and pass to Dylan Edwards sealed the win for Penrith and capped off a strong afternoon from the Panthers big man where he had 101 run metres. 

Enjoy Nathan Brown coming off the back fence

16. Nathan Brown (Sea Eagles)

Playing a season-high 66 minutes off the back of several injuries, Brown added a much-needed spark to the Sea Eagles' forward pack with a number of clever touches to complement his hard-running style. Brown finished the game with 162 metres from 18 runs as well as 33 tackles.

17. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow (Dolphins)

Handed us a new frontrunner for the try of the year conversation with a miraculous effort that accounted for almost 100 of his 253 running metres on the night, as well as plenty of his 10 tackle busts. In a contest which had plenty of momentum shifts and ended up going down to the wire, it felt like ‘Hammer’ made a positive contribution whenever he had the opportunity. 

A try of the year contender for the Hammer!

Acknowledgement of Country

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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