There were some impressive performances in round seven.
Who were the cream of the crop last weekend?
1. Faalalei Sione - Canberra Vikings
The Vikings scrum absolutely dominated the Rays as Canberra romped to a big win. Sione has been ultra consistent in the NRC and Sunday was no exception.
2. Folau Faingaa – Canberra Vikings
He’s one of three new Wallabies development players and Faingaa showed his talents for the Vikings. He’s yet to play Super Rugby, but two impressive tries were just the tip of the iceberg in an impressive performance against the Rays on Sunday.
3. Jermaine Ainsley – Perth Spirit
Ainsley has been in and out of wider Test squads this year, hampered by injury. He had no such hindrances last weekend though, helping the Spirit in a tough battle against the Eagles. The Wallabies are looking for more depth in the front row and Ainsley is helping ring it.
4. Matt Philip – Perth Spirit
Philip continues to improve each week, in yet another starring performance in the second row for the Spirit. Whoever gets their hands on the lock in Super Rugby next year will be very happy.
5. Sam Carter - Canberra Vikings
Carter is still on the Wallabies’ outer but he’s using every NRC match he features in to prove his worth. Was aggressive with the ball and executed set plays superbly as the Vikings twisted the knife on the rays.
6. Rohan O'Reagan - NSW Country Eagles
O'Reagan played a critical role in the Eagles' surprise win over the Spirit in Tamworth.
7. Tom Cusack - Canberra Vikings
Cusack has led the way for the Vikings and was yet again one of the best for the Vikings in a big win over the Rays. A try to cap off an influential performance at Vikings Park.
8. Sam Ward – NSW Country Eagles
Ward was up against the form no. 8 of the competition in Isi Naisarani for much of Saturday’s Tamworth clash and Ward took the honours. As the game ticked on, he found himself head-to-head with a Wallaby in Ben McCalman, still finding himself on top. It’s incredible to see Ward back playing rugby, and playing so well, after the year he’s had.
9. Jake Gordon – NSW Country Eagles
Gordon is finding his feet as he works his way back from an ankle injury. Not having quite the year he had last year, but is starting to show some of the form that won him the Waratahs’ starting halfback spot at times this season.
10. Hamish Stewart – Queensland Country
There’s a reason this kid is considered the future of the Queensland Reds’ backline. The Australia U20s flyhalf has been superb for Queensland Country as Brad Thorn’s side works its way to a maiden finals appearance. Composure beyond his years.
11. Ed Fidow – Brisbane City
It’s a shame Fidow has already played for the Samoa Sevens, but it’s certainly no surprise. The winger had a hat-trick in atrocious conditions on Sunday afternoon in Brisbane and continues to split opposition defences apart.
12. Duncan Paia’aua – Queensland Country
Paia’aua has come a long way since he first came into the Reds fold in 2015, thrown into the deep end by then-coach Richard Graham. He’s had time to mature and his form this year has been close to the best of any player in the NRC. Has won his way into a development spot with the Wallabies and it's well-deseved.
13. Chris Feauai Sautia - Queensland Country
The capped Wallabies back was in the wilderness in 2017 but he’s found his way back to the big smoke. Fitness has always been Feauai-Sautia’s biggest issue, but if he can finally stay healthy and maintain his stamina, he will be a weapon for the Reds.
14. Filip Daugunu – Queensland Country
The speedster found his way over the try line again for Queensland Country, cementing his position as one of the form wingers in the competition. Absolute superstar.
15. Jack Maddocks - Melbourne Rising
It’s been a tough year for the Rising but Jack Maddocks has been a shining light. Managed a double despite a big loss in Brisbane on Sunday and continues to give Rebels fans optimism for the future.