World Cup Round 1: Team of the Week

Jason Taumalolo is our loose forward this week

Love Rugby League have picked their Team of the Week from the opening weekend of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.

DAVID MEAD (PAPUA NEW GUINEA)

The 28-year-old captained Papua New Guinea to a big victory over Wales and he scored a hat-trick in the game but his all-round game was very impressive in Port Moresby.

David Mead made 14 carries from the full-back role, made 189 metres for the Kumuls while also making 10 tackles. He was a constant threat throughout, breaking the line six times.

JERMAINE MCGILLVARY (ENGLAND)

It would be hard for anyone who watched the England game against Australia to say that Jermaine McGillvary wasn’t the best Three Lions player on the pitch.

The 29-year-old was sensational in both attack and defence. He scored one try but he made 19 carries as well and racked up over 200 metres. He was great under the high ball, too.

MICHAEL JENNINGS (TONGA)

The Parramatta Eels ace was fantastic in Tonga’s huge win over Scotland. He is certainly one of the ones to watch in the tournament because he is an enthusiastic centre in attack.

Michael Jennings scored a hat-trick in the game but it wasn’t just his tries that caught the eye, he made over 200 metres and carried the ball 12 times.

TAANE MILNE (FIJI)

The 22-year-old only made his international debut this year but he has been remarkable in the couple of games he has played. He is very threatening when going forward.

Taane was quality in Fiji’s big win over the USA at the weekend, making 11 carries and 13 tackles for his side as well as scoring two tries and two goals for Fiji.

TRAVIS ROBINSON (LEBANON)

The 30-year-old has plenty of experience of Rugby League in his locker, having played for Penrith Panthers in the NRL in the past as well as making his international debut in 2009.

Travis Robinson worked tirelessly in Lebanon’s shock win over France and he grabbed up two tries for his side. He took in 15 drives and made 151 metres for the Cedars.

MITCHELL MOSES (LEBANON)

Quite a lot of pressure has been put on the 23-year-old and Robbie Farah to guide Lebanon to do well at the World Cup and they certainly delivered with a victory over France.

Moses was brilliant for the Cedars, scoring one try and four goals as well as grabbing two assists. Everything that Lebanon did went through Moses and he was a stand-out.

 SHAUN JOHNSON (NEW ZEALAND)

Everyone knows what Shaun Johnson can do on his day and he was on his day, for sure. He created a lot of attacking opportunities for the Kiwis and had a good partnership with Kodi Nikorima.

The 27-year-old made 19 tackles from the scrum-half role but he really made his mark in attack as he made one line break and assisted twice as well as scoring one try and five goals.

JAMES GRAHAM (ENGLAND)

Along with Sean O’Loughlin, the 32-year-old led by example for England and did all of the tough stuff. You could see his passion in his attempt to catch Josh Dugan’s 80 metre effort with just a minute left and the game out of reach and it was great to see that from him.

James Graham really put a shift against the Kangaroos as he took in 17 drives, made 163 metres and made a staggering 42 tackles in the opening fixture.

MICKY MCILORUM (IRELAND)

The 29-year-old put in a very hard-working and gritty display in Ireland’s win over Italy. It was a typical McIlorum performance, with all of the hard hitting tackles and aggressive carries at the heart of it.

He took in five tries and made 18 tackles from the hooker role, with eight of those being from marker position. The Wigan Warriors star also got an assist.

ALEX TWAL (LEBANON)

If you look at the stats of every player who played in the opening round of fixtures, you will probably not find a player with better stats than Wests Tigers starlet Alex Twal.

He had a very good all-round game for Lebanon in their win over France. The prop made 151 metres from just 17 carries and made 17 tackles in a solid Lebanon defence.

NELSON ASOFA-SOLOMONA (NEW ZEALAND)

The 21-year-old actually played in the front-row for most of the game but filled in at back-row a couple of times like he does for Melbourne Storm. What a game he had on Sunday.

Nelson Asofa-Solomona was everywhere for the Kiwis, literally. He made 19 carries, 180 metres and 20 tackles in the game. He also scored which is a bonus for the 6ft 7in forward.

LOUIE MCCARTHY-SCARSBROOK (IRELAND)

Like much of Ireland’s pack at the weekend, the 31-year-old was brilliant and really dug deep to help his teammates out all over the park and was always talking on the field.

Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook made 206 metres from 11 carries as well as making 14 tackles. He proved to be a threat in attack too, breaking the line twice and scoring a try.

JASON TAUMALOLO (TONGA)

Many people have tipped the 24-year-old to pick up the Player of the Tournament award this autumn and he isn’t letting anyone down just yet after another world class display for Tonga.

Jason Taumalolo didn’t even play the full 80 minutes but had the best stats on the field, with the loose forward making 196 metres from 18 drives as well as making 19 tackles. He got his reward with a try and the two points for Tonga following a win over Scotland.

Do you agree with our team of the week? Or should someone else in the 13? Let us know in the comments below.

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