World Cup Round 2: Team of the Week

Love Rugby League have selected their Team of the Week from the second round of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.

1 COREY MAKELIM (USA)

You will probably only agree with this selection if you actually watched the USA game against Italy live, because the 23-year-old was so exciting to watch.

Makelim currently plays for the Wentworthville Magpies in the NSW (Intrust) Cup but has a lot of potential. He has made 28 carries already in the tournament, making 215 metres as well as making 14 tackles and grabbing an assist.

2 SULIASI VUNIVALU (FIJI)

The 21-year-old is arguably, the best winger in the world at the minute. Despite still being so young, he has scored 46 tries in 47 games for Melbourne Storm in the last two years.

And Vunivalu has continued his prolific form in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, with the winger having scored a hat-trick in Fiji’s big win over Wales and taking his tally to five tries.

3 NENE MACDONALD (PAPUA NEW GUINEA)

The 23-year-old is a big centre who terrifies defences and that’s what he did against Ireland as the Kumuls only just won on Sunday in Port Moresby.

MacDonald has been one of the highlights of the tournaments so far, scoring two tries as well as making 174 metres from 20 carries. The St George Illawarra Dragons ace has also made two line breaks.

4 JOSH DUGAN (AUSTRALIA)

The 27-year-old has been one of Australia’s best players in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup so far and his new club Cronulla Sharks will be very impressed by what they are seeing.

He has made 389 metres in the first two games of the tournament, scoring twice while grabbing an assist. He has also made 20 tackles and has yet to make an error.

5 PETA HIKU (NEW ZEALAND)

The 24-year-old is a familiar face in the Betfred Super League as he scored 10 tries in just 11 games for Warrington Wolves in the 2017 campaign.

Hiku scored a hat-trick in his first ever game at a World Cup for the Kiwis as Scotland struggled to deal with the blockbusting winger, with him also taking 22 drives in.

6 JAMES TEDESCO (ITALY)

The 24-year-old has been one of the stand-out players in the NRL in the last couple of years, having scored 50 tries in 90 games for Wests Tigers, with him moving to the Sydney Roosters for 2018 and beyond.

Tedesco moved from full-back into the halves for Italy in their win over the USA on Sunday and went over for a brace. He’s been great for the Azzurri in the tournament so far, racking up nearly 360 metres from 31 carries.

7 ATA HINGANO (TONGA)

The 20-year-old made his international debut for Tonga in this World Cup but already has a lot of NRL experience, having played for New Zealand Warriors’ first team 15 times.

Not many people would have heard of Hingano before the tournament began but has been brilliant for Tonga so far. He has great organisational skills and was loverugbyleague.com’s man of the match as Tonga beat Samoa on Saturday.

8 MARTIN TAUPAU (NEW ZEALAND)

The 27-year-old has been fantastic in the NRL since moving to the Manly Sea Eagles ahead of the 2016 season and he has continued his good form for New Zealand in this World Cup.

Taupau was simply too strong for Scotland on Saturday as the Kiwis ran riot, with the big front-rower making 315 metres in his last two games as well as 11 offloads.

9 JOE TRAMONTANA (ITALY)

The 20-year-old provides a wise head on young shoulders for Italy and is the captain for Canterbury Bulldogs’ Under-20s team and is on the verge of breaking through to their first team and making his NRL debut.

Tramontana scored two tries in Italy’s win over the USA and has been a great player in the tournament so far, carrying the ball 17 times as well as making 67 tackles.

10 TOM BURGESS (ENGLAND)

The 25-year-old has been a regular in the England camp ever since making his debut back in 2013 and you could tell why judging by his performance in England’s win over Lebanon.

Burgess, who plays for the South Sydney Rabbitohs, scored a fine try from a 30-metre break for the Three Lions and has already made 259 metres in the tournament so far.

11 VILIAME KIKAU (FIJI)

The 22-year-old is 6ft 5in and nearly 19st, so you can probably image how hard it would be for defences to tackle the Penrith Panthers youngster and bring him down to the ground.

Kikau has been a key figure in Fiji’s World Cup campaign so far, scoring three tries. He has made a huge 333 metres and four line breaks and proved to hot to handle for Wales at the weekend.

12 WADE GRAHAM (AUSTRALIA)

The Cronulla Sharks star put in a stellar display on Friday night as Australia beat France and the display made you wonder why he only made his international debut the week before!

Graham stole the headlines as he crossed the whitewash four times and he has so far made a whopping 41 tackles in the tournament as well as 17 carries.

13 OLIVER ROBERTS (IRELAND)

The 22-year-old played in the back-row for Ireland in their narrow defeat to Papua New Guinea but can play at loose forward and has done so for Huddersfield Giants and the Wolfhounds previously.

Roberts was one of the most underrated players in Super League in 2017 and had a great game against the Kumuls. He has made 18 carries so far, making 144 metres. The utility-forward has also put a huge hit on PNG prop Stanton Albert.

What do you think of our team of the week? Let us know in the comments below.

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