The Optimum Super League Team of the Week – Round Two

Well, who saw those results coming?

It remains too early to get carried away about results and league standings, but you’d have done well to find anyone that would have predicted Widnes would be on top of Super League after two rounds, and more so that Leeds would be stuck right at the foot of the table.

What fans can get excited about, however, is the early-season form of some of their stars, with a number of players impressing so far.

After lengthy discussions, here is our second team of the week.


Full-back – Rhys Hanbury (Widnes Vikings)Hanbury

Team of the week appearances: 2

Hanbury is the only player that retains his place in the team after a stunning performance against the Rhinos.

He might not have scored any tries in Widnes’ ten-try rout against the Rhinos, but he played a major role in most of Widnes’ superb attacks.

A constant threat throughout, Hanbury also kicked eight conversions on a memorable day for the Vikings, who sit at the top of Super League.


Winger – Tom Lineham (Warrington Wolves)Lineham Warrington

Team of the week appearances: 1

It hasn’t taken Lineham too long to do what he does best in Warrington colours – score tries.

The winger was at his brilliant best in Warrington’s victory over Hull KR, scoring a hat-trick against the Robins.

Two of the finishes were sensational. Those gravity-defying and supremely entertaining scores will do Warrington no harm this year.

Centre – Jake Connor (Huddersfield Giants)Connor Giants

Team of the week appearances: 1

Perhaps Jake Connor felt he had a point to prove after a very disappointing showing against the Warriors in last year’s play-offs.

Whatever it was, the young centre put in a superb display against the Warriors, encapsulated by his wonderful pass that sent Jamie Foster over in the corner for a try on debut.

If Connor can continue to perform like that, he has a very promising future ahead.


Centre – Jack Logan (Hull FC)

Team of the week appearances: 1


A forgotten member of Lee Radford’s side, Logan played an important role again for his team out wide.

Not only did he score at the end of the first-half to really put distance between the two teams, but he also got through his fair share of unseen work.




Winger – Fetuli Talanoa (Hull FC)Talanoa Hull

Team of the week appearances: 1

It was some performance from the Airlie Birds as they eased past Catalans, but a few individuals stood out.

Talanoa was one of them as he scored two tries and set up the play of the match, breaking the line before passing to Jamie Shaul for a length of the field effort.

Only the video referee stopped him from claiming a hat-trick late on, but he will get his moment sooner rather than later.

Stand-off – Kevin Brown (Widnes Vikings)Kevin-Brown-celebrating

Team of the week appearances: 1

There are very few players that have as much influence on their team as Kevin Brown, and he showcased that again against Leeds.

It was an unbelievable team performance from start to finish, but Brown was one of the star performers.

His performance was magnificent, admittedly aided by those around him, but with him at the helm on the field the Vikings can go places.


Scrum-half – Robert Lui (Salford Red Devils)Lui Salford

Team of the week appearances: 1

Lui looked every inch the gifted halfback that thrived under Tim Sheens in the NRL at Wests Tigers.

His ability to split the defence with either his passing ability or running prowess was something Saints simply could not deal with.

Salford appear to have real player on their hands.


Prop – Chris Hill (Warrington Wolves)Hill

Team of the week appearances: 1

There’s few who would ever question Hill given his ability to consistently churn out superb performances.

His appointment as captain at Warrington is another feather on his cap, and based on his performances against Hull KR it is a role he is relishing.

A fantastic player that deserves far more credit than he gets.


Hooker – Lloyd White (Widnes Vikings)


Team of the week appearances: 1

In a 56-point display, Denis Betts picked out White as his player of the match, and that’s good enough for us.

The hooker, who recently signed a new deal with the Vikings, is showing great signs of improvement and promises to be a big hit at Halton this year.

His first-half try was a fine reward for his efforts against Leeds.


Prop – Craig Kopczak (Salford Red Devils)Kopczak

Team of the week appearances: 1

Kopczak had two pretty forgettable years to end his time at Huddersfield Giants.

But he proved why the Giants worked so hard to get him from the Bradford Bulls all those years ago as he put on a superb performance against St Helens.

He was even rewarded with a rare try!


Second-row – Ben Murdoch-Masila (Salford Red Devils)Murdoch-MasilaB 10062501

Team of the week appearances: 1

If you didn’t know who Ben Murdoch-Masila was before watching Thursday’s game, you do now.

The uncompromising back-row put in an incredibly entertaining performance, packed with aggression, exuberance and skill.

His physical presence mixed with his offloading ability makes him a nightmare for defenders, and if he’s playing on the right-edge with Justin Carney, Salford will continue to punish teams this year.

Second-Row – Mark Minichiello (Hull FC)MinichielloMark1-30-0515

Team of the week appearances: 1

Minichiello has been impressive ever since joining Hull FC last year.

He put in one of his better performances in black and white on Saturday as they eased past Catalans to continue their fabulous start to the season.

The backs took most of the credit, but Minichiello is part of a superb pack that will get the upper-hand on many teams this year.

Loose-Forward – John Bateman (Wigan Warriors)Bateman

Team of the week appearances: 1

Bateman started and maintained a level of excellence throughout, and played a pivotal role at loose-forward.

On the back of one of his runs he set up field position for a well-placed cross-field kick to the left for Sarginson to pat the ball into Farrell’s hands for their first try. That gave Wigan confidence and they kicked on from there.