1. Sam Tomkins (Wigan Warriors)
It’s almost standard practice to have Saints’ Ben Barba in this position, given how he’s started the season, but in round 5 it’s the turn of an old favourite in former in Sam Tomkins. He’s been looking sharp since the start of the season and he was exceptional against an in-form Wakefield on Sunday. He’s still good value for the Warriors at the back and could be back in England contention if he continues this form.
2. Ben Jones-Bishop (Wakefield Trinity)
BJB scored a double and had a further two tries disallowed, and for that reason he deserves to be in. He was unplayable as Wigan’s left edge was horribly exposed. ‘Bish’ has been in great form this season and gaining a spot in the team this week is testament to that form as well.
3. Kallum Watkins (Leeds Rhinos)
Leeds’ new captain was exceptional for the defending champions. He scored a double and was menacing at every opportunity. The Rhinos led 20-6 after an hour and should have kicked on but credit to a young Hull FC for competing like they did against the likes of Watkins, to keep the game close.
4. Mark Percival (St Helens)
Percival scored his second hat-trick of the season and has been proving to everybody, especially Wayne Bennett, that he’s worthy of an England starting place. I’ve recently said Watkins is the best centre in the country, well, on this form, Percival is certainly challenging for that title.
5. Joe Burgess (Wigan Warriors)
Burgess scored a hat-trick against an in-form Trinity side. All three tries were great winger’s tries, but for different reasons. The third was the pick of the lot with brilliant strength demonstrated to evade the Wakefield defence and power his way over the top of three Trinity defenders.
6. Richie Myler (Leeds Rhinos)
For me, it was either Myler or Danny Brough in at stand-off for round 5, and I just edged in Myler, as without him I feel Hull may have gained a hard-fought win over Leeds at Headingley. He’s been a dependable signing for the Rhinos so far as he looks to replace McGuire to the best of his ability. He doesn’t just support, he sets up plays as well with excellent kicking accuracy.
7. Danny Richardson (St Helens)
Richardson had struggled in previous years to gain game time for the Saints. Now he’s been given the chance he’s keeping Grand Final winner Matty Smith out the side, and is likely on the same career trajectory as Wigan’s George Williams. From a youngster who was struggling to get minutes, he is now currently the best half-back in Super League, all within a very short space of time.
8. Scott Taylor (Hull FC)
Getting in the side over Wigan’s Tony Clubb is Hull’s powerful prop Scott Taylor. It would extremely unfair not to include a Hull FC forward as they created yardage for fun and were let down by lack of creativity in the Rhinos’ 20-metre zone. Taylor led the way for the Black and Whites side as they narrowly missed out on a rare Headingley win.
9. James Roby (St Helens)
Round 5 of the season and we may as well hand Roby the Dream Team hooker position now. He’s that far ahead of every other number 9 in the Super League that it’s actually becoming unfair. The fact he’s that far ahead of the likes of Matt Parcell and Paul McShane is incredible in itself.
10. Grant Millington (Castleford Tigers)
In the first half against the Red Devils, it was Millington and Nathan Massey who battered the Salford pack into submission. By half-time the damage was done and Ian Watson’s men could barely muster up anything in response.
11. Oliver Roberts (Huddersfield Giants)
Roberts has joined a long list of talented second rowers and the Huddersfield hierarchy would be well to finally tie him down to a long-term deal. The man is the future of the Giants and he proved that against the Vikings with another solid display.
12. Benjamin Garcia (Catalans Dragons)
In truth Greg Bird impressed me most, but given Myler and Richardson occupy the halves I had to turn to the most impressive forward for the Dragons, and for me, that was Garcia. He’s very versatile and has often operated at centre for the French outfit. He was important for the side as they just about got their first victory of the season.
13. Sean O’Loughlin (Wigan Warriors)
Wigan and England’s captain fantastic. He was superb again for the Warriors as the pack dominated enough for the likes of Burgess to do their thing to gain the vital victory. O’Loughlin may be 34 but his experience was certainly important to help Shaun Wane’s side over the line against brave Trinity.