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Four Kiwis in ISP Team of the Year

Four Kiwis in ISP Team of the Year
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Four Kiwi players feature in the 2017 Intrust Super Premiership NSW Team of the Year, announced following the conclusion of the regular season.

Selected by the NSWRL.com.au staff writers in consultation with experts from broadcast partners Fox League, Steele Sports, Hawkesbury Radio and Triple H FM, the side highlights the most consistent performers who have played the majority of the season in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW.

1 – Luke Sharpe
Club: Wyong Roos; 2017 TOTW selections: 5.

2 – Tom Hughes
Club: Newcastle Knights; 2017 TOTW selections: 2.

3 – Matt Ikuvalu
Club: Wyong Roos; 2017 TOTW selections: 4.

4 – Ed Murphy
Club: North Sydney Bears; 2017 TOTW selections: 3.

5 – Bureta Faraimo
Club: Warriors (formerly Wentworthville Magpies); 2017 TOTW selections: 6.

13 tries
It’s been an interesting year for Bureta Faraimo, who started the season playing for the Wentworthville Magpies, and will line up for the New Zealand Warriors in the first week of the finals next week. He’s been performing at this level for a long time, having made the Residents side for the past two years, and made the team of the year equivalent back in 2014. Faraimo played a handful of NRL games for Parramatta between 2014 and 2016, but he clearly believes the move to the Warriors will help him add to that tally on a week-to-week basis in the near future.

6 – Josh Cleeland
Club: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs; 2017 TOTW selections: 8.

7 – Cameron Cullen
Club: Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles; 2017 TOTW selections: 7.

8 – Eloni Vunakece
Club: Wyong Roos; 2017 TOTW selections: 4.

9 – Mitch Rein
Club: Penrith Panthers; 2017 TOTW selections: 7.

10 – Kurt Dillon
Club: Newtown Jets; 2017 TOTW selections: 8.

11 – Jamil Hopoate
Club: Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles; 2017 TOTW selections: 9.

12 – Rhyse Martin
Club: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs; 2017 TOTW selections: 9.

13 – Cheyne Whitelaw
Club: North Sydney Bears; 2017 TOTW selections: 8.

INTERCHANGE:

14 – Mason Lino
Club: Warriors; 2017 TOTW selections: 3.

142 points, 15 try assists, seven line-break-assists.
Mason Lino is among a group of halves who had an outstanding 2017 Intrust Super Premiership NSW season, and he has done extremely well to beat the in-form Darren Nicholls to the post for the utility spot. Lino is such a complete player with an incredibly large skill set, and has arguably the best kicking game in the competition. He steered the Warriors to the top four this year, and was rewarded for his amazing form with five NRL games this year. There is no doubt he will have many more in the future, but as is the case with a handful of players in this team, his focus now is on the Intrust Super Premiership NSW finals.

15 – Toafofoa Sipley
Club: Warriors; 2017 TOTW selections: 3.

1771 total metres, eight tries, 307 tackles
The Warriors forwards are one of their strengths, and Toafofoa Sipley is a leader of the pack who isn’t afraid to score a barge-over try. He stands out when he plays due to his massive frame, and loves getting into the thick of the action whether that is with the ball in hand, or working hard in defence. Sipley was picked in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW residents side, and his great form at this level has seen him earn an NRL contract with Manly for next season.

16 – Scott Sorensen
Club: Mounties; 2017 TOTW selections: 7.

1951 total metres, 408 tackles, four tries, nine line-break assists, six line-breaks.
Scott Sorensen has been massive for Mounties once again in 2017; he does all of the hard-yards but also provides his fair share of x-factor to break a game wide open. The 24-year-old is an imposing figure in any rugby league team, and it puts opposition sides on notice when someone of that stature is making 26 tackles per game and is also running for 122 metres per match, not to mention putting no less than nine teammates away for line-breaks at different stages of the year. No doubt Sorensen will play a massive part for Mounties in the upcoming Intrust Super Premiership NSW finals series.

17 – Rod Griffin
Club: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs; 2017 TOTW selections: 8.

COACH – Rip Taylor
Club: Wyong Roos.