The 2022 NRL campaign is at the halfway point and with a break in action this week due to State of Origin it is a good time to take a look at the stars of the show so far.
The Penrith Panthers are leading the way at the top of the ladder and it goes without saying they have a side packed with quality. The halves pairing of Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai are shining once again while Dylan Edwards is catching the eye.
North Queensland and the Brisbane Broncos are the surprise packages of the season so far and have a number of players at the top of their game as they occupy third and fifth on the ladder respectively.
Melbourne Storm are also flying with the likes of Jahrome Hughes and Ryan Papenhuyzen helping them into second place.
There is so much quality in the NRL it is hard to choose. But here are five that are standing out above the rest so far.
Ben Hunt (St George Illawarra Dragons)
The Dragons have had a mixed season so far with a 7-7 win-loss record but they have moved into the eight and are in with a good shout of playing finals.
That is due in part to the form of Hunt who has been a revelation this season. He is currently top of the Dally M Leaderboard, which is handed to the player deemed the NRL’s Best and Fairest. And if he carries on the way he is then he should hold on to it.
The halfback is up there with most assists in the NRL this season and his form also earned him a starting place in the Queensland State of Origin side in game one. He played hooker and kept Melbourne Storm’s Harry Grant out of the side.
Adam Reynolds (Brisbane Broncos)
Oh my, South Sydney must be really regretting letting Reynolds leave at the end of last season.
They refused to offer the 31-year-old more than a one-year contract and it looks like being a huge mistake. Their loss is very much Brisbane’s gain.
There are many reasons why the Broncos are going well this season but the addition of Reynolds is the biggest one. The playmaker has been a revelation. His kicking game has been on point and he just makes the Broncos tick.
The leadership and professionalism he brings to a young Broncos side also cannot be underestimated. If Reynolds can avoid injury then the Broncos have a good chance of going deep into finals.
Cameron Munster (Melbourne Storm)
Munster has always been a top player but his game has moved to the next level in 2022 and that is because after a big wake-up call at the end of last season, he has cleaned up his lifestyle away from the pitch.
Not only is Munster starring for the Storm, he was also man-of-the-match in game one of State of Origin when helping Queensland to a 16-10 win over New South Wales.
His performance led eighth immortal Andrew Johns to claim there is no way of stopping him. Munster is in hot demand with the NRL’s latest addition the Dolphins known to be sniffing around so the Storm need to get the cheque book out to keep him.
Isaah Yeo (Penrith Panthers)
The Panthers have a side packed with talent with the likes of Cleary and Luai taking the credit and headlines. But again Johns believes that Yeo is their most important player. Without him the Panthers would not be the same team.
Johns says the forward is more influential than Cleary with the way he links the halves to the edges. Not only that he brings out the best in the middle forwards.
Yeo is in the hunt for the Dally M and would be the first forward to win it since 2016 if he does top the points tally at the end of the season.
Selwyn Cobbo (Brisbane Broncos)
The young winger has been in outstanding form this season when scoring 11 tries in 13 appearances. However all of those tries have come in the seven games, including a hat-trick against Manly in round 10.
The 20-year-old is blessed with pace and the Broncos could face a fight to keep hold as the rest of the NRL will be lining up bids to try and lure him away.
Cobbo’s stock has risen even further when he made his State of Origin debut for Queensland in game one.