Round 26 Team of the Week
Two departing Wests Tigers legends, a Cowboys quartet and 2015's leading point-scorer headline NRL.com's Round 26 Team of the Week, the final weekly 17 before the Team of the Year is named.
1. Lachlan Coote (Cowboys)
In a round where fullbacks stood up for their respective teams, Coote emerged as the week's best after influencing North Queensland's comeback victory over the Titans with a try, two try assists and five tackle breaks.
2. Pat Richards (Wests Tigers)
In one last showing to prove Richards's kicking game reigns supreme before he heads back to the English Super League, the veteran winger's 14-point effort and three line breaks was a solid way to cap off his NRL career.
3. Jarrod Croker (Raiders)
Ending the season as the NRL's leading point-scorer for 2015, Croker's 16-point haul in Canberra's 28-24 win over Parramatta – including a clutch conversion after full-time to send the game into golden point – was a good way for the Raiders captain to see out his season.
4. Dean Whare (Panthers)
Were it not for Whare's return in the centres in Penrith's 30-12 win over the Knights where he scored a try, came up with some brutal tackles and produced four tackle breaks, the wooden spoon could have very well ended up at the foot of the mountains.
5. Antonio Winterstein (Cowboys)
In what has been somewhat of a rough year for Cowboys winger Winterstein, he ensured he enters the finals series full of confidence after scoring two tries against the Titans.
6. James Maloney (Roosters)
Maloney's two try assists in the Tricolours' 30-0 win over the Rabbitohs is an example of how important the Roosters five-eighth has been in Mitchell Pearce's absence.
7. Cooper Cronk (Storm)
In Melbourne's upset seven-point victory over the Broncos, it was Cronk's level-head that allowed the Storm to get the win over their more fancied opponents.
8. James Graham (Bulldogs)
Graham's 173 metres and match-winning try at the death of the Bulldogs' four-point win over the Warriors allowed his team to finish fifth on the NRL Telstra Premiership ladder.
9. Jake Granville (Cowboys)
Granville has been one of the season's best purchases and emerged as one of the game's leading hookers as seen by his try, two try assists and unfortunate run into the advertising boards during the Cowboys' 42-12 win over Gold Coast.
10. Sam Thaiday (Broncos)
The Broncos never really looked likely in their seven-point loss to Brisbane but someone forgot to tell prop Thaiday that considering he came up with 202 metres and 29 tackles.
11. Boyd Cordner (Roosters)
After scoring a try and coming up with a magical offload to set up another, Cordner capped off a memorable end to the regular season in the Roosters' 30-0 win over South Sydney.
12. Gavin Cooper (Cowboys)
Cooper's partnership with future immortal Johnathan Thurston on North Queensland's left edge proved vital again in the Cowboys' 30-point win over the Titans after the back-rower produced 218 metres and a try.
13. Trent Merrin (Dragons)
Merrin helped ensure his Dragons career would be extended for at least one more week after racking up 157 metres and 31 tackles in the Red V's golden point win over the Wests Tigers.
14. Cameron Munster (Storm)
Could Storm fullback Muster retain his spot at the back in 2016? The way he has been going Billy Slater might have to make do with a wing spot, after his clear successor came up with 218 metres and eight tackle breaks in Melbourne's win over Brisbane.
15. Sam Moa (Roosters)
In a man-of-the-match performance against reigning premiers South Sydney, Moa kept the ball – and the good times – rolling for the Roosters all game long.
16. Keith Galloway (Wests Tigers)
Big Keithy may have started his final game in the NRL from the bench but he didn't let that disturb him if his 166 metres and 38 tackles are anything to go by.
17. Justin Horo (Sea Eagles)
A clutch 60-metre intercept from his own try line allowed Horo to set up teammate Tom Trbojevic for the match-winning try in Manly's 14-12 win over the Sharks.
This article first appeared on NRL.com