Team of the week: The stand-out players from Super League Round 1
By Marc Bazeley
Last Updated: 03/02/20 10:15am
We take a look at the Opta statistics and compile our best XIII from the opening round of the 2020 Super League season...
1. Bevan French (Wigan Warriors)
Lining up at full-back in place of Zak Hardaker, who was moved to the centre, French earned the man-of-the-match accolade as Wigan kicked off the 2020 season with a 16-10 win at home to Warrington.
The Australian was among the try-scorers for the hosts and provided an assist, along with making 73 metres and one clean break.
2. Ratu Naulago (Hull FC)
Described as "a freak" in the post-match press conference by team-mate Jake Connor following the 30-4 win away to Leeds Rhinos, Naulago was a constant threat for the Black and Whites.
The rugby union convert led the way for the visitors at Headingley with two tries and came up with an assist on the back of making 78 metres and two clean breaks.
3. Kevin Naiqama (St Helens)
Another Fijian star who earns a place in the team from Round 1, Naiqama helped St Helens get their title defence off to a fine start with two tries in the 48-8 win at home to Salford Red Devils.
In addition, the centre made 82 metres and three clean breaks, plus had a 100 per cent tackle success rate with 13 out of 13 attempts.
4. Josh Griffin (Hull FC)
Naulago may have grabbed most of the headlines for Hull, but Griffin played an important role as they vanquished Yorkshire rivals Leeds on Sunday.
His 186 metres and one clean break from 18 carries helped Lee Radford's men gain some valuable metres to lay the platform for their attacks, along with completing 17 of 18 tackle attempts.
5. Ben Crooks (Hull KR)
The outstanding wing performance of Round 1, Crooks ran in four tries as Hull Kingston Rovers made those who were already writing them off sit up and take notice with a 30-12 win at home to Wakefield Trinity.
Those tries came on the back of the 26-year-old making 89 metres and three clean breaks during Friday's evening's match.
6. Jonny Lomax (St Helens)
A typically outstanding display from Lomax saw him earn the man-of-the-match accolade as St Helens convincingly triumphed in the rematch of last year's Grand Final.
The stand-off was a constant running threat, making 115 metres for the home side, and had a hand in three of his team's tries with assists.
7. Aidan Sezer (Huddersfield Giants)
The scrum-half carried on from where he left off with NRL Grand Finalists Canberra Raiders last year by playing a starring role for his new club in the Giants' 32-12 victory away to Catalans Dragons.
Sezer scored one try and assisted two of Huddersfield's other scores, along with keeping the scoreboard ticking over thanks to six goals.
8. Alex Walmsley (St Helens)
Walmsley was at his rampaging best for the hosts in their victory over Salford, carrying the ball for 162 metres and making one clean breaks.
He crashed over for two tries as well, plus made an invaluable contribution in defence with 16 successful tackles from as many attempts.
9. Paul McShane (Castleford Tigers)
A constant threat at dummy-half for Castleford, McShane gave his side plenty of go-forward as they overcame Toronto Wolfpack 28-10 in the first match of the Headingley double-header.
The hooker made 117 metres, 94 of which came from dummy-half scoots, kept attacks going with three offloads and completed 31 of 34 tackle attempts.
10. Luke Thompson (St Helens)
Rated by some observers as the best prop in the world at present, Thompson was again a commanding presence for Saints along with front-row partner Walmsley.
He made some big carries with the ball in hand, racking up 157 metres, and completed 17 of 18 tackle attempts.
11. Harvey Livett (Hull KR)
One of the unsung stars of Rovers' victory at home to Wakefield, Livett made a big impact after signing on a season-long loan from Warrington.
The 23-year-old was on hand to assist two of the tries, made 31 tackles from 34 attempts and made some inroads with the ball in hand after carrying for 68 metres.
12. Morgan Smithies (Wigan Warriors)
Having already set the Super League record of 72 tackles in a game last season, Smithies was at it again with another sterling defensive effort in Wigan's win over Warrington.
Playing off the interchange bench, the 19-year-old made 43 tackles - the second-highest number of Round 1 - with a 100 per cent success rate. He also carried for 70 metres with the ball in hand.
13. Adam Milner (Castleford Tigers)
Despite having to go off for a head injury assessment in the first half, which he passed, Milner made an important contribution to the Tigers' win over Toronto.
Within moments of returning to the field he had scored a try for Castleford and went on to be a constant running threat by making 103 metres from 13 carries.