It's been a year to remember for young gun Esan Marsters.
While 2017 might have been the time that he finally got his shot at first-grade and ticked off his childhood dream, 2018 was the year that he proved to everyone that he certainly belongs in the big time.
One of two Wests Tigers players to play every game for the club this year, Marsters was a constant threat on the right edge as his combination with David Nofoaluma continued to improve each week.
Having inked a contract extension with the club early in the year, Marsters went on to record an impressive season that included three tries, seven try-assists, nine linebreaks and 67 tackle breaks.
No back in the NRL made more offloads than Marsters (49) during the regular season.
Despite never kicking in the junior grades, Marsters took over the goal kicking on a full-time basis for Wests Tigers in Round 2 before going on to record 56 goals at a 76.71% conversion rate.
With a full season under his belt, the 22-year-old is certainly a player for the future and one of Wests Tigers brightest options to watch in 2019 — which will no doubt only improve following Moses Mbye's arrival to the club and Josh Reynolds' return from a season-ending injury in the year to come.
Marsters proud of first full season
WHAT STOOD OUT IN 2018
Aside from his consistency in playing (and contributing) in every game this season, Marsters' attacking class again shone through in 2018 with his bullocking runs and skills close to the line. It was the attacking side of things that made him a star in the Holden Cup system and he proved again how tough he is to handle with team-high totals in tackle breaks and offloads. Marsters averaged over 130 metres per game, had seven try assists and nine linebreaks — all very good numbers for a player in his first full season.
WHAT'S TO COME IN 2019
While the left side of Wests Tigers seemed to be the more potent side throughout the year, don't be surprised if the right side takes over more in 2019. Moses Mbye showed in his limited time with Wests Tigers just how good of a ball-playing option he is out the back, and with Josh Reynolds back from injury, the right side of Wests Tigers should fire again. Marsters and Nofoaluma finished the year playing very good footy together off the back of Mbye's arrival and you'd have to think that, with a full preseason all together, that quartet could be a dangerous combination for opposition defences in 2019.
MILESTONES AND ACHIEVEMENTS
Wests Tigers NRL Best New Talent Award
Wests Tigers Leading Points Scorer (124 points)
Rugby League Players Association Players' 13 Dream Team — Centre
International Debut — New Zealand vs. England, Mile High Stadium, Denver (24/06/18)