Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson declared Sonny Bill Williams was getting close to his dominant best after spearheading the premiers to a 30-6 defeat of Wests Tigers at Allianz Stadium on Friday night.
Williams made 152 metres from 17 runs, which included four offloads, one line break, one line break assist and a tackle break as well as 24 tackles in a five-star performance as he laid on three tries for the Roosters and created numerous other opportunities they failed to capitalise on.
After a limited pre-season following last year's World Cup in Britain, Robinson agreed it was probably Williams' best match so far in 2014.
"You could see he was playing some good footy," Robinson said. "He ran strong and had some nice passes - we could have executed a little bit more on the back of them. It was much better, he hasn't played 80 minutes for a while, he played 80 minutes tonight so he is getting there, that is for sure. It was a really good step forward for him."
With Williams paving the way, five-eighth James Maloney, centre Michael Jennings and winger Daniel Tupou were able to stake a claim for places in the NSW Origin team to be named on Tuesday week.
Halfback Mitchell Pearce and backrower Boyd Cordner are certainties for selection.
"I think Jimmy showed his shoulder was fine, he worked hard for what he got tonight," Robinson said. "I thought what the left edge did - they mostly shared the tries so it was a good job. I think they took a step forward for selection. It is up to the guys who they select but they didn't do their chances any harm."
The undermanned Tigers are expected to have skipper Robbie Farah back from a dislocated elbow for their next game against Cronulla in a further boost for the Blues.
Wests coach Mick Potter said Farah could have played on Friday night if it was a semi-final but he had erred on the side of caution.
Five-eighth Braith Anasta (ankle) and forwards James Gavet (hamstring) and Sauaso Sue (ankle) are also a chance of playing against the Sharks.
The story Sonny Bill Williams nearing his best, says Trent Robinson first appeared on WA Today.