Top 10 Intrust Super Cup buys - 2018
Sometimes a change in environment can bring a new lease of life for players, with their new clubs reaping the benefits of their performances.
QRL Media has looked over the performances of the 2018 season recruits and listed the standout performers.
(Note: Players listed are not contracted to NRL clubs and were purchased by each Intrust Super Cup club prior to 2018 season).
1. Jamil Hopoate (Redcliffe Dolphins) - (Previous club: Manly Sea Eagles)
Clear standout for the Redcliffe Dolphins in season 2018, Hopoate has been in outstanding form all year and was named 2018 Intrust Super Cup 'Lock of the Year'. His powerful running game and tackle-busting ability made him extremely hard to contain.
2. Cameron Cullen (Redcliffe Dolphins) - (Previous club: Manly Sea Eagles)
Captained the Redcliffe Dolphins to a minor premiership in season 2018. Cullen added brilliant attacking flair and developed lethal combinations with the likes of Kotoni Staggs, Jamil Hopoate and Jonus Pearson.
3. Jaelen Feeney (Townsville Blackhawks) - (Previous club: Newcastle Knights)
Blackhawks main point of attack, registering 15 tries and 12 try assists for season 2018. Feeney was always dangerous when he had his hands on the ball, and stood up and took control of the team when games were in the balance.
4. Ben Shea (Ipswich Jets) - (Previous club: Wynnum Manly Seagulls)
A quiet achiever who consistently maintained a high work rate for the Ipswich Jets, averaging 153 running metres, 23 tackles, and 67 post-contact metres per game.
5. Guy Hamilton (Souths Logan Magpies) - (Previous club: Sunshine Coast Falcons)
It wasn't the best of seasons for Souths Logan, after failing to make the finals. However, one shining light was Guy Hamilton who was consistently their best performer. The half finished off the season as leading point scorer (176 points).
6. Kalifa Faifai-Loa (Townsville Blackhawks) - (Previous club: St George Illawara Dragons)
Moving back up north from St George Illawarra, Faifai-Loa was one of Townsville's most notable performers; finishing the season as the second highest try scorer, and being named the 'Winger of the Year' in the Intrust Super Team 'Team of the Year' at the QRL Awards.
7. Blake Leary (Burleigh Bears) - (Previous club: Townsville Blackhawks)
Experienced campaigner Leary joined the Burleigh Bears after a stellar 2017 season with the Townsville Blackhawks, in which he was named Intrust Super Cup 'Second Rower of the Year'. Leary often troubled his opposition with his leg speed and second phase play, and formed lethal right edge partnerships with Jamal Fogarty, Sami Sauiluma and Troy Leo.
8. Jack Ahearn (Norths Devils) - (Previous club: Redcliffe Dolphins)
The 25-year-old fullback joined Norths Devils for the 2018 season and was a standout performer, registering 8 tries and 15 try assists. Ahearn added another dimension to Norths' attack with his kicking game and ball-playing ability.
9. Junior Rau (PNG Hunter) <- (Previous club: Hela Wigmen)
Powerful Hunters outside back Junior Rau was a standout performer for the Hunters in season 2018. Rau scored 8 tries for the PNG side, and got them on the front foot with his powerful kick returns, footwork and acceleration.
10. Jamie Hill (CQ Capras) <- (Previous club: St Mary's)
The Capras rookie second row / lock forward was a consistent standout performer, racking up huge numbers in attack and defence, week after week. Hill finished with the fifth-highest run metres and second-highest tackle count for the 2018 competition.
Notable Mentions: Brett Greinke (Easts Tigers), Jacob Hind (Sunshine Coast Falcons), Jordan Grant (Mackay Cutters), Bryce Donovan (Redcliffe Dolphins), Mitch Cronin (Wynnum Manly Seagulls), Jack Campagnolo (Northern Pride), Marmin Barba (Ipswich Jets), Zach Dockar-Clay (Townsville Blackhawks), Eli Levido (Tweed Heads Seagulls), Jet Key (CQ Capras), and John Palavi (Norths Devils).
*The selections are the opinions of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the views of the QRL.