The role of a second rower is one of the most varied on the field, with skilled players not only shouldering a heavy workload in defence, but also providing their teams with attacking options.
During 25 years of the competition, there have been a number of players who have stood out in this position, with some excelling as hard-running forwards who work as attacking edge weapons, while others are valued for their workhorse-like qualities in defence. The best players can provide a mixture of both.
To acknowledge the Intrust Super Cup reaching a milestone 25 years and to highlight some of the amazing talent the competition has helped foster and unearth, fans are being encouraged to vote on a 25-year team.
This team is not an official team, but rather, a chance for fans to have their say on who they think has lit up the competition during its 25 years.
Members of the Queensland Rugby League staff have helped select a shortlist of players for each position.
The criteria for selection:
- Players to have played at least two seasons, ideally 50 games
- The ‘game impact’ of players has been taken into account, with players who have made key contributions to winning results
- Entertainment value – when they play, does it help bring fans through the gates?
The next position to select for the fan-picked 25-year team is second row.
Intrust Super Cup 25-year team second rower nominees
1. Danny Burke
The Redcliffe Dolphins great was a four-time premiership winner who scored 104 points during his 219 games in the competition. Danny Burke originally joined the Dolphins as a centre, but it wasn't long before they realised his talents were best utilised in the second row. A hard worker on the field, Burke turned up every week ready to rip in and his contribution was so respected, he was named in the QRL's 20-year Anniversary Team. Serving as club captain at the Dolphins, Burke also represented Queensland City and Queensland Residents during his playing career.
2. Sime Busby
A Central Queensland great, Sime Busby played almost everywhere in the forward pack except hooker, but second row was arguably his best position and where he made the most impact. Earning multiple representative appearances, most notably for the Queensland City and Queensland Residents sides, Busby was considered a 'hard man' on the the field who played 118 games for both Central Queensland and Easts Tigers from 1997 to 2003, scoring 15 tries and kicking one goal, for a total of 62 points.
3. Blake Leary
A versatile player, the Nerang junior has won premierships with Burleigh Bears, where he is now, and with the Northern Pride side that also claimed the 2014 National State Championship. Blake Leary earned a recall to his debut NRL club North Queensland Cowboys in 2017, thanks to his good form with Townsville Blackhawks that year, adding to his 27 NRL games with Manly Sea Eagles. One of the more consistent performers in the Intrust Super Cup, who was named second rower of the year in 2017, Leary has represented Queensland Residents three times, captaining the side in 2018 and in 2017, where he was named player of the match in the win.
4. Luke Dalziel Don
A Wynnum Manly Seagulls icon, Luke Dalziel Don captained the team to two premierships, with the club going back-to-back in 2011 and 2012. Dalziel Don, who also excelled at lock, was awarded the Duncan Hall Medal for his performance in the 2012 triumph over the Redcliffe Dolphins, despite finishing the game with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. He played 173 games in the Cup competition, all with the Seagulls, and scored 82 tries, just one behind David Seage, who holds the club record. Dalziel Don also played for the Queensland Residents side on four occasions.
5. Rhyse Martin
Big, but mobile, Rhyse Martin proved a handful for opposition to defend during his time in the competition. The Proserpine Brahmans junior made the move back to North Queensland to join the newly-formed Townsville Blackhawks in 2015 after spending the previous season with the Sydney Roosters, where he served as captain of the Under 20 side. The PNG Kumuls representative impressed during his two seasons in the Intrust Super Cup and was signed by Canterbury Bulldogs after an outstanding 2016 saw him claim the Backrower of the Year award.
Vote now in the poll.
Poll closes on Thursday, May 21, at 10am and results will be published later that day.
If your choice isn't listed - be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments on the Intrust Super Cup Facebook page.
*Statistics courtesy of Brad Tallon