Scoring hat-tricks is normally a rare thing, but Round 8 of the Intrust Super Cup had two players do it on debut, with both players earning a call-up to Team of the Week.
Round 8 of the Intrust Super Cup was played across two weekends for BHP Indigenous Round, with Ezra Mam starring in Week 1 for Souths Logan Magpies in a Hastings Deering Player of the Match performance, while fullback Ben Farr crossed for three impressive tries in Week 2 for Wynnum Manly Seagulls.
However, the form of this week's captain cannot be denied, with Jayden Campbell again lighting up the field for Tweed Seagulls, the second round in a row he has taken out the honour.
Each round, Queensland Rugby League recognises the 17 best performers and name the Intrust Super Cup Team of the Week. These team selections are based not only on statistical data, but also take on board live and broadcast viewings of the games, with the standout performer of the week named captain.
Round 8 BHP Indigenous Round Team of the Week
The exciting fullback is on the cusp of an NRL debut and showed what he can do with an outstanding performance in Tweed’s 54-12 Round 8 win, scoring a try, producing a try assist, two line breaks, two line break assists and six tackle breaks. He also ran for 264 metres. In a losing side, Ono So'oialo also played well for the Jets, making 220 metres and six tackle breaks, while Jayden Corrigan also impressed for Northern Pride.
Walters has been in fine form the high-flying Seagulls and he was again a key figure for the team in their 54-12 win against Brisbane Tigers, scoring a try and making two line breaks and five tackle breaks, as well as popping away two offloads.
The experienced Bear missed the first few rounds of the 2021 season, but has been making up for lost time in his subsequent appearances. While held tryless last round, Sauiluma was a key performer for Burleigh in their win against Townsville Blackhawks, making 193 metres, producing a try assist, two line break assists and making six tackle breaks.
Hawkins scored the opening try for the Dolphins to get his team on the front foot and was able to make 186 metres (65 of them post contact), an effort which included a line break and three tackle breaks. Hawkins also chipped in with 19 tackles in defence.
Given his absolute knack for running in tries, Reuben was held surprisingly scoreless in his side's win against the Falcons, but he was able to run for 218 metres and produce a line break, a line break assist, three tackle breaks and three offloads. Across the competition, other wingers to have strong games were Capra Nathan Bassani with a solid effort and Falcon Paul Ulberg.
Following a mid-season move from Townsville Blackhawks to Mackay Cutters, the talented young gun was known as a centre, but has been making an impression in the halves. Asi showed his skill in Round 8 with an overall performance that included three try assists, two line break assists and 303 kick metres in the close loss to Northern Pride.
Young talent Ezra Mam had a debut to remember in the opening weekend of Round 8’s split round, getting a surprise call-up to make his Intrust Super Cup debut against Central Queensland Capras. Mam scored three tries to help post a solid win and also made five tackle breaks. The young Magpie also produced one try assist, one line break assist and made one line break in his Hastings Deering Player of the Match performance.
In his 39 minutes on the field, Cutters prop Brock made a strong impact and was able to cart the ball for 157 metres, 60 of those post-contact. He also made 17 tackles and had three offloads.
The Northern Pride captain led from the front in his side's derby win against Mackay Cutters, powering over for the first try of the match to set the tone for their match. He also produced an offload, a try assist, a line break assist, a line break for himself and four tackle breaks, while also making 52 metres and 21 tackles.
In a huge defence effort, Pride prop Moore topped the tackle count for the competition in Round 8, making 47 in his side's close win against Mackay Cutters, pipping Falcon Sam Burns with 43 and Capra Lachlan Hubner with 41. Moore also made 62 metres from six runs, had two tackle breaks and two offloads.
The entire backrow for Wynnum Manly Seagulls were fantastic for their side in Round 8, with Love-Henry pipping the experienced Zeb Taia to a spot in the line-up. Love-Henry crossed for a try and set up a team mate for another and also produced a line break assist, a line break and six tackle breaks in the win.
In a game that showcased some great play across the backrow, Hetherington was a standout for the Jets, despite their loss to the top-of-the-table Wynnum Manly Seagulls in their game at Glenholme Park in Toowoomba. Hetherington was the epitome of effort, scoring a try, running for 126 metres with a line break and six tackle breaks. Throw in an offload and 17 tackles for a strong overall performance.
It was a Hastings Deering Player of the Match performance from the experienced lock who made his 66 minutes on the field count; scoring a try and earning a line break and two tackle breaks. In defence, Bateman also made 29 tackles.
The talented fullback scored the match-winning try for his side in his 100th game as a Bear to cap a strong all-round performance which also saw him score a double for the match, run 168 metres and make six tackle breaks.
Gun centre Tony Tumusa was at it again for the Devils, crossing for two tries and running for 154 metres in his team's victory. Tumusa also had a try assist, a line break assist, two line breaks and seven tackle breaks to round out the game.
You could not fault the effort of young Falcons backrower Rafter who may have made a couple errors, but put in a huge effort with 40 tackles made and 104 metres run. Rafter also notched two line breaks and six tackle breaks in the match.
It was a big day for the Farr family with both Ben and his brother Tom making their Intrust Super Cup debuts, with Ben crossing for three first-half tries on debut in Wynnum Manly’s win over the Ipswich Jets. Farr also made 119 metres and produced three line breaks and five tackle breaks.
Main image: Jayden Campbell with the ball in Round 8's BHP Indigenous Round. Photo by Dylan Parker Photography