A full round of action saw a round full of talent, with plenty of players putting in huge performances for their teams.
Scoring a hat-trick on debut just seems to be the done thing right now, with Townsville Blackhawks winger Luke Geary - who has joined the club from the Penrith lower grades in search of an opportunity - crossing for three tries in the win against PNG Hunters.
However, the player of the round was Northern Pride captain Jayden Hodges, who is also this week's Team of the Week captain, following his integral performance in his side's win.
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 9 Team of the Week
The talented Brisbane Broncos-contracted fullback was a bright spark for the Magpies in their entertaining win against the Ipswich Jets in Round 9. Niu scored a try, produced two try assists and two line break assists and ran for 114 metres which included a tackle break. Across the round, there were other great performers in the custodian role, with Kurtis Rowe was again his outstanding self for Burleigh Bears and Trai Fuller was his electric best for the Redcliffe Dolphins in their James Ackerman Cup win against Sunshine Coast Falcons.
It happened again in Round 9 with a fresh face in the competition stepping up to cross for a hat-trick on debut. Outside of his three impressive tries, Luke Geary was a strong performer across the board for the Blackhawks in their win against the Hunters, making three line breaks and three tackle breaks as well.
Top five: Intrust Super Cup Round 9
The New Zealand Warriors centre showed his class and started the scoring for his team, crossing for the first two tries of the match. He followed that up soon after with a nice flick pass for his winger Edward Kosi to score Redcliffe’s third try of the first half. Overall, Berry ran for 118 metres, had two try assists, two line break assists, two line breaks for himself and made 14 tackles.
Despite finishing on the wrong end of a 38-28 scoreline, the PNG Hunters talent was at his exciting best, scoring two impressive tries and troubling the opposition defence with 10 tackle breaks. In the game, Bire made 163 metres, 37 of them post-contact, as well as chipping in with six tackles.
The Burleigh Bears talent had a good day out against Central Queensland Capras, crossing for two tries in just his third game for the club. The former Tiger signed up with the Bears this season and has been performing well and in Round 9, ran for 146 metres, producing two line breaks, five tackle breaks and an offload.
The skills of O’Sullivan played a big part in the Dolphins recording a solid win against the Falcons in their James Ackerman Cup match, with the NRL-experienced half having his hand in two tries and also producing two line break assists. O’Sullivan also posted 154 kick metres and slotted five goals in an impressive overall performance.
The Norths Devils skipper returned to the line-up with a bang in Round 9, with all his talents on display in his side’s 40-12 win against Tweed Seagulls. Ahearn was in the thick of the action, scoring a try, setting up three more and also producing three line break assists. The halfback made one line break himself, as well as a tackle break and also made 97 kick metres.
The Townsville prop celebrated his 50th Cup game as a Blackhawks player in style, topping the tackle count with 28 tackles in his 50 minutes on the field. In attack, the forward with 107 Cup games overall under his belt made 14 runs, clocking 132 metres, 47 of those post-contact, with five tackle breaks in a sensational performance in the middle third.
Defence wins matches and Pride captain Jayden Hodges certainly lived up to that philosophy, making 38 tackles in a Hastings Deering Player of the Match performance. He was also a livewire in attack, making 117 metres including 33 post-contact metres, a line-break, four tackle-breaks and even bagged a meat-pie in their 24-16 win over the Tigers. Jayden Berrell was also outstanding in a strong Wynnum Manly Seagulls outfit, notching three tries.
Initially named in Melbourne Storm’s 21-man squad to face the Titans, the prop ended up making the trek to Barlow Park and boy, didn’t he deliver. Starting in the front row, he made 112 metres; almost half of those post-contact in his 12 runs for the Tigers. He also was a workhorse in defence, making 35 tackles with a 95 per cent efficiency in his 66 minutes on the field.
Another appearance for the hard-working Pride backrower who made 22 runs for 169 metres in the win against the Tigers as well as unleashing five offloads. Known as ‘Stucks’, the Queanbeyan Blues junior linked with the Cairns-based club this year and has been a strong performer throughout the season.
Although the Capras were kept to a six-point score line, powerful second rower, Nixon Putt led the charge against the Bears with an impressive 171 metres from 18 runs, with 74 of them being post contact. The Papua New Guinea powerhouse also made two tackle breaks in a solid effort from the big man who put in a strong 80-minute performance to try and get his side back in the game.
A Maori All Stars representative earlier this year, Riki proved hard to handle in Round 9, scoring a try and running for 125 metres. He also made 30 tackles, the most for his team, as well as producing a line break, a line break assist and five tackle breaks. Redcliffe Dolphins lock Pride Petterson-Robati was also a strong contender this week, with his 35 tackles and 101 metres made.
Short, sharp and full of impact – Fuller’s 45 minutes on the field were full of action, with a try, three try assists, three line break assists a line break and five tackle breaks. The young half also made 136 kick metres and completed six tackles to boot.
The Toowoomba junior was in great form for the Magpies in their win against the Jets, playing a key hand in setting up a try for his fullback Tesi Niu with a great break. Overall, Paix finished his 58 minutes on the field with a try assist, a line break, 32 tackles and 56 run metres.
Playing at lock for the Jets in their close loss against the Magpies, Pandia put in a huge effort, making 203 metres in his 37 minutes on the field. The former PNG Hunter also made a tackle break and produced two offloads in a performance topped off by eight tackles.
Featuring in his third game of Intrust Super Cup, the Tigers centre impressed in Cairns with a performance that included an acrobatic try, 110 run metres from 11 runs, a line break and offload and six tackle breaks. His Tigers team mate Bennett Leslie also deserves a mention as the player who topped the tackle count for Round 9 with 58.