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Round 13 Team of the Week: Ahearn leads from the front

Norths Devils captain Jack Ahearn was inspirational for his side as they proved too strong for Souths Logan Magpies in their XXXX Rivalry Round rematch, winning the Hastings Deering player of the match award and skipper honours in the Round 13 Team of the Week. 

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 13 Team of the Week

1. Luke Polselli - Sunshine Coast Falcons

In “a standout game for the No. 1 who inserted himself in the Falcons attack at every opportunity”, Polselli helped lead the charge for the Falcons, scoring both their first and last try of the match to overcome a half-time deficit and defeat the PNG Hunters. As well as his two tries, the speedy fullback ran for 107 metres, made 11 tackle break and a line break. Elsewhere in the competition, Kurtis Rowe, also impressed for the Bears with two try assists, while Mackay’s Rayden Burns made 183 metres, including eight tackle breaks.

2. Tony Tumusa - Norths Devils

The powerful winger ran for an impressive 257 metres in an effort that also included three line breaks and nine tackle breaks. Tumusa also added to his try scoring tally for the season, bringing his total so far to 10, joining Wynnum Manly Seagulls rake Jayden Berrell at the top of the table.

3. Mathew Lyons - Wynnum Manly Seagulls

In just his second appearance for Wynnum Manly Seagulls this season, livewire Lyons produced a strong overall performance that included a try, 133 metres from 12 runs, a try assist, a line break assist and line break and three tackle breaks.

4. Sami Sauiluma - Burleigh Bears 

With 144 run metres, a try assist from a clever kick to win the match and two tackle breaks, Burleigh’s ever reliable centre Sauiluma makes another Team of the Week appearance. In his side’s win over bitter rivals Tweed Seagulls, Sauiluma also made seven tackles and produced two offloads. The Northern Pride’s Grant Anderson also had a strong game with 171 metres run, two tackle breaks and a try.

5. Brayden McGrady - Tweed Seagulls 

Brayden McGrady - in his first appearance for seven weeks because of a hamstring injury – did all he could for the Seagulls in an entertaining local derby, crossing for three tries in their close loss to Burleigh Bears – and he also had two disallowed. McGrady also ran for a total of 160 metres, making three line breaks and five tackle breaks.

6. Jayden Nikorima - Redcliffe Dolphins

Jayden Nikorima scored two tries and set up another in his first Intrust Super Cup game in more than two years. Coach Adam Mogg praised his performance saying he “thought he was outstanding, and he'll get a lot better than that too”. Nikorima also produced a line break, two tackle breaks and made 189 kick metres from seven kicks. Tweed’s Will Brimson also had notable performance setting up some nice attacking play, as did his opposing five-eighth, Burleigh’s Josh Rogers.

7. Jack Ahearn - Norths Devils (c)

Norths Devils captain Jack Ahearn led from the front as his side proved too strong for Souths Logan Magpies in their XXXX Rivalry Round match. On the field for 72 minutes, Ahearn set up a try and scored one of his own through a great run down the sideline. He also ran for 136 metres, had two line break assists, made a tackle break and also completed 24 tackles.

8. JJ Collins - Tweed Seagulls 

With Tweed missing their NRL contingent of forwards, prop JJ Collins showed his experience for the Seagulls, making 207 metres from 18 runs, 48 being post contact. In his 59 minutes on the field, he also produced three offloads and made 22 tackles, missing none.

9. Josh Chudleigh - Townsville Blackhawks 

Across the competition, there were some fantastic performances from the dummy halves, with Sean Mullany from Mackay making a round-high 45 tackles, while Kurt Baptise from Sunshine Coast Falcons and Liam Horne from Central Queensland Capras were key cogs in the attacking play for their sides. Wynnum Manly’s Tristan Hope also impressed with his heavy involvement. However, Chudleigh’s efforts in a winning display were too good to ignore, with the experienced rake making 31 tackles and 97 metres for the Blackhawks. Chudleigh also had two try assists, two line break assists and five tackle breaks.

10. Nat Neale - Ipswich Jets 

You could almost copy and paste the information from Neale’s past five appearances this year, so consistent is the output from the Ipswich Jets skipper. In their Round 13 win, Neale made 192 metres – including a tackle break – from 20 runs, made 34 tackles and had four offloads.

11. Leivaha Pulu - Norths Devils 

The experienced Pulu proved a handful in attack for the Devils, scoring a try and running for 185 metres in a strong overall performance. The former Warriors and Titans player also produced a line break assist, made four tackle breaks and completed 22 tackles, missing none.

12. Ben White - Ipswich Jets 

A second half double to White helped the Jets on their way to a strong win against Brisbane Tigers. The former Toowoomba Clydesdales Colts player made 194 metres from 20 runs, which included a line break and two tackle breaks. White also made 22 tackles in an impressive overall performance.

13. Jack Quinn - Mackay Cutters 

With 173 metres made – including 72 being post contact – and 43 tackles and a tackle break to his name, Quinn was a huge performer for the Cutters as they claimed their second win of the season. Crucially, he also converted all three of their tries. Sam Burns, although wearing nine on his back, also impressed, making 40 tackles and 69 metres in his 63 minutes on the field for the Falcons.

14. Shallin Fuller - Burleigh Bears 

Fuller was brought into the game in the 31st minute following an injury to Bears halfback Conner Toia and made an immediate impact, with his play helping to spark Burleigh to win against their local rivals. Fuller produced two try assists, two line break assists, made four tackle breaks and gained 95 kick metres from six kicks.  

15. Josh Stuckey - Northern Pride

The Northern Pride backrower got through a mountain of work for his side in their close loss to Townsville Blackhawks, making 215 metres from his 22 runs, with 84 of them being post-contact. He also made 34 tackles, the second most for his team behind his captain Hodges.

16. Creedence Toia - Souths Logan Magpies 

In a losing side, the young fullback was a strong performer, scoring the only try of the game for the Magpies in their 46-4 loss. Toia, who has been a reliable player for Souths Logan each time he is called up from the club’s Hastings Deering Colts side, ran for 143 metres in Round 13 and made two line breaks and four tackle breaks.

17. Benji Kott - PNG Hunters 

Powerful backrower Benji Kott ran in two quick-fire tries in the first half to the helped spark hope in the hearts of PNG Hunters fans in their game against Sunshine Coast Falcons. While the side were overrun in the second half, Kott was a strong performer for his team, running for 107 metres, making a line break, 10 tackle breaks and producing two offloads.