Round 17 of the Intrust Super Cup competition was a cracker. Finals spots were on the line, all of the teams wanted to finish the regular season on a high, and the combination of those things meant the games were outstanding.
Souths Logan Magpies weapon Cory Paix was on fire for his side against his old club the Redcliffe Dolphins, claiming the Hastings Deering player of the match gong and Round 17 Team of the Week skipper honours.
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 17 Team of the Week
1. Grant Anderson - Northern Pride
The Pride fullback was a standout for his side as they fought for a spot in the finals during the final regular round of the season. Anderson scored two tries, clocked a huge 225 run metres, made one line break, five tackle breaks and six tackles. Wynnum Manly Seagulls fullback Selwyn Cobbo, who is contracted to the Brisbane Broncos, was also outstanding with one try, 161 run metres and one try assist.
2. Kalifa Faifai-Loa - Townsville Blackhawks
No stranger to Team of the Week, Faifai-Loa was impressive, as always, against Wynnum Manly. Faifai-Loa scored one try, clocked 147 run metres, including 33 post-contact, made one line break and three tackle breaks.
3. Lee Turner - Tweed Seagulls
The Tweed centre was electric in Round 17. Despite the Seagulls going down to the PNG Hunters in the match, Turner was a great performer for his side, scoring two tries and clocking 121 run metres, including 44 post-contact. He also made two line breaks, a huge 12 tackle breaks and 14 tackles.
4. Emmanuel Waine - PNG Hunters
The Hunters centre was on fire against Tweed Seagulls in Round 17, helping his side finish on a high for the year. Waine scored two tries, clocked 147 run metres, including 47 post-contact, made two line breaks and six tackle breaks. Seagulls coach Ben Woolf said "full credit to the Hunters, they played well, played smart, had a lot of possession and we couldn’t pull them back".
Top five: Intrust Super Cup Round 17
5. Andre Niko - Burleigh Bears
Niko did what Niko does best for the Bears during the Harvey Norman Women in League Round clash with Northern Pride. Niko had the most run metres for his side with 181, including 54 post-contact, made two line breaks, six tackle breaks and assisted in two tries.
6. Ase Boas - PNG Hunters
The Hunters five-eighth was instrumental in the Hunters' 30-18 win against Tweed Seagulls. Boas helped direct his team around the park, scored one try, assisted in three tries, kicked three from four conversions, clocked 83 run metres, made one line break, three tackle breaks and had two line break assists. Tweed's Will Brimson was also impressive with one try, one try assist and 126 run metres.
7. Todd Murphy - Sunshine Coast Falcons
The retiring Falcons half was outstanding during his side's close 24-22 win over Central Queensland Capras. In a game they had to win to earn a place in the finals, Murphy scored an important try to keep his side in the match. Murphy also crucially kicked four from four conversions, assisted in three tries and made one line break and had two tackle breaks. Murphy also made 22 tackles.
8. Kalolo Saitaua - Wynnum Manly Seagulls
Saitaua was an impact player for Wynnum Manly during their gutsy 30-24 win over Townsville Blackhawks. As destructive as ever, during his 33 minutes on the field, Saitaua scored one try, clocked 94 run metres, made one line break, nine tackle breaks and 15 tackles. Capras prop Tyler Szepanowski was also good in Round 17, scoring one try, clocking 107 run metres, two line breaks, two tackle breaks and 26 tackles.
9. Cory Paix - Souths Logan Magpies (C)
Paix... what a weapon. The Brisbane Broncos-contracted player, during his 53 minutes on the field, scored two tries, assisted in one try, made two line breaks, three tackle breaks and 18 tackles to be named the Hastings Deering Player of the Match and secure skipper honours for the Round 17 Team of the Week. Speaking after the match, Magpies coach Steve Bretherton said “I don’t think there was a bad player out there today and I’m really happy with that".
10. Nat Neale - Ipswich Jets
Neale is, without a doubt, one of the most dependable players in the Intrust Super Cup competition. Neale helped the Jets finish their season on a high and send good friend Tyson Lofipo out a winner, beating minor premiers Norths Devils. Neale scored one try, clocked 192 run metres, including 60 post-contact, made one line break, four tackle breaks and made a huge 33 tackles, missing none.
11. Lamar Manuel-Liolevave - Tweed Seagulls
The Tweed second rower was excellent in both attack and defence in Round 17. The captain of the team's involvement will be key for the side as they enter the finals and will need him to back up his performance from the weekend where he scored one try, clocked 69 run metres, made one line break, four tackle breaks and 31 tackles.
12. Nixon Putt - Central Queensland Capras
The Capras second rower was in everything for his side and was a standout player in a game with plenty of strong performances. In his side's heart-breaking loss to the Falcons, Putt put in plenty of work and clocked 177 run metres, including 66 post-contact, made one tackle break and 19 tackles.
13. Tom Ale - Redcliffe Dolphins
The Dolphins lock, who is contracted to the New Zealand Warriors, was excellent in Round 17. Ale, on fire in attack and defence, recorded the most run metres for his side with a huge 236, including 73 post-contact, made two line breaks and five tackle breaks. In defence, he made the most tackles for his side with 35.
14. Kierran Moseley - Ipswich Jets
The Jets hooker was excellent during his side's final game of the year. Moseley was making key plays in the match from the onset, scoring the first of his two tries in the 15th minute to help spark the winning comeback. The former NRL representative also made two line breaks, two tackle breaks, had one line break assist, one try assist and made a huge 35 tackles.
15. Ezra Mam - Souths Logan Magpies
Mam is, quite simply, a gun. The flashy five-eighth, dubbed the 'teen sensation' by commentators, was on song during the Magpies' 33-22 win over Redcliffe Dolphins, scoring two tries and clocking 98 run metres. Mam also made one line break, three tackle breaks and 10 tackles.
16. Josh Chudleigh - Townsville Blackhawks
The Blackhawks hooker has been instrumental for the side this season and the weekend was no different. Chudleigh scored one try, clocked 149 run metres, including 47 post-contact, made one line break, three tackle breaks and made the most tackles for his side with 43.
17. Denzel Burns - Ipswich Jets
The Burns duo - Denzel and Gerome - were both superb in the Jets' win against Norths Devils. Denzel, however, gets a bench spot in this week's Team of the Week for his contributions to the winning end to the season; he scored one try, ran for 207 run metres, made one line break and seven tackle breaks.