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Round 11 Team of the Week: Christian dazzles for Pride

Round 11 brought plenty of thrills - flashy tries, exciting plays and lots of hard defensive work from Hostplus Cup players across the board.

Sam Scarlett starred for the Wynnum Manly Seagulls in the only match to be played on Sunday, picking up the Hastings Deering player of the match gong, while Northern Pride's Julian Christian had a match to remember, doing everything he could to try to register a win for his side and earn Hostplus strong performer honours.

Each round, Queensland Rugby League recognises the 17 best performers and name the Hostplus Cup Team of the Week, presented by Hostplus. These team selections are based not only on statistical data, but also take on board live and broadcast viewings of the games.

Round 11 Team of the Week

1. Julian Christian - Northern Pride (C)

The Pride fullback absolutely dazzled in Round 11, putting in a massive effort to bring his side within four points of Norths Devils. Not only did he score a length-of-the-field try, but Christian amassed 285 run metres off 19 runs, made eight tackle breaks, two line breaks and one offload. It was a stunning attacking performance and worthy of this week’s Hostplus strong performer. A special mention also goes to Tristan Sailor, who ran for 155 metres for Souths Logan and made five tackle breaks.

2. Alofiana Khan-Pereira - Burleigh Bears

The Bears winger played a major hand in his side’s victory over the Sunshine Coast Falcons. In the top-of-the-table clash, he scored three tries, notched up 109 run metres and made three tackle breaks. It was a big week for wingers all around, with Central Queensland’s Brandon Roberts scoring a double and Redcliffe’s Edward Kosi making 162 run metres and an incredible 10 tackle breaks.

3. Valynce Te Whare - Redcliffe Dolphins

Two games into his Cup career and two appearances in the Team of the Week is a great showing for the rugby union convert. In Round 11 he bagged a double, registered 198 run metres off eight runs, three line breaks, and - most impressively - made an astounding 13 tackle breaks. A special mention also goes to Sunshine Coast's Jack Howarth who made 143 metres off 11 runs and four tackle breaks.

Top five: Hostplus Cup Round 11

4. Solomona Faataape - Brisbane Tigers

The Brisbane Tigers may not have come away with the win over Wynnum Manly Seagulls, but their centre Faataape did everything he could to try to get them the two points. He scored two tries and ran for 160 metres off 17 runs.

5. Jake Riley - Mackay Cutters

It was a big round for wingers and Riley is no exception. The Mackay flyer notched up a huge 214 run metres off 18 runs, had 10 tackle breaks, one line break and one line break assist.

6. Ngangarra Barker - Ipswich Jets

A definite contender for Hostplus strong performer of the week, Barker nearly handed the Jets their first win of the season. The five-eighth scored a hat-trick, amassed 181 run metres off just seven runs, and made 16 tackles. A special mention also goes to Tweed playmaker Will Brimson, who had two try assists and ran for 140 metres.

7. Shaun Nona - Townsville Blackhawks

The veteran half was in special form on Saturday. Nona scored two tries, set up another two, made 12 tackles, and registered one line break and one line break assist and one tackle bust. Special mention also goes to Pride halfback Ben Hampton, who was impressive.

8. Jordan Grant - Brisbane Tigers

The towering Tigers prop was in outstanding form against Wynnum Manly. Grant made 175 run metres off 15 runs, four offloads, 26 tackles and one tackle break. He wasn't alone in big efforts from front rowers, with Burleigh's Herman Ese'ese making 170 metres off his own while Central Queensland's Bailey Butler and Norths duo Jayden Stephens and Xavier Willison also impressed.

9. Jayden Hodges - Northern Pride

Hodges was one of the absolute standout hookers of the round, starring in both attack and defence for his side. Not only did he make 39 tackles, but he notched up 115 metres off 11 runs, made three try assists, two line breaks and one tackle bust. Falcons rake Tyson Smoothy was at it again in defence in Round 11, making a round-high 44 tackles (alongside Mackay Cutters hooker Kyle Schneider). Smoothy has been one of the Sunshine Coast’s most reliable performers all season and a key factor to their winning rate, and this week in the close loss to the high-flying Bears, he also kicked three from four conversions.

10. Dilbert Issac - PNG Hunters

The Hunters hard man truly led from the front against the Magpies, bagging two tries to help PNG to their 26-22 victory. He also ran for 99 metres, made six tackle busts, two line breaks and 30 tackles. Mammoth effort. A special mention also goes to fellow Hunters forward Emmanuel Waine, who came off the bench on Saturday to make his impact felt with 136 run metres, seven tackle busts and 24 tackles.

11. Nixon Putt - Central Queensland Capras

Second week in a row Putt is making an appearance in the Team of the Week, but the Papua New Guinea international is in sensational form. He once again impressed for the Capras - whose whole forward pack really stood up this week - making 177 metres off 16 runs, 78 of which were post-contact. He scored one try, made five tackle busts and 25 tackles in an 80-minute performance. 

12. Leivaha Pulu - Norths Devils

The talented Devils forward crossed for his fourth try of the season in his side’s close win against Northern Pride, capping a strong overall performance. As well as running for 132 metres from his 15 runs, Pulu also produced a line break and four tackle breaks and made 20 tackles in the game.

13. Jamie Hill - Central Queensland Capras

Hill was a leader for his team in their victory over Townsville Blackhawks, featuring in the top three for tackles, runs and metres made. Nicknamed ‘Pumbaa’, Hill ran for a game-high 187 metres from 17 runs and also made 24 tackles. Wynnum Manly's Luke Bateman was also impressive with one try, 107 run metres, one line break, one line break assist, two tackle breaks and 24 tackles in 59 minutes.

14. Sam Scarlett - Wynnum Manly Seagulls

Scarlett, the Round 11 Hastings Deering player of the match for the feature game, was as impressive as always. The handy half registered 349 kick metres, assisted in one try, had one line break assist, four tackle breaks and made 20 tackles. 

15. Ryland Jacobs - Tweed Seagulls

Jacobs is still new to the fullback role for the Seagulls and impressed his coach in the side’s tight win against Ipswich Jets with Ben Woolf praising his effort. In the match, Jacobs ran for an astonishing 239 metres, produced one try assist, one line break assist and two tackle breaks.

16. David Mead - Wynnum Manly Seagulls

The experienced outside back showed he could do it all in Wynnum Manly’s win against Brisbane Tigers, showing off his speed in scoring a length-of-the-field try and also setting up another for his side. The former PNG Kumuls representative also produced one line break and one tackle break in the match, as well as making seven tackles on the wing.

17. Tony Pellow - Brisbane Tigers

In a strong vein of good form in recent weeks, the Tigers fullback was again a player to watch in Round 11, despite his side going down to Wynnum Manly Seagulls in Sunday’s only match. Pellow ran for 224 metres and also produced one try assist, one line break assist, one line break and six tackle breaks. Pellow also added to his try-scoring tally to post his first of the season. 

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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