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Jayden Nikorima in Round 10. Photo: Luke Fletcher/QRL

Round 10 of the Hostplus Cup saw players across the competition stand up to make a statement, with a number of jaw-dropping performances.

The Sunshine Coast Falcons and Central Queensland Capras blockbuster clash in particular saw players push themselves to the limit, with Falcons five-eighth Jayden Nikorima and forwards Lazarus Vaalepu, Max Bailey and Chris Lewis leading the way in the 26-26 draw.

Meanwhile Capras lock Lachlan Hubner had another huge impact in what has been a massive season for the No.13, while teammates Bailey Butler, Trey Browne, Edrick Lee and Blake Moore also impressed in Rockhampton.

But - in a week where many players put their hands up - it was Nikorima who earned captain honours for Round 10, with the Melbourne Storm-contracted playmaker scoring four of his team's five tries and constantly threatening with the ball in hand.

Round 10 clash of the week: Capras v Falcons

Elsewhere, Tweed Seagulls backrower Ioane Seiuli also nabbed four tries against the Ipswich Jets in his side's 54-14 victory, while Norths hooker Liam Horne played a key part in the Devils' 26-12 win over the Townsville Blackhawks on Sunday, with the versatile No.9 picking up Hastings Deering player of the match honours.

Each round, Queensland Rugby League recognises the 17 best performers and names 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 10 Team of the Week

1. Tristan Sailor - Souths Logan Magpies

It's been a career-best season for the Souths Logan fullback so far in 2023 and Round 10 was no different. Sailor - who consistently makes among the highest metres for his team - ran for 273 metres against the Northern Pride, proving once again to be destructive with the ball in hand. He also had five tackle busts, five offloads, two line break assists, one line break and one try assist. It was a huge performance with the Brisbane Broncos development player no doubt eyeing off an NRL spot with Reece Walsh set to make his State of Origin debut. Other fullbacks who stood out across the weekend included Wynnum Manly's Matt Milson, Central Queensland's Blake Moore and Redcliffe's Trai Fuller.

2. Edrick Lee - Central Queensland Capras

The Dolphins NRL-contracted winger played his heart out in the tight battle against the Sunshine Coast, nabbing two tries in his efforts to get the Capras over the line. Lee also ran for 138 metres and made three tackle breaks, two line breaks and three offloads.

3. Sami Sauiluma - Burleigh Bears

Like a fine wine, Sauiluma just keeps on getting better with age. The 31-year-old Bears skipper was an absolute wrecking ball against the Western Clydesdales. Not only did he make a stunning 12 tackle busts, but he scored two tries and set up another two in the 40-24 victory. He ran for 141 metres, had two line breaks and two line break assists, and one offload.

4. Joshua Smith - Mackay Cutters

In a losing side, Mackay centre Joshua Smith was a standout. Smith scored one of Mackay's two tries - and was denied a potential second by Valynce Te Whare - as he fought to inject himself in the game where possible. The 22-year-old ran for 206 metres off 13 runs and had a huge eight tackle busts and two line breaks. It was a big week for centres across the board with Souths Logan's Jezzy Ioane and PNG's Rodrick Tai nabbing a double each, while Redcliffe's Albert Kelly, Wynnum Manly's Delouise Hoeter and Townsville's Taniela Sadrugu all made a massive impact for their teams.

Top five super plays: Round 10

5. Ken Maumalo - Burleigh Bears

Maumalo continued to push for his Gold Coast Titans debut with another big week in the Burleigh colours. Up against the Clydesdales, the 28-year-old was hard to handle after he scored two tries, notched up 191 run metres and had six tackle breaks and two line breaks. On the opposite side of the park, Mitchell Watson was also dangerous, scoring a hat-trick for the Clydesdales, while Tweed's Ryland Jacobs had a huge outing against the Jets, running for 217 metres and scoring a try.

6. Jayden Nikorima - Sunshine Coast Falcons (C)

The Falcons and Capras showdown was the Round 10 clash of the week, and it's not hard to see why. Sitting at the top end of the table, both sides threw everything they had into their match at Browne Park and Nikorima was instrumental in keeping Sunshine Coast in the eventual draw. Not only did he score the try that helped equalise the scores, but the Melbourne Storm-contracted playmaker finished with a total of four tries to his name, as well as 156 run metres, six tackle busts, three line breaks and one line break assist. Meanwhile, Cameron Cullen also had a big game for the Redcliffe Dolphins, continuing to impress in his comeback to the game, running for 151 metres, setting up one try and making six tackle breaks.

Jayden Nikorima in Round 10. Photo: Luke Fletcher/QRL
Jayden Nikorima in Round 10. Photo: Luke Fletcher/QRL

7. Cody Hunter - Redcliffe Dolphins

Cullen's halves partner Cody Hunter also stunned against the Mackay Cutters, with the duo combining nicely to run away with the 52-10 victory. Hunter scored a try and set up another, kicked eight from nine conversion attempts, had three tackle busts, one line break and one line break assist, as well as 92 run metres. For Wynnum Manly, Kyle Foxwell also impressed at halfback.

Cody Hunter in action in Round 10. Photo: Zain Mohammed/NRL Imagery
Cody Hunter in action in Round 10. Photo: Zain Mohammed/NRL Imagery

8. Xavier Willison - Norths Devils

The Brisbane Broncos-contracted forward has his eyes set on an NRL recall over the Origin period and certainly made quite a case for himself against the Blackhawks on Sunday. Willison - in a 45-minute stint - amassed 186 run metres, had four tackle busts and made 19 tackles against a strong Townsville pack.

9. Tyson Smoothy - Wynnum Manly Seagulls

Smoothy was at his finest on Saturday against the PNG Hunters. The Seagulls rake made an astonishing 47 tackles through the middle in a 75-minute performance. He also proved dangerous with the ball in hand after he scored a try and set up another, and made five tackle breaks, two line break assists and one line break. Central Queensland's Trey Browne also continued his red-hot form for the season - which sees him topping the count for the Petero Civoniceva Medal - with a round-high of 48 tackles while Pat Politoni also stepped up in defence with 43 tackles.

10. Lazarus Vaalepu - Sunshine Coast Falcons

The Melbourne Storm-contracted forward was devastating for the Falcons in a mighty battle against Central Queensland's forward pack in Round 10. Vaalepu stunned in a 57-minute performance, amassing 222 run metres off 21 runs. He also made 32 tackles and five tackle busts in the thrilling draw. On the opposite side of the park, Bailey Butler was also destructive as he continued his strong 2023 form, while PNG's Tommy Moide impressed against the Wynnum Manly Seagulls.

11. Ioane Seiuli - Tweed Seagulls

Seiuli put in a monster effort against the Ipswich Jets in Round 10. Not only did he score four tries, but the young second rower also ran for 132 metres, had eight tackle tackle breaks, five line breaks and 12 tackles. 

12. Mason Teague - Redcliffe Dolphins

The NRL-contracted forward flexed his muscle against the Mackay Cutters, leading the way for the Redcliffe Dolphins at Suncorp Stadium. Teague scored a try and set up another, ran for 173 metres, had six tackle busts, two line breaks, one line break assist and 27 tackles. Another big second rower performance came from Sunshine Coast's Chris Lewis who made 42 tackles against the Capras without a single miss.

13. Lachlan Hubner - Central Queensland Capras

The Round 9 Team of the Week captain, Hubner was once again in fine form in Round 10. It's been a big year from the Capras lock, who stood up against the Sunshine Coast forwards. He scored a try, ran for 190 metres off 19 runs, had four tackle busts and 38 tackles in an inspiring 71-minute performance. Elsewhere, Mackay's Sean Mullany and PNG's Ila Alu did what they could in defence for their respective teams, with Mullany making 45 tackles and Alu making 36 tackles.

14. Liam Horne - Norths Devils

Liam Horne earned Hastings Deering player of the match honours for his instrumental role in Norths’ win over Townsville Blackhawks. The versatile Devils hooker - who moved into the forwards once Kierran Moseley came off the bench - scored two tries and set up another, gained 101 metres from nine runs and made one line break assist, one tackle break and 32 tackles to boot in a fantastic all-round performance.


The versatile Liam Horne has taken out the Round 10 Hastings Deering player of the match, after helping Norths Devils Rugby League Football Club get back into the winner's circle 💪

Posted by Hostplus Cup on Saturday, May 20, 2023

15. Max Bailey - Sunshine Coast Falcons

The Falcons forwards went to another level after losing Javvier Pitovao early against the Capras and none more so than Max Bailey, who came off the bench to play 72 minutes on Saturday. He notched up some impressive stats, including 149 metres gained - 50 of them post-contact. He also had four tackle breaks and made 42 tackles to help his side snatch the single point.

16. Lindon McGrady - Tweed Seagulls

McGrady had an absolute field day for Tweed against the luckless Ipswich Jets. The fullback put in a real captain's knock for his side, scoring a try and notching up 191 run metres, one line break, one line break assist, one try assist, four tackle breaks and one offload. He was also dead-on with the kicking tee, slotting every one of his nine attempts between the sticks.

17. Keano Kini - Burleigh Bears

Kini made an immediate impact for Burleigh against the Western Clydesdales, crossing in the fourth minute to get the Bears rolling in Round 10. The No.1 didn’t stop there either, adding 260 run metres, one line break, seven tackle breaks and four offloads to his name to help his side to a 40-24 win.

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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