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Saturday wrap: Papenhuyzen helps keep Falcons in finals fight

To say Sunshine Coast Stadium was packed and the vibe was good would be a giant understatement.

Ryan Papenhuyzen made his much anticipated return to rugby league with the Sunshine Coast Falcons against Ipswich Jets in front of thousands. 

It has been 384 days since he last played for Melbourne Storm - 1561 days since he last donned a Falcons jersey. And the smile on his face as he ran out showed how much it meant to him to be back.

Photo: Dylan Parker/QRL
Photo: Dylan Parker/QRL

Papenhuyzen played the first half and contributed six points to the Falcons' 24-point tally.

Falcons captain Luke Polselli said it was good to get the win as the Falcons fight for a finals berth.

"It was tough... probably not the way we wanted to play, but it's a win and heading into these finals we need a few wins to hopefully get us there," Polselli said.

"We're one step closer."

Polselli said the inclusion of Papenhuyzen - and the boisterous crowd - was a nice lift for the side.

"He's unreal... just his experience and he really got around the boys, which is good, especially at captain's run, and before we warmed up for this game, he was really good," Polselli said, as Papenhuyzen was swamped by hundreds of excited children on the field post-game.

"You can see what kind of player he is... how much of a difference he makes. Hopefully he's back with us next week.

"The crowd were all screaming out 'Papenhuyzen'. That was good... it just shows how much it means to the community. How much a player like Paps means to a small community like this. It's just incredible."

Polselli said moving forward, the Falcons needed to work on game control.

"I think we were in a good spot there just to really put them away, but we just couldn't... hopefully we can just learn and get better for next week," Polselli said.

"Across the whole park, I thought were quite good. Just a few defensive areas and a few penalties that we're probably not happy with. But, yeah, we'll look at the tape and see."

Northern Pride second rower Evan Moore scored a hat-trick in his side's win over Tweed Seagulls, keeping them in the race for finals.

PNG Hunters winger Solo Wane scored a double in Port Moresby to help the Hunters get the win against an in-form Redcliffe Dolphins.

Western Clydesdales' Melino Fineanganofo and Jordan Lipp both scored doubles in their side's win against Norths Devils. The Clydesdales started strong and held on at the end to claim the two points. 

Edrick Lee and Trey Brown both scored doubles in Central Queensland Capras' win over Townsville Blackhawks.

Photo: Luke Fletcher/QRL
Photo: Luke Fletcher/QRL

Tom Rafter crossed the line twice to help Brisbane Tigers get the win over ladder leaders Souths Logan Magpies.

Photo: Vanessa Hafner/QRL
Photo: Vanessa Hafner/QRL



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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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