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Koellner. Photo: Erick Lucero/QRL

Round 20 was the week of upsets.

The Western Clydesdales did some damage to Norths Devils' finals hopes on Saturday while the PNG Hunters gave their own standings a boost with a stunning victory over Redcliffe Dolphins on home turf.

Brisbane Tigers claimed a nail-biter against competition leaders Souths Logan Magpies - keeping the race for the minor premiership wide open - while Northern Pride held onto eighth spot on the ladder with a win against Tweed Seagulls.

Round 20 also marked the return of Melbourne Storm star Ryan Papenhuyzen, who came back through the Hostplus Cup with the Sunshine Coast Falcons, while Central Queensland continued to flex their muscle heading into finals with a win over the Townsville Blackhawks.

With each big clash came a number of star performances across the board.

And in a victory that skipper Sami Sauiluma named the "best" of Burleigh's season so far, halfback Guy Hamilton and prop Matthew Koellner were two of the standouts.


With an attacking masterclass against Wynnum Manly, Burleigh Bears halfback Guy Hamilton has picked up the Round 20 Hastings Deering player of the match honours 🫑

Posted by Hostplus Cup onΒ Saturday, August 5, 2023

Hamilton earned Hastings Deering player of the week honours on Sunday, while Koellner's damaging effort through the middle has seen him pick up the captaincy for the Round 20 Hostplus Cup Team of the Week.

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 20 Team of the Week

1. Tristan Sailor – Souths Logan Magpies

After a couple of weeks away from Souths Logan Magpies due to NRL duties and byes, Sailor returned with a bang in Round 20. One of the form players of the competition all year, the Brisbane Broncos affiliate couldn't help the Magpies to a win over Brisbane Tigers, but he certainly tried to, especially as Souths Logan mounted a second half comeback. Sailor set up two tries, amassed 238 run metres and recorded two line break assists, two tackle breaks and two offloads. Elsewhere, Corey Thompson had another strong performance for the Tigers and Esom Ioka was impressive for the Western Clydesdales. Comeback star Ryan Papenhuyzen was also influential during his 40 minutes with the Falcons, setting up one try and kicking two from three conversions.

2. Saulauvi Faalogo – Sunshine Coast Falcons

All the attention was on Papenhuyzen at Sunshine Coast Stadium on Saturday, but a number of other Falcons stood up to deliver in their must-win match against the Ipswich Jets. Faalogo was one of those, with the young Storm affiliate starting off on the wing and moving to fullback when Papenhuyzen was rested. In his stint on the wing, he nabbed a double and then finished the game with 183 run metres, a huge 11 tackle breaks, two line breaks and two offloads, as well as the two points for the Falcons.

Faalogo with Justin Olam in Round 20. Photo: Dylan Parker/QRL
Faalogo with Justin Olam in Round 20. Photo: Dylan Parker/QRL

3. Sami Sauiluma – Burleigh Bears

The Bears desperately needed a win on Sunday over Wynnum Manly and skipper Sauiluma set the standard early. The veteran centre opened the scoring with two tries for Burleigh, powering his way over the line for his second four-pointer. He also recorded 203 run metres, five tackle busts, one line break and 10 tackles.

Sami Sauiluma in Round 20. Photo: Rikki-Lee Arnold/QRL
Sami Sauiluma in Round 20. Photo: Rikki-Lee Arnold/QRL

4. Melino Fineanganofo – Western Clydesdales

Round 20 was the weekend of the upsets and one of those came in the form of the Western Clydesdales overcoming the Norths Devils. Wrecking ball Fineanganofo was at his best with two tries to his name plus 110 run metres, seven tackle busts, two line breaks and eight tackles. Elsewhere, PNG's Rodrick Tai, Brisbane's Solomona Faataape and Fineanganofo's teammate Bessie Toomaga were all solid for their respective teams.

5. Solo Wane – PNG Hunters

Another stunning upset on Saturday was the PNG Hunters claiming the two points over the Redcliffe Dolphins in front of a home crowd. Still in finals contention, the Hunters were spurred on by the likes of Wane who scored the opening two tries for his side. He also ran for 136 metres and had two line breaks and two tackle busts. Elsewhere, metre-eater Kaleb Ngamanu was outstanding for Tweed, Jon Reuben was strong for Norths, Robert Derby bagged another double for Townsville, Daniel Woodhouse helped the Pride to a win, and Jordan Pereira and Jack Smith continued to shine for Souths Logan.

Round 20 clash of the week: Hunters v Dolphins

6. Joshua Lau – PNG Hunters

Digicel Cup product Lau has only played four games for the Hunters this year, but his effort against the Redcliffe Dolphins on Saturday was one to remember. Lau helped guide PNG to a crucial victory, scoring one try and setting up another in the tight clash. He also ran for 123 metres and recorded eight tackle breaks and two line breaks in an all-round performance. Elsewhere, Evan Child continued his strong form for the Northern Pride with two try assists while Jordan Lipp starred for the Clydesdales with two tries.

7. Guy Hamilton – Burleigh Bears (VC)

With the "shackles off" for the Bears in Round 20, playmaker Hamilton was given free reign to get his team back on track as they ramp up their finals campaign. Picking up the Hastings Deering player of the week for his performance, Hamilton scored a runaway try off the back of Matthew Koellner's efforts through the middle. He also notched up 124 run metres with five tackle breaks, two line break assists and an offload. The cherry on top was a field goal in the dying seconds.

Hamilton in Round 20. Photo: Rikki-Lee Arnold/QRL
Hamilton in Round 20. Photo: Rikki-Lee Arnold/QRL

8. Matt Koellner – Burleigh Bears (C)

For Burleigh's attack to come together the way they wanted, they needed their forwards to lay that platform through the middle and that's exactly what starting prop Koellner did. In his 44 minutes on the field, he was destructive. Koellner set up two tries, amassed 193 run metres, had five tackle busts, one line break and one offload, with 28 tackles. Against a team like Wynnum Manly, this is no small feat and has seen Koellner earn captaincy honours for Round 20.

Koellner. Photo: Erick Lucero/QRL
Koellner. Photo: Erick Lucero/QRL

9. Trey Brown – Central Queensland Capras

The Central Queensland hooker starred through the middle on Saturday evening, helping his team to the two points over Townsville. Brown scored two tries and made 29 tackles in a 58-minute effort. He also recorded 70 run metres, two tackle breaks and one line break. Elsewhere, Kierran Moseley, Oliver Pascoe and Judah Rimbu were strong for Norths, Wynnum Manly and PNG respectively.

Trey Brown celebrates a try with JJ Collins in Round 20. Photo: Luke Fletcher/QRL
Trey Brown celebrates a try with JJ Collins in Round 20. Photo: Luke Fletcher/QRL

10. Max Bailey – Sunshine Coast Falcons

Bailey made a huge impact off the bench for the Sunshine Coast on Saturday. The 26-year-old scored a try, ran for 177 metres, made a jaw-dropping 12 tackle busts and 24 tackles, and recorded one line break and one offload in a 57-minute all-round performance. Elsewhere, Bailey Butler and JJ Collins continued to lead from the front for Central Queensland, while George Fai was massive in attack for a losing Norths.

Round 20: Top five super plays

11. Ewan Moore – Northern Pride

When your team is fighting for their spot in the top eight, a hat-trick against a fellow finals contender can go a long way. And that's what backrower Moore delivered as the Pride triumphed over Tweed. With all his tries scored before he 45th minute, Moore also ran for 75 metres, recorded two tackle breaks, one line break, one offload and 25 tackles.

Ewan Moore. Photo: Erick Lucero/QRL
Ewan Moore. Photo: Erick Lucero/QRL

12. Nixon Putt – Central Queensland Capras

In his second straight appearance in the Hostplus Cup team of the week, Putt was a standout for the Capras on Saturday. Involved in everything, Putt scored a try and set up another, ran for 153 metres, had six offloads, five tackle breaks and one line break assist, and made 19 tackles. His teammate Nick Halalilo was also huge with a try, 138 run metres, four tackle breaks, three offloads, one line break and 19 tackles. Tom Rafter was excellent for the Brisbane Tigers with a double while Burleigh's Josh Patston was also strong again for the Bears.

13. Alec MacDonald – Brisbane Tigers

The Melbourne Storm affiliate put in a solid all-round performance to get the upset win over competition leaders Souths Logan on Saturday night. MacDonald did all the basics right with 40 tackles and 161 run metres in a 67-minute performance through the middle. Elsewhere, Mason Teague, Lachlan Hubner and Takai Mokohar starred for Redcliffe, Central Queensland and the Clydesdales respectively.

Round 20 feature game highlights: Wynnum Manly v Burleigh

14. Pat Politoni – Burleigh Bears

In a vital win for Burleigh, veteran Politoni of course made his mark against Wynnum Manly. In a round-high, the No.9 made a huge 54 tackles against the Seagulls, with just one miss all game. It was an almighty defensive effort from Politoni, who played the entire match for the Bears.

Pat Politoni. Photo: Rikki-Lee Arnold/QRL
Pat Politoni. Photo: Rikki-Lee Arnold/QRL

15. Chris Ostwald – Northern Pride

In a big week for hookers of the competition, Pride skipper Ostwald led from the front in the all-important win over Tweed on Saturday. The gun hooker played for 56 minutes and in that time set up three tries, and recorded 70 run metres, two line break assists, one tackle break, one offload and 28 tackles.

Chris Ostwald. Photo: Erick Lucero/QRL
Chris Ostwald. Photo: Erick Lucero/QRL

16. Cameron Cullen – Redcliffe Dolphins

The Dolphins endured a tough road trip to Port Moresby, but veteran playmaker Cullen did all he could to try to find the win for his team. While he wasn't successful, he still put in a big performance that included one try and two try assists, 165 run metres, four tackle breaks, two line break assists, one line break and one offload.

17. Whallan Tau-Loi - PNG Hunters

Another big defensive effort in Round 20 came out of Port Moresby with second rower Tau-Loi. He managed to make 50 tackles against the Redcliffe Dolphins and also scored a try in just his third Cup appearance.

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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