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Round 22 Team of the Week: Ferguson fires up ahead of finals campaign

The closing regular round of the 2023 Hostplus Cup season offered up a few shocks and some thrilling results as the final eight was locked in.

Results over the weekend saw Burleigh Bears claim the minor premiership and the Sunshine Coast Falcons and Northern Pride lock in their positions in the top eight.

There were gutsy performances put in across the board as everyone fought for the ideal finish to the home-and-away matches.

Alec MacDonald was one of a number of Brisbane Tigers players who stood up on Sunday to keep the Wynnum Manly Seagulls out of the top four, with MacDonald taking home Hastings Deering player of the match honours.

But one of the most impressive efforts of the weekend came from Souths Logan skipper Rory Ferguson who put on attacking and defensive masterclasses in a tight loss to the Central Queensland Capras in Rockhampton.

The stunning performance from Ferguson has seen him earn the Round 22 captaincy honours for the 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 22 Team of the Week

1. Corey Thompson – Brisbane Tigers

The veteran fullback was everywhere for the Tigers in their statement victory over Wynnum Manly Seagulls on Sunday. Unpredictable with the ball in hand, Thompson made an impressive impact with one try, 186 run metres, 10 tackle busts, two line breaks and an offload. Elsewhere, Norths Devils skipper Jack Ahearn finished up his Cup career in style while Rayden Burns was strong at the back for the Mackay Cutters.

Round 22 feature game highlights: Wynnum Manly v Brisbane Tigers

2. Sualauvi Faalogo – Sunshine Coast Falcons

The flashy Melbourne Storm affiliated winger was outstanding against the Tweed Seagulls on Saturday. Not only did he nab two tries - including a 70-metre runaway four-pointer - but he also set up another two and amassed 209 run metres, with seven tackle breaks and three line breaks.

Sualauvi Faalogo. Photo: Erick Lucero/QRL
Sualauvi Faalogo. Photo: Erick Lucero/QRL

3. Solomona Faataape – Brisbane Tigers

Team of the Week regular Faataape was sensational against Wynnum Manly on Sunday. As well as scoring a near-length-of-the-field try, he set up another for his winger, Max Lehmann, with a tricky flick pass. Faataape also ran for 207 metres and recorded five tackle breaks, one line break assist and one offload.

Round 22: Top five super plays

4. Sami Sauiluma – Burleigh Bears

The Burleigh Bears skipper inspired his team to a much-needed win to secure the minor premiership in Round 22. For the third straight week the veteran centre scored a double. He also ran for 162 metres with eight tackle busts, four offloads and one line break. Elsewhere, Mackay's Josh Smith, Northern Pride's Will Partridge and Souths Logan's Jesse Jennings were standouts.

Sami Sauiluma in Round 22. Photo: Alix Sweeney/QRL
Sami Sauiluma in Round 22. Photo: Alix Sweeney/QRL

5. Scott Galeano – Sunshine Coast Falcons

The Falcons struck on both sides of the field against the Seagulls, with Galeano joining Faalogo in being an attacking threat. Up against his old side, the winger bagged a double and notched up 185 run metres with eight tackle busts, two line breaks and one offload. It was a big weekend for wingers, with Blake Anders (Wynnum Manly), Tom Farr (Central Queensland), Daniel Woodhouse (Northern Pride), Walter Lauenstein (Mackay), Manase Kaho (Norths), Ryland Jacobs (Tweed) and Jordan Pereira (Souths Logan) all impressing.

6. Max Plath – Redcliffe Dolphins

The NRL-affiliated playmaker was unable to get the win for Redcliffe on Saturday, but still put in a head-turning effort against the Northern Pride in Cairns. Plath led from the front with a try and one assist plus 98 run metres, six tackle breaks, two line breaks and 22 tackles with no misses. Elsewhere, Tyrone Roberts was strong for Burleigh.

Round 22 clash of the week: Pride v Dolphins

7. Lindon McGrady – Tweed Seagulls

Another standout in a losing side, McGrady was the biggest threat for Tweed in the loss to Sunshine Coast on Saturday. Showing plenty of individual brilliance, McGrady did everything he could to keep his team's finals hopes alive with two tries, 148 run metres, eight tackle breaks, one line break and one offload, proving hard to handle. Elsewhere, Burleigh's Guy Hamilton continued his stunning form, as did Souths Logan's Jack Campagnolo and Redcliffe's Cameron Cullen.

Lindon McGrady in Round 22. Photo: Erick Lucero/QRL
Lindon McGrady in Round 22. Photo: Erick Lucero/QRL

8. Brandon Russell – Mackay Cutters

In the club's final game of the season, Russell packed a massive punch off the bench for Mackay on Saturday. In 59 minutes, the prop amassed 217 run metres, scored a try, had nine tackle busts, two offloads, one line break and 23 tackles in a jaw-dropping all-round performance. 

9. Tristan Hope – Brisbane Tigers

One of the most consistent hookers all year, Hope is building momentum strongly heading into this year's finals series. He was influential yet again for the Tigers on Sunday, capping off a stunning team play to score the final try of the game. He also set up another four-pointer for prop Tristan Powell (who threw the last pass in Hope's try) and ran for 41 metres with two line breaks, one tackle bust and one offload, plus 20 tackles, in 46 minutes on the field. Elsewhere, Pat Politoni aimed up in defence with 44 tackles for Burleigh while Redcliffe's Sheldon Pitama, Sunshine Coast's Tyran Wishart, Tweed's Brent Woolf and PNG's Judah Rimbu were also strong.

10. Corey Jensen – Wynnum Manly Seagulls

Every time Jensen touched the ball on Sunday, he made his presence felt. The Brisbane Broncos forward ran for a massive 251 metres and made 24 tackles and one tackle bust in his 59 minutes on the field. Elsewhere, Central Queensland's Bailey Butler was a standout in their upset win over Souths Logan with a try, 146 run metres, eight tackle breaks, one line break and one line break assist.

11. Jack Gibbons - Sunshine Coast Falcons

Making back-to-back Team of the Week appearances, the Falcons backrower was huge for his side on Saturday. After earning a double last week, Gibbons scored a hat-trick against Tweed. He also notched up 90 run metres, two tackle breaks, one line break and one line break assist, with 26 tackles.

Jackson Gibbons in Round 22. Photo: Erick Lucero/QRL
Jackson Gibbons in Round 22. Photo: Erick Lucero/QRL

12. Josh Patston – Burleigh Bears

Patston has continued to go from strength-to-strength since joining the Burleigh Bears midway through the season. Saturday was no different as the second rower set up a try, ran for 176 metres, and recorded four tackle breaks, one line break and 29 tackles. Tyler Coburn (Souths Logan), Kulikefu Finefeuiaki (Townsville) and Kobe Bone (Mackay) were also strong for their respective teams.

Josh Patston. Photo: Rikki-Lee Arnold/QRL
Josh Patston. Photo: Rikki-Lee Arnold/QRL

13. Rory Ferguson – Souths Logan Magpies (C)

Souths Logan skipper Ferguson has been a shining light for the Magpies all year and - while they fell short of the minor premiership - the lock left nothing on the field as he tried to get his team over the line against Central Queensland. In a massive all-round performance, Ferguson amassed 203 run metres and made a stunning 38 tackles with zero misses. He also recorded nine tackle busts in 64 minutes on the field. For Central Queensland, Kurt Donoghoe was also strong with 43 tackles.

14. Alec MacDonald – Brisbane Tigers (VC)

The Hastings Deering player of the match and the inaugural Paul Green medallist, MacDonald starred for the Tigers on Sunday. The Melbourne Storm affiliate played 48 minutes and in that time he ran for 114 metres - with one line break and one offload - and made 30 tackles, with just one miss.


Tireless Suzuki Brisbane Tigers lock Alec MacDonald was honoured to be awarded the Paul Green Medal in a tough battle with Wynnum Manly and earn the Round 22 Hastings Deering player of the match award

Posted by Hostplus Cup on Saturday, August 19, 2023

15. Brenton Baira – Redcliffe Dolphins

In a losing team, Baira was the standout for the Dolphins in their upset loss to Northern Pride on Saturday.  The electric young gun filled the big shoes of Trai Fuller with gusto, scoring two tries and running for a huge 228 metres. Baira also had a stunning 12 tackle busts, one line break and one offload.

16. Melino Fineanganofo – Western Clydesdales

It's three straight Team of the Week appearances for Western Clydesdales wrecking ball Fineanganofo. With centres across the competition putting in huge efforts over the weekend, the 24-year-old could not be overlooked after making a mind-blowing 16 tackle busts against the Mackay Cutters. Always dangerous with the ball in hand, Fineanganofo also scored a try, amassed 201 run metres and had two line breaks.

17. Sam Coster – Burleigh Bears

With 100 per cent tackle efficiency against the Townsville Blackhawks, Coster continued to live up to his Mr Reliable tag in Round 22. The Bears lock made 28 tackles and also ran for 159 metres with five offloads and one tackle bust in 61 minutes on the field.

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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