You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Matt Koellner. Photo: Jason O'Brien/QRL

The two 2023 grand finalists dominated in Round 3 of the Hostplus Cup, with the Burleigh Bears pack and the Brisbane Tigers backline starring.

XXXX Rivalry Round delivered everything that was promised - upset wins, fierce battles, nail-biting finishes and some shock results.

On Sunday, the Tigers roared to life with the reigning premiers recording their first win of the season, helped by their back five who were on fire against the Ipswich Jets.

And on Saturday, last year's runners-up in the Bears dominated the Tweed Seagulls at Piggabeen, with the forward pack running riot, allowing halves Josh Rogers and Guy Hamilton to execute in attack.

A number of players starred across the weekend, including Brisbane Tigers centre Marion Seve and Burleigh second rower Hayden Schwass, but it was Bears prop Matthew Koellner who picked up captaincy honours for Team of the Week, putting in a jaw-dropping effort to set the platform for his halves.

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.

Treigh Stewart. Photo: Rikki-Lee Arnold/QRL
Treigh Stewart. Photo: Rikki-Lee Arnold/QRL

Round 3 Team of the Week

1. Treigh Stewart - Brisbane Tigers

The former New South Wales Cup fullback is fast making his impact in the Hostplus Cup. Coming to the Tigers from the St George Illawarra Dragons, Stewart played an instrumental role in the reigning premiers getting their first win of the season on Sunday. Not only did Stewart score in the 55th minute but he also set up a try, amassed 136 run metres, and recorded two line break assists, three tackle busts and one offload. Elsewhere, Trai Fuller was strong for the Redcliffe Dolphins and Raydan Burns starred for the Mackay Cutters.

Ricco Falaniko. Photo: Rikki-Lee Arnold/QRL
Ricco Falaniko. Photo: Rikki-Lee Arnold/QRL

2. Ricco Falaniko - Brisbane Tigers

In his club debut for the Tigers and coming up against his old side, Falaniko was on fire. A metre-eater, Falaniko amassed 205 run metres with four tackle breaks and one line break, and scored a try for his efforts.

3. Connor Broadhurst - Wynnum Manly Seagulls

In his second appearance for his new club, Broadhurst was a constant threat. In one of the most exciting showdowns of XXXX Rivalry Round, the centre helped guide the Seagulls to their first win of the season. Against the Redcliffe Dolphins, Broadhurst scored a try and set up another, and also recorded a line break, line break assist, tackle break and offload. In an all-round performance, the 29-year-old also notched up 93 run metres and 18 tackles.

4. Marion Seve - Brisbane Tigers

In one of the performances of the week, Seve was destructive against the Ipswich Jets. The Melbourne Storm affiliate amassed a mind-blowing 240 run metres - the most of the entire round - and scored a double to sink the Jets at Totally Workwear Stadium. Seve also had two line breaks, two tackle breaks and 17 tackles. Fellow Tigers centre Max Lehmann was also impressive on Sunday while elsewhere Tesi Niu was solid for the Norths Devils.

Marion Seve. Photo: Rikki-Lee Arnold/QRL
Marion Seve. Photo: Rikki-Lee Arnold/QRL

5. Manase Kaho - Norths Devils

On the brink of Team of the Week for the opening two weeks of competition, Kaho was untouchable in Round 3, earning himself a well-deserved nod. Not only did Kaho score a double to get the two points over Souths Logan but he also ran for 126 metres and recorded two line breaks and two tackle busts. Fellow Norths winger Blake Paskins was also key to the win while elsewhere Dudley Dotoi (Blackhawks), Josh Smith (Cutters), Solo Wane (Hunters) and Coby Williamson (Tigers) were standouts for their teams.

6. Josh Rogers - Burleigh Bears

Welcome back to Burleigh, Josh Rogers. In scenes reminiscent of 2022, Rogers was unstoppable on Saturday against the Tweed Seagulls. With the Bears pack laying quite the platform, Rogers was able to run amok. The playmaker scored a try and set up two more, smashed through 145 run metres, and notched up five tackle breaks, three line break assists, one line break and 14 tackles. Jake Clifford (Pride), Gerome Burns (Devils) and Sakias Komati (Hunters) were all threats for their respective teams in Round 3.

Josh Rogers. Photo: Jason O'Brien/QRL
Josh Rogers. Photo: Jason O'Brien/QRL

7. Guy Hamilton - Burleigh Bears

Complementing Rogers nicely was his halves partner, Hamilton. Always a threat for the Bears, Hamilton did his job and did it well against the Seagulls. He made it through 99 run metres, set up a try, recorded one offload and had 262 kick metres off 13 kicks, as well as 12 tackles.

8. Marly Bitungane - Northern Pride

In a big week for forwards across the competition, Bitungane earns a place in Team of the Week after setting a high standard for the Pride in their XXXX Rivalry Round clash against the Townsville Blackhawks. The North Queensland Cowboys affiliate started against his old club and put in a strong all-round 58-minute performance that included 149 run metres, 30 tackles - with just one miss - one tackle bust and one offload.

Round 3 clash of the week: Cutters v Capras

9. Sean Mullany - Mackay Cutters

In an inspiring captain's knock, Mullany led the Cutters to two from two to start the season with a win over the Central Queensland Capras. Mullany scored the try to nudge his team in front early in the second half and then finished with three tackle breaks, one offload, one line break, 37 run metres and a massive 45 tackles with just two misses. As always, it was a big week for hookers across the competition, particularly in defence, with Mullany beating out a long list of contenders.

Matt Koellner. Photo: Jason O'Brien/QRL
Matt Koellner. Photo: Jason O'Brien/QRL

10. Matt Koellner - Burleigh Bears

The Burleigh halves couldn't have done the job they did on Saturday without the likes of Koellner and the rest of the Bears pack. The forwards aimed up in a massive way against Tweed and Koellner was the leader in this. In a tireless performance, the 26-year-old workhorse amassed a mind-blowing 204 run metres in 48 minutes, with three tackle busts, one offload and 17 tackles with zero misses. His fellow starting prop Bailey Butler also contributed with a mammoth effort, including 151 run metres and three tackle breaks in 38 minutes. Elsewhere, Josiah Pahulu put in massive minutes with 147 run metres and 40 tackles while James Tamou (Blackhawks) and Jack Natapu (Tigers) were also strong.

11. Thallon Peters - Sunshine Coast Falcons

While they couldn't get the win in Port Moresby, Peters had a comeback to remember in his club debut and first game back from an ACL injury. Peters stood up to the Hunters pack, making 37 tackles with zero misses. He also scored a try, ran for 101 metres and recorded a tackle bust and an offload in a huge return effort.

The Schwass twins: Same pathway, different destinations

12. Hayden Schwass - Burleigh Bears

After celebrating his 150th Cup game in Round 2, the 28-year-old put in his best performance of the season so far. Amassing 209 run metres, Schwass also scored a try, had six tackle breaks and 24 tackles in a stunning effort on Burleigh's right edge. Elsewhere Leivaha Pulu (Tigers), Josh Stuckey (Wynnum Manly) and Harry Croker (Tweed) also put in big performances for Round 3.

13. Lachlan Hubner - Central Queensland Capras

After narrowly missing out last week, Hubner is back for his second Team of the Week appearance. In a losing side, the Central Queensland lock was a shining light. He got through a mountain of work, including crossing for a four-pointer, running for 197 metres, making 23 tackles, and recording two tackle breaks and one line break. Another standout lock in Round 3 was Redcliffe's Jaron Purcell - also on a losing side - with 151 run metres and 30 tackles.

14. Robert Mathias - PNG Hunters

A return to home turf equalled another win for the PNG Hunters and Mathias was instrumental in this. The backrower was powerful against the Hunters, amassing 186 run metres with four tackle busts, three line breaks and 21 tackles.

15. Sam Coster - Burleigh Bears

Another week, another big performance from Burleigh lock, Coster. Adding to a powerful overall game from the Bears pack, Mr Reliable ran for a massive 193 metres and made 24 tackles with zero misses. He also recorded two offloads.

Rhys Jacks in action. Photo: Rikki-Lee Arnold/QRL
Rhys Jacks in action. Photo: Rikki-Lee Arnold/QRL

16. Rhys Jacks - Ipswich Jets

While Jacks couldn't help his side to back-to-back wins, the Ipswich hooker certainly made his presence felt in defence against the Brisbane Tigers. Just two weeks after making a stunning 62 tackles, Jacks backed it up in Round 3 with 52 tackles and just two misses.

17. Khaiya Waiembi – Central Queensland Capras

The Papua New Guinean made his presence known when he came off the bench against the Cutters on Saturday. The new Capras recruit smashed his way through 199 run metres, with two tackle busts and an offload, plus 11 tackles, in a 38-minute stint.

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.

Platinum Partners

View All Partners