You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Round 12 Team of the Week: Burns' inspiring effort leads charge

As the Hostplus Cup reached the midway point of the season, a number of teams knew statement performances were required in Round 12 as they head into the back half of the year.

From Souths Logan Magpies upsetting the PNG Hunters in Port Moresby to Townsville Blackhawks overcoming the reigning premiers in the Brisbane Tigers, the weekend delivered exactly how coaches, players and fans alike were hoping.

The Sunshine Coast also ended a recent losing run, grabbing the two points over the Redcliffe Dolphins.

Led strongly by captain Sam Burns, his performance on Saturday has seen him also earn the skipper title 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 12 Team of the Week

1. Lindon McGrady – Tweed Seagulls

The Tweed skipper was a key element in his side’s win over the Western Clydesdales on Saturday, with a solid attacking effort. Not only did McGrady set up a try in the 10-point victory, but he amassed 179 run metres with four tackle breaks and a line break assist. Other standout fullbacks in Round 12 included Brisbane Tigers No.1 Treigh Stewart and Burleigh’s Creedence Toia.

Lindon McGrady. Photo: Jason O'Brien/QRL
Lindon McGrady. Photo: Jason O'Brien/QRL

2. Nicholas O’Meley – Burleigh Bears

It was a battle of two top four heavyweights on Sunday at BMD Kougari Oval, with the Burleigh Bears triumphing over the Wynnum Manly Seagulls. O’Meley played his part with the winger bagging a double to secure the two points. He also ran for 173 metres with two line breaks and two tackle breaks.

3. Valynce Te Whare – Redcliffe Dolphins

The Redcliffe wrecking ball may not have been on the winning team on Saturday, but he was at his best in a threatening performance against the Sunshine Coast Falcons. Te Whare crossed once for the Dolphins and worked his way through a massive 189 run metres with 10 tackle breaks. He also recorded two offloads and a line break, as well as six tackles with zero misses.

4. Gehamat Shibasaki – Townsville Blackhawks

In a stunning effort on home turf, Shibasaki helped his team to a crucial win over the Brisbane Tigers. The centre – who recently earned another stint in the NRL with the South Sydney Rabbitohs – had two tries and an assist. He also registered 161 run metres, a huge 11 tackle busts, three offloads, two line breaks and two line break assists for a classy attacking performance. Elsewhere, Ethan Quai-Ward was key for Souths Logan, Mathew Lyons was strong for Ipswich and Brenko Lee was a standout for the Tigers. Tweed’s Lee Turner, Western Clydesdales’ Corey Fenning and PNG’s Elijah Roltinga were also solid.

5. Kaleb Ngamanu – Tweed Seagulls

The try-scoring machine was at it again on Saturday afternoon, nabbing a hat-trick in an important win for his team. He was hard to contain with the ball in hand, making his way through 188 run metres as well as four tackle breaks and two line breaks. Other instrumental wingers included Sunshine Coast’s Flynn Camilleri with a double, Townsville’s Kalifa Faifai Loa, Brisbane Tigers’ Coby Williamson, Burleigh’s Troy Leo and Wynnum Manly’s Sione Hopoate.

6. Radean Robinson – Souths Logan Magpies

Souths Logan needed to get back into the winner’s circle and they took their opportunity on Saturday in a big win against the PNG Hunters. It’s always hard to execute against the Hunters on home turf, but the Magpies forwards set the platform and their halves delivered. Robinson crossed twice and set up a third try in Port Moresby. He also had three tackle breaks, two line breaks, 91 run metres and 14 tackles with 100 per cent efficiency. Another impressive five-eighth was Sunshine Coast’s Luke Polselli.

7. Coby Black – Souths Logan Magpies

What a debut for the young Brisbane Broncos affiliate. In his first Hostplus Cup game, Black showed little hesitation in getting involved. With two try assists, four tackle breaks and two line break assists, he was busy in attack and also made 49 run metres. He impressed with his kicking game and had his defence tested by the Hunters, making 11 tackles. Tweed’s Tom Steadman and Burleigh’s Guy Hamilton were also standouts, but Black’s effort on debut on a big stage earns him the nod this week.

8. Valentine Richard – PNG Hunters

It wasn’t the Hunters’ day on Saturday, but Richard was impressive in the front row. The prop barged his way over the line twice and also set up a third try. He finished with five tackle breaks, two line breaks, a line break assist, 90 run metres and 16 tackles.

9. Taniela Otukolo – Western Clydesdales

In back-to-back Team of the Week appearances, Otukolo this week graduates to the starting side in a competitive week for hookers. The rake had a try against Tweed, as well as five tackle busts, two offloads, a line break, 70 run metres and 30 tackles in a solid all-round performance. Other hookers worthy of a mention include Burleigh’s Josh Rogers, Wynnum Manly’s Cory Paix and Townsville’s Jayden Hodges while Rhys Jacks made 49 tackles for the Jets.

10. Fletcher Baker – Souths Logan Magpies

The Brisbane Broncos affiliate aimed up against the big Hunters pack on Saturday, making quite the statement. In 68 minutes, he got through a mountain of work, including 170 run metres, five offloads, a tackle break, a line break assist and a try assist. He also made 27 tackles. Ryan Jackson also impressed for the Capras with a try and 153 run metres.

11. Aublix Tawha – Redcliffe Dolphins

It was a tough match against the Falcons on Saturday evening and Tawha responded accordingly for his team. The backrower ran for 147 metres with three tackle breaks and 31 tackles in a solid effort at Sunshine Coast Stadium.

12. Hayden Schwass – Burleigh Bears

Like a fine wine, Schwass keeps going from strength to strength this season. The second rower set a solid platform in Sunday’s win against Wynnum Manly and scored the final try for his team as a just reward for his efforts. Schwass also set up another try and finished with 51 run metres, three tackle breaks, a line break assist and a massive 42 tackles. Elsewhere, Sheldon Pitama was strong for the Dolphins.

Hayden Schwass. Photo: Dylan Parker/QRL
Hayden Schwass. Photo: Dylan Parker/QRL

13. Sam Burns – Sunshine Coast Falcons (C)

The Sunshine Coast were on a bit of a losing run coming into Round 12, despite some impressive performances over the past few weeks. And it was a true captain’s knock from Falcons skipper Sam Burns that saw his side claim a much-needed two points over the Redcliffe Dolphins. The tireless lock not only made a mammoth 51 tackles – with just one miss – but he also scored a try, amassed 149 run metres and had a tackle break. Central Queensland’s Lachlan Hubner, Townsville’s Kyle Laybutt and Wynnum Manly’s Josh Stuckey were also impressive.

14. Sam Coster – Burleigh Bears

From one Sam to another, Burleigh lock Coster also had a massive game on Sunday. Benched only due to the performance of Burns, the Bears No.13 was his usual, reliable self. In 76 minutes on the field – earning a minor but well-deserved early knock – Coster had 187 run metres, a stunning 45 tackles and one offload.

Sam Coster. Photo: Dylan Parker/QRL
Sam Coster. Photo: Dylan Parker/QRL

15. Vaka Sikahele – Tweed Seagulls

The Seagulls utility packed a punch from the bench on Saturday. Making an instant impact, the 2023 grand finalist scored a try, notched up 124 run metres, and registered 25 tackles, six tackle breaks and one line break in a solid 56 minute effort.

Vaka Sikahele. Photo: Jason O'Brien/QRL
Vaka Sikahele. Photo: Jason O'Brien/QRL

16. Jamie Hill – Sunshine Coast Falcons

Hill played 71 minutes against the Dolphins on Saturday and was a constant danger. The prop finished with 154 run metres, 33 tackles, three offloads and a tackle break.

17. Blake Mozer – Souths Logan Magpies

Mozer was big for Souths Logan in their much-needed win over the PNG Hunters. The Brisbane Broncos affiliate bagged two tries and recorded 98 run metres, two line breaks, two line break assist and 15 tackles.

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