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Chester. Photo: Dominic Chaplin/QRL

Round 17 of the Hostplus Cup brought out the best of the best.

With a few upset victories and some big scorelines, there were countless star performances across the competition for BMD Indigenous Round.

A number of players were unlucky to miss out on Team of the Week, including Souths Logan's Tristan Sailor, Northern Pride's Jake Clifford, Redcliffe's Latrell Siegwalt and more.

But those who did make it went above and beyond, with Norths' Oryn Keeley putting in another mammoth effort in attack while Souths Logan's Ethan Quai-Ward, Townsville's Lennix Tovo and Sunshine Coast's Chris Lewis were all captaincy contenders.

The honours however went to Northern Pride centre Tom Chester who was heavily involved in his side's win.

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 17 Team of the Week

1. Lennix Tovo – Townsville Blackhawks

The explosive Townsville fullback was back to his best on Saturday, igniting the Blackhawks in a big win over the Western Clydesdales. A busy man in Tully, the first-year rugby league rookie scored a try and set up another two for his side. He also ran for 159 metres with four tackle busts, two offloads, a line break and a line break assist. It was a big week for fullbacks across the competition with Northern Pride's Lachlan West, Redcliffe's Latrell Siegwalt, Souths Logan's Tristan Sailor, Wynnum Manly's Matthew Milson and Sunshine Coast's Zac Miles all starring.

2. Ricco Falaniko – Brisbane Tigers

It wasn't enough to get his side the two points against the Dolphins, but Falaniko was on fire on Sunday. He bagged a hat-trick and also amassed a huge 197 run metres. Falaniko also recorded four line breaks and three tackle breaks.

3. Ethan Quai-Ward – Souths Logan Magpies

One of the most consistent Cup centres all year, Quai-Ward was invaluable for Souths Logan in their upset victory over the Wynnum Manly Seagulls on Sunday. The former Canterbury Bulldogs scored two tries and got through a mountain of work in attack. He finished with 215 run metres, four tackle breaks, a line break and an offload, and also made 12 tackles.

4. Tom Chester – Northern Pride (C)

The Pride returned to the top of the table after Round 17 and Chester was key for the Cairns-based team in getting the two points over fellow top eight side, Central Queensland. The North Queensland Cowboys affiliate put on an attacking masterclass with two tries and an assist, 213 run metres, three tackle breaks and an offload. On the other side of the ball, he was also strong with 15 tackles and 100 per cent tackle efficiency. Other standout centres included Ipswich duo Harley Smith-Shields and Mathew Lyons, as well as Norths' Tesi Niu, PNG's Alex Max and Brisbane Tigers' Tony Thompson.

Chester. Photo: Dominic Chaplin/QRL
Chester. Photo: Dominic Chaplin/QRL

5. Brenton Baira – Redcliffe Dolphins

The Redcliffe winger knows how to find the try line. In eight appearances this year he has scored 10 tries, including another two from the weekend. Against the Tigers he also ran through 204 metres and recorded two tackle breaks. Elsewhere Dudley Dotoi was massive for the Blackhawks with 230 run metres while Robert Derby bagged a double himself for the Pride. Ronald Philitoga (Tigers), Sione Hopoate (Wynnum Manly) and Ken Maumalo (Jets) were also strong.

6. Radean Robinson – Souths Logan Magpies

Robinson spoke ahead of BMD Indigenous Round about what last weekend would mean to him and the significance of the event clearly shone through in his performance. In a huge 30-point victory over Wynnum Manly, the playmaker set up two tries and was dangerous with the ball in hand with 109 run metres, three tackle breaks, two line break assists, a line break and an offload. Five-eighths were some of the best performers of the week across the competition with Mackay's Jaxon Purdue and Northern Pride's Jake Clifford both sensational.

7. Bailey Biondi-Odo – Townsville Blackhawks

The former Canterbury Bulldogs playmaker was unstoppable against the Western Clydesdales on Saturday. Hugely influential, Biondi-Odo scored two tries and set up another two. He also ran for 115 metres with three tackle breaks, a line break assist and 11 tackles. Josh James for Redcliffe and Cody Hunter for Sunshine Coast also impressed.

8. Thomas Mikaele – Mackay Cutters

The North Queensland Cowboys forward packed a punch against Tweed Seagulls on Saturday. In a mammoth effort - clocking up 69 minutes on the field - Mikaele amassed 173 run metres with four offloads and three tackle breaks. He also made 26 tackles with 100 per cent efficiency.

9. Judah Rimbu – PNG Hunters

There were a number of big efforts from hookers in Round 17 but Rimbu put in a stunning all-round performance in a last-ditch win against second-placed Norths Devils. The crafty PNG rake constantly threatened the Devils on home turf and made quite an impact across 47 minutes. Rimbu finished with 62 run metres, three tackle breaks, a line break, line break assist and an offload, as well as 23 tackles. Other impressive hookers included Blake Mozer with 41 tackles for Souths Logan and Cory Paix with 42 tackles for Wynnum Manly.

10. Chris Lewis – Sunshine Coast Falcons

In back-to-back appearances, Lewis was an absolute machine against the Ipswich Jets on Sunday. While the Falcons suffered a shock loss, the prop toiled away for a huge workload. In 66 minutes, Lewis smashed his way through 180 run metres and a huge 43 tackles, and also recorded two offloads and a tackle break. Props went big in Round 17 with Pride Petterson-Robati (Souths Logan), John Radel (Mackay), Lazarus Vaalepu (Sunshine Coast), Jontay Betham-Misa (Tigers) and Clayton Mack (Ipswich) all strong. Central Queensland's Tyler Szepanowski also recorded a massive 197 run metres.

11. Oryn Keeley – Norths Devils

Keeley has been a major threat this year. The Devils backrower has now racked up 720 run metres across three games, amassing another 220 metres on Sunday against the Hunters. Even against their physical pack, Keeley was hard to control. The Dolphins NRL affiliate also recorded a huge 11 tackle breaks, two offloads and a line break assist, with 23 tackles.

12. Jackson Frei – Redcliffe Dolphins

Frei was heavily involved in his side's win over the Brisbane Tigers on Sunday afternoon. The backrower played for 61 minutes and crossed for a try. He also set up another four-pointer, ran for 139 minutes, and recorded three tackle breaks, two line breaks and 22 tackles. Other impressive second rowers included Dane Aukafolau for Northern Pride and Nicholas Halalilo for Townsville.

13. Leivaha Pulu – Brisbane Tigers

In a losing side, Pulu was a force to be reckoned with. The veteran forward played 67 minutes and was influential with 135 run metres, a try assist, four offloads, a tackle break, a line break assist and 26 tackles. Elsewhere, Sunshine Coast's Sam Burns recorded a big 41 tackles against Ipswich.

14. Dray Ngatuere-Wroe – Ipswich Jets

The Jets notched up their second win of the season on Sunday, with an upset victory over the Sunshine Coast Falcons. One of their standouts was five-eighth Ngatuere-Wroe, who is only benched due to Robinson's efforts against Wynnum Manly. The playmaker not only stood up in attack with a try assist, two tackle breaks and a line break assist, as well as 46 run metres, but he was massive in defence with 32 tackles and just one miss.

15. Kyle Schneider – Northern Pride

The Pride rake was a key part of their win on Saturday. In defence, skipper Schneider led from the front making a round-high 49 tackles against a physical Capras pack. He had just one miss and also recorded 41 run metres and tackle busts.

16. Ewan Moore – Northern Pride

Moore was massive for the Pride on Saturday. The backrower played 70 minutes and bagged himself a try. He also ran for 125 metres with three tackle breaks and a line break. In defence, he made 40 tackles with just one miss.

17. Lachlan Hubner – Central Queensland Capras

The Capras failed to get the two points against the table-topping Pride but there were some big performances. At lock, Hubner amassed a massive 208 run metres and made 30 tackles in a tough effort.

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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