Representative Round produced some brilliant action across the weekend, with records broken, dreams realised and statements made in an emotion-packed round of international and state footy.
Which players stood out most from the weekend? We've picked the 17 players that shone from Representative Round!
1. Joseph Manu (New Zealand)
Became the first player ever to run for over 400 metres in a top-flight match and ended any debate as to who should be New Zealand’s long-term fullback in the process. Handled everything that was thrown at him on a wet night in Auckland and put his hand up for 32 carries on his way to 401 run metres. One of the best performances from a Kiwis fullback in the modern era.
Manu creates something from nothing
2. David Nofoaluma (Samoa)
Had a day out at the expense of the Cook Islands’ left edge, crossing for four tries, the first of which saw him beat four defenders while perched up against the sideline. The Wests Tigers’ powerhouse ran the ball like a man possessed, breaking 15 tackles from 16 runs with the ball.
Awesome foursome for Nofoaluma
3. Isabelle Kelly (New South Wales Women)
No Queenslander was safe from Kelly on Friday night, as the Roosters star popped up all over the field to punish defenders with her stinging carries. Broke 13 tackles on her way to 190 running metres and scored the match-sealing try with three minutes to go, capping off a performance which rightfully saw her pick up the Nellie Doherty Medal.
Isabelle Kelly was the difference
4. Justin Olam (Papua New Guinea)
Gave Fiji nightmares out wide with his pace and power. Laid on the opening try for Lachlan Lam with an inspired run down the left in which he beat multiple would-be tacklers. Finished with six tackle breaks and a pair of try assists to help the Kumuls upset Fiji.
Olam and Lam light it up to score a screamer
5. Brian To’o (New South Wales)
Averaged 10 metres per carry for a total of 261, with nine tackle breaks thrown in for good measure. Part of a lethal left side which will have Queensland sweating ahead of the decider at Suncorp Stadium.
6. Jahrome Hughes (New Zealand)
Technically a halfback but so strong he earns a spot in the halves regardless. Nullified the Tongan back five with an endless supply of kicks into the corner of the field. Hughes pulled the string brilliantly for the Kiwis and opened the scoring with a courageous run through the heart of the Tongan line. His organisation allowed debutant Dylan Brown to play his natural game.
Cleary reflects on his performance
7. Nathan Cleary (New South Wales)
In a class of his own as he led the Blues to victory in Perth, laying on two try assists. A pinpoint kick for former Panthers teammate Matt Burton was followed by a brilliant cut-out pass. By the end of the game he had a personal 24-point haul thanks to a pair of tries, seven conversions and a penalty.
Cleary's domination earns him player of the match in Perth
8. Kararaina Wira-Kohu (Kiwi Ferns)
Squeezed a huge amount into her 34 minutes on the field, including a game-high three line breaks and a try early in the second half. Damaging when she carried the ball and brought huge energy to the Kiwi Ferns’ pack. The Newcastle forward will be a key player come World Cup time.
9. Penioni Tagituimua (Fiji)
Seemed to hit everything that moved in a Papua New Guinea jersey, finishing the match with 60 tackles and just two misses. Pushed through the full 80 minutes and didn’t shirk his responsibility in attack either, putting his hand up for nine carries.
Match Highlights: Papua New Guinea v Fiji
10. Jake Trbojevic (New South Wales)
A pillar of strength in his return to the Origin arena, playing all but nine minutes of the match in Perth, in which he made 31 tackles and carried the ball for 148 metres. Arguably the Manly forward’s best game all year.
Super Schuster sets up four-try hero Nofoaluma
11. Josh Schuster (Samoa)
Excelled in a free-flowing contest where he looked at times to be toying with the opposing defence. Showed his full bag of tricks to lay on three tries, two of which came after he broke the line and found teammates with accurate grubbers, and the other via a one-handed pass out wide.
Roxette Murdoch charges through
12. Roxy Murdoch (Kiwi Ferns)
An impressive Test debut for the Broncos enforcer. Scored a try late in the first half, but it was off the ball that she did her best work, making 22 tackles without a single miss. The only member of her team to finish with 100 percent tackle efficiency.
13. Georgia Hale (Kiwi Ferns)
Given the forward talent on display, not many would have picked the 70kg lock to emerge as the most damaging forward in the Kiwi Ferns v Mate Ma’a Tonga clash. Hale was immense across 66 minutes on the park, racking up a game-high 194 metres and making 28 tackles without a miss.
Sunia shines for the Bati
14. Sunia Turuva (Fiji)
The breakout star of the Representative Round. In a losing team the teenager Panthers fullback was outstanding, scoring a second-half double and churning through 252 metres, 97 of which came after contact.
Pezet named U19's State of Origin Player of the Match
15. Jonah Pezet (NSW U/19 Men)
Orchestrated a dominant 32-4 victory for the young Blues with composed play in the No.7 jersey, resulting in Player of the Match honours. Produced a deft kick for Jack Bostock’s try on 21 minutes, the second of his three try assists on the night.
Jada Taylor clocks 109m for a special Origin try
16. Jada Taylor (NSW U19 Women)
Her 109-metre kick return as the game sat in the balance will feature on highlight reels for years to come. But the Nat Dwyer Medallist’s game was about more than just that brilliant play and included a try from a clever dummy-half sneak in the first half and a strong evening marshalling the NSW defence.
How did she get this down?
17. Emma Tonegato (New South Wales Women)
A shining light for the Blues in what was technically her first Origin appearance. Scored a spectacular try to put her side in front in the first half, and threatened the line on several occasions, finishing with three linebreaks, a try assist and a linebreak assist to go with five tackle breaks and 163 run metres.