NRC round eight: Team of the week

by Sam Phillips

A weekend of unpredictable results saw several strong performances from each of the eight teams in action.

Here's who stood out from the chasing pack in round eight.

1. Sef Faagase - Queensland Country

Scrummaged well and had an impact with each of his five carries. Along with fellow prop Taniela Tupou, proved a big part of the difference in Fiji.

2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa - NSW Country Eagles

Was ubiquitous in the Eagles' finals bound win in Melbourne. Popped up everywhere on either side of the ball and the set piece was on top all day, too.

3. Taniela Tupou - Queensland Country

Taniela Tupou was one of the stars for Country in Fiji. Photo: QRU Media/Brendan HertelWallabies coach Michael Cheika must be counting down the days until Tupou becomes available for national selection. That day will arrive in November but for now, Tupou is a force for Queensland Country. He is known for his powerful carries and his scrummaging is now at a near elite level as well.

4. Phil Potgeiter - Queensland Country

Another QLD Country representative. Was constantly sticking his hand up to crash into Fijian defenders and was one of the chief targets at lineout time.

5. Albert Tuisue - Greater Sydney Rams

A big part of the Rams' ambush of a red hot Brisbane City outfit. He had 12 carries, a line break and a tackle bust and was the leader of the Rams' attack.

6. Angus Scott-Young - Queensland Country

Angus Scott-Young has been among Country's best all season. Photo: QRU Media/Brendan HertelHave come to expect big things from the Australian U20s star. He is one of QLD Country's pivotal go forward merchants and he had nine big carries to get his side on the front foot.

7. Liam Wright - Queensland Country

He didn't know he would be part of Cheika's squad for the Barbarians clash in 24 hours time but Wright certainly played like a Wallaby on Saturday. He has been categorised as an out and out fetcher - which he most certainly is - but he is running Country's lineout and is starting to get his hands on the ball a bit more, too.

8. Caleb Timu - Queensland Country

Was best on ground in Fiji, which was a red hot contest considering the number of standouts for Brad Thorn's side. The Reds backrower had 15 carries for 33 metres, a tackle bust, line break and nine tackles to boot. Quickly becoming a star of the future.

9. Harry Nucifora - Sydney Rays

Nabbed a flash double and showcased more running game than what he has displayed in Super U20s, Australian U20s and for the Rays this year. Service was clean, too.

10. Tayler Adams - NSW Country Eagles

One of the playmaking finds of the NRC. Steered the Eagles to the big win they needed to crash into the top four through astute kicking, attack which constantly threatened the line and clever passing. Striking them very well off the tee as well, nailing from six from seven conversions in trying conditions.

11. Eto Nabuli - Queensland Country

Scored the match winner for his side to top off a big afternoon. Had 76 metres from nine carries, with two line breaks, five tackle busts and three offloads as well.

12. Kyle Godwin - NSW Country Eagles

Rewarded Cheika's faith in being named for the squad that will face the Barbarians by putting in a big shift in Melbourne. Has done a terrific job as Adams' creative foil.

13. Chris Feauai-Sautia - Queensland Country

Rediscovering his form as Queensland Country's chief wrecking ball. Teti Tela and Hamish Stewart are always trying to get the ball to their star outside centre and Saturday showed why. Had nine big carries which featured four tackle busts.

14. Alex Gibbon

The Eagles' hat trick hero. No further explanation needed.

15. Jack Maddocks

The Rising's shining light in an otherwise uninspired performance. Kept supporting any sniff of a line break and was rewarded with a five pointer.