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MX News Update 2024


Vote for the Mal Meninga Cup weapon of the year

The up-and-comers of Queensland rugby league have given their all over the past three months as part of the Mal Meninga Cup.

Over the 11 weeks of the regular season, the talent of the Under 19 competition has shone through, highlighting the promising future of the game in the Sunshine State.

Each week, one player was highlighted as the “weapon” of the round, celebrating some of the performances in the Mal Meninga Cup.

Now, with the 2024 finals series underway, it is time for the fans to decide which player deserves the title of “weapon of the year”.

Voting is open now and closes on Monday, May 20 at 9am, with the winner to be announced that week.

The nominees – based off the weekly winners – are below.

Mal Meninga Cup weapons

Round 1: Tevita Naufahu (Redcliffe Dolphins)

Naufahu has been a consistent attacking weapon for the reigning premiers in season 2024. If he’s not scoring tries, he’s setting them up, or proving hard to handle with the ball in hand. The young centre was picked as the first Mal Meninga Cup weapon of the season for an explosive display in Round 1 against the Brisbane Tigers. Not only did Taufahu bag a double but he also recorded four tackle busts and two line breaks.

What a Weapon: Tevita Naufahu

Round 2: Loranzo Fono (Townsville Blackhawks)

The 2023 Mal Meninga Cup grand finalist returned with a bang in 2024, making a huge impact in his first match of the year. The Blackhawks notched up a convincing 38-16 victory over the Central Queensland Capras to kick off their campaign and Townsville lock Fono wreaked havoc. He scored a four-pointer late in the game but was in action everywhere across the field, running riot in attack and holding his own in defence.

What a weapon: Loranzo Fono

Round 3: Joseph Meikle (Sunshine Coast Falcons)

The giant Sunshine Coast centre contributed greatly to his side’s second win of their season, orchestrating a number of key moments. Not only did he dash away for his own try in the 61st minute of the Falcons’ 46-4 victory over the Wide Bay Bulls but he also sent winger Clive McCormack over on three occasions, playing a hand in multiple tries.

What a weapon: Joseph Meikle

Round 4: Harry Armstrong (Wynnum Manly Seagulls)

The fearless Wynnum Manly Seagulls skipper led from the front all season long and Round 4 was an impressive example of what the backrower could do. Not only did Armstrong score a crucial hat-trick in the 36-16 win over the Souths Logan Magpies – igniting their first win of the year – but he set a high standard across the park in an instrumental all-round performance.

What a weapon: Harry Armstrong

Round 5 and Round 8: Disharne Tonihi (Burleigh Bears)

Not once but twice did Bears outside back Tonihi earn weapon accolades in 2024. The speedster was a key part of the Bears’ 2024 campaign – which sees them playing in this weekend’s qualifying finals – and his first weapon performance came in Round 5. It was a devastating display from the centre against Norths Devils – three tries, one try assist, 212 run metres, five tackle breaks, four line breaks and an offload. The attacking masterclass happened again in Round 8 against the Central Queensland Capras. This time on the wing, Tonihi scored two tries through some individual brilliance and amassed 197 run metres with six tackle busts, two line breaks and two offloads.-

What a weapon: Disharne Tonihi

What a weapon: Disharne Tonihi

Round 6: Lewis Symonds (Redcliffe Dolphins)

The Dolphins enforcer put in a dominant effort in Round 6 against the Norths Devils, helping his side move further up the ladder for their premiership defence. The lock bagged two tries and set up a third. He also smashed his way through 181 run metres and an absolutely jaw-dropping 17 tackle breaks and four line breaks. He aimed up in defence too with 22 tackles.

What a weapon: Lewis Symonds

Round 7: Cory Pearse (Tweed Seagulls)

The table-topping Tweed Seagulls have plenty of talent and strike power across the park but in Round 7 it was hooker Cory Pearse who stood out for his performance against local rivals, the Burleigh Bears. In a resounding 36-8 win, Pearse scored a try, recorded three tackle busts and one line break, and made 19 tackles in 60 minutes on the field.

What a weapon: Cory Pearse

Round 9: Mutua Brown (Mackay Cutters)

The electric young fullback boosted his side’s finals campaign with a sizzling showing against the Western Clydesdales in Round 9. Brown bagged two tries and proved very hard to contain with 232 run metres, a massive 14 tackle breaks, and four line breaks.

What a weapon: Mutua Brown

Round 10: Cooper Clarke (Sunshine Coast Falcons)

In Round 10 the Sunshine Coast Falcons were battling it out for a spot in the 2024 finals and it was prop Clarke who stepped up to lead the way against the Townsville Blackhawks. In a destructive performance, Clarke scored two tries and set up a third. He amassed 197 run metres – 107 post-contact metres – and got through 11 tackle busts, three line breaks, two offloads and a mammoth 31 tackles, all in 64 minutes in the middle.

What a weapon: Cooper Clarke

Round 11: Tariq Tanner (Wynnum Manly Seagulls)

It all came down to the wire for the Wynnum Manly Seagulls in Round 11 and there were a number of big performances to help them qualify for the 2024 finals. Centre Tanner was one of the standouts against the Northern Pride, with the Bundaberg product scoring a try in the tight battle. Tanner also registered 110 run metres, four tackle breaks and 11 tackles.

What a weapon: Tariq Tanner

Vote for your Mal Meninga Cup weapon of the year