Souths and Gatton go to battle. Photo: Nev Madsen
Souths and Gatton go to battle. Photo: Nev Madsen

REVEALED: The TRL’s top five players from the Volunteers Cup

RUGBY LEAGUE: Just a few months ago it looked like rugby league would be a major casualty of 2020.

A collaboration between Rugby League Ipswich and three TRL teams ensured players and fans alike wouldn’t be left in the cold, with the Volunteers Cup born.

While our local sides Valleys, Southern Suburbs and Gatton weren’t able to progress to this weekend’s final, they were able to provide some memorable moments, and unearth some stars of the future.

Here’s the top five TRL players from the Volunteers Cup:

5. OLIVER BICHEL (GATTON) – Still just 17-years-old, Bichel made a big impression in the outside backs for the Hawks after the Western Mustangs season was cancelled. “Realised that he could mix it with the best. Fresh eyed and bushy tailed. First time in the weekly grind of the top grade and got better as the tournament went on,” Andrew O’Brien said.

4. KYLE PETERSEN (SOUTHERN SUBURBS) – Has been with the Tigers for a while now, and was outstanding in a tough season for Souths. “The most consistent player in tournament. What you see, is what you get. Such a high work rate in attack and defence,” O’Brien said.

3. SHANNON HICKS (GATTON) – Hicks has always had the talent, and this year he really stood up as a leader of the Gatton squad. “Played a very mature role to lead his young Hawks. He was difficult to contain all tournament and scored at crucial times to keep his team in the mix,” O’Brien said.

2. DWAYNE DUNCAN (VALLEYS) – Has stamped himself as one of the TRL’s premier centres in recent times, and continued that form into the Volunteers Cup. “Showed so much skill during the tournament. His foresight was incredible and never died wondering when on the attack. Needed this tournament to be in shape in 2021,” O’Brien said.

1. JOSH CHAPPELL (VALLEYS) – Returned to the region after the NSWRL competitions were cancelled, and was simply outstanding for the Roosters. “Came of age in this tournament. He really tested himself. Had the perfect game against Gatton in the last round. His game management was excellent as was his kicking game,” O’Brien said.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Alex Hinch and Junior Chong Nee were among the most consistent for Valleys, with Dylan Chown solid as always at the back. Alex Dunemann, Jaren Bender and Jordan Crocker are up and comers that have a big future for Southern Suburbs. Brandon Clarke and Jayden Kirner are also youngsters on the rise for the Hawks.

Originally published as REVEALED: The TRL’s top five players from the Volunteers Cup