The run to the NRL Telstra Premiership Finals went down to the wire throughout August and we've come up with five Mazda BT-50 Tough Plays of the Month.
Ben Hunt's Broncos hat-trick - Round 22
When the Brisbane Broncos lost first-choice hooker Andrew McCullough to injury, many felt it would impact their finals chances. But halfback Ben Hunt has stepped into the No.9 jersey like it was his own to begin with, providing a more-than-useful replacement for the regular hooker. Hunt proved his versatility with three tries against the Gold Coast Titans – always backing up through the middle like a good hooker should.
Rabbitohs' Sutton stuns Dragons - Round 22
The South Sydney Rabbitohs scored two tries in the last five minutes of their Round 22 clash with the Dragons, stealing the two points with a 26-24 victory at the Sydney Cricket Ground. After several passes to the left, Rabbitohs winger Bryson Goodwin showed his toughness by offloading inside despite the attention of four Dragons defenders trying to put him over the sideline. John Sutton then sent Damien Cook to the defensive line, before backing up on the inside to score under the posts.
Coal Train delivers for Papalii - Round 24
They call him the 'coal train' but Raiders forward Dave Taylor delivered diamonds against the Panthers in Round 24. Taking the ball up close to the line, Taylor attracted two Penrith defenders before popping an almost impossible one-handed pass to fellow forward Josh Papalii. It was one of the easiest tries Papalii has ever scored, and all thanks to an amazing pass from Taylor.
Semi scores four against Broncos – Round 25
The Brisbane Broncos are usually a force to be reckoned with – especially at their home ground Suncorp Stadium. But the Brisbane crowd was silenced in Round 25 with the Eels running in four tries, including a Semi Radradra hat-trick, within the first 20 minutes of the match. Radradra showed speed, skill and toughness to score his hat-trick, but arguably saved his best for last, scoring a fourth try in the 44th minute. Receiving the ball one off the ruck just one metre out from his own tryline, Radradra first beat an attempted tackle from Broncos centre James Roberts, before also brushing off Ben Hunt. He then outpaced a chasing Matt Gillett before going through a David Mead turnstile. The big Semi then strolled the length of the field to score adjacent to the posts.
Sims' one-on-one strip saves Dragons – Round 25
With St George Illawarra's finals hopes hanging by a thread, Dragons forward Tariq Sims literally took matters into his own hands with a tough individual play against the Panthers. Trailing by two points with 25 minutes remaining in a must-win clash, Sims tackled stand-in fullback Dallin Watene-Zelezniak one-on-one and managed to wrench the ball from the Penrith player's grasp. He then sprinted 40 metres with Penrith backs Josh Mansour and Tyrone Peachy in hot pursuit. Sims made it to the line to score a memorable, and match-winning, try.