7th Tackle Awards: Family feud

Winners: BJ Leilua and Blake Austin

We didn’t need a lip reader to understand what advice BJ Leilua was giving Raiders teammate Blake Austin during their loss to Brisbane in round 16.

In full view of the cameras, Leilua politely suggested Austin should consider passing the ball more often. In other words, to not be so selfish.


The irony was that Leilua had just scored a try, albeit through an against-the-odds charge from dummy half on a blindside narrower than the ACT’s selection of sunbaking spots.

That irony certainly wasn’t lost on Austin at training a week later. Fighting well out of his weight division, the Mt Druitt boy shaped up to the giant centre and the pair needed to be separated by the coaching staff.

Leilua isn't always this close to Austin. Pic: Getty

Honourable mentions: Andrew Fifita and Nathan Peats

There’s nothing worse than a stuffy hotel room. On the other hand, there’s nothing worse than a frigid one either.

Roommates for the State of Origin opener, Blues forwards Nathan Peats and Andrew Fifita could not find any common ground on this age-old issue.

It led to Fifita leaving the team hotel on the eve of the match to spend the night in the same bed as childhood buddy Matt Lodge in suburban Brisbane.

We’re not sure if Peats was jealous, but the move worked wonders for Fifita. The big prop scored his very own apartment at Star Casino for Origin II.