The Intrust Super Cup reaches the half way of Round 13 this weekend with four of the top five playing each other and results could open up a competition that looked like it belonged to only the Townsville Blackhawks not long ago.
This week there’s a Friday night clash in Mackay, games in tropical locations like Cairns, Papua New Guinea, Sunshine and Gold Coasts, plus a trip across Moreton Bay to the annual game at Stradbroke Island. What other rugby league competition gives you that much variety.
Here’s the quick run down of what to look for this weekend. Also worth keeping an eye on the QRL website or club twitter pages for live streams.
INTRUST SUPER CUP LADDER – up to R12
LADDER: Townsville Blackhawks 20 (+272), Ipswich Jets 20 (+122), Wynnum Manly Seagulls 18 (+124), PNG Hunters 18 (+56), Mackay Cutters 16 (+62), Easts Tigers 14 (+141), Tweet Heads Seagulls 12 (+14), Northern Pride 12 (-7), Burleigh Bears 12 (-93), Redcliffe Dolphins 10 (+1), Souths Logan Magpies 8 (-91), Sunshine Coast Falcons 8 (-156), Norths Devils 6 (-233), Central Queensland Capras 4 (-212).
Mackay Cutters v Townsville Blackhawks at Stadium Mackay on Friday – 7pm
Friday Night Football arrives in Mackay for the meeting of first v fifth and two as the Townsville Blackhawks make the trip south to play the Cutters.
Mackay are looking to knock off two of their north Queensland rivals in consecutive weeks after their hard fought win against the Northern Pride in Cairns last weekend. The Blackhawks had last week off to recover from their home loss to the PNG Hunters in Round 11.
The point of interest will be whether the new boys of Townsville have lost any of the momentum from before their loss and bye when they were scoring 50 points for fun and destroying fellow Intrust Super Cup teams.
Another loss to Mackay could see them drop from the top of the table, and a further PNG win against Ipswich could see 5 teams within 2 points at the halfway mark. A closeness few would have thought possible after 72 point wins for the Blackhawks a few weeks back.
Prediction: Townsville by 4
Odds: Mackay $3.50 Townsville $1.28
Last Year: N/A
This Year: Townsville 30 Mackay 16
Mackay Cutters: 1. Sam Clune 2. Jordan Pereira 3. Zack Walker 4. Justin Tavae 5. Buchanan Rawhiti 6. Cameron Cullen 7. Liam Taylor 8. Brad Lupi 9. Michael Sio 10. Chris Gesch (c) 11. Brenden Treston 12. Tyson Martin 13. Aleki Falepaini 14. Josh Chudleigh 16. Joss Boyton 17. Rory Kostjasyn 18. Ryan Kinlyside 19. Tone Susuga
Coach: Kim Williams
Townsville Blackhawks: 1. Jahrome Hughes 2. Zac Santo 3. Noel Underwood 4. Kyle Feldt 5. Jonathan Reuben 6. Tom Humble 7. Michael Parker-Walshe 8. Lorenzo Ma’afu 9. Anthony Mitchell 10. Daniel Beasley (c) 11. Glenn Hall 12. Rhyse Martin 13. Neville Costigan 14. Nathan Norford 15. Chris McLean 16. Kelepi Tanginoa 17. Ricky Thorby
Coach: Kristian Woolf
Sunshine Coast Falcons v Redcliffe Dolphins at Sunshine Coast Stadium on Saturday – 3.30pm
Saturday’s first game kicks off on the Sunshine Coast as the Falcons host the Redcliffe Dolphins.
Fact, the Sunshine Coast only won one game last year, and coincidentally it was this exact fixture between the Falcons and the Dolphins, and it is conceivable that lightning could strike twice on Saturday.
The Sunshine Coast got a much needed boost after defeating fellow strugglers Central Capras last weekend after 4 straight losses on the back of Ben Hampton proving the difference between the two sides. He has not been named in the squad below, but such is the Melbourne feeder arrangement that he may well end up being a late inclusion or a late withdrawal if he is named. Can they win without him is the question.
Redcliffe meanwhile were on a run of three straight win including a drought breaking 68-16 home win over Central, but they were given a lesson in the harsh reality of the Intrust Super Cup on Sunday as their bayside rivals Wynnum ended their fine run.
A hard one to guess and a home win looks as good as any prediction.
Prediction: Sunshine Coast by 6
Odds: Sunshine Coast $2.50 Redcliffe $1.50
Last Year: Sunshine Coast 26 Redcliffe 24
Sunshine Coast Falcons: 1. Sam Young 2. Young Tonumaipea 3. Travis Robinson 4. Rueben Baillie 5. Suliasi Vunivalu 6. David Oakes 7. Jake Turpin 8. James Ackerman 9. Billy Brittain 10. Ryan Hansen (c) 11. Joe Stimson 12. Jacob Samoa (c) 13. Jye Ballinger 14. Jay Lobwein 15. Johnny Vuetibau 16. Mboya Adams 17. Sam Wright
Coach: Glen Dreger
Redcliffe Dolphins: 1. Josh Beehag 2. Tristan Lumley 3. Joe Bradley 4. Aaron Whitchurch 5. Curtis Johnston 6. John Brady 7. Luke Capewell (c) 8. Charlie Faingaa 9. Darcy Etrich 10. Jon Green 11. Tyson Cleal 12. Anthony Cherrington 13. Trent Richardson 14. Hayden Hansen 15. Tom Geraghty 16. Nick Ritter 17. Taylor Brown
Coach: Troy Lindsay
Northern Pride v Tweed Heads Seagulls at Barlow Park on Saturday – 5.30pm
A tale of two sides who had differing fortunes last weekend in Saturday’s evening game in Cairns. The Pride were beaten in the last minute by Mackay in a tough game, whilst the Tweed Head Seagulls had it much easier in their rivalry round clash as they thrashed their local rivals Burleigh 50-4.
The win for Tweed Heads snapped a three game losing streak having faced three top five sides in that run. The Pride have played three of the top five in the last three weeks and have a record of 1-2, with a last minute win against Wynnum Manly their only success.
Both sides sit on 12 points, still four points from Mackay in fifth, and a win against the other at this stage of the year could prove vital if they want to play finals football. It was tight last year and will no doubt be the same again this year. Home ground advantage leans the tipping toward the Pride.
Prediction: Pride by 6
Odds: Pride $1.63 Tweed Heads $2.20
Last Year: Pride 22 Tweed Head 18
Northern Pride: 1. Hezron Murgha 2. Linc Port 3. Brett Anderson (c) 4. Javid Bowen 5. Luke George 6. Ryan Ghietti 7. Sam Obst 8. Jack Svendsen 9. Jason Roos (c) 10. Patrick Kaufusi 11. Vaipuna Tia Kilifi 12. Graham Clark 13. Ben Spina 14. Cameron King 15. Tom Hancock 16. Sheldon Powe Hobbs 17. Dave Murphy 18. Alex Starmer 19. Semi Tadulala 20. Brent Oosen
Coach: Joe O’Callaghan
Tweed Heads Seagulls: 1. Shaun Carney 2. Nathanael Barnes 3. Leva Li 4. Davin Crampton 5. Kalifa Faifai-Loa 6. Ricardo Parata 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Damian Sironen (c) 9. Sam Meskell 10. Oliver Percy 11. Matt Robinson 12. Dane Clarke 13. Sam Saville 14. Blake Anderson 15. Mark Offerdahl 16. Matt White 17. Will Bugden 18. Jai Ingram
Coach: Aaron Zimmerle
Souths Logan Magpies v Wynnum Manly Seagulls at Ron Stark Oval, Stradbroke Island
on Sunday, June 7 – 1.40pm – TV Game on Channel 9.
The Intrust Super Cup jumps on the barge across Moreton Bay to Stradbroke Island for a clash between Wynnum Manly and Souths Logan, who have moved a second consecutive home game to an interesting location.
There are not many more interesting locations outside of Country week than Stradbroke Island and a return is welcomed by all after last year’s win to Wynnum Manly over the Central Capras.
Status Quo returned for these two sides last weekend as the Seagulls bounced back from a last minute loss at home to the Pride to beat Redcliffe at Dolphin Oval. They lie in third place just two points behind the leaders. Souths Logan meanwhile got a reality check against Ipswich in Cherbourg on Saturday after weeks of improved performance and two good wins against Norths and Sunshine Coast.
The Magpies turn around can be explained in some way by the appearance of young Bronco halfback Ashley Taylor, and he had a hand in most of the Magpies points last weekend. Wynnum continue to go with a side that has proved so competitive in the Intrust Super Cup with match winners a plenty.
It would take a brave pick to go with the Magpies against Wynnum, so it’s cowards way out and a Wynnum Manly win.
Prediction: Wynnum Manly by 10
Odds: Souths Logan $4.00 Wynnum Manly $1.23
Last Year: (Davies Pk) Souths Logan 14 Wynnum Manly 22
This Year: Wynnum Manly 38 Souths Logan 20
Souths Logan Magpies: 1. Brandon Khuu 2. Josh Damen 3. Dallas Anderson 4. Tim Brooks 5. Matt Trnka 6. Jack Joass 7. Ashley Taylor 8. Aotealofa Tuimavave 9. Travis Waddell 10. Andrew Edwards 11. Scott Doyle 12. Dan Tamou 13. Phil Dennis (c) 14. Herschel Gideon 15. Hansel Semau 16. Sam Gardel 17. Leon Panapa 18. Rhys Jacks
Coach: Josh Hannay
Wynnum Manly Seagulls: 1. Daniel Ogden 2. Peter Gubb 3. Matthew Grieve 4. Mitchell Buckett 5. Greg Eden 6. Patrick Templeman 7. Matthew Seamark 8. Ben Shea 9. Alehana Mara 10. Tim Natusch (c) 11. Aaron Rockley 12. Jon Grieve 13. Mitchell Frei 14. Mitchell Moore 15. John Te Reo 16. Tanu Wulf 17. Olsi Krasniqi
Coach: Jon Buchanan
Burleigh Bears v CQ Capras at Pizzey Park on Sunday – 2pm
The two teams who meet on Sunday at Pizzey Park will have something to point after a disappointing rivalry round last weekend.
Burleigh will be pretty unhappy about the size of the loss against the Tweed Heads Seagulls last weekend, especially as that loss bookends their hard fought win over the Pride two games ago after a 72 thrashing by Townsville.
Central meanwhile would have looked upon the visiting Sunshine Coast as a game where they had a real chance to break their losing streak. Their last win….a home win against this week’s opponents Burleigh in Round 1.
The odds are heavily stacked in Burleigh’s favour, but the odds may well be too generous for Burleigh and hard on Central. Whilst the outsider is tempting, Burleigh looks the goods for the two points this week.
Prediction: Burleigh by 6
Odds: Burleigh $1.25 Central $3.80
Last Year: Burleigh 36 Central 24
This Year: Central 22 Burleigh 14
Burleigh Bears: 1. Tyler Chadburn 2. Khan Ahwang 3. Jaiden Hawkes 4. Dimitri Pelo 5. Jamie Anderson 6. Todd Seymour 7. Ryley Jacks 8. Mitch Sharp 9. Tom Rowles 10. Pele Peletelese 11. Ayden Lee 12. Louie Fanene 13. Darren Griffiths (c) 14. Marino Allen 16. Andrew Vela 17. Josh Ailaomai 20. David Hala
Coach: Jim Lenihan
CQ Capras: 1. Javarn White 2. Jake Ainsworth 3. Tarrant Mariner 4. Dan Randall 5. Hayden Buckman 6. Matt Minto 7. Mark Johnstone 8. Gerard Tema 9. Josh Mitchell 10. Gavin Hiscox 11. Garrett Field 12. Guy Williams (c) 13. Ian Webster 14. Reece Baker 15. Dean McAdam 16. Corbyn Kilday 17. Rajan Opetaia-Halls 18. Jonathan Still 19. Josh Johnston 20. Dean Allen
Coach: Lionel Harbin
PNG Hunters v Ipswich Jets at Kalabond Oval, Kokopo on Sunday – 2.30pm
Arguably the QRL have saved the very best until last as second plays fourth in Papua New Guinea when the Hunters welcome the Ipswich Jets.
One thing that is sure to be guaranteed in this game is plenty of attacking brilliance, with both sides having a less structured attacking plan, and the brilliance of players to back that up. There have been nearly 1200 point scored in their combined games so far this season, and both will play like that total score is possible in 80 minutes. There’ll be the short kick offs, length of the field intercepts and line breaks, and more unreal offloads than you could ever expect.
Ipswich got a vital win last weekend that brings them level with the Townsville Blackhawks, but they will need more than five in a row to knock off the Hunters who coincidentally are also on a run of five wins themselves.
PNG had the week off, which allowed them to calm down after the euphoria of beating the Townsville Blackhawks.
With a live stream likely to be available for this game, usually via the QRL website, it would be no exaggeration that this will be the highlight of any rugby league played on Sunday
Prediction: PNG by 4
Odds: PNG $2.00 Ipswich $1.77
Last Year: PNG 40 Ipswich 22
PNG Hunters: 1. Stargroth Amean 2. Oti Bland Tony 3. Noel Zeming 4. Thompson Teteh 5. Adex Wera 6. Israel Eliab (c) 7. Ase Boas 8. Henry Noki 9. Wartovo Puara 10. Esau Siune 11. Kato Ottio 12. Lawrence Tu’u 13. Adam Korave 14. Brandy Peter 15. Edward Goma 16. Willie Minoga 17. Enock Maki 18. David Lapua 19. Timothy Lomai 20. Sebastian Pandia
Coach: Michael Marum
Ipswich Jets: 1. Carlin Anderson 2. Marmin Barba 3. Chris Walker 4. Liam Capewell 5. Brandon McGrady 6. Josh Cleeland 7. Dane Phillips 8. Josh Seage 9. Landon Hayes 10. Rod Griffin 11. Sam Martin 12. Kurt Capewell 13. Keiron Lander (c) 14. Fakahoko Teutau 15. Kurtis Lingwoodock 16. Billy McConnachie 17. Gerico Cecil
Coach: Ben Walker and Shane Walker