Just two weeks have gone in the 2016 Intrust Super Cup season, and there’s a familiar look at the top of the table with last year’s first and second placed sides from 2015 – Townsville and PNG Hunters – amongst the three teams still unbeaten after two rounds. The other is Burleigh who seem to like playing Seagulls sides.
This week features the Bayside Derby between Wynnum and Redcliffe, the return of rugby league to Port Moresby, a battle to determine which coast is best, and a pile of games between Northern Queensland sides and Southern Queensland sides.
Here is the game by game review.
Blackhawks wary of Magpies
The undefeated Blackhawks play host to the Magpies who stormed home to win and condemn the Redcliffe Dolphins to their second loss of the season. The Blackhawks fought hard to overcome the Jets and so the two sides will be making their way onto a soggy Jack Manski oval after a week of old time tropical rain.
Last Time out: The Blackhawks finished over the top of rivals and Grand Final victors the Jets. That score is settled and now they move onto the Magpies. The Magpies will need all hands on deck to combat a strong Blackhawks side who will not fall off the pace. The Magpies have settled their back seven, the numbers have been adjusted to match were the players have settled and the changes worked.
Handling and stamina will be important as humidity and weather may be significant factors after a week of rain in normally sunny Townsville. With this in mind, conditions may well favour those who train in these conditions. The return of Michael Parker-Walshe was welcomed by the Blackhawks faithful and he repaid this in spades with a clever performance as he ran in two tries and was his normal self, leading the Blackhawks across the park. With the game under his belt, he is a welcome boost and will not be as appreciated by the Magpies as the crowd on the Cowboys hill.
Key Battle: This is a matchup that places one of the standout players from 2015 in Michael Parker-Walshe up against the Broncos signing 21 Year old Wandoan rocket in Sam Scarlett. This promises to be a classic of old Bull and young gun running at each other and it will be a highlight of the weekends round and not just this game. Both show class and whilst MPW is not searching for an NRL Contract his quality is unquestioned. Scarlett is believed to be part of the Broncos long term plans and will be keen to shine in this contest.
Prediction: Blackhawks at home, the combination of class across the field and more used to the weather and humidity will be of great advantage. The Magpies will be a challenge, but the Blackhawks should be too good.
Blackhawks: 1: Jahrome HUGHES, 2: Jonathon REUBEN, 3: Moses PANGAI, 4: Delouise HOETER, 5: Samsen O’NEILL, 6: Kyle LAYBUTT, 7: Michael PARKER-WALSHE, 8: Sam HOARE, 9: Anthony MITCHELL, 10: Corey JENSEN, 11: Noel UNDERWOOD, 12: Rhyse MARTIN, 13: Glenn HALL, 14: Nathan NORFORD, 15: Alailima MAAFU, 16: Willie Minoga, 17: David MUNRO.
Magpies: 1: Jamayne ISAAKO, 2: Cameron BOOTH, 3: Scott DOYLE, 4: Marion SEVE, 5: Jonathon KENT, 6: Jack JOASS, 7: Samuel SCARLETT, 8: Herman ESE’ESE, 9: Travis WADDELL, 10: Andrew EDWARDS, 11: Leon PANAPA, 12: Caleb TIMU, 13: Joseph BOYCE, 14: Phillip DENNIS, 15: Jake EDEN, 16: Daniel TAMOU, 17: Taeao KEPU, 18: Samuel GARDEL
Townsville v Souths Logan @ Jack Manski Oval
Kick Off – Saturday 4pm
Last Year – Souths Logan 20 Townsville 46
Burleigh hoping for no Bear Market in Round 3
Burleigh arrive in Round 3 on the back of two wins in a row, and a lead of the Intrust Super Cup no less, and the Gold Coast side will be hoping there’s no drop off this weekend as they meet the Sunshine Coast’s finest.
The match also sees the return of former Bears halfback Ryley Jacks who moved to the Falcons in the off season. But that off season addition is mixed with the long term injury news to Billy Slater during the week which means the Falcons will more than likely be without one of their stars for the majority of 2016 as they backfill. The price you pay for the positives a team can get out of an NRL link up.
Burleigh v Sunshine Coast @ Pizzey Park
Kick Off – Saturday 4pm
Last Year – Burleigh 28 Sunshine Coast 12 / Sunshine Coast 16 Burleigh 18
Jets look to bounce back against Capras
Both teams sit on one win a piece after first round victories and second round losses. Whilst the Jets got shot down by the Blackhawks, the Capras had a home game to forget after giving up 30 in the first half and never recovering.
Both sides had poor halves, the Jets lost their game in the second half after leading and whilst the Capras could put on some second half points they failed to overcome the damage of their leaky defence.
This week will be an interesting benchmark for many teams in the competition. The Cutters are not fooling anyone whilst the Devils are a relatively unknown quantity. If the Capras can fire, then we will be asking questions about the strength of the rebuild undertaken after the Jets were plundered after their State league title. The Jets however need a strong showing to banish their own last round capitulation.
Key Battle: Whilst this will be a game played between two sides, the coaching battle will be a huge factor in this result. The former Cutters coach raised the hopes of the CQ Fans with the first victory. The Walker Boys are looking to beat this type of team so they can maintain some form of contact with the top five, whilst they move their chess pieces and find the combinations that will work.
Prediction: Tough Call, whilst I would like to see the Capras bring it home, I am going with my brain and selecting the Jets in a close one.
Capras: 1: Reece BAKER, 2: Kirisome KIRISOME, 3: Brandon MANASE, 4: Adam HENRY, 5: Marco DELAPENA, 6: Maipele Morseu, 7: Matthew MINTO, 8:Gavin HISCOX, 9: Ian WEBSTER, 10: Jack KAVANAGH, 11: Victor HALFPENNY, 12: William CULLEN,
13: Aleki FALEPAINI, 14: Joshua MITCHELL, 15: Peter GALLEN, 16: Michael KI, 18: Mark JOHNSTONE, 19: Samson GRAHAM
Jets: 1: Carlin ANDERSON, 2: Marmin BARBA, 3: Liam CAPEWELL, 4: Nemani VALEKAPA, 5: Richard PANDIA, 6: Haydan LIPP, 7: Dane PHILLIPS, 8: Joshua SEAGE, 9: Landon HAYES, 10: Nathaniel NEALE, 16: William MCCONNACHIE, 12: Rowan WINTERFIELD, 13: Rory HUMPHREYS, 11: David FA’ALOGO, 14: Sebastian PANDIA, 15: Abraham ATALLAH 18: Michael PURCELL
Central v Ipswich @ Browne Park
Kick Off – Saturday 6pm
Last Year – Central 26 Ipswich 28 / Ipswich 52 Central 6
Devils host Pride
Last week the Norths Devils crushed the Capras home season debut with a 30 point first half. The Pride had the Mackay Cutters for breakfast, lunch and dinner as they feasted on meat pies in an 8 try romp.
This week we are left wondering who will take the field for the Pride as they did not submit a team sheet, but with no major injuries reported you would think the Bowen and Port will be back to try and maintain some momentum. The Devils are not yet classified; this game should help the punters understand if they are a threat or going to be bouncing around the lower half of the table.
For mine, the Devils made the most of some opportunities and were only a couple drops away from losing a match they had a dominant lead in. You need luck in this league, and you also have to make the most of your chances. This weekend should give us a better indication on their form and where they will need to step up.
Key Battle: Backs vs Forwards as we see the exciting output of the exciting Pride Back field with stars Port and Bowen versus the strong production from the Devils forward pack. How will the styles match up and where will the gaps appear.
Prediction: Without a team list from the Pride we are all flying a bit blind. The Devils at home should be able to make the most of their advantage and send the Pride packing.
Norths Devils: 1: Trae CLARK, 2: Michael LUCAS, 3: David FAAMITA, 4: Jarryd DODD, 5: Rogan DEAN, 6: William BRITTAIN, 7: Todd Murphy, 8: Francis MOLO, 9: Jayden BERRELL, 10: Brett GREINKE, 11: Tristan Lumley, 12: Matiu LOVE-HENRY, 13: Jai ARROW, 14: William MCNEE, 15: Rhett WEBSTER, 16: Hemi MULLEN 18: Billy SOLAH, 19: Rez PHILLIPS, 20: Dylan SMITH
Northern Pride: No Team Submitted
Norths v Northern Pride @ Bishop Park
Kick Off – Saturday 6pm
Last Year – Norths 10 Pride 26 / Pride 42 Norths 10
Massive Crowd Expected as the Hunters return to Port Moresby
After teasing fans a little in 2015 with three games at Sir John Guise Stadium, the PNG Hunters return to Port Moresby and kick off their 2016 home campaign at the refurbished National Football Stadium.
National Football Stadium. Let that sink in for a little bit. How many teams in any rugby league competition can say they play their home.games at their nation’s Football Stadium. PNG’s love for rugby league is well known as the only nation where rugby league is the undisputed king.
With all that in mind, you have to pity any team heading to Port Moresby this season, and the Tweed Heads Seagulls are the unlucky first side to do so. With 15,000 + sell out expected for this and every game, and the locals ferocious support, it may well become the most feared visit in rugby league. Given the line up and days of this week’s NRL fixtures, the game in PNG may make the top 3 of attendances this weekend.
PNG Hunters v Tweed Heads @ National Football Stadium
Kick Off – Saturday 6:30pm
Last Year – PNG 38 Tweed 10 / Tweed 24 PNG 32
Tigers head to Mackay for TV game
BB Print Stadium Mackay on Sunday, March 20 – 12.40pm*
Round 3 sees the Easts Tigers and Mackay Cutters face off at BB Print Stadium in Mackay. Without a win in 2016 David Simpsons’ men will be desperate to get their first win on the board in front of the faithful. Unfortunately for them they come up against a Tigers outfit that is building nicely after recording their first win last round against the highly fancied Falcons. The Tigers are bolstered by a number of Melbourne players including Jeremy Hawkins, Dean Britt and Francis Taulau. Late season signing Javarn White looked a lot more comfortable in his new team last week and proved he is still a dangerous attacking player.
Last season saw the results very evenly split with the Cutters winning 30-8 at home in the corresponding game and the Tigers winning 30-16 at Suzuki Stadium in Round 15It is hard to take any guide from these results though, it might suggest the Cutters are harder to beat at home, however they lost there 24-10 to the Capras in Round 1.
The Cutters will look to Captain Liam Taylor, now the most experienced Cutter at 106 games, former NRL player Matthew Wright and the ever dangerous Josh Chudleigh to lead the charge.
While for the Tigers it will be Javarn White and Billy Walters to back up stellar games from last round off the back of a dominant forward pack led by Christian Welch, Dane Hogan and Jake Foster.
Prediction: Tigers by 12 plus.
Mackay Cutters: 1. Liam Taylor 2. Jordan Pereira 3. Johnny Faletagoa’i 4. Matthew Wright 5. Jack Creith 6. Howard Brown 7. Delayne Ashby 8. Brad Lupi 9. Joshua Chudleigh 10. Braden Uele 11. Brenden Treston 12. Patrick Mago 13. Steve Rapira 14. Tone Susuga 15. Joss Boyton 16. Andrew Davey 17. Alexander Farrell 18. Ewin Bartholomew
Coach: David Simpson
Easts Tigers: 1. Javarn White 2. Suliasi Vunivalu 3. Shane Neumann 4. Cheyse Blair 5. Jeremy Hawkins 6. Daniel Foster 7. Brentt Warr 8. Christian Welch 9. Billy Walters 10. Matthew Zgrajewski 11. Jake Foster 12. Dane Hogan (c) 13. Dean Britt 14. Francis Tualau 15. Ashley Little 16. Luke Lavelle 17. Christopher Ostwald 18. Guy Hamilton
Coach: Scott Sipple
Mackay v Easts @ BB Print Stadium, Mackay
Kick Off – Sunday 12:40pm
Last Year – Mackay 30 Easts 8 / Easts 30 Mackay 16
How to Watch:
Live on Channel 9 @ 12:30pm
Third Time Lucky At Home for Wynnum in Bayside Derby?
One of the more hotly contested fixtures in the Intrust Super Cup is the Bayside Herald Cup fought between Wynnum and Redcliffe. The win meaning a lot to both sets of fans.
Both of those fans would certainly not be expected that their team could be 0 – 3 to start 2016, but draws aside, one of the teams with have the record come 5pm Sunday.
This will be the third straight away trip for the Dolphins, and whilst excuses can be given for two tight losses, it won’t be enough for the Redcliffe side who were tipped for improvement in this season. More of a concern is the home form for the Seagulls, as their first two games have ended in bigger losses than you’d expect for the Seagulls. Either way, these two sides who’d fancy themselves for 2016 success will find that hard if their record is 0-3 after 3 rounds.
Wynnum v Redcliffe @ BMD Kougari Oval
Kick Off – Sunday 3pm
Last Year – Wynnum 30 Redcliffe 22 / Redcliffe 12 Wynnum 22
This Weekend’s Teams
Click here for the full team lists for Round 2
MATT PRITCHARD (Editor) (8/14)
Townsville, Burleigh, Ipswich, Norths, PNG, Easts, Wynnum
DAN WHITE (North Queensland Correspondent) (9/14)
Townsville, Burleigh, Ipswich, Norths, PNG, Easts, Redcliffe
SHANNON MEYER (SEQ + PNG Correspondent) (9/14)
Townsville, Burleigh, Ipswich, Pride, PNG, Mackay, Redcliffe
SCOTT SATTLER (Channel 9 + Penrith Legend) (7/14)
Townsville, Burleigh, Ipswich, Pride, PNG, Easts, Wynnum
MATT CROWHURST (Tigers TV) (6/14)
Townsville, Burleigh, Ipswich, Pride, PNG, Easts, Wynnum
What happened in Round 2?
Why not catch up with our review of Round 2 here.