Another big weekend of Intrust Super Cup to look forward to this weekend, and another weekend that sees the Burleigh on top of the ladder.

The Bears continue to lead the competition and a bye guarantees that will be the Status Quo for another week. Talking of Status Quo, the PNG Hunters have gone down the table to fourth after another loss away from PNG, they face another road trip this weekend in the competition’s longest road trip of PNG to Tweed. Just 2,200 kms.

Townsville ensured their worst ever losing run remained at just two games and travel down to play Souths Logan to stay on the Bears tail. With Easts and Redcliffe also winning, the top 5 is still tight with nothing to choose between them.

Further down and the recent up and down form has cost the Wynnum coach Jon Buchanan his position for 2017, as the bayside team look to turn around a disappointing 2016 with new blood as they announced they would not be renewing the current coach’s contract.

http://www.qrl.com.au/news/2016/06/30/wynnum_manly_coachin.html

The Seagulls can still make the finals as sixth position is still in reach, in fact just three points covers 6th to 12th. Plenty of time and games to go out in style.

Worth noting for Regional Queensland fans is the change of the TV coverage from Win to Southern Cross as part of the TV reshuffle. More from the QRL website below.

http://www.qrl.com.au/news/2016/06/28/southern_cross_tv_be.html

CAPRAS FACE TOUGH TRIP TO IPSWICH

Coming in off the bye after defeating the Blackhawks in Townsville, the Jets will head into this clash against the Capras who were soundly beaten by the Burleigh Bears at home last weekend. The Capras have certainly lost their winning vibe, it is only six weeks ago they beat the PNG Hunters and yet now they head into yet another encounter where they will be the unflavoured side. With only a win over the Cutters in the period, it is amazing that a side could hold off one of the best (if not inconsistent) teams in the competition and then drop the ball when the games were needed to be won.

As such, you look that each team and you can see some of the constant improvement that is becoming more synonymous with Walker Bros trained teams. To lose six of your best would be hard to absorb, and whilst they are still only in tenth on the ladder, you get the feeling that they do not fear any team and expect to be in the finals in eight more rounds. Even with a number of position shuffles, the break and at home are a great way to come up with the points and they will look to continue the Capras poor midseason for a further week.

The Capras have not had a tough draw, but they have been their own worst enemy when looking to get into the finals. While the side is reasonably constant, the defence let in 40 or more points in four of the last five encounters. They have a desperate need to address their defensive issues and most coaches know that it is damned hard to achieve mid-season. The biggest issue is that points have been scored from all parts of the park, Kim Williams must be wondering where to start.

Coming into the match, you would think that the Jets would be strong favourites. Well they are, strongest favourites for the weekend with some agencies looking at a two try start for the Capras to be competitive. Given recent form, that would not be a bad call.

The Capras are relying on a couple of layers to do the majority of the heavy lifting and whilst this is fine in the early rounds, players tire over the season and whilst they are still putting in, it does not go as far as before.

Match Details:
Ipswich Jets v Central Capras @ North Ipswich Reserve
Kick Off – Saturday 4pm
This Year – Central 23 Ipswich 14
Last Year – Central 26 Ipswich 28 / Ipswich 52 Central 6

 

WILSON LOOKING FOR FIRST WIN AS INTERIM COACH

The Cutters will be entering their second week under interim coach Jim Wilson and at home facing off to the SC Falcons coming in of a tight loss to the Blackhawks. Once again the Cutters were fast out of the blocks but were overrun by the Dolphins after an awesome first half.

I have been a frequent believer that the Cutters could get up for most of their recent clashes. They have been competitive and not afraid of throwing the ball around and sadly this has cost them a couple of soft-ish tries each game. They are probably going one step forward and five steps backwards, but they are not giving up on the season even though they are firmly entrenched in the forest based cutlery draw.

Can they get up and steal the cookies, the Falcons have some serious motivation, they sit by a single point in sixth position and with a couple more teams breathing down their neck we are in for a fight for the final place whilst the other five top teams all are at least two games clear. While the Cutters cannot make the finals from where they sit (well they can but they are 12 points out with 8 matches and a bye to play), they will be able to still have an impact on those who are going. They have already got one draw, and it would not surprise me to see them take some point of teams who go in thinking the game is already won.

The sports odds are also wary of the Cutters, the spread is less than a converted try and this indicates that although they are expected to lose, they are expected to be competitive. It would not take much for a close game to fall their way and if they can put 24 on in the first half like they did last week, maybe the Falcons who are travelling for their second week may struggle to pin them back. I doubt it and believe that the Falcons will have this game under control from the outset.

Match Details:
Mackay Cutters v Sunshine Coast Falcons @ BB Print Stadium Mackay
Kick Off – Saturday 6pm
Last Year – Mackay 50 Sunshine Coast 16 / Sunshine Coast 14 Mackay 32

 

BAYSIDE HERALD CUP LIGHTS UP AT DOLPHIN OVAL

By Shannon Meyer

The Bayside rivalry goes under lights on Saturday for a rare evening match on the peninsula, and Redcliffe are going for the double over their rivals to gain revenge on the Seagulls doing the same in 2015.

Much like the new grandstand on the western side of Dolphin Oval, Redcliffe’s 2016 season shows great promise but is unfinished business. They have shown why many thought this was the year that they were going to return to the finals, and last Sunday’s TV game against the Cutters was a fine example of the progress this season.

They looked like going down in a massive upset to the Mackay side who had won just once, but Redcliffe turned it in around in style with a try one minute from either side of half time, and a burst of three tries in six minutes not long after showed they have plenty in attack to match their excellent defence so far in 2016.

Wynnum’s up and down season may have ultimately cost their head coach his position for 2017, as the Seagulls reportedly are making a change for next season, as they are currently languishing in 10th. Thankfully for Wynnum they are just three points off the top 6, but with 2 byes already in the bank, they need to keep winning to stay in the hunt against sides who haven’t have both byes yet. They certainly don’t want to lose against their bayside rivals this weekend.

 

Match Details:
Redcliffe Dolphins v Wynnum Manly Seagulls @ Dolphin Oval
Kick Off – Saturday 7pm
This Year – Wynnum 6 Redcliffe 38
Last Year – Redcliffe 10 Wynnum 22 / Wynnum 30 Redcliffe 22

 

CAN NORTHS TROUBLE THE TIGERS?

By Matt Crowhurst

This week’s TV game see’s the Easts Tigers travel to Bishop Park on the city’s north side for what has in the past been a one sided affair. This game shapes as a key affair for both teams, the 9th placed Devils will be desperate for a win to try and keep in touch with the top 6, while the 5th placed Tigers, who have an up and down season so far will be looking to find back with a win after their win over the Pride last weekend.

Both teams are at near full strength with the Devils welcoming back their Broncos contingent of Molo, Arrow and Murphy. The Tigers, while light on Storm players, will be glad to welcome back front line centres Shane Neumann and Jamie Anderson. Though coach Scott Sipple may be playing a little ducks and drakes as he has named the injured Billy Kitt at halfback, kitt broke his foot last weekend and will definitely not be playing.

Recent history and form this season both suggest that the Tigers should be to strong for the Devils.

Match Details:
Norths Devils v Easts Tigers @ Bishop Park
Kick Off – Sunday 1:40pm
TV GAME – CH9 / WIN / Replays Fox Sports
This Year – Easts 14 Norths 14
Last Year – Norths 10 Easts 50

 

TOWNSVILLE WILL BE WARY OF MAGPIES

Souths Logan sit in the middle of the table and are one point outside the final 6 with 9 games (including a bye) remaining. For them, every game is important. They are in the mix, trailing the Falcons, even with the Pride and in front of the devils (by 1 point) and the Jets Wynnum Manly and the Capras who are all 2 points adrift. All the important battles resonate around the midfield until the end of the season and to see who will make it in.

The Blackhawks will finally get a bye next weekend. If recent form is any indication, it is coming a couple of weeks to late but will be appreciated anyway. With the loss of Jahrome Hughes (named but signed to the Melbourne Storm this week) and with Ray Thompson having Cowboys duties, we may see Matty Bowen back in after his recent 1 game suspension or they may go further afield in sourcing his replacement. We will find out on Saturday.

The Magpies have probably been the hardest team to judge this season, losses at home to the Capras whilst winning away to the Devils, Pride and Tweed would age a coach at a rapid rate. They have lost to the good sides this year, and if this continues, then they will be challenged hard in this game if the Blackhawks play to their potential.

The Blackhawks are more than a try clear on margin and look to be a safe bet, however they are only one from three in recent weeks and will need to start to work together to regain some of their early season form. My Blackhawks t-shirt betrays my bias, but they have a number of high quality players available and if you can watch the stream, enjoy the pace of Samsen O’Neill who is dangerous when in full flight.

Match Details:
Souths Logan Magpies v Townsville Blackhawks @ Davies Park
Kick Off – Sunday 2pm
This Year – Souths Logan 28 Tweed Heads 10
Last Year – Souths Logan 20 Townsville 46

 

 

HOME AND AWAY DRAMAS FOR TWEED HEADS AND HUNTERS

By Shannon Meyer

The last game of the weekend features two teams in need of a win for one reason or another.

The home side Tweed Heads haven’t won a home for three games now, and as a result sit second last, and are at least win behind all the teams in the chasing pack for the Top 6.

Their opponents the PNG Hunters have the best home record in the competition having gone two years without a loss in PNG, but that will count for nothing if they can’t get the job done away from home.  The Hunters have now lost four in a row away from home, and could only manage just the one try in last weekend’s loss at Bishop Park. Luckily there’s still a bit of a gap to sixth, but their current position of fourth and lack of point scoring ability is not the progress they would be hoping for after getting so close to grand final last season.

For one side a mini slump becomes a distant memory after this weekend, if it is the home side it may be the final nail in the coffin for the finals hopes for 2016.

Match Details:
Tweed Heads Seagulls v PNG Hunters @ Piggabeen
Kick Off – Sunday 2:05pm
This Year – PNG 20 Tweed Heads 18
Last Year – Tweed Heads 24 PNG 32 / PNG 38 Tweed Heads 10

 

 

TIPSTERS TIME

MATT PRITCHARD (Editor) (59/99)
Ipswich, Sunshine Coast, Redcliffe, Easts, PNG, Townsville

DAN WHITE (North Queensland Correspondent) (60/99)
Ipswich, Sunshine Coast, Redcliffe, Norths, PNG, Townsville

SHANNON MEYER (SEQ + PNG Correspondent) (56/99)
Ipswich, Mackay, Redcliffe, Easts, PNG, Townsville

SCOTT SATTLER (Channel 9 + Penrith Legend) (62/99)
Ipswich, Sunshine Coast, Redcliffe, Easts, PNG, Townsville

MATT CROWHURST (Tigers TV) (61/99)
Ipswich, Sunshine Coast, Redcliffe, Easts, PNG, Townsville

 

Team P W D L B F A +/- Pts
Burleigh Bears 16 12 1 3 0 474 334 140 25
Redcliffe Dolphins 14 10 0 4 2 392 232 160 24
Townsville Blackhawks 16 11 1 4 0 478 259 219 23
PNG Hunters 15 10 0 5 1 325 275 50 22
Easts Tigers 15 9 1 5 1 381 308 73 21
Sunshine Coast Falcons 15 7 1 7 1 287 292 -5 17
Northern Pride 15 7 0 8 1 347 319 28 16
Souths Logan Magpies 15 6 2 7 1 385 386 -1 16
Norths Devils 15 6 1 8 1 328 396 -68 15
Ipswich Jets 15 6 0 9 1 332 377 -45 14
Wynnum Manly Seagulls 14 5 0 9 2 316 361 -45 14
CQ Capras 15 6 0 9 1 316 458 -142 14
Tweed Heads Seagulls 15 5 0 10 1 287 442 -155 12
Mackay Cutters 15 1 1 13 1 300 509 -209 5