The 2016 Intrust Super Cup season culminates on Sunday afternoon at Suncorp Stadium as the Burleigh Bears take on the Redcliffe Dolphins for the title of Queensland’s best.
Burleigh go into the Grand Final with confidence after winning the previous meeting between the two sides in the second week of the finals.
They blew the minor premiers off the park in a 28-0 first half performance that would have had some NRL teams catching their breath. Redcliffe did hit back early in the second half to threaten a comeback but couldn’t sustain it.
Redcliffe almost repeated the first half from the Burleigh game against the Sunshine Coast last weekend, the only difference is the Falcons couldn’t make the most of their dominance and they were only 12-6 down at half time. The second halves don’t seem to be the problem for the Dolphins, it has been their dominant point scoring half of late.
So if the Dolphins can reduce the damage in the first 40 minutes, and Burleigh can stay with Redcliffe in the second half, we are in for one hell of a game on Sunday afternoon.
The big team news is who hasn’t been included in the team lists below. Redcliffe halfback Darren Nicholls missed last Sunday’s preliminary final win over the Sunshine Coast after injuring his quad on the Friday before the clash. Whilst not being named, he hasn’t been officially ruled out. Halves partner Zach Strasser rates him a 50-50 chance according to the Courier Mail.
Christian Hazard filled in admirably last Sunday against the Falcons and although he is a capable and quality replacement, Darren Nicholls was 2016’s leading point scorer and a major reason behind the minor premier’s success.
Jonus Pearson too appears likely to return to the side as well having moved up to the Broncos for their finals campaign, giving the Dolphin a little more firepower in their backline.
Match ups appear pretty even across the park as you would expect from the 1st and 2nd sides from the 2016 regular season.
The halves look to be in Burleigh’s favour without Darren Nichols with the NRL standard pairing of Titans backup Cameron Cullen and Parramatta bound Jamal Fogarty.
Both backlines look reasonably even with the custodian battle the only debatable victory on paper for the Bears as former Wests Tigers player Kurtis Rowe has been in sparkling form in 2016.
The forwards have similar qualities too with very little in that either.
A key clash will be the number 8 and 9 for both sides. Big men Luke Page and Sam Anderson has been pivotal to their side’s form in 2016, and the hooker head to head is even more interesting. Redcliffe’s Shane Pumipi is a top notch dummy half, but if Pat Politoni repeats the first half form from the clash two weeks ago, it will be hard for Redcliffe to get on top.
Aside from a season in which they were the highest point scorers with the leanest defence, one area in which the Dolphins look to have the advantage is on the bench.
Burleigh do have big Josh Ailaomai, who was sensational against Redcliffe in the previous match, but for impact from the bench you can’t go past Redcliffe. The Dolphins have the firepower of Tyson Cleal and Harley Aiono, and welcome back Brandon Lee from suspension who was one of their best against Burleigh.
It shapes as another classic Intrust Super Cup final, and both teams look not only capable of taking out the title, but upholding Queensland pride in the State Championship on NRL Grand Final day.
For Brisbane rugby league fans who have been starved of Sunday afternoon football at Suncorp Stadium in 2016, thanks to the NRL’s love affair with all Sydney clashes at 4pm on a Sunday, here’s the perfect opportunity to get to a game during the day.
There’s three grades on offer with the NRL Development Final kicking off the day, followed by traditional rivals Easts and Wynnum fighting for the FOGS Colts title.
The main game kicks off at 3:55pm with Tickets just $20. Otherwise Channel 9 will have the game coverage starting at 3:30pm.
REDCLIFFE: 1st – 18 Wins – 5 Losses – 40 Pts – +383
BURLEIGH: 2nd – 17 Wins – 5 Losses – 1 Draw – 39 Pts – +183
- Burleigh have lost just twice away from home this season. Once against Redcliffe in the regular season and against the PNG Hunters like everyone else. Suncorp Stadium shouldn’t be a problem then.
- Redcliffe are the second half kings of late. They have averaged 31.5 points in the second half of their last four games. Burleigh will want to be plenty in front at the break. Redcliffe will be hoping that it won’t be like the first half Burleigh produced in the meeting two weeks ago.
2016 – Redcliffe 24 Burleigh 40 (Finals Wk2)
2016 – Redcliffe 32 Burleigh 14
2015 – Burleigh 10 Redcliffe 64
2015 – Redcliffe 18 Burleigh 33
2014 – Burleigh 28 Redcliffe 30
2014 – Redcliffe 38 Burleigh 16
2013 – Burleigh 12 Redcliffe 14
2013 – Redcliffe 16 Burleigh 16
Burleigh Bears: 1. Kurtis Rowe 2. Waka Wanahi 3. Joshua Berkers 4. Connor Broadhurst 15. Sami Sauiluma 6. Cameron Cullen 7. Jamal Fogarty (c) 8. Luke Page 9. Pat Politoni 10. Paterika Vaivai 11. Caleb Morehu 12. Hayden Schwass 13. Lachlan Burr 14. Parahi Wilson 16. Josh Ailaomai 17. Louis Fanene 22. Nathaniel Peteru
Coach: Jim Lenihan
Redcliffe Dolphins: Jack Ahearn 2. Joshua Beehag 3. Daniel Randall 4. Joseph Bradley 5. Curtis Johnston 6. Zach Strasser 25. Christian Hazard 8. Sam Anderson (c) 9. Shane Pumipi 10. Charlie Faingaa 11. Aaron Whitchurch 12. Daniel Bridge 13. Christopher Gesch 15. Brandon Lee 16. Harley Aiono 20. Taylor Brown 23. Tyson Cleal. 18th Man: Johnnie Fox
Coach: Adam Mogg