The Intrust Super Cup Round 19 sees the return legs of the rivalry rounds from earlier in the year, and all teams still have plenty to play for.
There are teams striving for the minor premiership, some trying to hold on/steal a Top 6 place, and there’s the battle at the bottom.
Plenty for all teams to win, the local rivalry should make for a super weekend of Intrust Super Cup.
Follow the short preview of all the games below.
TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS v NORTHERN PRIDE
A great northern rivalry will play out on Saturday night in Townsville as the Blackhawks welcome the Pride for the last meeting of the three teams involved in the Foley Shield, Mackay being the other. The Blackhawks have wrapped that up with two wins and a draw from their three games so far.
The Northern Pride lost the game of the two teams with the worst losing streak in 2017 when they went down to Norths last weekend, and their seven straight losses equals the Devils as the competition’s longest losing streak for the season. But despite the losses the Pride haven’t been too far away, only averaging a 10 point loss in that run which included a 21 point loss to the high flying Falcons. They pushed the competition leader PNG Hunters a few weeks back in Cairns losing the lead with just eight minutes to go. Despite being reasonably competitive, they haven’t won since beating the Tweed Heads Seagulls in May.
It will be hard for the Pride against a team who is finding their mojo again, having not lost in three, which includes defeating the Falcons. They have also turned their patchy home form around with 3 wins and a draw from their last 4 home games. Like Easts, Townsville need to win to stay in touch with the very top of the ladder, and common sense says that they will do just that. But local rivalries are different beasts.
MACKAY CUTTERS v CENTRAL CARPAS
Mackay Cutters probably lost their chance to play finals football last weekend when they went down to the Tigers in Brisbane, but the five point gap is not a ridiculous mountain to climb, but to do so will need to beat their rival Central Queensland side the Capras.
The Cutters were on a good run before last weekend, and the 34-0 loss to Easts will have taken the wind out of their sails, but they have a great record against the teams lower than them and should inflict more pain on the Rockhampton based Capras this weekend.
Central Capras haven’t been too far away in a lot of games this season, but still find themselves just one point above last spot. The Capras have had some good results from home in 2017, a draw against Townsville being a highlight, and this will be their shortest road trip of the year at just over 300 kilometres.
REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS v WYNNUM SEAGULLS
The Bayside Herald rivalry has its second instalment for 2017 on Saturday between the Redcliffe Dolphins and Wynnum Seagulls, and the Seagulls will be looking for revenge after being humbled 24-0 at home in the first meeting earlier in the season.
Wynnum also need the two points to stay in the finals race. They did the job nicely in Rockhampton against the Capras last weekend, but any loss at this stage of the season will likely rule them out of the finals for a second straight year.
A team that is likely to play finals is Redcliffe, but they lost a big chance to make it a minor premiership last weekend when they went down to their nearest rivals Sunshine Coast, who were weakened thanks to the NRL Origin 4 Game round.
They won’t want to make losing a habit as the Blackhawks and Tigers are hot on their heals, and dropping further down will mean losing the chance to host a home final. Looking through the sides you would think the Dolphin’s pack gives them a match winning advantage.
Wynnum though, announced on Twitter during the week that they are taking on Shaun Nona until the end of the season, so it will be interesting to see if he does indeed play this weekend, despite not being named below from Tuesday’s team lists. Shaun Nona is a quality player who has much experience and a history of winning at this level and could be just the little extra they need.
NORTHS DEVILS v SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES
Sunday 1:40pm – TV Game
Sunday’s TV Game features two team who have been big providers of talent for the Broncos in 2017. Jai Arrow makes his return to the Broncos thanks to a reshuffle to give Origin players Matt Gillett and Josh Maguire a rest and Magpies Jamayne Isaako has been rewarded for some excellent form with Souths Logan, and will even get to play in his accustomed fullback role. Quite a reward as they had to shift Jordan Kahu to the wing.
The Devils responded to their coach Mark Gliddon announcing he will move on after the season by breaking their 7 game losing streak in Cairns last weekend against the Pride. They will need to keep winning as finals are a very distant chance and eight points ahead, but the bottom of the ladder is just four points away too.
Souths Logan were beaten by the Jets last weekend, a result which opened up the race for the final Top 6 spot, and will need to avoid another loss this weekend to make sure it that battle is not too interesting.
It should be an interesting match for the TV audience, with a watch on the great prospect that is Matiu Love-Henry. Although you can’t beat the skills of a seasoned player like Phil Dennis for the Magpies too. Two players at either end of the careers are ones to watch.
BURLEIGH BEARS v TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS
What should be a nice Sunday afternoon will showcase a classic Gold Coast rivalry between the Burleigh Bears and Tweed Heads Seagulls at Pizzey Park.
It looked as if these two teams would have an exclusive battle for the wooden spoon earlier in the season, but both have made a little progress in the middle part of the season. Tweed Heads have had wins over Redcliffe and the Hunters in Port Moresby, and just three weeks ago the Bears flogged Ipswich 44-0.
Whilst Tweed Heads are still last, and with a poor -291 points difference, they could make the race to avoid last very interesting if they win. Including for the Bears who are currently just 2 points ahead of the Seagulls.
The Bears on paper look to have the goods, with some good Titans fringe players, the most noteworthy being Jamal Fogarty who has returned to the scene of much success last season.
EASTS TIGERS v IPSWICH JETS
An important game for the Intrust Super Cup Round 19 action as both the Easts Tigers and Ipswich Jets look to continue their good recent form.
With the table topping Hunters and Falcons guaranteed two points thanks to a bye, the Tigers need the two points to stay within reach of a minor premiership. They will need to be on their game though, if Ipswich play as well as they did against Souths Logan last weekend.
The Jets 30-22 win over the Magpies not only gave them two points but took them from their nearest rival for the last spot ion the top 6. They are now within two points of sixth. They have won two in a row, which is a good response to their last loss three weeks ago when they were belted 44-0 by Burleigh.
Easts streak stands at three games since their last loss against Redcliffe, and were ruthless last weekend against another top 6 aspirant in the Mackay Cutters. The Tigers also feature NRL experience in the form of Robbie Rochow.
For all Ipswich’s flair and speed, they beat the Magpies with the big men up the middle, and will need to do that against a strong Easts. However the Linc Port v Michael Purcell match up will be interesting.
Intrust Super Cup Round 19 Tips from the Team
How much of an expert are our experts? Find out and follow our tips below. This year we have no less than the CEO of Intrust Super Brendan O’Farrell and Channel Nine’s expert commentator Scott Sattler.
Brendan O’Farrell – CEO Intrust Super
Souths Logan Magpies
Scott Sattler – Channel 9 and Penrith Legend
Dan White – Nothing But League’s Northern Queensland and NRL Contributor Townsville Blackhawks
Tweed Heads Seagulls
Matt Crowhurst – Tigers TV
Shannon Meyer – Intrust Super Cup Enthusiast
Souths Logan Magpies
HOW ARE WE TIPPING?
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