It’s back to regular transmission for the Intrust Super Cup Round 21 after yet another successful Get in the Game Country Week, well almost, with a 5 game card on offer this weekend.

The top two failed to win last weekend, and whilst the Hunters one point for a draw edged them closer to a first minor premiership, the Falcons loss opened up the race for second place and the first week of the finals off.

There’s just 5 rounds to go, but with PNG Hunters being the only team with two byes thus far, it means every team still has at least one bye left for the season, and leaves just four games for teams to improve their current status.

That means Ipswich, Mackay and Wynnum all can’t afford to lose again this season if they wish to play finals football. Ipswich are the closest four points behind.

Just the five games this weekend, but amongst them are some great clashes to look forward to, like the great rivalry between Easts and Wynnum, and the PNG Hunters return to the place of their first ever Intrust Super Cup game at Dolphin Oval.

Elsewhere it will be interesting to see if Townsville and the Sunshine Coast can bounce back from losses, and if Ipswich can stay in the finals hunt.

Stay in touch with all the games and results with our Intrust Super Cup Match Centre.

 

IPSWICH JETS v NORTHERN PRIDE

Saturday 3pm

The weekend kicks off as it so often does at North Ipswich Reserve as the Jets attempt to build on their surprise win over Townsville and stay in the finals race with a win. They’ll need to as the 6th placed Souths Logan are guaranteed two points from the bye.

They face a Northern Pride side who arrive on the back of their first win in nine games, and they did it reasonably comfortable against the Wynnum Seagulls. The win got them off the bottom but doubling up will be a hard task with the Jets having more to play for than the Pride.

A great side attraction will be the battle of the numbers 2’s. Ipswich’s Michael Purcell has been an excitement and speed machine since his joining the Jets mid season last year, and Gideon Gela-Mosby has just as much to offer, and will want to perform to keep his name in the eyes of the selectors for PNG for the upcoming World Cup. Ipswich will need his tries as they will be missing usual points machine fullback Wes Conlan. The shift from hooker to five eighth is an interesting move for the NRL experienced Luke Capewell.

Ipswich should win and keep their finals hopes alive for another week at least.

Previous 2017 Result – Northern Pride 10 Ipswich Jets 24

Find out more here.

BURLEIGH BEARS v TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS

Saturday 5:45pm

Burleigh Bears are going well and if not for the poor start to the year would be in the hunt for a finals spot. As it stands they are right in the midfield, 6 points to 7th and last. They beat the second placed Sunshine Coast last weekend in St George and are eyeing off another big scalp this weekend on the Gold Coast.

A double for the Bears will be a great achievement, especially over Townsville who only a few years ago took a 78-6 win over the Bears. Although Burleigh can’t make the eight, there’s still plenty to play for, certainly in evidence of Jake Carl who last weekend managed four tries. Still the Bears have won 4 of their last 6, and with a better start would be within touching distance of the Top 6.

Townsville meanwhile let go of a golden chance to take advantage of the Falcons loss in the race for a top two spot after losing in a tight one to Ipswich. It was their first loss after an unbeaten run of 6 games. They will need to get back on track quickly as any more losses will invite a side like Ipswich to take their top 6 spot. Having their inspirational forward Dan Beasley back for a second week since injury will help.

One thing to the Blackhawks’ advantage is their away form in South East Queensland. Where their home form has been hot and cold in 2017, they have been super on the road, and very effective in SEQ. Their record is 4 wins and one loss in 2017, and the only blemish being against Redcliffe.

Previous 2017 Result – Townsville 18 Burleigh 20

See more here.

 

CENTRAL CAPRAS v SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS

Saturday 6pm

After a surprising loss to the Bears last weekend in Country Week, the Falcons need a win in Rockhampton to keep a hold of their second spot. As it is, their Storm feeder stablemate have joined them on 29 points and Redcliffe are just one point away.

It could all be different with a win, and if Redcliffe do the rest of the top 6 a favour by defeating the Hunters, as Sunshine Coast would be just 2 points behind PNG with an extra bye and better for and against. Effectively meaning they would be leading the competition.

They will have to deal with losing Ryley Jacks to the Storm, but the Falcons should be used to that and Guy Hamilton, who has been excellent for Sunshine Coast this year, will no doubt take charge to lead the Falcons to a win. The recent acquisition of experienced Intrust Super Cup campaigner Khan Ahwang at the back adds that little extra quality when they are missing the front line players.

Previous 2017 Result – Sunshine Coast 38 Central Capras 14

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REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS v PNG HUNTERS

Sunday 1:40pm – TV GAME

The first game of a great Sunday double header is at Dolphin Oval for a match between the competition leading PNG Hunters and the fourth placed Redcliffe Dolphins.

Dolphin Oval was the setting for the Hunters first game in the Intrust Super Cup back in 2014, and repeating that winning day over Redcliffe on Sunday afternoon would be a step closer to a minor premiership in their fourth season. A fine achievement for the rugby league mad nation.

The head to head record at Dolphin Oval is a win a piece either side of a thrilling 28-28 draw in 2015. Coincidentally 28-28 was the score line from the Hunters game last weekend in Port Moresby against the Cutters as they dropped one competition point but extended their lead at the top after Sunshine Coast lost.

Redcliffe took advantage and closed within one point of the Falcons with a 42-6, and breaking a 2 game losing streak in the process after close losses to the Falcons and Seagulls.

They will need to be at their best against the Hunters to continue their chase for second, whose away record is much improved from 2016 and a competition benchmark with seven wins and just one loss so far this season.

One thing will be certain, it will be entertaining as ever, and I can’t wait to watch.

Previous 2017 Result – PNG Hunters 12 Redcliffe Dolphins 10

Read more here.

 

WYNNUM SEAGULLS v EASTS TIGERS

Sunday 3pm

A great way to end the Intrust Super Cup Round 21 is with a local rivalry between the Wynnum Seagulls and Easts Tigers. It is always a hard fought and competitive clash, and although Wynnum’s final chances are gone, that will surely not dampen the spirit of Sunday’s clash.

Whilst Wynnum won’t play finals football, the Easts most certainly will, and they have taken advantage of losses of the other top 6 teams to get themselves to equal second with the Sunshine Coast. And with the competition leading PNG Hunters having an extra bye and facing a tough game at Redcliffe this weekend, a crack at the minor premiership could be a realistic possibility.

Easts were very impressive in last weekend’s TV Country Week clash in Mundubbera, and are on a run of 5 straight wins, a good time of the year to be on such a run.

Wynnum have named an impressive halves combination in ex NRL and Super League player Travis Burns, and Shaun Nona who is playing his second game since being recruited from Illawarra in the Intrust Super Premiership in NSW.

Previous 2017 Result – Easts Tigers 19 Wynnum Seagulls 11

Read more here.

 

Brendan O’Farrell – CEO Intrust Super

Ipswich Jets
Burleigh Bears
Sunshine Coast Falcons
Redcliffe Dolphins
Easts Tigers

Scott Sattler – Channel 9 and Penrith Legend

Ipswich Jets
Townsville Blackhawks
Sunshine Coast Falcons
PNG Hunters
Easts Tigers

Dan White – Nothing But League’s Northern Queensland and NRL Contributor

Ipswich Jets
Townsville Blackhawks
Sunshine Coast Falcons
PNG Hunters
Wynnum Seagulls

 

Shannon Meyer – PNG Hunters Travelling Fan

Ipswich Jets
Townsville Blackhawks
Sunshine Coast Falcons
PNG Hunters
Easts Tigers