All 14 teams return for the Intrust Super Cup Round 22 which doubles as the Women in League round for the Intrust Super Cup.
Just about every game has a say in the top 6 or the teams chasing a place in the top 6, and with four rounds to go and a bye left for most teams, it is an important round.
A brief rundown of all the games is below.
Stay in touch with all the games and results with our Intrust Super Cup Match Centre.
PNG HUNTERS v IPSWICH JETS
Saturday 3pm @ Port Moresby
What a game to start the intrust Super Cup Round 22, the entertainers of the competition in Ipswich who are desperate to win and keep their finals tilt alive, and the PNG Hunters who need to win to maintain their spot on top of the competition. Both sides are capable of flair and the tough stuff up the middle, a shame it won’t be televised.
The PNG Hunters had what most will hope is the loss they had to have before the finals last weekend when they were well beaten by the Dolphins, but despite being outplayed it could have been a different story if that third try had been awarded.
Ipswich have won their last two games and four of their last five, and are doing all they can to make the finals. They have closed to within two points of the Townsville Blackhawks, but the difference in for and against means they’ll need two more wins than Townsville or Souths Logan.
A shake up from the Hunters see the halves pairing of the brothers Boas replaced by Silas Gahuna and William Mone. Gahuna returns to the side after some time away from the Hunters in the local competition, and Mone will make his hunters debut if he plays. Willie Minoga shifts back to the centres where he has had success this year.
The Hunters will want to turn around their slightly lacklustre form at home in 2017 as Ipswich have plenty of weapons in the backline to make them pay, including new fullback who scored a couple of tries on debut last weekend.
It’ll be entertaining either way, a home loss would be bad news for PNG, but at least they will continue onto finals, a loss for Ipswich will likely mean they will not.
NORTHERN PRIDE v SOUTHS LOGAN MAPGIES
Saturday 5:30pm @ Barlow Park
Souths Logan found a run of two wins in a row at the right time as it means they extend the gap from them to the chasing finals pack, and they also take advantage of Townsville’s losses to leapfrog them on the ladder. If they keep winning there’s the chance of a home final too.
The Magpies finished just outside of the top 6 last season, and it feels like the off season recruitment of Matt Minto has made that extra bit of difference they were looking for in 2017 to get into the finals and beyond. Good to see captain Phil Dennis named in the starting side, he is an old school footballer with plenty of skills and slots in nicely with Magpies halves.
Changes also in the team list named for the Pride with PNG eligible player and Auckland Nines star Gideon Gela-Mosby named at fullback. With a bit of extra room at the back he may weave some more magic and show all of his pace.
The Pride certainly can’t make finals, but they can still finish last, so will to get some wins when they are offered, but can’t see Souths Logan serving that up this weekend.
MACKAY CUTTERS v SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS
Saturday 6pm @ BB Print Stadium Mackay
The Sunshine Coast gained on the PNG Hunters last weekend in their battle for top honours at the end of the regular season with a comfortable win over Central taking advantage when the Hunters lost. Another win this weekend and a loss to PNG will see the Falcons become the new competition leader due to the superior for and against.
No easy feat though, as any game in Mackay is a tough one, and the Cutters have now only lost once in seven weeks, a run which includes two draws. The Falcons form is a little more up and down, with their last five games ending in WLWLW. Logic says this weekend is a Mackay win then.
The Falcons continue to supply players to the Melbourne Storm, and although they lose quality playmaker like Ryley Jacks to the NRL this week, in slots Guy Hamilton who has been of their stars this year. It is the same throughout the squad. They should have enough against Mackay if they want to be minor premiers.
CENTRAL QLD CAPRAS v TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS
Saturday 7pm @ Browne Park
The last time these two teams met in Townsville the Blackhawks were in a bit of a rut, and were fortuitously awarded a last minute try that saw the Capras have to settle for a draw.
Fast forward to Round 22 and the Blackhawks are on a losing run of 2 straight games, and have dropped to sixth as a result and in danger of missing the finals, the Capras meanwhile currently occupy last place.
Although they do have a bye in hand to guarantee two points, they are now in a battle with Tweed Heads and Northern Pride to avoid the dreaded wooden spoon. Townsville need to get back on track this week with a win, or they continue to close the gap to seventh place and could do the unthinkable since their inception in 2015 – miss the finals.
WYNNUM SEAGULLS v BURLEIGH BEARS
Sunday 1:40pm @ BMD Kougari Oval
Wynnum welcome the Burleigh Bears for Sunday afternoon’s TV game, and the Bears are currently on the competition’s longest winning streak with three games, and have won 5 of their past seven games. Amongst those wins were defeats of the Sunshine Coast Falcons and Townsville Blackhawks, just a shame the Bears season took too long to get going.
Wynnum are two points in front of Burleigh, but they got the result they wanted last weekend by defeating local rivals Easts Tigers 22-6. They have now beaten two top 4 sides in the last three rounds after sneaking home at Redcliffe three rounds ago.
Both are unlikely to make the finals, but have plenty to build on for next season. Shaun Nona’s late season arrival needs to be a permanent fixture if Wynnum want to challenge seriously in 2018. The Bears just need fewer injuries and a better start to the season.
EASTS TIGERS v TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS
Sunday 3pm @ Suzuki Stadium Langlands Park
Tweed Heads moved off the bottom of the Intrust Super Cup ladder for the first time in 2017 courtesy of a bye and a Capras loss.
The Seagulls season has seen a number of losses, which explains the lowly ladder position, but in amongst the losses have been wins against two competition leaders at the time in Redcliffe and PNG. The win against the Hunters especially impressive as it was in Port Moresby.
Whether Tweed Heads annoy another top 6 this weekend remains to be seen, but do meet the Tigers after a loss to their local rivals at Wynnum last weekend. Prior to that the Tigers were going very well, climbing as high as equal second with the Falcons. They should defeat Tweed Heads, but the Seagulls can avoid the wooden spoon if they keep winning, so have something to play for too.
NORTHS DEVILS v REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS
Sunday 3pm @ Bishop Park
A local rivalry awaits at Bishop Park on Sunday as the Devils welcome the Redcliffe Dolphins.
Redcliffe had a fantastic win over the competition leaders PNG last weekend, and are right in the mix still for a top two position. They will be hard to beat again this weekend.
Norths sit comfortably above the bottom of the ladder, but a even further away from the top 6, and all that’s left to play for is winning for their coach who is leaving at the end of the season and beating their locals rivals. Something Norths haven’t managed for a while.
INTRUST SUPER CUP ROUND 22 TIPS
Follow our tipsters below for their selections for the upcoming weekend of Intrust Super Cup. We have no less than the CEO of Intrust Super and Penrith Grand Final hero Scott Sattler.
Brendan O’Farrell – CEO Intrust Super
Souths Logan Magpies
Sunshine Coast Falcons
Scott Sattler – Channel 9 and Penrith Legend
Souths Logan Magpies
Sunshine Coast Falcons
Dan White – Nothing But League’s Northern Queensland and NRL Contributor
Shannon Meyer – Nothing But League Contributor
Sunshine Coast Falcons