TV GAME – TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS v NORTHS DEVILS – 1:30PM on NINE.
SATURDAY 3:30PM – TAP OUT ENERGY STADIUM
EASTS TIGERS v PNG HUNTERS
Last year – Easts 20 PNG 20
Odds – Easts $1.55 PNG $2.45
The game of the round in Brisbane this weekend is the first game for Round 3 as the Easts Tigers take on the PNG Hunters. It should be the perfect showcase for Queensland Cup league so anyone with a lazy Saturday afternoon should head to the Tigers.
The Tigers have had one of the hardest opening set of fixtures, with a Grand Final replay against Northern Pride which went their way in Round 1, and a late loss to fellow Top 3 three team from 2014, the Wynnum Seagulls. It doesn’t get any easier against the PNG Hunters this weekend who are undefeated after two rounds, and have plenty of points in them. The question is whether PNG can limit the scoring against and Easts can match the Hunters attack. PNG will be looking to make it three consecutive wins in Brisbane whilst Easts will want to maintain a 100% home record.
Last year’s game ended in a 20-20 draw, and it would be no surprise to see another entertaining game ending in the same result.
Easts features a lot of the names you know from last year’s run to the Grand Final, whilst the Hunters have a lot of names you probably haven’t heard of, but will want to know more of by full time.
SATURDAY 4:00PM – PIZZEY PARK
BURLEIGH BEARS v SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS
Last year: Burleigh 60 Sunshine Coast 6
Odds – Burleigh $1.55 Sunshine Coast $2.45
The first battle of the Gold Coast v the Sunshine Coast for 2015, and both sides will be looking to get their first points of the season this Saturday after Burleigh’s consecutive losses and the Falcons one loss and a postponement.
A sign of the progress for the Sunshine Coast is that after last year’s 54 point thrashing that they are only $2.45 outsiders for this season’s clash. Not that betting odds are the ultimate guide, but the general feeling around the Sunshine Coast is that this will be a much better season in 2015 with their hook up with Melbourne.
No Tom Learoyd-Lahrs as in Round One for the Falcons, but both sides have benefited from the offcuts of their feed clubs, including Jamie Dowling for the Bears who will no doubt be happy to be on the playing field and away from the front and back page of the papers.
With the Bears playing at home for the first time this year, it may be enough of an advantage to take the game, and the Falcons week off may have hurt some of the momentum of their late comeback in their round 1 loss to Norths.
TIP: Burleigh by 8.
SATURDAY 5:00PM – BMD KOUGARI OVAL
WYNNUM SEAGULLS v MACKAY CUTTERS
Last year: Wynnum 16 Mackay 18
Odds – Wynnum $1.36 Mackay $3.15
Wynnum have taken down two of last year’s Top 5 in the first two rounds to be one of three teams currently undefeated in the Queensland Cup. Both of their wins were hard fought and won late against quality opposition, and despite a first win last weekend in Mackay, the Cutters let in two late tries against Tweed who played the second half with just 14 men. Letting in late tries is the worst habit to have going into a game against a side who have made a habit of scoring late tries and winning games so far this season.
However, it is only round three, and Mackay’s turnaround last weekend shows how different things can be from week to week in the Queensland Cup. That said it does look unlikely that Wynnum will be turned over at home though, with the majority of last year’s team still going well. Mackay’s addition of ex Dolphin Cameron Cullen seems to be starting to make progress but will likely not be enough for an away win.
TIP – Wynnum by 12.
SATURDAY 6:00PM – BROWNE PARK
CENTRAL CAPRAS v IPSWICH JETS
Last year: Central 14 Ipswich 34
Odds – Central $3.15 Ipswich $1.36
The Jets fly up to Rockhampton for their first away game of the year on the back of a good win against new boys Townsville last weekend, in a game that showed why the Queensland Cup is a welcome addition to Sunday Afternoon TV sport, and one could argue a game more entertaining than last Friday night’s offering from Cronulla on Channel 9.
Central came back to Earth after their first round triumph with Souths Logan giving them a real pecking 48-12, just down the road at Miriam Vale.
The biggest talk of last weekend’s round was the first try for Chris Walker for his Ipswich side led by his brothers Ben and Shane. Whilst Walker’s try was high in quality, talk of Broncos and Titans hook-ups is a little premature. Although given the tries scored by both of those teams last year, it is no surprise they’ll have their eye on a proven NRL try scorer in his hey day.
Whether Central will have enough being back at home to combat the attacking juggernaut that is the Ipswich Jets will be seen on Saturday evening, the form and depth of the Jets should give them a hearty advantage in Rockhampton.
TIP – Ipswich by 10.
SUNDAY 1:40PM – PIGGABEEN
TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS v NORTHS DEVILS
Last year – Tweed 12 Norths 24
Odds – Tweed $1.65 Norths $2.25
This clash has now been upgraded to the TV game on Sunday after the threat of Cyclone Nathan forced the moving of the TV game from Cairns.
Fans of the Sunday afternoon rugby league entrée should be in for a treat with the undefeated Devils crossing the border in the hop of remaining that way after 80 minutes. Tweed however, have been impressive so far this season, with a come from behind win against Redcliffe on the peninsula and a brave injury depleted loss against Mackay.
Another of the Gold Coast sides to get their first home game of the year in Round Three, it will probably be enough of an advantage against the Devils who despite two wins from two will struggle to contain the Seagulls. We predict a turnaround of last year’s win result and margin.
TIP – Tweed by 12
SUNDAY 1:40PM – BARLOW PARK…MAYBE
NORTHERN PRIDE v TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS
Last Year – N/A
Odds – Northern Pride $1.90 Townsville $1.90
This game was still to go ahead as of Thursday night when this was written, but with Cyclone Nathan intensifying and crossing the coast not much before Sunday’s game, it looks more unlikely that the games will go ahead.
What was the TV game of the round, is now waiting for the weather, and the silver lining if it doesn’t go ahead it that fans will get to see a quality another time down the track.
If the game does go proceed it will be a thrilling clash full of Cowboys heavy feeder teams, with Townsville getting the best possible yardstick in their first season with the trip to last year’s Queensland Cup winners.
Townsville get Robert Lui, who looks to be carrying the can for the NRL side’s poor start to the year. The Pride don’t get as many Cowboys players going by the team lists, but with a good chunk of last year’s premiership winning team, it will be a tight game and fascinating contest of the two FNQ sides.
However with the threat of the cyclone, rugby league may have to take a step back, and best wishes to anyone up there in the path of the storm.
TIP – Cyclone 2 Rugby League 0
RESTING: SOUTHS LOGAN and REDCLIFFE