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Intrust Super Cup Round 4 preview

Round 4 of the Intrust Super Cup with Shannon Meyer and Matt Crowhurst (Twitter @crowhurst_m)

Townsville v Central

Townsville Blackhawks v Central Capras at Jack Manski Oval on Saturday, March 28 – 5pm

New boys Townsville threw down a large marker last weekend with a huge 52-10 win over no less a team than the reigning Premiers, State Championship winners, and the team most likely to be their competition for best team in North Queensland. It was the result of last weekend, and as a result have firmed into a clear favourite for this year’s Queensland Cup.

Townsville retain the services of Robert Lui for a second consecutive week, in addition to a roster already bulging of Cowboys players, plus exciting fringe players like Jonathan Rueben. That link with the Cowboys is working very nicely for them now, but could be a double edged sword if the Cowboys NRL season continues to disappoint. With poor form, they might lose some of their best players through promotion, but the opposite argument is that they could get NRL quality players back in their search for form. If the Courier Mail is to be followed, Test prop James Tamou may be playing in the black and green soon.

Central meanwhile have been battling away in 2015, and been very hard to beat in Rockhampton this year. A first up win against Burleigh was almost matched against the Jets last weekend before going down 28-26. The addition of Matt Minto in the off season can be no coincidence. The only worry for the Capras is the away form. Their only road trip thus far was a short trip down the road to Miriam Vale which ended in a big loss to the Magpies, so a trip to Townsville against a red hot Blackhawks who have won their only home fixture so far is an unlikely place and time to grab a first away win.

Prediction: Townsville by 18.

Odds: Blackhawks $1.16, Capras $5.25

Teams:

Townsville Blackhawks: 1. Jahrome Hughes 2. Zac Santo 3. Tom Humble 4. Mosese Pangai 5. Jonathan Rueben 6. Robert Lui 7. Michael Parker-Walshe 8. Ricky Thorby 9. Anthony Mitchell 10. Daniel Beasley (c) 11. Glenn Hall 12. Rhyse Martin 13. Neville Costigan 14. Ray Thompson 15. Lorenzo Ma’afu 16. Chris McLean 17. Corey Jensen

Coach: Kristian Woolf

CQ Capras: 1. Javarn White 2. Jonas Pearson 3. Russell Webber 4. Tarrant Mariner 5. Ha’Ofanga Rabakewa 6. Matt Minto 7. Russ Aitken 8. Peter Gallen 9. Josh Mitchell 10. Fabian Soutar 11. Garrett Field 12. Guy Williams (c) 13. Gavin Hiscox 14. Ian Webster 21. Gerrard Tema 16. Chris Stolk 24. Andrew Dale 17. Josh Johnston 18. Rajan Opetaia-Halls

Coach: Jason Hetherington

Easts v Mackay

Mackay Cutters v Easts Tigers at Stadium Mackay on Saturday, March 28 – 7pm

The Cutters return home to Stadium Mackay on Saturday night fresh from a 28-10 defeat of Manly at BMD Kougari Oval. Kougari is a tough place to win, as the Tigers discovered the week before, and the Cutters confidence is bound to be on a high after that result. The 2014 Cutters are a team stacked with talent; including 7 Cowboys contracted players and several with NRL experience. Big boppers Sam Hoare and John Asiata both played NRL last season and Hoare is also a Queensland Residents representative. Michael Sio is a former Auckland Warrior and the current Samoan Test hooker. In Cameron Cullen and Rex Johnson they have a very exciting young halves combination that will only get better with more time together.

The Tigers unveil another new halves combination this round as Liam Tyson gets a chance to partner new boy Shaun Nona, with regular half Joel Romelo out injured. Watch for former Cutter Brentt Warr off the bench, he is a very talented half who played 15 Intrust Super Cup games last season and is bound to be keen to make a good impression in his Tigers debut at this level, especially against his former club. Melbourne Storm winger Matt Duffie is making his Intrust Super Cup debut this weekend for the Tigers as he begins the long journey back from injury.

This will undoubtedly be a close game as the odds below show; I am picking the Cutters by 4 but this one could go either way.

Prediction: Cutters by 4.

Odds: Tigers $1.40, Cutters $1.40

Teams:

Mackay Cutters: 1. Sam Clune 2. Jordan Pereira 3. Mitch Day 4. Justin Tavae 5. Buchanan Rawhiti 6. Cameron Cullen 7. Rex Johnson 8. Sam Hoare 14. Michael Sio 18. John Asiata 11. Josh Osborne 12. Kelvin Nielsen 13. Chris Gesch (c) 15. Aleki Falepaini 16. Josh Chudleigh 10. Brad Lupi 20. Pulou Vaituutuu

Coach: Kim Williams

Easts Tigers: 1. Matt Duffie 2. Richie Kennar 3. Shane Neumann 4. Cameron Munster 5. Mahe Fonua 6. Shaun Nona 7. Liam Tyson 8. Liam McDonald 9. Tommy Butterfield 10. Christian Welch 11. Dane Hogan (c) 12. Matthew Zgrajewski 13. Troy Giess 14. Jake Foster 15. Francis Tualau 16. Dean Britt 17. Brentt Warr

Coach: Craig Ingebrigtsen

Bears v Pride

Burleigh Bears v Northern Pride at Pizzey Park on Saturday, March 28 – 4pm

Things don’t get any easier for the Pride, following a 52-10 defeat by Townsville at home last Sunday they now travel to Pizzey Park to take on a Bears outfit that scored their first win of the season last weekend, 28-12 over the Falcons. While last year’s Premiers lost a number of key players in the off season (Nona, Leary, Crampton, Martin) they are still a better side than their 0 wins – 2 losses, last place, record suggests They will be desperate for the two points this weekend before they start to slip off the pace. There is plenty of talent across the squad and once they settle on a regular line up and the combinations start to flow results should start to go their way.

The Bears showed last weekend that they have the talent to trouble anyone, scoring some lovely tries. Having notched up their first win of the season they will be keen to make it two on the trot and turn Pizzey Park into a real fortress. Exciting fullback Tyler Chadburn, halfback Ryley Jacks and Lachlan Burr are the players to watch for the Bears.

The odds makers have this one at even money, however I am pretty confident the Bears can get up and keep the Pride winless in 2014.

Prediction: Bears by 8.

Odds: Bears $1.90, Pride $1.90

Burleigh Bears: 1. Tyler Chadburn 2. Zach Mackay 3. Jamie Dowling 4. Connor Broadhurst 5. Jared Teo 6. Todd Seymour 7. Ryley Jacks 8. Mark Ioane 9. Nafe Seluini 10. Pele Peletelese 11. Lachlan Burr 12. Jason Chan 13. Darren Griffiths (c) 14. Tom Rowles 15. Louis Fanene 16. Josh Ailaomai 19. Mitch Sharp

Coach: Jim Lenihan

Northern Pride: 1. Hezron Murgha 2. Linc Port 3. Brett Anderson (c) 4. Luke George 5. Javid Bowen 6. Ryan Ghietti 7. Sam Obst 8. Jack Svendsen 9. Jason Roos (c) 10. Patrick Kaufusi 11. Ben Spina 12. Graham Clark 13. Tom Hancock 14. Cameron King 15. Nathan Wales 16. Sheldon Powe-Hobbs 17. David Murphy 18. Brent Oosen

Coach: Joe O’Callaghan

Norths v Redcliffe

Norths Devils v Redcliffe Dolphins at Bishop Park on Sunday, March 29 – 1:40pm

TV: Live on GEM

Channel 9 / GEM have got themselves a quality Queensland Cup rivalry to showcase on Sunday afternoon at Bishop Park between the two northside rivals who have had plenty of feisty clashes in the past.

Norths Devils will hopefully have dried out by now after the torrential rain last Sunday as their 100% start to the season was ended by the impressive Tweed Heads Seagulls, they are one of the 9 teams on 2 wins and 1 loss from the first three games. Redcliffe meanwhile should have been nice and dry last weekend as they were given the week off after consecutive losses to Tweed Heads and PNG to start their season. Although they were in front for large parts of the game against Tweed and there wasn’t much in the trip to PNG in the end, the Dolphins will be desperate to not be 0/3 after this weekend.

Excitement machine Joe Bond makes his first appearance for the Dolphins this year, and he and the Redcliffe fans will be hoping he repeats his form the last time he wore the red and white which got him a look in for the Broncos before heading to Sydney to try his luck. His return moves Evander Cummins to five-eighth, forming a quality triumvirate with another returning Dolphin Luke Capewell.

Both sets of teams will be hoping to impress for potential Broncos places and to claim bragging rights north of Brisbane. Redcliffe won the trial between these teams in the lead up to the season, and I predict a similar result this time around.

Prediction: Redcliffe by 8.

Odds: Devils $1.55, Dolphins $2.45

Teams:

Norths Devils: 1. Luke Pollock 2. Kainga Turner 3. Steve Elliott 4. Dylan Galloway 5. Rogan Dean 6. Sam Foster 7. Darren Nicholls (c) 8. Richard Tuala 9. Krys Freeman 10. Francis Molo 11. Todd Lowrie 12. Brett Greinke 13. Chris Faust 14. Byron Creighton 15. Mark Vaiao 16. Matt Mizzi 19. Rhett Webster

Coach: Mark Gliddon

Redcliffe Dolphins: 1. Joe Bond 2. Oliver Regan 3. Tristan Lumley 4. Aaron Whitchurch 5. Tom Opacic 6. Evander Cummins 7. Luke Capewell (c) 8. Charlie Faingaa 21. Shane Pumipi 10. Jon Green 11. Josh Benjamin 12. Harley Aiono 13. Trent Richardson 14. Darcy Etrich 15. Tom Geraghty 16. Anthony Cherrington 17. Reggie Saunders

Coach: Troy Lindsay

Wynnum v Souths

Wynnum Manly Seagulls v Souths Logan Magpies at BMD Kougari Oval on Sunday, March 29 – 1.45pm

Going into season 2014 many pundits labelled Wynnum Manly ‘the team to beat’. Their results so far have not supported the hype, two point victories over the Jets, in round 1, and the Tigers in round 2 followed by a loss to Cutters was not the start to the season they were looking for. The last two results have been at home and Wynnum will doubtless be ready for a big game to appease the faithful in the Chook Pen. Unfortunate for the Magpies they are the next team in line and are likely to feel the full brunt of Wynnum’s anger.

Wynnum are stacked with talent including Englishman Greg Eden (who comes to the club via the Broncos), Canterbury Bankstown gun youngster Patrick Templeman and Matt Smith who returns after a year off. Rugged backrower Brendon Gibb is a key recruit from the Devils and last season’s mid-season addition Alehana Mara will be enjoying the opportunity to make the number 9 jersey his own. I could almost list the entire Wynnum squad here such is their depth and quality across the park.

The Magpies include Travis Waddell from the Broncos, former Tiger Mitch Garbutt and the ever reliable Phil Dennis. Herschel Gideon and Dallas Anderson are both good players as well, however you feel that Souths may not have the class to compete with Wynnum.

Prediction: Wynnum by 20

Odds: Wynnum $1.40, Souths $2.95

Wynnum Manly Seagulls: 1. Daniel Ogden 2. Peter Gubb 3. Matthew Grieve 4. Mitchell Buckett 5. Greg Eden 6. Patrick Templeman 7. Matthew Seamark (c) 8. Ben Shea 9. Alehana Mara 10. Aaron Rockley 11 Brendon Gibb 12. Jon Grieve 13. Mitchell Frei 14. Brendan McKinnon 15. John Te Reo 16. Tanu Wulf 17. Stephen Coombe

Coach: Jon Buchanan

Souths Logan Magpies: 1. Josh Damen 2. Samisoni Vaioleti 3. Dallas Anderson 4. Tim Brookes 5. Matt Trnka 6. Dylan Taikato-Simpson 7. Travis Waddell 8. Andrew Edwards (c) 9. Herschel Gideon 10. Mitch Garbutt 11. Scott Doyle 12. Kailem Perkins 13. Joe Boyce 14. Phil Dennis 15. Sam Gardel 16. Graham Levu 17. Zac Lemberg 18. Ollie Olds 19. Mitch Hallinan

Coach: Josh Hannay

Sunshine Coast v Ipswich

Sunshine Coast Falcons v Ipswich Jets at Sunshine Coast Stadium on Sunday, March 29 – 2pm

Ipswich journey north again this weekend, not as far as their successful trip to Rockhampton against Central, just to the Sunshine Coast Stadium where they will take on a Falcons side looking for their first win of the season.

The talk of the teams for this weekend is surrounding Daniel Vidot and his future with the Jets and in Queensland as reports of a link down south including with NRL premiers South Sydney have forced him to stand down himself whilst it is sorted out. Another Jet with reports of NRL on the horizon is Chris Walker who has now scored in consecutive games and got himself in the frame of several NRL clubs if the newspapers are to be believed.

Despite the 0 – 2 start to the season (one game against Northern Pride postponed due to a cyclone) the Sunshine Coast look a much better prospect this year than the whipping boys of last year’s competition. Despite losing Tom Learoyd-Lahrs to the NRL side, they keep a good roster of Melbourne Storm fringe players, and will provide some good competition to the Ipswich side.

Ipswich are another of the sides on 2 wins and 1 loss, but a feature of all their games have been late tries conceded, one of which cost them a win in the first round against Wynnum, and another almost threw away a huge lead against Townsville in Round 2. It could be a bad habit to get into against the Falcons who flew home late against the Devils at home in Round One from 24-2 to 24-18. Late game traits aside, the Jets should have enough attacking flair to get past the Falcons.

Prediction: Ipswich by 8.

Odds: Jets $1.30, Falcons $3.50

Teams

Sunshine Coast Falcons: 1. Joe Uluibau 2. Travis Robinson 3. Callum Klein 4. Ruben Baillie 5. Suli Vunivalu 6. Ben Hampton 7. Cory McGrady 8. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 9. Slade Griffin 10. Johnny Vuetibau 11. Kenny Bromwich 12. Jake Samoa 13. Tom Murphy (c) 14. Billy Brittain 15. Jordan Ryan 16. Jon Platt 17. Sam Sotogi 18. Kem Seru

Coach: Glen Dreger

Ipswich Jets: 1. Troy O’Sullivan 2. Marmin Barba 3. Chris Walker 4. Nemani Valekapa 5. Carlin Anderson 6. Josh Cleeland 7. Dane Phillips 8. Daniel Vidot 9. Matt Parcell 10. Rod Griffin 11. Sam Martin 12. Kurt Capewell 13. Keiron Lander (c) 14. Gerico Cecil 15. Kurtis Lingwoodock 16. Billy McConnachie 17. Liam Capewell

Coach: Ben Walker and Shane Walker

 

PNG v Tweed

PNG Hunters v Tweed Heads Seagulls at Kalabond Oval on Sunday, March 29 – 2:30pm

The competition’s most northerly and southerly teams meet in Papua New Guinea on Sunday, both on the back of very different performances in the wet in South East Queensland last weekend.

The Seagulls couldn’t have been more impressive in the wet against the Devils last weekend live on TV. Their second half performance was good enough in any conditions, let alone in rain so hard Piggabeen had puddles the size of small inland seas at times. The by-product of their win is the loss of man of the match Kane Elgey for this week, as he has been promoted to the Titans to replace Daniel Mortimer.

Despite the close score line against the Tigers, the Hunters really never looked likely against a side who outplayed and outmuscled them. A load of drop ball didn’t help, and drier conditions up north and a ferocious local support will be a big assistance this weekend and provide a big challenge to Tweed. One of the Hunter’s best last Saturday Willie Minoga returns to the starting line, and will no doubt cause havoc against the Seagulls.

Both teams have won 2 and lost 1 like so many other teams so far, and a win here will set the season up nicely. Some could be tempted by the $3.30 odds for the Seagulls, their only away loss was to the Cutters after a first up away win at Redcliffe, but were down to 14 players for large portions of the game. The Hunters have won their only home game thus far, and that will probably be the same result in Papua New Guinea this Sunday.

Prediction: PNG by 2.

Odds: Hunters $1.33, Tweed $3.30

Teams:

PNG Hunters: 1. Stargroth Amean 2. Oti Bland Tony 3. Ase Boas 4. Kato Ottio 5. Edward Goma 6. Israel Eliab (c) 7. Roger Laka 8. Esau Siune 9. Wartovo Puara 10. Henry Noki 11. Willie Minoga 12. Brandy Peter 13. Adam Korave 14. Warren Glare 15. Atte Bina 16. Enock Maki 17. Jay Jay Garrison 18. Nickson Borana 19. John Ragi

Coach: Michael Marum

Tweed Heads Seagulls: 1. Shaun Carney 2. Kalifa Faifai Loa 3. James Wood (c) 4. Davin Crampton 5. Matt Parata 6. Ricardo Parata 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Damian Sironen 9. Matt Srama 10. Hemi Mullen 11. Matt Robinson 12. Dane Clarke 13. Jai Ingram 14. Blake Anderson 15. Sam Saville 16. Mark Offerdahl 17. Oliver Percy

Coach: Aaron Zimmerle

 

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