The Rugby League world keeps turning this weekend after all the hype of origin 2 in Melbourne, and the Intrust Super has 6 stops on their schedule that makes up Round 15.
The State of Origin will have some effect on this weekend’s with some of the team’s with feeder arrangements losing their players to Origin ailments. It is a double edged sword though, whilst they lose players, it’s also a chance to highlight some of the quality players that this competition has to offer. Very few don’t take their chance too.
Getting down to more local concerns there is a North Queensland rivalry between the Pride and the Blackhawks, and the longest road trip in the competition. Three of the remaining four games feature teams in the top six, and there’s a valuable two points on offer at the bottom as Norths take on Sunshine Coast.
Here’s the ladder.
Ipswich Jets v CQ Capras at North Ipswich Reserve on Saturday, June 20 – 4pm
It seems a little unfair that a side looking for the second win of the year and first since Round 1 would have to play all of the top 4 teams in consecutive matches, but that it exactly the run of fixtures that the Central Capras are on. Having been beaten by the Townsville Blackhawks last weekend they visit North Ipswich reserve for the opening game of Round 15 of the Intrust Super Cup.
Ipswich, for all their quality all over the park, haven’t shown much mercy to the lower ranked, but at the same time also haven’t thrashed any of them. Looking back on the reverse fixture this season Ipswich only just got home 28-26, and the Capras have been reasonably competitive against some of the higher palced teams.
Does this means there will be an upset this Saturday, highly unlikely given some of the attacking prowess in the Jets line up, but there is the slight flicker of hope. The Jets had last weekend off, and the bye throws up some uncertainty.
Prediction: Ipswich by 30
Last Year: Ipswich 36 Central 14
This Year: Central 26 Ipswich 28
Odds: Ipswich $1.10 Central $6.75
Ipswich Jets: 1. Carlin Anderson 2. Marmin Barba 3. Chris Walker 4. Nemani Valekapa 5. Brandon McGrady 6. Josh Cleeland 7. Dane Phillips 8. Josh Seage 9. Landon Hayes 10. Rod Griffin 11. Sam Martin 12. Kurt Capewell 13. Keiron Lander (c) 14. Fakahoko Teutau 15. Kurtis Lingwoodock 16. Billy McConnachie17. Gerico Cecil
Coach: Ben Walker and Shane Walker
CQ Capras: 1. Reece Baker 2. Jake Ainsworth 3. Clinton Mooney 4. Tarrant Mariner 5. Hayden Buckman 6. Matt Minto 7. Guy Williams (c) 8. Rajan Opetaia-Halls 9. Mark Johnstone 10. Gavin Hiscox 11. Garrett Field 12. Dan Randall 13. Ian Webster 14. Josh Mitchell 15. Dean McAdam 16. Corbyn Kilday 17. Gerard Tema 18. Shaun Collins 19. Ha’Ofanga Rabakewa
Coach: Lionel Harbin
Norths Devils v Sunshine Coast Falcons at Bishop Park on Saturday, June 20 – 4pm
Points and wins are becoming vital at the lower reaches of the Intrust Super Cup ladder as teams from Redcliffe in 10th and below will start to look down at the distance to the wooden spoon rather than up to a potential finals place. This clash at Bishop Park on an unfamiliar Saturday afternoon is a match up of second last vs fourth last.
For the visiting Falcons four wins so far would be seen as good progress in year one of their relationship with the Melbourne Storm, especially after jut the solitary win in 2014. For the Devils just the three wins will be a disappointment after 11 wins last year, and a good opportunity to break their losing streak of four losses was lost last weekend in the TV game against Burleigh.
The Sunshine Coast side are missing a few of their regulars due to the injuries at the Melbourne Storm, but this could be one of the upsets of the round given Sunshine Coast have won two of their last three.
Prediction: Sunshine Coast by 6
Last Year: Norths 30 Sunshine Coast 0
This Year: Sunshine Coast 18 Norths 24
Odds: Norths $1.45 Sunshine Coast $2.75
Norths Devils: 1. Dylan Galloway 2. Rogan Dean 3. Joel Bailey 4. Ryan Millard 5. Michael Lucas 6. Dan Murphy 7. Liam Tyson 8. Matt Mizzi 9. Will McNee 10. Billy Solah 11. Michael Molo 12. Rhett Webster 13. Krys Freeman (c) 14. Steve Elliott 20. Dylan Smith 16. Richard Tuala 17. Josh Afoa
Coach: Mark Gliddon
Sunshine Coast Falcons: 1. Sam Wright 2. Sam Young 3. Young Tonumaipea 4. Travis Robinson 5. Suliasi Vunivalu 6. David Oakes 7. Brett Doherty 8. James Ackerman 9. Jay Lobwein 10. Ryan Hansen 11. Paul Ivan 12. Jacob Samoa 13. Tom Murphy (c) 14. Jye Ballinger 15. Johnny Vuetibau 16. Rueben Baillie 17. Mboya Adams 18. Jon Platt
Coach: Glen Dreger
Townsville Blackhawks v Northern Pride at Jack Manski Oval on Saturday, June 20 – 4pm
A clash of the two North Queensland sides in Townsville, both looking to claim the title of best on the north, a battle in favour of the Blackhawks after an earlier win in this match in 2015.
Last year’s premiers Northern Pride will be looking at the Townsville side with some envy as they sit atoip of the Intrust Super Cup ladder with a two point lead and an enormous for and against, which is effectively another 2 points. After a poor start of five straight losses the Pride have found some of the form that took them to last year’s title and NRL Grand Final Day double, but their progress has been hit and miss of late with good performances if not wins, and they sit in 7th, just two points from fifth place.
Taking on the competition front runners is a tough prospect, especially in Townsville, and with three of their regulars in Canberra on stand by for the Cowboys, the odds are stacked against them. And so is our tip.
Prediction: Townsville by 20
Last Year: N/A
This Year: Pride 10 Townsville 28
Odds: Townsville $1.24 Pride $4.00
Townsville Blackhawks: 1. Jahrome Hughes 2. Zac Santo 3. Noel Underwood 4. Kyle Feldt 5. Jonathan Reuben 6. Robert Lui 7. Michael Parker-Walshe 8. Lorenzo Ma’afu 9. Anthony Mitchell 10. Daniel Beasley (c) 11. Glenn Hall 12. Rhyse Martin 13. Neville Costigan 14. Tom Humble 15. Corey Jensen 16. Kelepi Tanginoa 17. Jack Kelleher
Coach: Kristian Woolf
Northern Pride: 1. Hezron Murgha 2. Linc Port 3. Brett Anderson (c) 4. Luke George 5. Semi Tadulala 6. Ryan Ghietti 7. Sam Obst 8. Jack Svendsen 9. Jason Roos (c) 10. Patrick Kaufusi 11. Vaipuna Tia Kilifi 12. Graham Clark 13. Ben Spina 14. Cameron King 15. Tom Hancock 16. Sheldon Powe Hobbs 17. David Murphy
Coach: Joe O’Callaghan\
Wynnum Manly Seagulls v Burleigh Bears at BMD Kougari Oval on Sunday, June 21 – 1.40pm
TV Game – from 1:30pm on Channel 9
The Channel 9 cameras descend on BMD Kougari Oval as the Seagulls get to strut their stuff against the Bears who make their consecutive appearance on the screen this weekend.
Burleigh got a needed moral boost against Norths last weekend after some big recent losses, and they’ll be confident of causing some trouble for the home side on Sunday. The home side are in some reasonable form, as evidenced by their second place on the ladder, and they have won seven of their last eight, and that loss was a last minutes heart-breaker against the Pride.
But the Seagulls aren’t invincible at home, the home losses to the Pride and the Mackay Cutters proves there is some vulnerability there. Burleigh are only two points behind the fifth placed team, but they can’t afford too many more losses, and knocking off one of the competition’s top teams will be a result that would be most welcome.
Can’t see it happening this week though, and it appears there’ll be a very happy Chook Pen at the end of Sunday afternoon.
Prediction: Wynnum by 12
Last Year: Wynnum 46 Burleigh 6
Odds: Wynnum $1.25 Burleigh $3.90
Wynnum Manly Seagulls: 1. Daniel Ogden 2. Peter Gubb 3. Matthew Grieve 4. Mitchell Buckett 5. Greg Eden 6. Patrick Templeman 7. Matthew Seamark 8. Ben Shea 9. Alehana Mara 10. Tim Natusch (c) 11. Aaron Rockley 12. Jon Grieve 13. Mitchell Frei 14. John Te Reo 15. David Stagg 16. Tanu Wulf 17. Stephen Coombe
Coach: Jon Buchanan
Burleigh Bears: 1. Tyler Chadburn 2. Jaiden Hawkes 3. Jamie Dowling 4. Dimitri Pelo 5. Connor Broadhurst 6. Connor Toia 7. Ryley Jacks 8. Mitch Sharp 9. Tom Rowles 10. Josh Ailaomai 11. Tyron Haynes 12. Louie Fanene 13. Darren Griffiths (c) 14. Marino Allen 15. Ayden Lee 16. Andrew Vela 17. Pele Peletelese
Coach: Jimmy Lenihan
Easts Tigers v Mackay Cutters at Tapout Energy Stadium on Sunday, June 21 – 2pm
There will be plenty of emotion at Tapout Energy Stadium this Sunday as the Easts Tigers play their first home game since the passing of Grant Giess, and there will no doubt be plenty of support for the home side if their travelling numbers from last week is any indication.
Having retired the number 7 jersey for the rest of 2015, and putting in an incredible second half to come back from well down at half time to draw with Tweed Heads, the Tigers will be looking to put in the best possible effort to give a fitting memorial to their playmaker.
The visiting Mackay Cutters beat the Tigers easily earlier in the season, and reversing that results in addition to the above give the strongest case possible for a home win. But Mackay are quality opposition, and have been very strong in the Intrust Super Cup lately, so it won’t be easy.
With a club still hurting from the pain of the last few weeks, a huge crowd will be the perfect way for rugby league fans to show their support, and the premium Sunday 2pm timeslot and beautiful Brisbane winter weather gives plenty of reasons to head out to some local league action this weekend.
If you can’t, why not take advantage of the excellent live streaming service of Tigers TV. http://thetigers.com.au/tigertv-live/
Prediction: Easts by 2
Last Year: Easts 48 Mackay 20
This Year: Mackay 30 Easts 8
Odds: Easts $1.70 Mackay $2.15
Easts Tigers: 1. Donald Malone 2. Maeli Seve 3. Eddie Tautali 4. Michael Kai 5. Matt Duffie 6. Isaac Kaufmann 7. – 8. Foisa Peni 9. Tommy Butterfield 10. Liam McDonald 11. Dane Hogan (c) 12. Jake Foster 13. Troy Giess 14. Francis Tualau 15. Matthew Zgrajewski 16. Dean Britt 17. Billy Walters 19. Brentt Warr 18. Matt Pitman
Coach: Craig Ingebrigtsen
Mackay Cutters: 1. Sam Clune 2. Jordan Pereira 3. Ben Jones 4. Justin Tavae 5. Zack Walker 6. Cameron Cullen 7. Liam Taylor 8. Brad Lupi 9. Josh Chudleigh 20. Pulou Vaituutuu 11. Brenden Treston 12. Tyson Martin 13. Chris Gesch (c) 15. Aleki Falepaini 16. Kelvin Nielsen 17. Coen Hess 18. Joss Boyton
Coach: Kim Williams
Tweed Heads Seagulls v PNG Hunters at Piggabeen Sports on Sunday, June 21 – 3pm
The competition’s longest road trip finishes Round 15 this Sunday at Piggabeen as the PNG Hunters travel over 2,200 km to play their game against the Seagulls.
The PNG Hunters are on fire at the moment with seven straight wins seeing them in fourth place on the ladder, but on equal points with second placed Wynnum Manly. But with all the emotion and excitement of the 15,000 plus crowd in Port Moresby last weekend, a question around whether that will take anything out of them will be lingering this weekend.
The Seagulls have been competitive of late, stretching Townsville and Ipswich before thrashing local rivals Burleigh, and looked likely to win again last weekend against the Tigers until the emotion took the visitors all the way to this season’s first draw.
It’s just a feeling, but for some reason Tweed Heads look a real chance of ended the Hunters run. Last year’s result at Piggabeen shows that an upset is not impossible.
Anyone not being able to get out of the house on Sunday can be rewarded with a live stream of this game courtesy of the QRL website at http://www.qrl.com.au/interactive/live-stream.html
If you haven’t seen the Hunters play yet, spoil yourself and tune in.
Prediction: Tweed by 8
Last Year: Tweed 60 PNG 28
This Year: PNG 38 Tweed 10
Odds: Tweed Heads $2.25 PNG $1.65
Tweed Heads Seagulls: 1. Ali Grant 2. Nathanael Barnes 3. Blake Anderson 4. Kalifa Faifai-Loa 5. Leva Li 6. Ricardo Parata 7. Shaun Carney 8. Damian Sironen (c) 9. Sam Meskell 10. Oliver Percy 11. Caleb Binge 12. Dane Clarke 13. Sam Saville 14. Karl Lawton* 15. Jai Ingram 16. Matt White 17. Will Bugden
Coach: Aaron Zimmerle
PNG Hunters: 1. Stargroth Amean 2. Oti Bland Tony 3. Noel Zeming 4. Thompson Teteh 5. Adex Wera 6. Israel Eliab (c) 7. Ase Boas 8. Henry Noki 9. Wartovo Puara 10. Esau Siune 11. Brandy Peter 12. Lawrence Tu’u 13. Adam Korave 14. Warren Glare 15. Timothy Lomai 16. Willie Minoga 17. Enock Maki 18. Nickson Borana 19. Atte Bina 20. David Lapua 21. Edward Goma
Coach: Michael Marum