Just five rounds to go of the regular season in the Intrust Super Cup, and it is a great line up of games to keep the punters happy this weekend.
There is a great deal of close match ups this weekend, none more important than the clash of the two bottom sides in Rockhampton on Sunday afternoon for Channel 9.
Aside from the battle to avoid the wooden spoon, there are clashes between finals aspirants, 2nd v 5th, and the annual Bayside rivalry between Redcliffe and Wynnum concludes with their second clash of the year.
On the news front the QRL released a statement on the return of Francis Molo today on the QRL website announcing the return of the Norths Devils player in Round 25 who was involved in the tragic events of the Sunshine Coast v Norths game earlier in the season. http://www.qrl.com.au/news/2015/07/30/qrl_statement.html
Here’s the ladder.
Townsville 33pts (F/A +428), PNG Hunters 33 (+168), Ipswich 30 (+184), Wynnum 28 (+169), Easts 26 (+201), Mackay 24 (+84), Northern Pride 24 (+24), Redcliffe 21 (+91), Burleigh 20 (-221), Tweed Heads 17 (-39), Souths Logan 15 (-132), Sunshine Coast 15 (-165), Norths 10 (-334), Central 6 (-458).
Northern Pride v Burleigh Bears at Barlow Park on Sat – 5.30pm #PRIDEvBEARS
The Intrust Super Cup opens up in Cairns for Saturday’s only game as the Burleigh Bears make the trip north to take on the Northern Pride.
This is a clash between two sides looking for a finals berth, which is fast becoming a four way battle for one spot. The Pride are currently on equal points with sixth, and Burleigh are four points behind, but with a catalogue of recent large losses the Bears will likely need to win one more game than the rest due to a huge negative points difference.
The Pride are short odds to take the win, but last week’s welcome breakthrough win for Burleigh after a run of huge defeats may just give them the necessary motivation to get their season back on track.
Prediction: Pride by 8
This Year: Burleigh 18 Pride 10
Last Year: Pride 26 Burleigh 10
Odds: Pride $1.30 Burleigh $3.50
Northern Pride: 1. Hezron Murgha 2. Linc Port 3. Brett Anderson (c) 4. Justin Castellaro 5. Javid Bowen 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
Burleigh Bears: 1. Talor Walters 2. Connor Broadhurst 3. Jamie Dowling 4. Tyron Haynes 5. Dimitri Pelo 6. Christian Hazard 7. Ryley Jacks 8. Nathaniel Peteru 9. Kierran Moseley 21. David Hala 11. Louie Fanene 12. Sam Swift 13. Darren Griffiths (c) 14. Tom Rowles 15. Ayden Lee 16. Mitch Sharp 17. Josh Ailaomai
Coach: Jim Lenihan
CQ Capras v Norths Devils at Browne Park on Sun – 1.40pm #CQCvDEVILS
(Live on Channel 9)
One long run of losses will come to an end this weekend as second last and last take on each other in Rockhampton, and the cameras of Channel 9 will be there.
The home side Central have won only once this year, and that was the very first round. Norths have won just two games more, but they have been winless since Round 9, and that was against this week’s opponent.
A loss for the Capras will all but ensure they will finish last this season, but a win gives them a hope of avoiding such a fate for another few weeks. They have been competitive in the first half against some of the competition’s high flyers, and that plus home ground advantage gives just enough reason to tip them to break their drought.
Prediction: Central by 4
This Year: Norths 26 Central 24
Last Year: Central 8 Norths 38
Odds: Central $2.00 Norths $1.80
CQ Capras: 1. Reece Baker 2. Jake Ainsworth 3. Marco Delapena 4. Dan Randall 5. Tarrant Mariner 6. Matt Minto 7. Josh Mitchell 8. Gerard Tema 9. Mark Johnstone 10. Gavin Hiscox 11. Tyson White 12. Guy Williams (c) 13. Corbyn Kilday 14. Josh Tanner 15. Nathan Young 16. Rajan Opetaia-Halls 17. Ian Webster 18. Bailey Butler 19. Dean McAdam
Coach: Lionel Harbin
Norths Devils: 1. Luke Pollock 2. Michael Lucas 3. Joel Bailey 4. Ryan Millard 5. Rogan Dean 6. Dan Murphy 7. Liam Tyson 8. Matt Mizzi 9. Byron Creighton 10. Brett Greinke (c) 11. Rhett Webster 12. Hiale Roycroft 13. Krys Freeman 14. Will McNee 16. Kristian Wanka 20. Dylan Smith 17. Billy Solah
Coach: Mark Gliddon
Souths Logan Magpies v Sunshine Coast Falcons at Davies Park on Sun – 2pm #SLMvSCF
Despite sitting 11th and 12th, both of these sides have found improved form from earlier in the season, and the clash on Sunday will be a window on which side has made the most progress.
The Magpies are playing their home game at Davies Park, which seems a bit of a novelty given they have played home games at Cherbourg, Tully and Stradbroke Island this year. Their last home game at their traditional ground resulted in a win over the Tweed Heads Seagulls, the one before was also a win over the Devils. So games at West End appear to be a good thing of late for the Magpies.
That’s not a good omen for the Falcons who are coming off the bye from last weekend. But their five wins so far in 2015 is a vast improvement on the solitary win in 2014. The link up with Melbourne Storm in 2015 seems to be paying dividends.
Both of these sides aren’t in finals contention, nor will they finish last, so it is a chance to gain some valuable momentum for a tilt at next year’s finals.
Prediction: Souths Logan by 12
This Year: Sunshine Coast 4 Souths Logan 35
Last Year: Souths Logan 26 Sunshine Coast 12
Odds: Souths Logan $1.58 Sunshine Coast $2.35
Souths Logan Magpies: 1. Jack Joass 2. Ihaka Watene 3. David Faamita 4. Scott Doyle 5. Dan Russell 6. Ben Thorburn 7. Rhys Jacks 8. Tikiko Noke 9. Travis Waddell 10. Andrew Edwards 11. Joe Boyce 12. Daniel Tamou 13. Phil Dennis (c) 14. Dallas Anderson 15. Ken Levu 16. Sam Gardel 17. Leon Panapa
Coach: Josh Hannay
Sunshine Coast Falcons: 1. Travis Robinson 2. Rowan Klein 3. Hymel Hunt 4. Young Tonumaipea 5. Suliasi Vunivalu 6. Kurt Mann 7. David Oakes 18. Jon Platt 9. Billy Brittain 10. Ryan Hansen 11. Paul Ivan 12. Jacob Samoa 13. Tom Murphy (c) 14. Jaz Nahu-Main 15. Johnny Vuetibau 16. Mboya Adams 17. Jye Ballinger
Coach: Glen Dreger
Tweed Heads Seagulls v Mackay Cutters at Piggabeen Sports on Sun – 2pm #THSvMC
Tweed Heads belied the odds last weekend to win the battle of the Seagulls against Wynnum, and they can cause similar trouble for a finals aspirant this weekend as they welcome the Mackay Cutters to Piggabeen.
Their opponents Mackay were outplayed by a top 6 rival at Redcliffe last weekend, and won’t want to lose again this week to invite other teams to take their current place as the last club in the Top 6.
Tweed Heads may have to do without Dave Taylor this weekend who has been named on an extended bench for the Titans, and the Courier Mail will have to make do with just a regular week of Queensland Cup to ignore instead.
What is hard to ignore is this is a hard one to pick, as either team has great claims for the win.
Prediction: Mackay by 2
This Year: Mackay 34 Tweed Heads 10
Last Year: Tweed Heads 26 Mackay 22
Odds: Tweed Heads $1.67 Mackay $2.20
Tweed Heads Seagulls: 1. Ali Grant 2. Nathanael Barnes 3. James Wood (c) 4. Kalifa Faifai-Loa 5. Leva Li 6. Shaun Carney 7. Sam Foster 8. Will Bugden 9. Sam Meskell 10. Oliver Percy 11. Matt Robinson 12. Blake Anderson 13. Sam Saville 14. Ricardo Parata 15. Jamal Fogarty 16. Dane Clarke 17. Jai Ingram
Coach: Aaron Zimmerle
Mackay Cutters: 1. Sam Clune 2. Jordan Pereira 3. Ben Jones 4. Justin Tavae 5. Zack Walker 6. Cameron Cullen 7. Liam Taylor 8. Sam Hoare 9. Josh Chudleigh 20. Pulou Vaituutuu 11. Brenden Treston 13. Chris Gesch (c) 14. Aleki Falepaini 12. Tyson Martin 10. Steve Rapira 18. Brad Lupi 19. Ryan Kinlyside 15. Joss Boyton 17. Mitch Day 16. Braden Uele
Coach: Kim Williams
PNG Hunters v Easts Tigers at Kalabond Oval, Kokopo on Sun – 2.30pm #PNGvTIGES
In any other week this would be the game of the round as two of the competition’s in form sides in the Top 6 play each other in PNG. Both of these teams have also had favourable results in the last two weeks against the competition leader Townsville Blackhawks to underline their recent form.
Going in the favour of the visiting Tigers is the fact that the PNG Hunters are yet to beat them in their two years in the Intrust Super Cup. They have been close however with two wins for the Tigers less than 6 points and the other game ending in a draw. Easts have also been in great attacking form of late with 96 points in their last two games, and matching and beating Ipswich three games ago, one of the competition’s best attacking sides.
They will need all that attacking flair and more against a side like the PNG Hunters, who have a style unlike anyone else, and are currently unbeaten in PNG this year. The Hunters are now equal on points with Townsville and on a long run of unbeaten games. Going against the Tigers is the fact that they haven’t won north of the Capricorn in 2015 in three attempts.
Either way the result goes, this should be another great game between two of the competition’s best.
Prediction: PNG by 2
This Year: Easts 12 PNG 8
Last Year: PNG 16 Easts 22
Odds: PNG $1.67 Easts $2.20
PNG Hunters: 1. Stargroth Amean 2. Oti Bland Tony 3. Noel Zeming 4. Lawrence Tu’u 5. Adex Wera 6. Israel Eliab (c) 7. Ase Boas 8. Enock Maki 9. Wartovo Puara 10. Esau Siune 11. Brandy Peter 12. Kato Ottio 13. Timothy Lomai 14. Adam Korave 15. Atte Bina 16. Willie Minoga 17. Henry Noki 18. Nickson Borana 19. Roger Laka 20. Warren Glare 21. Edward Goma 22. David Lapua
Coach: Michael Marum
Easts Tigers: 1. Maeli Seve 2. Brandon Downey 3. Shane Neumann 4. Michael Kai 5. Richard Kennar 6. Shaun Nona 19. Brentt Warr 8. Felise Kaufusi 9. Tommy Butterfield 10. Liam McDonald 11. Dane Hogan (c) 12. Jake Foster 13. Troy Giess 14. Francis Tualau 15. Matthew Zgrajewski 16. Dwayne Craft 17. Billy Walters
Coach: Craig Ingebrigtsen
Wynnum Manly Seagulls v Redcliffe Dolphins at BMD Kougari Oval on Sun – 3pm #WYNvPHINS
It’s Round 2 of the Battle of the Bayside 2015 to finish off Round 21 of the Intrust Super Cup at BMD Kougari Oval on Sunday.
The Dolphins arrive at Wynnum on the back of a great run of form, just enough to keep their top 6 hopes alive each week. They are unbeaten since returning from their bye in Round 16.
Wynnum lost to their Seagulls rivals Tweed Heads last Sunday and are on a run of indifferent form of late. That indifferent form in the second half of the season is further highlighted at home. The Seagulls won five of their first six home games, but only one of the next four, and were behind at half time of that win against last placed Central.
So on recent form the Dolphins have their best chance in a while to beat Wynnum, and continue their charge for finals football.
Prediction: Redcliffe by 6
This Year: Redcliffe 12 Wynnum 22
Last Year: Wynnum 22 Redcliffe 16
Odds: Wynnum $1.52 Redcliffe $2.50
Wynnum Manly Seagulls: 1. Patrick Templeman 2. Peter Gubb 3. Matthew Grieve 4. Mitchell Buckett 5. Greg Eden 6. Matt Smith 7. Mathew Seamark 8. Ben Shea 9. Alehana Mara 10. Tim Natusch (c) 11. David Stagg 12. Jon Grieve 13. Mitchell Frei 14. John Te Reo 15. Brendon Gibb 16. Stephen Coombe 17. Tanu Wulf
Coach: Jon Buchanan
Redcliffe Dolphins: 1. Marlon Doak 2. Josh Beehag 3. Tom Opacic 4. Aaron Whitchurch 5. Curtis Johnston 6. John Brady 7. Luke Capewell (c) 8. Charlie Faingaa 9. Darcy Etrich 10. Jon Green 11. Nick Ritter 12. Anthony Cherrington 13. Trent Richardson 14. Hayden Hansen 15. Tyson Cleal 16. Harley Aiono 19. Josh Rudolph
Coach: Troy Lindsay