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Tigers vs Seagulls clash highlights last round of the Intrust Super Cup

So this is it, the final round of the regular season, and there is a small feeling of an anti climax with all the top 6 finals teams sorted. Never fear though, there is still the all important 3rd and 4th positions to be decided, and thankfully we have two of the three contenders meeting each other in a local derby.

That local derby is the Easts Tigers v Wynnum Seagulls game on Sunday at Tapout Energy Stadium. The other contender is Ipswich who currently sit in third on 34 points and with just 4 points better for and against than Wynnum, who are also on 34 points. If Ipswich win – they are third or fourth. If Wynnum win – they are third or fourth. If Easts win and Ipswich win they are fourth, third if Ipswich lose.

Curiously, if Wynnum and Ipswich both win, the first week of the finals will feature another Wynnum v Easts match. The same consecutive game scenario as last year.

But that’s enough Wynnum, Ipswich and Easts talk for now. There’s still 11 other teams turning out this weekend, 9 of those for the last time this year. Two of those are still fighting for the minor premiership, although it looks pretty safe for Townsville who are one point ahead of the Hunters.

All that remains is some minor battles for the minor placings with best of the rest (7th) still up for grabs. We also see the 30th different venue for the year as Souths Logan take their game to Acacia Ridge, a ground they used regularly up until a few years ago.

Here’s the ladder.

1. TOWNSVILLE                41 pts    (F/A +483)
2. PNG HUNTERS              40           (+211)
3. IPSWICH                          34           (+180)
4. WYNNUM                      34           (+176)
5. EASTS                               32           (+211)
6. NORTHERN PRIDE       30           (+48)

7. REDCLIFFE 25 (+121), 8. MACKAY 25 (+64), 9. BURLEIGH 24 (-253), 10. TWEED HEADS 21 (-93), 11. SUNSHINE COAST 19 (-146), 12. SOUTHS LOGAN 17 (-172), 13. NORTHS 16 (-306), 14. CENTRAL 6 (-524)

Ipswich Jets v Sunshine Coast Falcons at North Ipswich Reserve on Saturday – 3pm

Plenty on the line for the Jets as a home final is up for grabs in the last week of the regular season. A win would ensure that North Ipswich Reserve gets that all important game, a loss gets more tricky. If they lose and Wynnum win they will finish fourth. If they lose and Easts win, then they will likely finish fourth unless the Jets lose by more than 4 points that Wynnum lose by.

All that finals talk is academic to the Falcons, who will look to finish off the season in style with an upset win over Ipswich. The Sunshine Coast have been much improved this year, and an upset win over a big gun would be a great sign off for a club who have endured a tougher season than most other sporting teams in Australia. They do have the honour of being only one of three teams to beat the Hunters this year.

But Ipswich got back to winning ways last weekend after a run of losses against some of the other top 6 sides, and with a home final in their control should have more to play for. No doubt the tightness of the situation will not dampen the Jets style which many have come to love.

Prediction: Ipswich by 22
2014 – Ipswich 38 Sunshine Coast 16
2015 – Sunshine Coast 10 Ipswich 36
ODDS – Ipswich $1.10 Sunshine Coast $6.75

Teams:

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. Matt Parcell 10. Rod Griffin 11. Fakahoko Teutau 12. Kurt Capewell 13. Richard Pandia 14. Landon Hayes 16. Billy McConnachie 18. Keiron Lander (c) 22. Sam Martin

Coach: Ben Walker and Shane Walker

Sunshine Coast Falcons: 1. Sam Wright 2. Rowan Klein 3. Young Tonumaipea 4. Hymel Hunt 5. Travis Robinson 6. Ben Hampton 7. David Oakes 20. Tom Learoyd-Lahrs 9. Jay Lobwein 10. Ryan Hansen 11. Paul Ivan 12. Jacob Samoa 13. Tom Murphy (c) 14. Jon Platt 15. Jaz Nahu-Main 16. Mboya Adams 17. Jye Ballinger

Coach: Glen Dreger

 

 

Northern Pride v CQ Capras at Barlow Park on Saturday – 5.30pm

The Pride sealed their top 6 position last weekend in the unfamiliar surroundings of Bamaga right near Cape York. Some achievement by the Pride to make the finals with a week to spare. They lost their opening 4 games, so the record from there of 13-5 since are good numbers. Maybe a worry for some of the other top 6 sides? They are the reigning premiers and state championship winners after all.

Central meanwhile started the year off with a win, and haven’t tasted victory since. It’s been a hard year for the Capras who haven’t been far off in a quite a few games this year, but still a second victory eludes them.

It looks an easy game for the Pride on paper, and sixth guaranteed and no chance of going higher they may throw caution to the wind and go on the attack this weekend.

Prediction: Pride by 30
2014 – Pride 42 Central 4
2015 – N/A
ODDS – Pride $1.10 Central $7.00

Teams:

Northern Pride: 1. Linc Port 2. Semi Tadulala 3. Brett Anderson (c) 4. Javid Bowen 5. Luke George 6. Ryan Ghietti 7. Sam Obst 8. Jack Svendsen 9. Jason Roos (c) 10. Patrick Kaufusi 11. Vaipuna Tia Kilifi 12. Graham Clark 13. Tom Hancock 14. Jordan Biondi-Odo 15. Brent Oosen 16. Sheldon Powe-Hobbs 17. David Murphy 18. Keelan White

Coach: Joe O’Callaghan

CQ Capras: 1. Reece Baker 2. Jake Ainsworth 3. Dan Randall 4. Sam Smith 5. Tarrant Mariner 6. Matt Minto 7. Mark Johnstone 8. Gerard Tema 9. Ian Webster 10. Gavin Hiscox 11. Tyson White 12. Rajan Opetaia-Halls 13. Guy Williams (c) 14. Corbyn Kilday 15. Nathan Young 16. Josh Johnston 17. Josh Mitchell 18. Dean Allen

Coach: Lionel Harbin

Souths Logan Magpies v Mackay Cutters at Brandon Park, Acacia Ridge on Sat – 6pm

Rugby League returns to Brandon Park, a ground I last attended on the windiest of days between Redcliffe and the Magpies where some incredible goal kicking feats were on display. As written in the opening summary this is the 30th venue for the year, and the Magpies have been the most nomadic in 2015 with games taken from Davies Park to Stradbroke Island, Cherbourg, Tully and Blackall.

Souths Logan got a victory in Rockhampton last weekend and another win on Saturday night could move them up to 11th place on the ladder. A loss leaves them at the mercy of Norths and a potential second last place.

Mackay put in a big shift last weekend and stretched the PNG Hunters to a 28-28 draw, and had the game in their hands with 10 minutes to go. The late Hunters comeback ended their finals hopes, which would have only lasted another day as the Pride won anyway.

The Cutters will regret the late season form slide with consecutive losses seeing them drop out of the top 6 and eventually out of finals contention last week. This is a game that could go either, so home ground advantage gets the tip.

Prediction: Souths Logan by 1
2014 – Souths Logan 44 Mackay 22
2015 – N/A
ODDS – Souths Logan $2.12 Mackay $1.70

Teams:

Souths Logan Magpies:

1. Jack Joass 2. Matt Trnka 3. Josh Damen 4. Tim Brooks 5. Mitch Hallinan 6. Ben Jackson 7. Rhys Jacks 8. Tikiko Noke 9. Ben Thorburn 10. Andrew Edwards 11. Scott Doyle 12. Daniel Tamou 13. Phil Dennis (c) 14. Jack Walters 15. Jack Anderson 16. Sam Gardel 17. Leon Panapa

Coach: Josh Hannay

Mackay Cutters: 1. Liam Taylor 2. Jordan Pereira 3. Tyson Martin 4. Justin Tavae 5. Buchanan Rawhiti 6. Ben Jones 7. Sam Clune 8. Brad Lupi 9. Josh Chudleigh 20. Pulou Vaituutuu 11. Brendan Treston 12. Chris Gesch (c) 13. Steve Rapira 14. Andy Gay 16. Aleki Falepaini 17. Josh Osborne 10. Joss Boyton

Coach: Kim Williams

Townsville Blackhawks v Redcliffe Dolphins at Jack Manski Oval on Sunday – 1.40pm*
(Live on Channel 9 / WIN / NBN)

A big game for Townsville who can seal a win, a minor premiership, and a home final in week 2 with a win here at home to the Dolphins. All in their first season of Queensland Cup. Some may question that they have the plethora of talent to do so, but it still requires the hard yards to be done. And they have been pushed a lot harder to the top of the ladder than imagined earlier in the season thanks to a great unbeaten run from the Hunters.

A look at the Blackhawks for and against tells the story of their dominance with a difference more than twice as good as any other team in the competition. Although a surprising loss to Redcliffe and a win to the Hunters will undo all the good work.

Redcliffe were up for their battle against Easts last weekend in their bid to extend their finals hopes, but as the Tigers quality increased, so did the Dolphins chances decrease. A shame for Redcliffe whose late season form was almost good enough to make the finals, but an atrocious home record earlier in the season cost them that chance.

With the minor premiership on the line, it looks all Blackhawks for this one.

 

Prediction:
2015 – Redcliffe 10 Townsville 40
Odds – Townsville $1.16 Redcliffe $5.15

Teams: Townsville by 26

Townsville Blackhawks: 1. Jahrome Hughes 2. Zac Santo 3. Tom Humble 4. Rhys Matsen 5. Samsen O’Neill 6. Robert Lui 7. Michael Parker-Walshe 8. Lorenzo Ma’afu 9. Anthony Mitchell 10. Daniel Beasley (c) 11. Glenn Hall 12. Kelepi Tanginoa 13. Neville Costigan 15. Corey Jensen 16. Chris McLean 17. Rhyse Martin 18. Lenny Magey

Coach: Kristian Woolf

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. Harley Aiono 13. Tyson Cleal 14. Shane Pumipi 15. Joe Bradley 16. Tristan Lumley 17. Taylor Brown

Coach: Troy Lindsay

Easts Tigers v Wynnum Manly Seagulls at Tapout Energy Stadium on Sunday – 2pm

Games between these two sides always have plenty on the line, but this week has more than usual as it turns into a shoot out to determine which side gets home ground advantage in week 1 of the finals.

Easts were highly impressive against Redcliffe last weekend, and their late season form has given them every chance of at least repeating last year’s Grand Final appearance. Talking of repeating last year, given the right results, this game could be the first course of a double header, as these two teams could well meet each other again next weekend.

Wynnum come off the bye and their form has been patchy over the last third of the season, so the Tigers have the slight upper hand, but that won’t mean much in this local derby.

Prediction: Easts by 4
2014 (Reg Season) Easts 14 Wynnum 18
2015 Wynnum 18 Easts 14
Odds: Easts $1.55 Wynnum $2.45

Teams:

Easts Tigers: 1. Donald Malone 2. Michael Kai 3. Shane Neumann 4. Mahe Fonua 5. Richard Kennar 6. Shaun Nona 19. Brentt Warr 8. Liam McDonald 9. Tommy Butterfield (c) 10. Francis Tualau 11. Christian Welch 12. Jake Foster 13. Troy Giess 14. Mathew Pitman 15. Matthew Zgrajewski 16. Dayne Weston 17. Billy Walters 18. Foisa Peni

Coach: Craig Ingebrigtsen

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

Coach: Jon Buchanan

PNG Hunters v Burleigh Bears at Sir John Guise Stadium, Port Moresby on Sunday, August 30 – 2.30pm

The PNG Hunters bandwagon rolls on, and they have one final game in Port Moresby which will no doubt be a 15,000+ sell out, and with the NQ Cowboys and Broncos playing away from home, it has every chance of being the weekend’s biggest rugby league crowd.

The Hunters got away with last weekend, down by 10 points with less than 10 minutes to go, they dug in and scored the two required tries, and even had a conversion to win the game at the end. The draw, whilst disappointing, shows the side of the Hunters this year that has made the difference – getting a result in a tight game. It bodes well for the finals.

They may well get a chance to really stretch their legs this weekend, as the Burleigh Bears arrive to take on the Hunters and the electric atmosphere. The Bears have suffered some big losses this year, the worst of which was by 72 points in Townsville, and if the Hunters get into the mood as they did in the second half against Wynnum in PNG two weeks ago it could get quite ugly for the Bears.

Prediction: PNG by 36
2014 – PNG 56 Burleigh 12
2015 – Burleigh 32 PNG 38
ODDS – PNG $1.10 Burleigh $7.00

Teams:

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. Kato Ottio 13. Timothy Lomai 14. Warren Glare 15. Atte Bina 16. Willie Minoga 17. David Lapua 18. Roger Laka

Coach: Michael Marum

Burleigh Bears: 1. Talor Walters 2. Kevin Gordon 3. Dimitri Pelo 4. Connor Broadhurst 5. Todd Seymour 6. Daniel Schwass 7. Ryley Jacks 20. David Hala 9. Chad Redman 10. Pele Peletelese 11. Jamie Dowling 12. Hayden Schwass 13. Darren Griffiths (c) 14. Nafe Seluini 15. Sam Swift 16. Mitch Sharp 17. Tyler Sparkes

Coach: Jim Lenihan

Norths Devils v Tweed Heads Seagulls at Bishop Park on Sunday, August 30 – 2.30pm

This game doesn’t have a great deal riding on it, but both sides will be keen to sign off with a win all the same.

Norths won a couple of games in a row a few weeks back to end a long winless run, but on the whole is has been a disappointing season for the Devils. A win at home for the last game of the season would give some hope for 2016.

Tweed Heads have a similar story, and will be disappointed in their 2015. Their recent victory over the Seagulls will be one highlight for the year, and one of their others was the supreme performance in the pouring rain against Norths earlier in the year.

Not much in this either, and we’ll end the regular season looking for value.

Prediction: Tweed Heads by 8
2014 – Norths 16 Tweed Heads 30
2015 – Tweed Heads 34 Norths 10
ODDS – Norths $1.65 Tweed Heads $2.20

Teams:

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. Billy Solah 11. Kristian Wanka 12. Brett Greinke (c) 13. Krys Freeman 14. Will McNee 16. Rhett Webster 20. Dylan Smith 17. Josh Afoa

Coach: Mark Gliddon

Tweed Heads Seagulls: 1. Ali Grant 2. Nathanael Barnes 3. James Wood (c) 4. Shaun Carney 5. Leva Li 6. Jamal Fogarty 7. Sam Foster 8. Will Bugden 9. Sam Meskell 10. Ethan Price 11. Jai Ingram 12. Blake Anderson 13. Sam Saville 14. Ricardo Parata 15. Shane Gillham 16. Dane Clarke 17. Anthony Colman

Coach: Aaron Zimmerle

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