Some big clashes highlight the sixth round of the Intrust Super Cup coming up this weekend, one is an old rivalry from the days when the competition was predominantly a Brisbane competition, the other features two of the competition’s newest teams who have produced some outstanding contests in their fledgling rivalry.
The first is the clash of the Easts Tigers and the Wynnum Seagulls, which always produces tight, tense clashes. The second is the Townsville Blackhawks’ trip to Port Moresby and the clash with the Hunters. In both cases last year the team that lost both the regular competition games gained revenge in the finals series.
Elsewhere there is one of the competition’s longest road trips, another few longish road trips between Central Queensland sides and SEQ sides, Burleigh get a chance to keep second spot, and Albany Creek gets its first taste of Intrust super Cup.
Dolphin’s Road Trip continues to the suburbs.
The Dolphins’ wait for the completion of their Dolphin Oval upgrade means they head on the road for another few weeks, this weekend taking their home game to another part of the amalgamated Moreton Bay Region in Albany Creek. The South Pine Sports Complex, which is normally the home of the BRL side Gaters, gets its first taste of Intrust Super Cup on Saturday afternoon and with the two teams on offer there’s no excuse not to go along.
The two sides in questions have a few things in common, the most relevant to 2016 is just two wins so far this season. Whilst Redcliffe have the luxury of two more points thanks to a bye, Ipswich have now lost three of their last four and their title defence is starting to look a bit shaky. Another loss on Saturday will be another blow, and put the Dolphins on the path for finals football as predicted by a few at the start of the season.
Ipswich v Northern Pride @ South Pine Sports Complex, Albany Creek
Kick Off – Saturday 2pm
Last Year – Redcliffe 28 Ipswich 42
Cutters host depleted Devils
The Cutters put in their best effort in a fourteen-point loss to the PNG Hunters and will be looking to notch up their first win when they face up to a bruised Devils side who fell well short to the Bears. While the Devils have had two wins, they will be without Lachlan Maranta and have moved their left wing in to cover the fullback position. The Cutters have also moved fullback Liam Taylor to cover the loss of Delayne Ashby and restoring Josh Chudleigh into the hooker position.
Has Coach David Simpson found his starting line up after trialing and changing over the first five rounds. It has been a tough start to the season, but signs were there last weekend against one of the favourites. The Devils have been up and down this season. After a surprise win against the Capras they went back home for a win but last week showed that their consistency may once again be a cause for concern.
This game may weigh heavily on Liam Taylor’s shoulders as he faces up against Todd Murphy. The halfback battle will be the key to the game and the exciting full back is not a stranger to the playmakers role.
The Cutters will be chasing this game for their best chance so far this season for the win. They will be ready and willing to continue the good signs they showed last weekend. Final Score Mackay Cutter 24 to be the Norths Devils 12.
Mackay v Norths @ BB Print Stadium Mackay
Kick Off – Saturday 6pm
Last Year – Mackay 13 Norths 12 / Norths 40 Mackay 28
Competition’s Former Battlers Enjoying Life Near the Top
Not so long ago in 2014 these two sides won just five games between them as the occupied second last and last place. Fast forward to 2016 and there are currently already five wins between these sides as of Round 5, and the future is bright with a possible finals run on offer if the improvement can be maintained.
Coincidently, both of these sides welcomed new head coaches in 2016 as they were the recipients of men formerly in charge of other teams moving onto to new challenges. Craig Ingebrigtsen moved from Easts to the Sunshine Coast, while his counterpart Kim Williams moved from Mackay to the Capras. Whether these arrivals are the main cause for the improvement remains to be seen over a season, but after some lean years, including just one win for Central last year, the start to 2016 is most welcome.
Central v Sunshine Coast @ Browne Park
Kick Off – Saturday 6pm
Last Year – Central 24 Sunshine Coast 36 / Sunshine Coast 36 Central 16
Seagulls desperate to score first win at Easts
Round 6 sees the arrival of one of the Intrust Super Cups fiercest rivalries as the Wynnum Manly Seagulls travel to Suzuki Stadium to take on the Easts Tigers.
These teams traditionally play each other early in the season and in the closing rounds of the season. The second meeting of the year almost always determines position in the finals and in recent years the teams have then met again in the finals, with the Tigers holding a 2-0 advantage in these finals encounters.
Position on the table is rarely relevant when these teams go head to head, however, so far in 2016 the Tigers are defying many preseason predictions to sit in 4rd with a 3 win, 1 loss and 1 draw record while the Seagulls currently win-less in last.
Wynnum are the very definition of a sleeping giant and nothing is more certain than the fact that they will win soon in 2016. If there was ever a game for them to lift against it is against their fierce local rivals.
Last time they met: The first round of the 2015 Finals series at BMD Kougari Oval, Tigers 32-24.
Easts v Wynnum @ Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park
Kick Off – Sunday 1:40pm
Last Year – Easts 10 Wynnum 17 / Wynnum 18 Easts 14
TV Game – Coverage on Channel 9 from 1:30pm
Bears looking for second best at Davies Park
After a start to the season of 4 wins and just one loss the Burleigh Bears will more than likely stay second with a win on Sunday at Davies Park as the two sides either side of them face each other in PNG.
But their opposition are coming off a long overdue win over the Wynnum Seagulls, and have been competitive against the Premiers Ipswich and the Hunters at home this year. With a host of Broncos contracted players, the Magpies will be tough to beat and second place will be well and truly earned on Sunday.
Souths Logan v Burleigh @ Davies Park
Kick Off – Saturday 3pm
Last Year – Burleigh 18 Souths Logan 14
Tweed face big challenge traveling to Pride
Last week the Pride shook a huge monkey of their back with a victory over the Ipswich Jets on their home field. Tweed Heads were bullied into submission by the dominant Blackhawks and will be without William Zillman who will return for the Titans if nothing changes before Sunday.
On a roll with two wins from the last four the Pride will be happy to return home and put on a strong show for the Barlow Park locals. They will also be facing a side that could only put 8 points on the board at their home game. How the Seagulls will score their points will be the question both teams will be asking.
This has every chance of being a back line battleground with both teams fielding some high quality, high energy players from 1-5. In this I favour Linc Port over Shannon Walker and the battle on the Right hand side of the field will be fun to watch.
The Pride will not want to let this chance go. They should be confident after last weekend and should run off the park comfortable victors. Final Score Northern Pride 32 Tweed Heads Seagulls 12.
Northern Pride v Tweed Heads @ Barlow Park
Kick Off – Sunday 3pm
Last Year – Pride 24 Tweed Heads 18 / Tweed Heads 12 Pride 24
Match of the Round, possibly Match of the Year awaits Port Moresby
This week’s match of the round (so channel 9 will be showing the Tigers Seagulls game) as we see the two favourites for the Grand Final fight it out in PNG. Both teams are coming off solid victories and whilst the Blackhawks have put on close to 100 points in the last two games, nobody expects the same as they face off against the hardest team in the game. After a shock loss two weeks ago, the Hunters headed off the Cutters with a comfortable but challenging victory.
This week holds no mysteries for either side. They will be lining each other up and holding nothing back and if you can find a live stream it may well be more entertaining than the Knights vs Tigers game on Channel 9 (the Blackhawks Facebook page will list the live stream if they are able to).
Two weeks ago I listed the match-up of hookers when Ant Mitchell was facing up, and he will have his hands full facing up against the non stop force that is Warren Glare. In addition, Michael Parker Walshe is showing his class and he will be keeping Wartovo Puara honest as he looks to exploit the gaps in behind the line.
Prediction: The Hunters had the measure of the Blackhawks last year, but they caught them at the time when they had players being called up to the Cowboys during Origin. This time they are facing a full strength side who want to correct the errors of last season. Final Score Blackhawks 18 to defeat the Hunters 6.
PNG Hunters v Townsville Blackhawks @ National Football Stadium, Port Moresby
Kick Off – Sunday 3pm
Last Year – PNG 28 Townsville 26 / Townsville 16 PNG 22
MATT PRITCHARD (Editor) (18/33)
Jets, Falcons, Cutters, Tigers, Bears, Pride, Hunters
DAN WHITE (North Queensland Correspondent) (21/33)
Dolphins, Capras, Cutters, Tigers, Bears, Pride, Blackhawks
SHANNON MEYER (SEQ + PNG Correspondent) (20/33)
Dolphins, Capras, Cutters, Tigers, Magpies, Pride, Hunters
SCOTT SATTLER (Channel 9 + Penrith Legend) (18/33)
Jets, Falcons, Cutters, Tigers, Bears, Pride, Blackhawks
MATT CROWHURST (Tigers TV) (16/33)
Jets, Capras, Cutters, Tigers, Bears, Pride, Blackhawks
What happened in Round 5?
Why not catch up with our review of Round 5 here.
|Sunshine Coast Falcons||5||3||0||2||0||9||6|
|Souths Logan Magpies||5||2||0||3||0||-39||4|
|Tweed Heads Seagulls||4||1||0||3||1||-42||4|
|Wynnum Manly Seagulls||5||0||0||5||0||-109||0|