People love their Sunday footy, and this weekend in the Intrust Super Cup the fans get their best chance to soak up some of that autumn sun with no less than six games, four in the old traditional 3pm slot. There’s also Friday night football in Mackay as the Cutters will be hoping a change of day might bring some better luck and a much needed first win of 2016.
Last weekend saw all of the top 6 teams play each other, and this weekend the competition has gone one better with two clashes featuring all of the teams from Top 4. Redcliffe will attempt to be the first side to beat the Hunters in Port Moresby, and the Hunters’ foes from last weekend – Burleigh welcome the competition leaders Townsville in the TV game.
Elsewhere in Round 9 the Capras will look to extend their stay in the Top 6 against Tweed Heads, two fringe top 6 sides Norths and Sunshine Coast meet on the coast, Wynnum have a trip to Cairns to play the Pride, and an all Brisbane clash features Easts and Souths Logan.
PRIDE SET TO CONTINUE MISERY FOR JETS
The Pride head home after a valiant but unsuccessful battle against the league leaders and Wynnum Manly are coming in off the bye but fuelled by their victory over the Jets the week before.
The Pride showed that they were close to the Blackhawks and led into the break after a solid start and with Khan Ahwang kicking with great accuracy in difficult conditions showed that he will make sure that any opportunity to turn four into six will be taken. They will want to reproduce their form from last weekend and if they do then Wynnum Manly will be in for a challenge.
The bye week may have come at a good time for the Seagulls, striking some form and gelling as a team. Some time for the niggling injuries to get that extra bit of healing, or it comes and the synchronicity of the team loses its edge. The runs are miss-timed and the passes also miss their targets. They were struggling before surprising the Jets and the Pride are in good form, this game will be a challenge.
The battle of the 7’s is a common call in the game and this week will have Brayden Torpy lining up against Matthew Smith and this will easily be the key battle on the field come Sunday afternoon. Both have the skills that would not be out of place at the next level and this will be a great test for both.
Northern Pride showed some great moments in their loss to the Blackhawks and at home should be too strong for the one win Seagulls. Final Score: Pride 38 Seagulls 12.
Mackay v Ipswich @ Stadium Mackay
Kick Off – Friday 7pm
Last Year – Mackay 20 Ipswich 36
BURLEIGH HOPE TO KNOCK OFF HUNTERS AND BLACKHAWKS IN CONSECUTIVE WEEKS
Burleigh Bears sent the Hunters packing and now host the ladder leaders who took care of the Pride on a warm game in Townsville.
Burleigh have been a little weird so far, they have pulled out strong wins and yet lost at home to the Falcons and Capras. This will be an interesting test of where the Bears really sit. The Blackhawks will present their toughest test and they may well be a little bit bruised after battling the PNG lads at Monday’s Anzac Day game.
The Blackhawks head south for their fourth away game in five weeks and will be facing their third top half opponent in four weeks. Every time you play there is a risk of a loss, but you play the team in front of you and they should be able to put a strong challenge to the Bears and to move clear on the table away from the pack.
They will line up on opposite ends of the line but the number 2’s for this game are a great source of scoring for their sides. Jonathon Reuben has been a strong source of points for the Blackhawks and his presence and size makes matching up against him is a challenge in itself. Connor Broadhurst has also troubled the scorers on a regular basis and so whilst they will be not facing up, they will be contesting in the completions.
Facing up the to the two top sides in the league back to back will probably be too much for the Bears. The Blackhawks were great to watch on Sunday and showed a level of quality across the park that should hold them in good stead for the win. Final Score: Townsville Blackhawks 28 Burleigh Bears 12
Burleigh v Townsville @ Pizzey Park
Kick Off – Sunday 1:40pm
Last Year – Burleigh 12 Townsville 46 / Townsville 78 Burleigh 6
TV Coverage – Channel 9 from 1:30pm
CAPRAS LOOKING TO MAINTAIN SPOT IN TOP 6 AT PIGGABEEN
Tweed Heads will be hoping to continue some Mid Coast domination as they face the Southern end of the pairing after taking care of their Northern brothers the Cutters at the same place last weekend. CQ Capras will not feel any fear coming in after taking the lollies from the Souths Logan Magpies.
Winning form is a bonus, and the Capras have two from two for the first time since 2013 and new coach Kim Williams will be pushing hard to maintain that form before heading home. They have been working hard at restoring the balance in for and against and as they sit in sixth position, a win by a try will put them in the positive and they deserve this reward should they back up with a victory.
Tweed Heads has been uninspiring so far this season, but a solid victory over the Cutters may be the starting point for them moving forward. However, the Cutters are not worth crowing over given their poor start and so this game will reveal just how much of that win was the Seagulls improving or just the level of their opponent (Sorry Mackay).
Matthew Minto has been in everything for the Capras, and this will be a serious test for Michael Burgess. Whomever holds their head out of this pair will lead their team off the field with a victory.
Capras to get into positive territory with an 8 point win. Final Score: CQ Capras 22 Tweed Heads Seagulls 14.
Tweed Heads v Central @ Piggabeen
Kick Off – Sunday 2pm
Last Year – Central 24 Tweed 32 / Central 16 Tweed 20 (Country Week)
FRINGE TOP 6 SIDES MEET TO STAY IN TOUCH
The Norths Devils hit the road north again this weekend, and based on their results so far in 2016 it is a direction they enjoy heading in. All three of their wins have come against Northern Queensland sides, two of those on the road against Central and Mackay.
Whilst the Sunshine Coast Falcons aren’t exactly North Queensland, the Devils will fancy their chances, not only for their northern form, but the recent home form of the Sunshine Coast. After thoroughly beating the Hunters in Round 4 the Sunshine Coast have lost three home games in a row, albeit against high flying Redcliffe and Townsville and reigning premiers Ipswich.
If the Devils make it four in a row the Falcons could fall at least three points behind their ladder neighbours and four points from the Top 6. A home win would set them up nicely with a run of fixtures against lower half opposition and a bye coming up.
Sunshine Coast v Norths @ Sunshine Coast Stadium
Kick Off – Sunday 3pm
Last Year – Sunshine Coast 18 Norths 24
DOLPHINS HUNTING DOWN A PNG HOODOO
The Redcliffe Dolphins were predicted by many at the start of the season to feature in finals football, and so far in 2016 they looked to have delivered on some of that promise after starting the season with two straight losses. A return to the finals for the first time since 2012 looks achievable as they currently sit in second.
They are on the road again this weekend whilst the revamp of Dolphin Oval is completed, and there’s hardly a tougher away game than one in Papua New Guinea. The Hunters, playing at various grounds since their debut, have not lost a game on home turf since June 2014 and have a supporter base that is hard to match in the Intrust Super Cup.
Not only is there a PNG home hoodoo to break, the Dolphins also have yet to conquer the Hunters anywhere, a 28 all draw at Dolphin Oval last year is the closest they have got. A win for Redcliffe would see off some unwanted records and give themselves every chance to play finals football and to be flying high when they finally return to Dolphin Oval.
PNG Hunters v Redcliffe @ National Football Stadium, Port Moresby
Kick Off – Sunday 3:05pm
Last Year – PNG 30 Redcliffe 26 / Redcliffe 28 PNG 28
ANOTHER CHANCE FOR PRIDE TO BREAK DUCK AGAINST INCONSISTENT FALCONS
Mackay heads home after a disappointing loss against the Tweed Heads Seagulls and face up to the Jets who showed some form with a victory over the inconsistent SC Falcons.
The Jets are still working things out after the loss of a number of players in the off-season. You know that it takes time and a lot of practice for the combinations to click in and every opponent has been hoping that it will happen next week rather than their game. Have they found their mojo? Well we know the Cutters are hoping it was a one game wonder.
The Cutters have not won a game so far this season, their struggles are well documented but they have shown some fight and they too may be getting close to clicking it all together for a victory against the current Premiers. Will it happen, well I am not convinced, out of the two out of form teams in this game, the Jets show the greatest potential for a victory based on their existing form.
When teams are struggling, you look to the engine room and this game will pivot on the battle of the Number 9‘s. Chudleigh has been a bright-spot in the season of darkness that the Cutters are currently travelling. For the Jets, Hayes has been kicking up his involvement and after starting off the bench last week he has earned his spot.
Sorry Cutters, I have picked you a couple of times this season and either I am a jinx or it is your problem. This game is the Jets to lose, they have shown some improvement as the season has progressed and should be too strong for the Cutters.
Northern Pride v Wynnum @ Barlow Park
Kick Off – Sunday 3pm
Last Year – Wynnum 20 Pride 21
EASTS v SOUTHS LOGAN
Round 9 sees two teams desperate for a change of fortune come face to face in what should be a fierce local clash at Suzuki Stadium. Following two successive loses the previously high flying Tigers will be keen to get some points on the board before they go into the Rep Round and the bye.
The Magpies have only notched two wins this season and will be equally keen for a win before their season slips away from them. The Magpies had looked very good in despatching Tweed Heads in Round 7 and did not look poor against the Capras, the resurgent Capras were simply better. The Magpies missed the impetus from big Herman Ese’ese who was called into the Broncos team that played the Rabbitohs. He is out again this round and the Magpies pack will have to lift to match what is a very strong Tigers pack.
The Tigers, still battling injury, have named a 20 man squad and are smissing strike weapons Javarn White, Shane Neumann and Daniel Foster. Coach Scott Sipple at least has the luxury of naming a largely unchanged line-up and will be hoping for plenty of continuity. Billy Walters and Jake Foster were amongst the Tigers best last week and along with QLD Residents hooker Tom Butterfield, they will all need to be at their best this weekend.
Easts v Souths Logan
Kick Off – Sunday 3pm
Last Year – Easts 52 Souths Logan 0 / Easts 20 Souths Logan 18 (Country Week)
Coverage – http://thetigers.com.au/tigertv-live/
MATT PRITCHARD (Editor) (30/53)
Cutters, Burleigh, Central, PNG Hunters, Wynnum, Falcons, Easts
DAN WHITE (North Queensland Correspondent) (32/53)
Jets, Capras, Blackhawks, Pride, Easts, Falcons, PNG Hunters
SHANNON MEYER (SEQ + PNG Correspondent) (31/53)
Cutters, Townsville, Central, Redcliffe, Pride, Norths, Easts
SCOTT SATTLER (Channel 9 + Penrith Legend) (31/53)
Cutters, Burleigh, Tweed, PNG Hunters, Pride, Norths, Easts
MATT CROWHURST (Tigers TV) (26/53)
Cutters, Tweet, Blackhawks, Pride, Easts, Falcons, PNG Hunters
WHAT HAPPENED LAST WEEKEND?
Catch up here.
ISC LADDER – ROUND 8
|Sunshine Coast Falcons||8||4||0||4||0||-19||8|
|Souths Logan Magpies||8||3||0||5||0||-39||6|
|Tweed Heads Seagulls||7||2||0||5||1||-95||6|