All the teams return for a Round 11 featuring a return for the Redcliffe Dolphins who celebrate their first game at Dolphin Oval by unveiling the first stage of the ground upgrade.
There’s plenty more highlights with a North Queensland clash featuring first against last in Townsville, another important clash in North Queensland as Burleigh visit the Pride in Atherton, and another instalment of the all Seagulls clash at Piggabeen.
Elsewhere the TV game is in Rockhampton as the Hunters play the Capras, Easts travel to Ipswich and the Magpies fly to the Sunshine Coast.
The match by match previews are below.
JETS UNDER PRESSURE FACE TIGERS
Story: Matt Crowhurst
The Easts Tigers travel to North Ipswich reserve this weekend, a ground that has not often been a happy hunting ground for them. Despite the teams relative positions on the table Ipswich is the very definition of a sleeping giant and in of their home crowd they will be looking to turn their season around.
The Tigers welcome back strike weapon Javarn White but are still without experienced centre Shane Neumann and this week are also missing halfback Brentt Warr who has been solid for them all season. Injuries have forced coach Scott Sipple to name an all forward bench rather than the 3 forward, 1 utility bench he favours and he will be sweating on no further injuries in his backline on game day. Look for Storm journey man Slade Griffin and Melbourne Under 20’s halfback Brodie Croft to possibly make their Intrust Super Cup debuts.
The Jets are at near full strength with Bronco Carlin Anderson included. Queensland Residents centre Nemani Valekapa is always dangerous in the centres and NRL veteran David Fa’alago will be a handful in the middle of the field. The backrow od Sam Martin, Sebastian Pandia and Husky Teutau is hardworking and will keep the Tigers defence honest.
Last Time: 2015 Grand Final qualifier, Ipswich by plenty, Matt Parcell scored 5 tries on the day.
Prediction: Tigers by 2.
Ipswich Jets v Easts Tigers @ North Ipswich Reserve
Kick Off – Saturday 4pm
Last Year – Ipswich 32 Easts 24 / Easts 18 Ipswich 16
TOP PLAYS BOTTOM AT JACK MANSKI
Story: Dan White
Townsville are coming in of a comfortable victory over the Capras whilst the Cutters were sliced to bits by a dominant Wynnum Manly. Now as a coach you would be the team facing up to one of your local rivals coming off a pasting.
The Cutters need very little motivation to lift their game when they travel north, but after their poor showing I doubt Coach David Simpson, would have given them a couple of soft nights and some beers to relax with. He will have them playing hard and each player will be, more than likely, playing for their spot after sitting at the bottom of the table and only two points in the book.
The Blackhawks are at the top of the table, a comfortable win and at home for the second week in a row after a long run of road trips and they should be firing. They have been a tough and professional team, and at home are always favourites.
With Michael Parker Walshe sidelined we have Ray Thompson will be facing off against Delayne Ashby who was one of those who left Kougari disappointed but honest about his efforts. This will be the second game with Ray in and the Blackhawks are hoping that the combinations step up a level and they can run in some margin helping meat pies as they are only 102 clear of their nearest opponents and do not want anyone snapping at their heels if the points are level.
Prediction: Townsville Blackhawks 44 to defeat the Mackay Cutters 6.
Townsville Blackhawks v Mackay Cutters @ Jack Manski Oval
Kick Off – Saturday 4pm
Last Year – Townsville 30 Mackay 16 / Mackay 12 Townsville 14
TABLELANDS HOST PRIDE AND BURLEIGH
Story: Dan White
The teams head up to the Tablelands as the Pride looks continue on their winning way after a strong victory over the Dolphins. Burleigh travel on up after taking care of the Jets with a comfortable 12-point win.
Only three points separate these two teams by three positions on the table and neither side want to drop what is available on what may be a very chilly night up at Atherton. I once travelled through Atherton at this time of the year and left Townsville in a T Shirt and was desperate for as thick a jumper as I could find as the cold is unexpected and it would not surprise me to see the steam rising from the players as the night sets in.
The Pride have lacked consistency but with this being their third local match in a row, they should be both ready and desperate to walk of the park with the win. Burleigh held the Blackhawks to a draw two weeks ago and the Pride are a step down in class and would be confident of making the bus trip back to the airport worthwhile.
There is a good chance that the most critical matchup for this match will be not on the field. Both coaches have a tough task of balancing out the skills that both these teams have available and Jim Lenihan has been very smart with his interchanges and the value of Nathaniel Peteru off the bench has reaped rewards with tries in the last two matches. Whoever makes the right changes will go a long way in controlling the match.
Have been tossing up the tie as I think it will be close, the Pride is beating teams they should beat whilst the Bears are taking on all comers. If the ride up the range leaves them with food left in the stomach, then the Bears should take it in a close game Final Score 22-18 to the Bears.
Northern Pride v Burleigh Bears @ Roosters Stadium, Atherton
Kick Off – Saturday 7pm
Last Year – Pride 16 Burleigh 4 / Burleigh 18 Pride 10
CAPRAS ON BIG STAGE FACE HUNTERS
Story: Dan White
The Capras are home after the tough but honest loss to the Blackhawks and the Hunters enjoyed the weekend off and so will be fresh and ready for a Capras side looking to get into the mix of teams in the bottom end of the final 5.
Capras have been tough at times and then dropping games that you would think they would win, they knocked off the Burleigh Bears when they were sitting in second place on the table and now they face up to the Hunters and guess where they currently are placed. When they are on, they present a team that scores across the park and capable of running up a score regardless of who they face.
The Hunters are coming in off a bye and had a home game the week before and so they could not be more rested for a round 11 match, so I pity the Capras but they will be ready for them. The Hunters have improved in defence this season, last year they could be relied on to score the points and it was a race to see who would be in front at the end, however this year they have about the third best defence going around the competition at this moment.
Key Matchup: Good Five Eights are diamonds in the rough and Ase Boas has shown that he is certainly shine after achieving selection in the Kumul’s team in the recent International round. Maipele Morseu has found his game coming on as the former Queensland Schoolboys representative has increased his contributions every game. This will be his toughest back to back challenge after last week’s game but he should be up for it.
Prediction: This is a game that will be determined by which team for the Capras turns up, if they can lick their wounds and fire up for this game then they should be in with a chance, however the Hunters have had the weekend off and will be fired up to maintain their position near the top of the table. Final Score: Hunters 24 to beat the Capras 18.
Central Capras v PNG Hunters @ Browne Park
Kick Off – Sunday 1:40pm
Last Year – PNG 68 Central 4
TV GAME – Channel 9/WIN 1:30pm
REDCLIFFE RETURN TO CHRISTEN REVAMPED DOLPHIN OVAL
After a long run of away games or home games rescheduled around the Moreton Regional Shire, the first stage of the Dolphin Oval revamp opens this weekend, and the Dolphin get to play their first true home game of the season.
The upgrade includes a new grandstand to fit 4000 supporters, and is just stage one of an upgrade that will eventually see three sides of the ground having a grandstand. More on the upgrade below link.
The away run hasn’t worked out too badly though, as the Dolphins end their run away from Redcliffe with a 5-4 record, and three of those losses were against top sides away against Townsville, PNG, and last weekend in Cairns against the Pride. It is a good base to start from now they are back in their true home. And Redcliffe could barely ask for a better opponent as the Devils are one of their biggest rivals which should attract a decent crowd anyway, plus they have a good record against them winning both games last year comfortably.
The excitement is high for the return, and that emotion should work in Redcliffe’s favour to celebrate the new stand with a win.
Redcliffe Dolphins v Norths Devils @ Dolphin Oval
Kick Off – Sunday 2pm
Last Year – Redcliffe 32 Norths 20 / Norths 20 Redcliffe 44
BATTLE OF SEAGULLS IN FLOCKBUSTER
Story: Shannon Meyer
First of all, the term Flockbuster isn’t mine, I first saw it on one of the Seagulls twitter feeds, but is such a great name for a clash between two sides with the same nickname, and between two teams who have developed a nice rivalry. These two teams met in the 2011 Grand Final, and each subsequent clash is one anticipated by both sides.
Both of these sides come into the game on similar form, with three wins in a row for both sets of Seagulls, the major difference is that Wynnum lost their first 6 and looked in danger of missing out on finals for the first time in years. Despite Tweed Head’s great wins over Mackay, Central and the Sunshine Coast, the Wynnum Seagulls three wins are the little more impressive as they included a strong 34-6 win in Cairns over the Pride, and a 62-16 thrashing over Mackay last weekend.
This game is the fourth consecutive game at Piggabeen, and given Tweed Heads have lost just once at home (to Townsville) and won the last three at home, Wynnum will need that great recent form to continue if they are a chance of catching Tweed Heads on the ladder and the rest of the top 6.
Tweed Heads Seagulls v Wynnum Seagulls @ Piggabeen
Kick Off – Sunday 2pm
Last Year – Wynnum 22 Tweed Heads 10 / Tweed Heads 30 Wynnum 16
MORE FEATHERS TO FLY ON THE COAST
Story: Shannon Meyer
Two sides who have provided talent to their respective NRL feeder teams meet on the Sunshine Coast on Sunday, and for the Falcons it will be an important clash to get their much vaunted top 6 chances back on track.
One of the points of interest from week to week is who goes out to an NRL team and who returns, and the Falcons have Ryan Morgan named in the centres this week, one of the few victims from the Parramatta Eels offload to make it under the Salary Cap. Souths Logan too have one of their players returning to the side after NRL duty in Travis Waddell, who did a tremendous job filling in for the injured Andrew McCullough, showing he didn’t look out of place in the top grade. Very few Intrust Super Cup players do.
If the Magpies win, they will draw level on points as the much more fancied Falcons. The top 6 potentially awaits the home side.
Sunshine Coast Falcons v Souths Logan Magpies @ Sunshine Coast Stadium
Kick Off – Sunday 3pm
Last Year – Sun Coast 10 Souths Logan 35 / Souths Logan 26 Sun Coast 18
MATT PRITCHARD (Editor) (37/60)
Easts, Townsville, Burleigh, Hunters, Redcliffe, Tweed, Sunshine Coast
DAN WHITE (North Queensland Correspondent) (38/60)
Easts, Townsville, Burleigh, Hunters, Redcliffe, Wynnum, Souths Logan
SHANNON MEYER (SEQ + PNG Correspondent) (33/60)
Ipswich, Townsville, Pride, Hunters, Redcliffe, Wynnum, Sunshine Coast
SCOTT SATTLER (Channel 9 + Penrith Legend) (35/60)
Easts, Townsville, Burleigh, Hunters, Redcliffe, Wynnum, Sunshine Coast
MATT CROWHURST (Tigers TV) (35/60)
Easts, Townsville, Pride, Capras, Redcliffe, Tweed, Sunshine Coast
|Sunshine Coast Falcons||10||5||0||5||0||-1||10|
|Tweed Heads Seagulls||9||4||0||5||1||-55||10|
|Souths Logan Magpies||10||4||0||6||0||-23||8|
|Wynnum Manly Seagulls||9||3||0||6||1||-39||8|