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PREVIEW: QLD Intrust Super Cup Round 14

It’s back to the future for the Intrust Super Cup as Round 14 rolls into the weekend, and the fixtures from Round 1 are reversed and teams who tasted defeat can exact revenge. The pick of those rematches is the Redcliffe v Townsville game at Dolphin Oval on Sunday. A Dolphins win would bunch up the top 5 even more.

With winter kicking in it’s nice to have a little bit of Mango to warm up rugby league fans, as the former Cowboy and Queensland origin star Matt Bowen continues his cameos for the Townsville Blackhawks, turning back the clock with his silky skills. The experience at this time of the season when Townsville could lose players due to the origin period is invaluable. The added interest for followers of the Intrust upper Cup is a bonus.

With all 14 teams in action this weekend, there will be no shortage of action across the state and in Port Moresby too.

The match by match previews are below.

 

DEVILS AND JETS LOOKING TO AVOID THE EARLY ALSO RAN TAG

Just four wins a piece for both the Jets and Devils in 2016 so far, and both are much further down the ladder than they would like, and in the reigning premiers case, much further down than most expected.

The two sides sit second last and third last, but Norths have a draw and a bye to temporarily sit above the Jets, but with the Jets having a bye in hand over Norths, a loss to Ipswich would see them fall behind Ipswich once the byes are evened out.

The season isn’t over for these sides by any measure, but a long winning run needs to start soon. Ipswich still have a number of match winners from last year’s successful team names for this weekend – including speedster Carlin Anderson, and Grand Final man of the match Billy McConnachie, and the Devils welcome back Broncos discard Lachlan Maranta  to add a little something extra to the Devils side who weren’t embarrassed at all in Townsville last weekend.

Quick Stat – Norths haven’t beat Ipswich since Round 1 in 2014.

Match Details:
Norths Devils v Ipswich Jets @ Bishop Park
Kick Off – Saturday 4pm
This Year – Ipswich 38 Norths 24
Last Year – Norths 18 Ipswich 24 / Ipswich 36 Norths 22

 

TIGERS LOOKING TO AVENGE EARLY SEASON SEAGULLS DEFEAT

by Matt Crowhurst

These two teams opened the 2016 Intrust Super Cup with a typical early season encounter that the Seagulls won 28-24. Thirteen rounds later and they sit at very different spots on the ladder. The Tigers, after their loss to Burleigh last weekend, have slipped to 5th, while Tweed, last start winners over the Jets are now sit in 10th.

The Tigers go into this weekends match minus star half Billy Walters who suffered a leg injury last weekend. Brentt Warr returns from the BRL competition to partner Brodie Croft in the haves, though of bigger concern to coach Sipple is who will take over the goal kicking, where Walters has been a revelation in 2016. On the upside the Tigers welcome back Dean Britt from suspension and will be looking for him to add some energy to what was a fairly flat forward performance last week.

Tweed coach Aaron Zimmerle has named a largely unchanged line up, Sam Seville returns at lock and pushes Matthew Hundy on to an extended bench. Tweed has a very experienced pack that includes NRL players Matthew Robinson, Cory Blair and Kierran Moseley. They also have a very dangerous backline that features Shannon Walker, Leva Li and budding super star Alex Grant who scored three spectacular tries last weekend.

Fresh off a good win last outing and having already beaten the Tigers once this season the Seagulls will fancy their chances of doing it again this weekend.

Having done the hard yards to beat Ipswich and Townsville in successive weekends the Tigers will approach this game as a must win, as they attempt to stay in the top 6.

Match Details:
Easts Tigers v Tweed Heads Seagulls @ Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park
Kick Off – Saturday 5pm
This Year – Tweed Heads 28 Easts 24
Last Year – Tweed Heads 24 Easts 24

Live Stream – http://thetigers.com.au/tigertv-live/

 

 

CAPRAS LOOK TO GET BACK ON TRACK AGAINST CUTTERS

by Dan White

Last week the Cutters led for a large portion before ending with a point after their draw with the Magpies, and the Capras had a game that they would have not even bothered with the video review as they were not playing the game that had won them some matches this season.

Now the Capras are home after two weeks away and face their first round opponent who they beat comfortably. Will the Cutters exact some revenge or will they continue their inconsistent form and give the game away before the whistle is even blown? Unfortunately for the Cutters fans, they have known the lack of consistent effort has been the sides undoing so far and new coach David Simpson has probably aged at twice the normal rate as the season has progressed.

For both these sides it has been their 1 and 7 who have been the key to their successes. The Capras will be hoping that Baker and Minto can find their mojo, whilst Ashby and Taylor will need to reproduce their best game to return the favour when it comes to the points. The advantage that the Capras have is their coach’s knowledge of the team they are playing. Now we are deeper into the season, it will be interesting to see if the Cutters can pull some changes to lessen this impact.

Prediction:  Capras need a win after a few bad games, the Cutters have been better than the start of the season, making this a close game to call. For mine, it will be the Capras, with a score along the lines of 24-18.

Match Details:
Central Capras v Mackay Cutters @ Browne Park
Kick Off – Saturday 6pm
This Year – Mackay 10 Central 24
Last Year – Central 10 Mackay 14

TV Game on Channel 9 and WIN

 

COMPETITION’S HARDEST AWAY DAY AWAITS MAGPIES

by Shannon Meyer

With a competition that spans as much of Queensland as the Intrust Super Cup, any away trip is tough. But none come much tougher than a game in Port Moresby to play the Hunters. The Hunters haven’t lost in PNG at any ground since they were beaten by the Tigers in Round 17, 2014. Throw in the fanatical support, and it is a tough gig.

The travel shouldn’t worry the Magpies, who were the most travelled team in 2015 after taking many of their home games on the road. They have been reasonably successful up north too, beating the Northern Pride in regional FNQ in 2016 and 2015. What could worry the Magpies is the loss of players to the Broncos including influential hooker Travis Waddell. They do however get Herman Ese’ese back.

PNG kept their home record intact with a much needed win last weekend, after going winless since the PNG international side’s breakthrough win in the International week.

Quick Stat – When Souths Logan last visited Port Moresby the crowd of 15,000+ outdrew all of the origin affected NRL games of that round.

Match Details:
PNG Hunters v Souths Logan Magpies @ National Football Stadium
Kick Off – Sunday 6:30pm
This Year – Souths Logan 18 PNG 36
Last Year – PNG 34 Souths Logan 12 / Souths Logan 18 PNG 40

 

BURLEIGH’S TOP OF THE TABLE ODYESSY ENDS AS DOES WYNNUM WINNING RUN

by Shannon Meyer

Burleigh were set the tough task six games ago of playing every other side in the Top 6 and last year’s premiers Ipswich in six consecutive games, and the Bears have done their finals hopes no harm with a record that reads 4 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss.

That run sees them sitting in second just two points behind the Blackhawks, and if the Blackhawks lose and other top 5 teams win including the Bears, the top 5 would all be within 2 points. A win for the Bears may be made that little bit harder if Cameron Cullen is called into the Titans game day team after being named in the early squad.

Their opponents on Sunday, the Wynnum Seagulls, looked highly unlikely to join the Bears at the sharp end of the Intrust Super Cup ladder after six straight losses to start the season, but after a run of five straight wins they could afford to dream. Last weekend’s loss at home to the Falcons was a minor setback, and Wynnum are more than capable of getting back in the winners list, and exact revenge for a loss at Kougari just like in 2015.

Quick Stats – Burleigh haven’t lost after scoring 20 points or more this season.

Match Details:
Burleigh Bears v Wynnum Seagulls @ Pizzey Park
Kick Off – Sunday 1:40pm
This Year – Wynnum 22 Burleigh 44
Last Year – Burleigh 24 Wynnum 46 / Wynnum 24 Burleigh 25

 

‘PHINS AND BLACKHAWKS FACE OFF IN MATCH OF THE ROUND

by Dan White

In my match of the round, the Blackhawks come up against the recent form side of the competition and yet they are not able to fit in Ray Thompson after his two matches for the Cowboys. This is either confidence in the side that took the easy win last weekend or they are trying to run Matty Bowen back in to form after his recent and surprising return to League.

Dolphins have been very good for the last six weeks. Winning form is always the best form, but they are facing the ladder leaders and they will be looking at gaining some respect in the competition. It will not be easy but they have one stat that would be surprising to many. They are the best defence in the game, yes they have had a bye, but they are 0.1 better on average than the Blackhawks. They will not be taking a backwards step in defence because they know that when the Tigers did this, they bettered the Blackhawks.

Every player will have to do their jobs if the Dolphins are to continue their current form. How Strasser and Nicholls perform will set the tone for the Dolphins, I would not be surprised to see someone like Mitchell making sure that Strasser is denied the space to weave his magic. The Blackhawks have few weaknesses, when you watch them live, you get the feeling that they have a level of quality that is higher than their opponents, but looking good does not win matches.

From the Blackhawks games I have watched, I have thought that they are not only the form side but could probably hold their own against some of the poor performers in the NRL. The Dolphins are one of the great improvers as the season has progressed but they are not facing an easy task. Final Score: Blackhawks 28 Dolphins 16.

Match Details:
Redcliffe Dolphins v Townsville Blackhawks @ Dolphin Oval
Kick Off – Sunday 2pm
This Year – Townsville 18 Redcliffe 16
Last Year – Redcliffe 10 Townsville 40 / Townsville 46 Redcliffe 22

 

 

PRIDE FACE DIFFICULT TAKS AGAINST FALCONS

by Dan White

The Pride have been disappointing for the last 4 weeks, the SC Falcons have been both good and not so good. In a game that everyone expects the Falcons to win, this is closer to the flip of a coin than most punters would like.

The Pride are back from PNG, and after losses in their last two home games, you would be right to be worried. But they did hang pretty tough against the Hunters and they should appreciate the slightly smaller pack that they will face this week.

The Falcons had a good victory last week off the bye, but this will be the second away game for them and it may not be as nice as the last trip. We are still having some warm weather up North and whilst it is nice in the sun, the difference in temperature may well be an extra obstacle for them to overcome.

This game will come down to the two packs. How the Pride forwards face up this week will be the determining factor in this game? Coen Hess is back and he will be important in steering them straight up the middle, he should be the difference in this game and it is a must win match for the Pride after their recent run of outs.

Match Details:
Northern Pride v Sunshine Coast Falcons @ Barlow Park
Kick Off – Sunday 3pm
This Year – Falcons 25 Pride 24
Last Year – Pride 34 Falcons 10 / Falcons 6 Pride 28

 

 

TIPSTERS TIME

MATT PRITCHARD (Editor) (47/80)
Ipswich, Easts, Central, PNG, Burleigh, Townsville, SC Falcons

 

DAN WHITE (North Queensland Correspondent) (48/80)
Norths, Easts, Central, PNG, Wynnum, Townsville, Pride

 

SHANNON MEYER (SEQ + PNG Correspondent) (42/80)
Ipswich, Easts, Central, PNG, Wynnum, Redcliffe, Pride

 

SCOTT SATTLER (Channel 9 + Penrith Legend) (47/80)
Ipswich, Easts, Central, PNG, Burleigh, Redcliffe, Pride

 

MATT CROWHURST (Tigers TV) (47/80)
Ipswich, Easts, Central, PNG, Burleigh, Redcliffe, Pride

 

Team P W D L B F A +/- Pts
Townsville Blackhawks 13 10 1 2 0 428 205 223 21
Burleigh Bears 13 9 1 3 0 362 300 62 19
Redcliffe Dolphins 12 8 0 4 1 338 188 150 18
PNG Hunters 12 8 0 4 1 277 227 50 18
Easts Tigers 12 7 1 4 1 321 248 73 17
Sunshine Coast Falcons 12 6 1 5 1 237 232 5 15
Northern Pride 12 5 0 7 1 269 263 6 12
Wynnum Manly Seagulls 12 5 0 7 1 302 311 -9 12
Souths Logan Magpies 13 5 2 6 0 317 334 -17 12
Tweed Heads Seagulls 12 5 0 7 1 243 330 -87 12
CQ Capras 12 5 0 7 1 248 354 -106 12
Norths Devils 12 4 1 7 1 250 348 -98 11
Ipswich Jets 13 4 0 9 0 292 351 -59 8
Mackay Cutters 12 1 1 10 1 234 427 -193 5

 

 

 

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