The last weekend of the 2017 Intrust Super Cup is here and it doubles as “Turn To Me” Round. This highlights the issue of mental health and well-being in all our participants and also serves to reinforce the message of mateship during the off season. A good round to have given the amount former players taking their own lives over the last few years.
Onto the weekend now and the top 6 all have to shuffled their current, with teams playing for every position form 2nd to 6th. Not 1st place, as that position belongs to the PNG Hunters who wrapped that up last weekend.
They face Tweed Heads this weekend, and the Tweed Heads need to win to avoid the wooden spoon, and rely on Central Capras not to beat Ipswich Jets on the first game on Saturday.
Plenty to like and follow in the Intrust Super Cup, and we’ll back with a finals preview for the team. For now a short run down awaits.
Follow all the scores, and team list for each game via our Intrust Super Cup Match Centre.
IPSWICH JETS v CENTRAL CAPRAS
The Intrust Super Cup heads to Gatton this weekend as the Ipswich Jets take their last home game a little further west on Saturday afternoon.
Ipswich haven’t got a great deal to play for heading into the final weekend after their very slim chances of playing finals were dashed by the Mackay Cutters at home last weekend. They are battling the Cutters and Burleigh for the best of the rest tag for seventh place.
Their opponents from Rockhampton – the Central Capras – have a bit more to play for as they are locked in a showdown with the Tweed Heads Seagulls to avoid the wooden spoon. A win will guarantee them safety from that title, as they are 1 point ahead going in the final weekend. Despite the fact that a loss may also be good enough, the Capras will want to break their 10 game losing streak before the season finishes, and end the season on a high note.
Ipswich got the Round 10 clash between these sides 30-16 in Rockhampton, and it is hard to look past the same result this time as well.
NORTHERN PRIDE v REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS
Plenty to play for in Cairns for the Redcliffe Dolphins, as a win will see them finish in the top two and guarantee them two weeks of finals action, a loss could see them drop as low as fourth and into sudden death finals football.
They have hit form at the right time of the season, coming into the game on four wins straight, the only team of all the top 6 sides to be coming into this weekend on such a run. The Dolphins have also named a very strong line up, with a lot of last season’s grand finalists named, plus their excellent 2017 signings of Thompson Teteh and Troy Giess.
The Northern Pride have now officially avoided last, and have won 2 of their last four, the most recent win being last weekend down at Piggabeen where they scored two late tries to overhaul the Tweed Heads Seagulls. They can’t move higher or lower than their current 12th place, so have only pride to play for in front of their fans in Cairns.
Redcliffe should be too strong for the Pride and cement their top two spot alongside the Hunters.
MACKAY CUTTERS v SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES
Two teams in reasonable form meet in Mackay for a game in which only the Souths Logan side are playing for more than pride.
Mackay knocked off the Ipswich Jets last weekend, and as a result stole the seventh place off the Jets, and are in prime position to keep the title as best of the rest. Their form is quite good too, losing only twice since Round 13. The fact they are as high as seventh is some improvement on last season where they finished dead last.
Souths Logan bounced back from a heavy loss to Easts at Davies Park two rounds ago, as they mercilessly defeated the Central Capras in Rockhampton 52-10. They have named a strong side that should do the business against Mackay, but with the Cutters in such good form it won’t be easy.
A win could see the Magpies move to fourth with other results going their way, and a loss could mean they finish in sixth. As they look likely to finish 5th that will help the Magpies better, as their home game record isn’t as good as on the road.
EASTS TIGERS v BURLEIGH BEARS
Two of the competition’s in form sides meet on Saturday evening, and for the home side Easts Tigers it is a chance to jump to second ahead of Redcliffe. They will still need Redcliffe to lose to finish second, which doesn’t look too likely against the Northern Pride. A loss could see them drop as low as fourth, but their recent form of 7 wins from their last 8 games should see them through.
Having Brodie Croft named in the side helps too, the halfback put in a sensational performance for Melbourne last weekend, and is a weapon that most other top 6 clubs won’t have at their disposal come the finals.
Burleigh are capable of spoiling the party however, and they come into the match on the back of five straight wins. A run that includes top 6 sides Sunshine Coast and Townsville. Jamal Fogarty has not been named, which will hurt their chances given his return has sparked the Bears late season revival.
The Bears can finish as high as seventh with other results going their way, which is a decent effort given they started the season with 5 straight losses.
SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS v TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS
A big game awaits on the Sunshine Coast for the final TV game of the regular season as the Falcons and Blackhawks look to improve their positions within the top 6.
The Sunshine Coast have dropped off at the wrong time of the year, some could point to the relationship with Melbourne Storm, but the other feeder side Easts seem to travelling nicely despite several players themselves. They had been on a run of W-L-W-L-W-L but spoiled that party last weekend by adding a second straight loss to the recent results.
The Falcons can finish as high as third or as low as fifth. The difference being that with 3rd and 4th they get a home final, and a 50 % chance to repeat this weekend’s match up.
Townsville have disappointed in 2017, but even still have made the finals, and are in a head to head battle with Souths Logan for 5th spot, although Souths Logan can go up to fourth with a win and other results.
Whilst not not super critical, it should be an interesting game that both sides will try and win and get some finals momentum. Blackhawks captain Dan Beasley has recently announced his leaving the club to go overseas, so it would be nice for the Blackhawks stalwart to go out in style.
TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS v PNG HUNTERS
A celebration game for the PNG Hunters who wrapped up the minor premiership with a round to go last weekend when they beat the Wynnum Seagulls in Port Moresby, although that winning feeling may be dimmed a little with the news this week that the QRL intends to show none of their finals games on TV. That includes not getting a home final at all if they lose in the first finals match. A shame and more on that at another time.
But they won’t want to take this game lightly, as they play an opposition in tweed Heads who has already beaten them in Port Moresby this season, and have defeated the first placed team twice (PNG Hunters and Redcliffe) despite being stuck to the bottom of the ladder for just about every week since Round 1 of the Intrust Super Cup.
Tweed Heads need to win to avoid last, and they should feel they are within a chance of upsetting the Hunters given some of the above evidence, and the fact PNG Hunters only have pride to play for after being confirmed as minor premiers last week. Tweed Heads threw away the chance to avoid last by conceding two late tries to the Northern Pride.
But the PNG Hunters are not a side to take any game lightly, and they should finish off the season in style with a good win at Piggabeen this weekend.
NORTHS DEVILS v WYNNUM SEAGULLS
The 2017 Intrust Super Cup regular season comes to a close at Bishop Park on Sunday in a game that holds no significance to anyone outside of the two teams playing.
Wynnum were ruled out of finals contention officially a few weeks ago, and Norths Devils have avoided a wooden spoon they were heading towards with a bad run of losses in the middle of the season.
There’s a few players that will be looking to finish their impressive 2017 seasons, and hopefully catch the eye for next year like Norths’ Billy Brittain and Matiu Love-Henry and Wynnum’s Mitch Frei and Shaun Nona. With both sides feeding the Broncos, and the Titans just down the road, there may be pathways to the NRL looming in the future.
As for this week, Wynnum look the most likely to win, and that will have them doing the double over Norths, having won 16-6 earlier in the season.
INTRUST SUPER CUP ROUND 25 TIPS
Follow our tipsters below for their selections for the upcoming weekend of Intrust Super Cup. We have no less than the CEO of Intrust Super and Penrith Grand Final hero Scott Sattler.
Brendan O’Farrell – CEO Intrust Super
Souths Logan Magpies
Sunshine Coast Falcons
Scott Sattler – Channel 9 and Penrith Legend
Sunshine Coast Falcons
Dan White – Nothing But League’s Northern Queensland and NRL Contributor
Sunshine Coast Falcons
Shannon Meyer – Nothing But League Contributor
Sunshine Coast Falcons
Tweed Heads Seagulls