Sadly Country Week is over, and all that’s left is a titanic battle at the top of the Intrust Super Cup with leaders changing every week, and a stacked midfield with a massive pack of teams chasing just a few finals spots that look up for grabs. So, still plenty to play for in Intrust Super Cup Round 20.
Not that all the Country Week has vanished as the Sunshine Coast Falcons and Northern Pride head to Hervey Bay for a fixture on Saturday.
Redcliffe and Townsville will continue their battle for top spot, and both have interesting clashes, Redcliffe at home to Ipswich and Townsville away to Souths Logan. Two points behind is former leaders Burleigh who have the toughest trip of all to PNG.
The below is the pick of what to look for this weekend for Intrust Super Cup Round 20.
PHIL DENNIS SET TO BREAK INTRUST SUPER CUP APPEARANCE RECORD
Phil Dennis is what’s right with so much of rugby league, and it has certainly been a pleasure to watch him running around at Davies Park at least once a year.
He’s a man who has all the moves and looks like a proper footballer who can do it all from skillful plays to the tough defensive side. And although used off the interchange bench more regularly, he can still weave some magic and have a big impact on Magpies games.
Dennis has been with Magpies since 2006, having played previously with Wests and Easts, and was part of the 2008 Premiership winning side. He will break the Intrust Super Cup appearance record this weekend from Dolphins stalwart Troy Lindsay.
The Magpies will need some of his experience and magic this weekend, as they need to find winning form quickly to stay in the hunt for the finals. Not long ago they were second, but having won just once in six rounds, they sit with three other teams on equal points on the edge of the six.
It doesn’t come much tougher to find winning form than to welcome the Townsville Blackhawks to town. Normally they are hard to beat, but you wonder what kind of mood they will be in this weekend after a 13 try 62-12 defeat of the Tweed Heads Seagulls. Souths Logan will be hoping that was a one-off and not a lust for teams in black and white.
THE REDCLIFFE TIMESLOT AWAITS THE ENTERTAINING JETS
This will be the third game in a row that the Dolphins feature in the Saturday TV Game, however given the amount of entertainment that has come with their previous two games, and the arrival of the unorthodox Ipswich Jets, it will probably be a triple treat. Although, it may be time soon to share it around. Unbelievably, the PNG Hunters are yet to play on our TV screens – the 2017 Premiers, a draw card for the competition, and entertaining in their very special way – nothing. But you do get used to the Hunters getting unfavourable TV treatment (not televising finals games). A shame in a season where we lost the Live Streaming of Away games, we also don’t get any Channel Nine games either.
On a much happier note, Redcliffe remains equal first with Townsville, but they found out on the weekend that winning isn’t quite enough to keep the competition lead, you need to win by enough in the race for the minor premiership. While Redcliffe were holding off the Tigers in Goondiwindi, Townsville were putting the sword through Tweed Heads with a 50 point hammering that stole Redcliffe’s top spot for a week.
Ipswich sit 10th, still just two points away from sixth place Souths Logan Magpies, so finals are still a real possibility, however you would think that they would now have to win all of their games, with perhaps with just one loss.
PNG HUNTERS TO KEEP FINALS PUSH GOING AGAINST BEARS
The Hunters had a day out against the Devils in Lae last weekend, and you almost feel that they enjoyed having the surroundings more like the local competition for a change. With people packed inside and outside the ground, and a great atmosphere from all reports. Instead of constant questioning of lineups it was all about the love of the people for their team. Perhaps it will be the tonic they needed to kick-start a finals charge.
First stop is a real challenge however, a visit from the Burleigh Bears, a team sitting in the top three and have been there or higher for the whole season. Burleigh overcame Central Capras in the second half in their Country Week clash in Maryborough, the return of Jamal Fogarty helping in that game , and will no doubt help in Port Moresby.
Burleigh can’t afford to lose any more ground on the two teams in front. The Bears are already two points down, with a for and against that needs a boost. A loss in PNG on Sunday will probably rule out their chances of a minor premiership, and a top two finish.
Edene Gebbie looks to have finally answered the Stargroth Amean question at fullback with some flashes of brilliance last weekend, and the side looks stronger for having Adex Wera back in the centres and rampaging Willie Minoga in the second row. Interesting showdowns will be Ase Boas v Jamal Fogarty for the star halves, and Luke Page up against the Hunters pack, where he has played alongside a number of them as part of recent Kumuls campaigns.
If this game lives up to the quality that is usually provided on Anzac Day clashes, then it will be a cracking game with plenty to play for.
A battle of two teams who realistically out of contention for the finals. Wynnum got a good win last weekend in Normanton against the Souths Logan Magpies, and have won all of their games bar one away. Central Capras led the Bears at half time in Maryborough last weekend, but got run down 24-14, which was a vast improvement on the weekend before’s thrashing by Norths in Brisbane. A team who can barely win at home against a team with a poor record in Brisbane. Flip a coin.
In the never-ending battle between the two Fraser Coast centres, this weekend Hervey Bay get their slice of Intrust Super Cup action, after Maryborough hosted their first Country week game. This is the second time Hervey Bay have hosted a match. The locals will see a Sunshine Coast side still trying to stay in finals contention, and they got themselves back into form with a big win over Mackay last weekend. Northern Pride hold onto fifth
Tweed Heads season has really started to fizzle out. Not long ago they had NRL stars and were sitting pretty in the top six, now they still have Kane Elgey but are well outside the top six, and were flogged by Townsville last weekend. Mackay also know a thing or two about getting well beaten, they have suffered some big losses lately in a run that sees them winless in months. Almost at the stage where you’re playing for pride at Piggabeen.
Fifth v seventh, but so much more. Here are two teams on the rise after various patches of losses at some stage of the 2018 Intrust Super Cup season. Norths have been as high as second, and the Tigers lowest position hit double figures at some stage, but here they are two points apart and two positions apart, probably playing for one of two finals spots. Easts looked good against Redcliffe last weekend, and had every chance to win in Goondiwindi. Norths were blown away by the Hunters in PNG, but are tough to beat at home. A classic Sunday afternoon kick off for a classic Sunday afternoon all Brisbane clash.
Redcliffe Dolphins v Ipswich Jets at Dolphin Stadium, Saturday, July 28 – 1.10pm
Wynnum Manly Seagulls v CQ Capras, BMD Kougari Oval, Saturday, July 28 – 5pm
Sunshine Coast Falcons v Northern Pride at Stafford Park, Hervey Bay Saturday, July 28 – 6pm
Tweed Heads Seagulls v Mackay Cutters at Piggabeen Sports Complex, Sunday, July 29 – 1.15pm
Norths Devils v Easts Tigers at Bishop Park, Sunday, July 29 – 3pm
PNG Hunters v Burleigh Bears at National Football Stadium, Sunday, July 29 – 3pm
Souths Logan Magpies v Townsville Blackhawks at Davies Park, Sunday, July 29 – 3pm
BRENDAN O’FARRELL – CEO INTRUST SUPER
TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS
ADRIAN VOWLES – FOG
SHANNON MEYER – ISC CONTRIBUTOR
SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS
TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS
SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES
Redcliffe Dolphins v Ipswich Jets
1. Josh Beehag 2. Jonus Pearson 3. Tom Opacic 4. Moses Pangai 5. Jeremy Hawkins 6. Bryce Donovan 7. Cameron Cullen (c) 8. Nathan Watts 9. Jake Turpin 10. Sam Anderson 11. Toby Rudolf 14. Scott Schulte 13. Jamil Hopoate 12. Aaron Whitchurch 15. James Taylor 16. Tom Geraghty 17. Hugh Pratt
1. Michael Purcell 2. Marmin Barba 3. Ben White 4. Isimeeli Hafoka 5. Richie Pandia 6. Chris Ash 7. Julian Christian 8. Tyson Lofipo 9. Jayden Connors 10. Nat Neale (c) 17. Billy McConnachie 11. Rowan Winterfield 13. Ben Shea 15. Sam Caslick 16. Huskie Teutau 18. Wes Conlon 19. Mitch Carpenter
Wynnum Manly Seagulls v CQ Capras
Wynnum Manly Seagulls
1. Daniel Ogden 2. Jack Goodsell 3. Jeriah Goodrich 4. Delouise Hoeter 5. Edward Burns 6. Shaun Nona 7. Patrick Templeman (c) 8. Aaron Rockley 9. Mitch Cronin 10. Keenan Palasia 11. Til Vea 12. Adam Tuimavave-Gerrard 13. Max Elliott 14. Jayden Berrell 15. Stedman Lefau 16. Salesi Funaki 17. Lachlan Lee 18. Patrick Carrigan 19. Alex Barr
1. Zeik Foster 2. Junior Kirisome 3. Connor Broadhurst 4. Nathan Bassani 5. Chanel Seigafo 6. Blake Goodman 7. Jack Madden (c) 8. Oliver Percy 9. Billy Gilbert 10. Brad Lupi 11. Bill Cullen 12. Dave Taylor 13. Jamie Hill 14. Dave Cowhan 15. Luke George 16. Aaron Flanagan 18. Maipele Morseau 19. Wade Carra
Sunshine Coast Falcons v Northern Pride
Sunshine Coast Falcons
1. Ryan Papenhuyzen 2. Matt Soper-Lawler 3. Justin Olam 4. Christopher Lewis 5. Sandor Earl 6. Rhys Jacks 7. Ryley Jacks 18. Lachlan Timm 9. Harry Grant 19. Jacob Hind 11. Dane Hogan (c) 10. Tui Kamikamica 12. Thomas Eisenhuth 13. Sam Burns 14. Lachlan Roe 15. Jye Ballinger 16. Louis Geraghty
1. Murray Taulagi 2. Javid Bowen 3. Brett Anderson 4. Shawn Bowen 5. Gideon Gela-Mosby 6. Jordan Biondi-Odo 7. Jack Campagnolo 8. William Bugden 9. Ryan Ghietti (c) 10. Sheldon Powe-Hobbs 11. Graham Clark 12. Ethan Lowe 13. David Murphy 14. Connor Jones 15. Emry Pere 16. Darryn Schonig 17. Troy Kapea 18. Matthew Musumeci 19. Nathan Wales 20. Jonico Hardwick 21. Jack Murphy
Tweed Heads Seagulls v Mackay Cutters
Tweed Heads Seagulls
1. Talor Walters 5. Kainoa Gudgeon 3. Kiah Cooper 4. Ryland Jacobs 2. Tevita Folau 6. Lindon McGrady 7. Kane Elgey 8. Reece Summer 9. Eli Levido 10. Jarrod Morfett 11. Lamar Manuel-Liolevave (c) 12. Kalani Going 13. Maia Sands 15. Jack Cook 16. Sam Saville 18. Rory Lillis 20. Kirk Murphy
1. Lachlan Coote 2. Yamba Bowie 3. Nathan Saumalu 4. Blake Atherton 5. Johnny Faletagoa’i 6. Kyle Laybutt 7. Nicho Hynes (c) 8. Jordan Grant 9. Jayden Hodges 10. Nicholas Brown 11. Kellen Jenner 12. Brenden Treston 13. Bennett Leslie 14. Cooper Bambling 15. Lona Kaifoto 16. Jack Brock 17. Jye Andersen 18. Thomas Murphy
Norths Devils v Easts Tigers
1. Jack Ahearn (c) 2. Herbie Farnworth 3. Luke Pollock 4. Gehamat Shibasaki 5. Paul Ulberg 6. Gary Riccardi 7. Troy Dargan 8. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 9. Alex Bishop 10. Riley Leota 14. Guy Williams 12. Brandon Lee 13. John Palavi (c) 11. Moses Noovao-McGreal 15. Sam Tagataese 16. Carne Doyle-Manga 19. Jack Miers
1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Linc Port 4. Marion Seve 3. Conor Carey 5. Jarrod McInally 6. Billy Walters 7. Brodie Croft 8. Albert Vete 9. Chris Ostwald 10. Brett Greinke 11. Jake Foster (c) 12. Patrick Kaufusi 13. Jack Svendsen 14. Tommy Butterfield 15. Ash Little 16. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui 17. Dave Tyrrell
PNG Hunters v Burleigh Bears
1. Edene Gebbie 2. Junior Rau 3. Thompson Teteh 4. Adex Wera 5. Brendon Gotuno 6. Ase Boas (c) 7. Watson Boas 8. Enock Maki 9. Wartovo Puara 10. Moses Meninga 11. Nixon Putt 12. Willie Minoga 13. Stanton Albert 14. Charlie Simon 15. Ila Alu 16. Mekenzie Yei 17. Dilbert Issac 18. Butler Morris 19. Patrick Morea 20. Silas Gahuna
1. Kurtis Rowe 2. Troy Leo 3. Sami Sauiluma 4. Dylan Phythian 5. Toby McIntosh 6. Dallas Wells 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Luke Page (c) 9. Pat Politoni 10. Matt White 11. Jamie Dowling 12. Hayden Schwass 13. Sam Coster 14. Jai Whitbread 15. Kai O’Donnell 17. Morgan Boyle 18. Matthew Robinson
Souths Logan Magpies v Townsville Blackhawks
Souths Logan Magpies
1. Corey Allan 2. Benaiah Bowie 3. Lenny Magey 4. Dan Russell 5. Paul Rokolati 6. Guy Hamilton 7. Sam Scarlett 8. George Fai 9. Travis Waddell 10. Thomas Flegler 11. Brendon Gibb 12. Simi Fatafehi 13. Phil Dennis (c) 14. Manaia Cherrington 15. Sam Lavea 16. Daniel Tamou 17. Rhys Melville
1. Carlin Anderson 2. Jonathon Reuben 3. Shaun Hudson 4. Levi Dodd 5. Kalifa Faifai-Loa 6. Zach Clay 7. Jaelen Feeney 8. Francis Molo 9. Krys Freeman 10. Rod Griffin 11. Jake Marketo 12. Temone Power 13. Joe Boyce 14. Daniel Beasley 15. Brenden Santi 16. Andrew Davey 17. Sione Lousi