by Shannon Meyer (Twitter @gurgler_the) and Matt Crowhurst (Twitter @crowhurst_m)

Ipswich Jets v Northern Pride at North Ipswich Reserve on Saturday, April 4 – 5pm

The Jets should have the wood on the Pride at Ipswich this weekend, the Pride have not won in Ipswich since 2009 and have had a tough start to the season. If the Pride are to kick start their season this weekend it will be through dynamic duo of Jason Roos and Sam Obst. Roos is an experienced campaigner who operates smartly from dummy half and will take full advantage of any lazy defending by markers. He is part of a tough frontrow that features Cowboys contracted props Patrick Kaufusi and Ben Spina.

The Pride attack has struggled to get into gear this season, Obst will be looking for Brett Anderson, Javid Bowen and Hezron Murgha to get free out wide and score the points.

For the Jets young hooker Matt Parcell will be looking to win his battle with Roos and push for a call up to the Broncos. Centre Nemani Valekapa has been in sensational form this season, scoring four tries in four games, however speedsters Marmin Barba and Carlin Anderson are every bit as dangerous as is former Origin player Chris Walker.

The Jets should have too many attacking weapons and should account for the Pride comfortably.

Odds: Ipswich Jets $1.33, Pride $3.30

Prediction: Jets by 12

Ipswich Jets: 1. Carlin Anderson 2. Marmin Barba 3. Chris Walker 4. Nemani Valekapa 5. Brandon McGrady 6. Josh Cleeland 7. Dane Phillips 8. Josh Seage 9. Matt Parcell 10. Rod Griffin 11. Sam Martin 12. Kurt Capewell 13. Keiron Lander (c) 14. Troy O’Sullivan 15. Kurtis Lingwoodock 16. Billy McConnachie 17. Liam Capewell 18. Gerico Cecil

Coach: Ben Walker and Shane Walker

Northern Pride: 1. Hezron Murgha 2. Linc Port 3. Brett Anderson (c) 4. Luke George 5. Javid Bowen 6. Ryan Ghietti 7. Sam Obst 8. Ben Spina 9. Jason Roos (c) 10. Patrick Kaufusi 11.  Vaipuna Tia Kilifi 12. Graham Clark 13. Tom Hancock 14. Cameron King 15. Jack Svendsen 16. Sheldon Powe-Hobbs 17. David Murphy

Coach: Joe O’Callaghan

Townsville v Wynnum
Townsville Blackhawks v Wynnum Manly Seagulls at Jack Manski Oval on Saturday, April 4 – 4.30pm

The first game of Round 5 kicks off in Townsville with a clash of the aerials mascots – Blackhawks v Seagulls, although on paper an army helicopter should be far too powerful for a bird. Similarly for this clash between two sides who have three wins from four, on paper the Blackhawks, with their bounty of Cowboys treasures, look too strong for the Seagulls.

Where the Townsville side have NRL regulars like Robert Lui, Anthony Mitchell, Neville Costigan et al, the Wynnum side retains a good number of the squad who are Queensland Cup finals hardened, and will be ready to take it to Townsville on Saturday.

One thing that one would presume is that there’ll be plenty of points in this game. Townsville have racked up 50 points in their last two games, scoring 19 tries in the process, including a rare quadruple to Rhyse Martin in the most recent win. Wynnum are not too far behind based on last weekend’s win over the Magpies where they crossed the line seven times.

Townsville’s side remains packed full of the Cowboys discards that have made them so strong thus far this season, and Wynnum have moved the man who the Broncos hired as the English Billy Slater to fullback for this clash, and it will be interesting to see his impact from the back.

All the stats lead to making the Blackhawks the obvious choice to tip for this big clash, so taking that on board, I’ll take the value and tip the Seagulls to upset Townsville by 2.

Prediction: Wynnum by 2.

Odds: Blackhawks $1.25, Seagulls $3.30


Townsville Blackhawks: 1. Jahrome Hughes 2. Zac Santo 3. Tom Humble 4. Mosese Pangai 5. Kyle Feldt 6. Robert Lui 7. Michael Parker-Walshe 8. Ricky Thorby 9. Ray Thompson 10. Daniel Beasley (c) 11. Glenn Hall 12. Rhyse Martin 13. Neville Costigan 14. Anthony Mitchell 15. Lorenzo Ma’afu 16. Chris McLean 17. Corey Jensen 18. Jonathan Reuben 19. Joe Mua 21. Noel Underwood
Coach: Kristian Woolf

Wynnum Manly Seagulls: 1. Greg Eden 2. Peter Gubb 3. Matthew Grieve 4. Mitchell Buckett 5. Daniel Ogden 6. Patrick Templeman 7. Matthew Seamark (c) 8. Ben Shea 9. Alehana Mara 10. Aaron Rockley 11. Brendon Gibb 12. Jon Grieve 13. Mitchell Frei 14. Mitchell Moore 15. John Te Reo 16. Tanu Wulf 17. Stephen Coombe
Coach: Jon Buchanan

Tapout Energy Stadium on Sunday, April 5 – 1.40pm
See Matt Crowhust’s preview here

Redcliffe v Burleigh
Redcliffe Dolphins v Burleigh Bears at Dolphin Oval on Sunday, April 5 – 2pm

A classic Sunday afternoon clash awaits two of the Queensland Cup’s more successful sides from a decade or so, if it stops raining that is.

Redcliffe got their season underway with a good win over their local rivals Norths live on TV last Sunday after their start of two losses and a bye. Burleigh have also been in the winner’s circle with consecutive home wins over the so far winless Northern Pride and the Sunshine Coast after two losses to start their season.

Redcliffe looked impressive on the back of Evander Cummins move to five-eighth and the welcome return of Joe Bond to fullback in addition to their huge forward pack. They showed glimpses that what was missing last year has been found and will be looking for a place in the Top 5. Burleigh meanwhile have toughed out wins and been strong in the second halves of their games, and will have an eye on Redcliffe’s capitulation in the second half against Tweed in Round 1 at Dolphin Oval.

An interesting stat from the QRL website is that the form lines into this game make it hard to tip – Redcliffe have lost their last 5 games at home, whilst Burleigh haven’t won at Redcliffe for 10 seasons. Redcliffe won this fixture 38-16 last year, and that seems a good enough reasons to pick the Dolphins to equal the same number of 2015 wins as Burleigh.

Prediction: Redcliffe by 16.

Odds: Dolphins $1.45, Bears $2.75


Redcliffe Dolphins: 1. Joe Bond 2. Oliver Regan 3. Tristan Lumley 4. Aaron Whitchurch 5. Tom Opacic 6. Evander Cummins 7. Luke Capewell (c) 8. Charlie Faingaa 21. Shane Pumipi 10. Jon Green 11. Josh Benjamin 12. Harley Aiono 13. Trent Richardson 14. Darcy Etrich 15. Tom Geraghty 16. Anthony Cherrington 17. Reggie Saunders
Coach: Troy Lindsay

Burleigh Bears: 1. Tyler Chadburn 2. Zach Mackay 3. Dimitri Pelo 4. Connor Broadhurst 5. Kevin Gordon 6. Todd Seymour 7. Ryley Jacks 8. Mitch Sharp 9. Nafe Seluini 10. Pele Peletelese 11. Ayden Lee 12. Jason Chan 13. Darren Griffiths (c) 14. Tom Rowles 15. Louis Fanene 16. Josh Ailaomai 19. Kyle McConnell
Coach: Jim Lenihan

Mackay Cutters v Norths Devils at Stadium Mackay on Saturday, March 4 – 6pm


The Cutters are a good team and the a lot better than a lot of people, including this scribe realised at the start of the season. We must remember though that a poor Tigers outfit mate them look especially good last weekend.

They recruited well in the off season and benefit from their association with the Cowboys. Cullen, Sio, Hoare, Martin and Day are all classy players. Any team that can afford to keep the prodigiously talented Josh Chudleigh on the bench must have some real depth to it.

Norths are a very big side, even their backs are big, however as Tweed and Redcliffe have shown in recent weeks size does not win you games on its own. The Devils have been in both games and just have not quite managed to put together 80 minute performances, you feel they have the talent in the squad if they can just put it together for the full term. Winger Rogan Dean scored a fantastic try last weekend and nearly scored what might have been the try of the season but for poor handing. Hooker Kris Freeman is a always dangerous and will again be pushing for residents selection. In Francis Molo, Brett Greinke and Todd Lowrie they have a big and dangerous forward pack.

One day soon the Devils will click and start winning, however it won’t be this weekend.

Odds: Cutters $1.25, Devils $3.90

Prediction: Cutters by 20.

Mackay Cutters: 1. Sam Clune 2. Jordan Pereira 3. Mitch Day 4. Justin Tavae 5. Buchanan Rawhiti 6. Cameron Cullen 7. Rex Johnson 8. Sam Hoare 14. Michael Sio 10. Brad Lupi 11. Tyson Martin 12. Kelvin Nielsen 13. Chris Gesch (c) 15. Aleki Falepaini 16. Josh Chudleigh 17. Josh Osborne 18. Brenden Trestan 20. Ryan Kinlyside

Coach: Kim Williams

Norths Devils: 1. Luke Pollock 2. Reece Baker 3. Steve Elliott 4. Kainga Turner 5. Rogan Dean 6. Sam Foster 7. Darren Nicholls (c) 8. Richard Tuala 9. Krys Freeman 10. Francis Molo 11. Rhett Webster 12. Brett Greinke 13. Todd Lowrie 14. Byron Creighton 15. Max Seumanutafa 16. Matt Mizzi 17. Josh Afoa

Coach: Mark Gliddon

PNG v Falcons
Sunshine Coast Falcons v PNG Hunters at Sunshine Coast Stadium on Sunday, April 5 – 3.30pm

The PNG Hunters arrive on the Sunshine Coast on Sunday hoping to build on last weekend’s win and their second spot on the Queensland Cup ladder. The Falcons meanwhile are one of two sides still looking for their first win of 2015 despite a big turnaround in form compared to 2014.

Their ambition to break their duck against the PNG Hunters looks a tough one, especially after the way the Hunters destroyed the Tweed Seagulls in the first half last Sunday, leading 34-0 at half time. However something can be taken out of this game last year where the Hunters struggled to beat the Sunshine Coast side (16-4 the final score) and the Falcons are a lot stronger this season after their tie up with the Storm.

That tie up with the Storm has seen some good players on the coast this year, and although big names like Tom Learoyd-Lahrs have taken the opportunity and moved up to the NRL, the Falcons can still call on some quality talent like Ben Hampton and Slade Griffin. The PNG Hunters, as we’ve said before, contain a side of names which very few would have heard of, but once you’ve caught up with their way of playing league you’ll be keen to know more.

One thing going in the Falcons favour is the wet weather. PNG struggled against the Tigers two weeks ago in the wet, and this could be the ace up their sleeve for Sunday’s clash. We forecast mostly fine conditions with a strong chance of a Hunters win.

Prediction: PNG by 14.

Odds: Falcons $3.90, Hunters $1.25.

Sunshine Coast Falcons: 1. Sam Wright 2. Travis Robinson 3. Rueben Baillie 4. Callum Klein 5. Suli Vunivalu 6. Ben Hampton 7. Dan Murphy 8. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 9. Slade Griffin 10. Jon Platt 11. Kenny Bromwich 12. Jake Samoa 13. Tom Murphy (c) 14. Billy Brittain 15. Jye Ballinger 16. Johnny Vuetibau 17. Mitch Ebdon
Coach: Glen Dreger

PNG Hunters: 1. Stargroth Amean 2. Oti Bland Tony 3. Ase Boas 4. Kato Ottio 5. Edward Goma 6. Israel Eliab (c) 7. Roger Laka 8. Henry Noki 9. Wartovo Puara 10. Esau Siune 11. Willie Minoga 12. Brandy Peter 13. Adam Korave 14. Warren Glare 15. Atte Bina 16. Nickson Borana Ugaia 17. Jay Jay Garrison 18. John Ragi
Coach: Michael Marum

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