Burleigh Bears v Norths Devils
Pizzey Park on Saturday, March 11 - 4pm
Referee: Michael Gordon
Assistant Referee: Nick Pelgrave
Head-to-Head: Burleigh 24 Norths 18
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #BEARSvDEVILS
The Burleigh Bears will be looking to get their premiership defence back on track when they host the Norths Devils in Round 2’s opening match. The home side have been ravaged by injuries in the pre-season, which has compounded their off-season personnel losses – but have found some local league talents like winger Troy Leo who made his mark with an impressive first half try. However, they will face a stern test against a revamped Norths Devils side who were pipped 18-16 by Townsville in a seesawing game last weekend. The travelling Devils have a poor record at Pizzey Park, and have only won one of their past nine games there. The Bears though have enjoyed a strong recent home run and have lost only one of their past eight home games.
Sunshine Coast Falcons v Souths Logan Magpies
Sunshine Coast Stadium on Saturday, March 11 - 4.30pm
Referee: Tyson Brough
Head-to-Head: Souths Logan 11 Sunshine Coast 5 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SCFvSLM
The Falcons will be looking for their backline to fire following a low-scoring draw against fellow Melbourne feeder club Easts. The 7-7 draw was only the second odd number draw in the competition’s history. While he may not have crossed the line for his new side, former Hunter Justin Olam impressed, running for a competition high 196 metres. Despite not being named, forward Dane Hogan is expected to suit up for the Falcons in this game. The Magpies travel up the coast having faced similar problems crossing the try line, with forward Daniel Tamou scoring their sole points in their 17-4 loss last weekend against Wynnum Manly. The Falcons have a strong record at home and have only lost one of their past eight games (with two draws included in that tally) there; but the Magpies too have statistics in their favour and were bested only twice in their past eight games away from Davies Park.
CQ Capras v Redcliffe Dolphins
Browne Park on Saturday, March 11 - 5pm
Referee: Liam Kennedy
Head-to-Head: Redcliffe 31 Central 7 Drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #CQCvPHINS
While this game had rugby league fans talking yesterday with rumours of Benji Marshall making his return to the field with the Dolphins – it has now been reported that the high-profile signing to the Brisbane Broncos in the off-season may instead serve the 18th man role for his new club tonight in the match against the Cowboys. Redcliffe posted a strong win over their grand final combatants the Bears last weekend with halves Zach Strasser and Christian Hazard (who was the XXXX man of the match) getting the job done, so it will be interesting to see how Phins coach Adam Mogg balances his team if Marshall were to turn out for his first Cup game. Capras fans will be willing their side to claim a high-profile scalp after falling just short of producing another stunning upset over the Hunters last weekend. However, they have only won one of their past 14 games against Redcliffe (including one drawn result). Samson Graham has been named on an extended Redcliffe bench and may face off against his former club.
Wynnum Manly Seagulls v Northern Pride
BMD Kougari Oval on Saturday, March 11 - 6pm
Referee: Tim Rutherford
Head-to-Head: Pride 10 Wynnum Manly 9
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #WYNvPRIDE
Two first round winners go head-to-head in an appealing Saturday night clash on the bayside. The Gulls again have Bronco David Mead in their centres, with coach Adam Brideson praising his contribution in last weekend’s win over Souths. The Pride were too good for NQ rivals Mackay last weekend, with rising star Gideon Gela-Mosby showing off his noted try-scoring skills to bag a double. While the Gulls won both their games against the Pride last year, the northern side had won the previous four games played between the two sides at BMD Kougari Oval. The Pride also have an away record they will be looking to build on, having won their past four games outside Cairns. In milestones to note, Wynnum Manly stalwart John Te Reo played his 150th Cup game for Wynnum Manly and his 185th overall last week.
Mackay Cutters v Tweed Heads Seagulls
BB Print Stadium, Mackay on Saturday, March 11 - 6pm
Referee: Ben Watts
Head-to-Head: Tweed 10 Mackay 4 Drawn 4
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #MCvTHS
Tweed Heads halfback Michael Burgess will turn out for his 50th game for the Seagulls in Saturday’s away match. Burgess will be out for a big outing as the Seagulls look to hit back after a heavy opening round loss to the Ipswich Jets last weekend. The Seagulls struggled to penetrate the Jets line, with their only try coming from an Ipswich mistake late in the first half. Under new coach Steve Sheppard, Mackay was held to a solitary try as well in their 22-4 loss to the Northern Pride. However, both teams should be much better for the opening round hit out and a close game is expected at BB Print Stadium. The two teams have a history of close results in Mackay, having played out a staggering three draws in previous encounters.
Ipswich Jets v Townsville Blackhawks
North Ipswich Reserve on Sunday, March 12 - 12.40pm* (Live on Channel 9)
Referee: Adam Gee
Assistant Referee: Belinda Sleeman
Head-to-Head: Ipswich 3 Townsville 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #JETSvTSVB
A fascinating contest awaits Intrust Super Cup fans when the Ipswich Jets play host to the Blackhawks in a Sunday afternoon blockbuster. These two clubs have developed an intense rivalry since the Blackhawks’ inception into the competition in 2015. Townsville led the competition all year in their debut season, only to be left empty handed in the grand final against a spirited Ipswich team which finally broke through for the club’s maiden premiership. Only Ipswich and PNG have winning head-to-head records v Townsville, as Kristian Woolf’s Blackhawks look to square the ledger at 3-3. All eyes will be on the performance of former Jets premiership-winning fullback Carlin Anderson, who returns to Ipswich to play against the Jets for the time in Blackhawks colours. Anderson scored a great try on debut for the Blackhawks in their 18-16 win over Norths Devils last Sunday. On the milestone front, Jets halfback Dane Phillips plays his 150th overall Cup game, while hooker Anthony Mitchell makes his 50th appearance for the Blackhawks.
PNG Hunters v Easts Tigers
National Football Stadium on Sunday, March 12 - 3pm
Referee: Jarrod Cole
Head-to-Head: PNG 2 Easts 2 drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PNGvTIGES
The PNG Hunters host their first home game of the season at the National Football Stadium on Sunday. While the Hunters have won a staggering 33 of 36 games on home soil, history says the Tigers will be right in this game. Easts are one of the three teams to have beaten PNG on their home turf, and matches between the two clubs have regularly produced tight finishes. The Tigers’ opening match of the 2017 season against the Sunshine Coast last weekend was certainly a tight affair, with both sides trading late field goals to ensure a 7-7 draw. Storm forward Dean Britt has been added to the Tigers’ pack for the Round 2 clash. For the Hunters, powerhouse forward turned centre Willie Minoga plays his 50th match in PNG colours. Minoga, who returned to the Hunters after a stint with Townsville last year, scored a great solo try to get his team over the line in their hard-fought 22-16 win over the Central Queensland Capras in Rockhampton last weekend.
*Statistics provided by Brad Tallon