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Intrust Super Cup Finals 2 preview

by QRL Media

ISC_Preview_Web_FinalsWeek2

Easts Tigers v Sunshine Coast Falcons
Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park on Sunday, September 10 - 1.30pm* (Live on Channel 9)
Referee:
Michael Gordon
Assistant Referee: Nick Pelgrave
Head-to-Head: Easts 11, Sunshine Coast 5, Drawn 1
Head-to-Head Finals: First clash
Finals experience: Sunshine Coast (played 8, won 5, lost 3); Easts (played 34, won 16, lost 18) 
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TIGESvSCF

If things follow a similar pattern this Sunday; this match is set to be a close one. These two Melbourne Storm feeder clubs have met twice previously in the regular season and only one point has been able to separate them. Their Round 1 meeting at Sunshine Coast Stadium was a 7-7 draw, while a 79th minute field goal gave Easts a 17-16 win in front of their home fans in Round 17. In a big blow for this game, the Tigers will be without rising star Brodie Croft, who suffered a hamstring injury in his side’s last-gasp win over the Blackhawks last weekend. However, they have named a handy replacement in his place in Brayden Torpy who has featured in 10 matches for Easts so far this season – including kicking the winning Round 17 field goal. However, the matches have been close – the Tigers have an obvious head-to-head advantage. The Sunshine Coast have only one win and one draw in their past 13 games against Easts and they have also lost their past seven games played at Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park. Their last win there was back in 2010. However, the Tigers have been hard to beat in their 12 home games this year, their only loss was at the hands of Souths Logan in Round 12. This game will also be the 50th Cup game for both the Falcons co-captain Alex Bishop (previously with Redcliffe) and Easts winger Jarrod McInally. It will be his 108th overall having played with Ipswich in the past.

PNG Hunters (1) v Redcliffe Dolphins (2)
National Football Stadium, Port Moresby on Sunday, September 10 - 3pm
Referee:
Jarrod Cole
Assistant Referee: Tyson Brough
Head-to-Head: PNG 5, Redcliffe 2, Drawn 1
Head-to-Head Finals: First clash
Finals experience: PNG (played 3, won 0, lost 3); Redcliffe (played 45, won 28, lost 17)
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PNGvPHINS 

The PNG Hunters will have a massive incentive to break their Intrust Super Cup finals drought in Sunday’s home match against the Redcliffe Dolphins. Michael Marum’s team is yet to win a finals game in three attempts, but their previous September woes will be well and truly forgotten if they get the better of the Dolphins in this massive 1 v 2 clash. The winner will advance directly into the September 24 grand final, while the loser will get one final chance in the preliminary final next weekend. PNG have nine wins and a draw from their 12 home games this year, while the Dolphins are six from 11 on the road in 2017. It promises to be a fascinating match up at Port Moresby’s National Football Stadium, which won’t have a spare seat available such is the interest in the Hunters’ push for a maiden Cup title. Hunters skipper Ase Boas again looms as a key figure for PNG after becoming the first Hunter to win the prestigious Courier-Mail Medal last week. He is also the first Hunter to post more than 200 points in a season. The Dolphins were too strong for PNG in their most recent encounter and will be able to call on the local knowledge of former Hunters star Thompson Teteh, who lines up at centre. Adam Mogg’s team are in excellent form, having won their last five games and eight out of the past 10. The Hunters will also be with key player Israel Eliab who is out injured. Bland Abavu will take his place in the centres.

*Statistics provided by Brad Tallon