Intrust Super Cup Preview: Finals Week 1
Qualifying Semi Final:
MACKAY CUTTERS v EASTS TIGERS
Virgin Australia Stadium on Sunday, September 8 - 2pm
Referee: Michael Wise
Head to Head: Mackay 6 Easts 6
Head-to-Head Finals: First match
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #ISC #MCvTIGES
Mackay is getting ready for a big Sunday of football, with three local league deciders to be played as well as the Cutters first ever home semi-final at Virgin Australia Stadium. This will be the first time the Cutters and Easts meet in a finals match and both teams have named powerful line-ups, with a host of players with NRL experience taking part. English international Gareth Widdop has been named to make his return from a hip injury at five-eighth for Easts, while fellow Melbourne Storm player Lagi Setu will also return from injury via the bench. Widdop's inclusion pushes Ben Hampton to fullback, with Grant Giess moving to the bench. Forward Setu replaces Tim Glasby, who was named in an extended squad for the Storm. The Cutters too are not without firepower, with co-captain Joel Clinton playing his second game back from an ankle injury. Liam Taylor returns at fullback in Cutters outfit which will also feature the talent of Cowboys Michael Morgan, Kalifa Faifai Loa and Jason Taumalolo, who all scored tries in last weekends victory over the Sunshine Coast. Mackay also have a strong record at home this year, winning seven games, drawing two and losing two. The Tigers have won six and lost six on the road this year. The winner will meet the Northern Pride for a spot in the grand final, while the loser will play the winner of the Wynnum Manly Seagulls v Ipswich Jets elimination final.
QRL Media tips: Mackay Cutters by 6. The red-hot Tigers will have plenty of admirers but the Cutters can harness their home ground support to claim a win and get one step closer to a maiden grand final appearance.
Elimination Semi Final:
WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS v IPSWICH JETS
BMD Kougari Oval on Sunday, September 8 2.05pm* (Live on Ch 9)
Referee: Clayton Sharpe
Head to Head: Wynnum 18 Ipswich 14 Drawn 3
Head-to-Head Finals: Wynnum 1 Ipswich 0 (2003 Knockout Semi: Wynnum 42 def Ipswich 12 at Ipswich)
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #ISC #WYNvJETS
The Ipswich Jets have been dealt a blow with key forward Rowan Winterfield ruled out of the elimination final. Winterfield suffered a medial ligament strain in last weekends game against Burleigh and isnt expected to take any further part in the Jets Intrust Super Cup finals campaign. Rod Griffin pushes into the starting prop forward position in Winterfields absence, with Matt Parcell slotting in on the bench. Wynnum Manly coach Jon Buchanan is set to go in with the same starting side that outplayed the Northern Pride in Cairns last weekend. The Seagulls stunned the minor premiers by racing to a 20-0 lead before going on to win 26-16. That performance alone proved the Seagulls are more than capable of pushing deep into the finals and challenging for a third-straight Intrust Super Cup title. But they first have to get over the Jets, who beat the Seagulls 28-22 in their most recent match in Toowoomba. The two clubs have played out two draws in their past six matches, with two wins each in that period. It all points to another thrilling contest on Sunday in front of the Channel 9 cameras. In milestone news, Ipswich centre Brendon Marshall requires one try to bring up 50 for the Jets, while Wynnum Manly skipper Luke Dalziel-Don needs one more four pointer to equal the club record of 83 held by David Seage.
QRL Media tips: Wynnum Manly Seagulls by 4. Recent history suggests this will be tight 80 minute tussle. Wynnum might just have the edge though, particularly as the Jets will be without suspended game-breaker Donald Malone.