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Minor Semi Final:
MACKAY CUTTERS v IPSWICH JETS
Virgin Australia Stadium on Saturday, September 14 - 6pm
Live stream: http://www.qrl.com.au/default.aspx?s=live-stream
Referee: Clayton Sharpe
Head to Head: Ipswich 8 Mackay 4
Head-to-Head Finals: First clash
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #ISC #MCvJETS
Both teams have lost a key forward to suspension for Saturday nights elimination final in Mackay. Jason Schirnack (Mackay dangerous contact) and Sam Martin (Ipswich dangerous tackle) will sit out two matches and neither player will take the field again this season unless their team qualifies for the September 29 grand final. Its difficult to establish a clear-cut favourite in this one, despite the contrasting fortunes of both teams in the opening week of the finals. The Jets put in arguably their strongest performance of the season to account for Wynnum Manly 33-6, while the Cutters were off the pace against the Easts Tigers. Mackay coach Kim Williams didnt mix his words after the 31-18 defeat and is demanding considerable improvement against the Jets. Ipswich has won its last three matches in Mackay and has beaten the Cutters in six of their past seven encounters. However, Mackay beat the Jets 20-18 in their most recent match at the North Ipswich Reserve in round 16. In milestone news, Mackay fullback Liam Taylor requires four points to equal the Cutters single season points record of 154 held by Justin Hunt (2010). Ian Lacey will play his 100th game for Ipswich and his 154th overall.
QRL Media tips: Mackay Cutters by 4. The Jets will have plenty of punters in their corner after last weekends clinical performance, but the Cutters can atone with the bounce-back factor at home.
Major Semi Final:
NORTHERN PRIDE V EASTS TIGERS
Barlow Park on Sunday, September 15 - 1.35pm* (Live on Channel 9)
Referee: Chris Anderson
Head to Head: Pride 9 Easts 3
Head-to-Head Finals: First clash
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #ISC #PRIDEvTIGES
While there are two other teams who may have something to say about it many are predicting this match between the Northern Pride and Easts Tigers to be a grand final preview with the most consistent team of the year coming up against another riding the wave of momentum. Easts however, have never beaten the Pride in Cairns in six attempts. The Tigers will also have to overcome the Prides tremendous home record which has seen them lose only four of their past 42 games at Barlow Park. In a welcome boost for the Northern powerhouse, senior players Sam Obst and skipper Ty Williams return for a Pride outfit hoping to cement its first grand final berth since 2010. Both players were rested from their teams last round loss to Wynnum Manly and coach Jason Demetriou is counting on their experience in such an important match. Felise Kaufusi has also been named, with Ryan Ghietti, Justin Castellaro and Tom Hancock the players omitted. For the Tigers, there have been four changes to the team that comfortably defeated the Mackay Cutters last weekend. Gareth Widdop who made a remarkable comeback from a dislocated hip last weekend has been named on an extended bench for the Melbourne Storm, while injury has forced three other changes to the Tigers squad. Forwards Dane Hogan (soreness), Liam McDonald (ankle) and Lagi Setu (calf) are set to miss the match, with props Adam Marr and Liufau Hala the new faces on the interchange bench alongside playmaker Isaac Kaufmann. Jack Joass returns at fullback.
QRL Media tips: Northern Pride by 6. What a game this will be, but given it will be skipper Ty Williams last home game, the Pride will have extra motivation.