NORTHS DEVILS v NORTHERN PRIDE
Callendar Park, Innisfail on Saturday, April 5 - 5pm
Referee: Peter Gough
Head to Head: Pride 11 Norths 2 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #DEVILSvPRIDE
Rugby league fans in Innisfail are in for a treat this weekend, with the competition’s two undefeated teams to play in a top-of-the-table clash. Only the second Intrust Super Cup game played on the Cassowary Coast – this sees the Norths Devils take on the Northern Pride as they attempt to win six straight matches to open the season. The Pride have won four matches and had a bye last weekend following their round 4 win over the Hunters in Kokopo. Coach Jason Demetriou gave his team some time off to recover following their strong performance and they will be feeling fresh and hoping to stop the winning momentum of the Devils. In team news, Norths have named an unchanged 17, with Brad McKee added to an extended bench. While not officially named – reports have indicated forward Ricky Thorby will be available for the Pride, while Latu Fifita has been added to an extended bench. In the head-to-head stakes, the Pride enjoy a healthy advantage; with Norths having only won one of the past eight games played between the two teams. In an added bonus, there will also be a Cairns District Rugby League A Grade game staged, with the Innisfail Leprechauns and Cairns Brothers to face-off at 7pm.
Ben ‘Dobbo’ Dobbin (Triple M) says: The Pride will have plenty of confidence after their last victory against the Hunters, but will face the wrath of the mighty Norths Devils, who are looking the goods. This should be a great game of rugby league. Shaun Carney grabbed two meat pies last weekend and is electric from the No. 1 position. Tough game to pick. Northern Pride by 6.
MACKAY CUTTERS v TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS
Stadium Mackay on Saturday, April 5 - 6pm
Referee: Michael Wise
Head to Head: Tweed 6 Mackay 2 Drawn 4
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #MCvTHS
While both teams are desperate to add another win to their tally – don’t be surprised if this one ends in a draw. The Mackay Cutters and Tweed Heads Seagulls have drawn four times already in 12 games, a figure QRL statistician Brad Tallon says is 10 times the average number of draws per game. Both teams are coming off losses last weekend. The Cutters were unable to keep up with the Devils in the second half of their round 5 match, while Tweed Heads were left to rue a poor first half against a dominant Redcliffe. For this match, the home side have made a number of changes to their line-up, with Brent Warr (five-eighth), Tom Rouse (halfback) and Kelvin Nielsen (second row) the new faces in the team. Captain Tyson Martin moves into the centres, while Doug Hewitt and Dan Murphy have been omitted. For Tweed Heads, Matt Parata, Oliver Percy and Chris Piper come into the side with Zac Friend, Josh Harvey and Ben Ridge not named. However, Ridge may yet again play in the team, alongside fellow Titan Ryan James who has been slated to join the Seagulls for this weekend’s match.
‘Dobbo’ says: This is another battle that is hard to tip. Tweed’s form this year has been as good as my golf swing … average on a good day! But we all know what happens when you travel to NQ – boys become men! A different team will turn up against the Cutters who by their own admission need to step it up. Mackay Cutters by 4 (in a close one).
SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS v BURLEIGH BEARS
Stockland Stadium on Saturday, April 5 - 6pm
Referee: Tyson Brough
Head to Head: Burleigh 7 Sunshine Coast 3
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SCFvBEARS
Both teams will have a point to prove having suffered losses in differing circumstances last weekend. The Bears will be out to atone for a poor performance which resulted in a 46-6 loss to Wynnum Manly – while the Falcons will hope to build on a promising second half against the Jets. Down 26-0 at halftime, the Sunshine Coast put in a competitive performance in the back end of the game, scoring 16 points to win the second half. In team news, Melbourne Under 20 players Max Fesolai, Ellery Tusa, Aaron Teroi and John Filipo have not been named in the Falcons line-up; but some may yet re-join the team. Maa Ruua is also out with Joe Meninga, Phil Taylor, Callum Klein, David Oakes and Matt Gilliman named in their place. Burleigh coach Carl Briggs has been forced to make changes following a spiteful match against the Seagulls, with Kyle McConnell and Siuatonga Likiliki both serving one-match bans for striking. Forward Nick Harrold, who was named, will also serve a one-game suspension for a dangerous throw. Sam Meskell is also out of the Bears team, with Matt Keating to return, with James Dunley and Dimitri Pelo – who debuted at 17 for Burleigh in 2002 – to play his first Cup game since 2006. Matt Bell has been named on an extended bench.
‘Dobbo’ says: The Sunshine Coast showed everybody that they are improving as the season goes on with a spirited effort last weekend against the Jets. The big second-rower from NZ – Jaz Nahu-Main –is really putting his stamp on games (Jaz is the name of my female cat by the way!). Burleigh leaked points last week and the effort from the Sunny Coast has been solid. Sunshine Coast Falcons by 2.
REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS v CQ CAPRAS
Dolphin Oval on Sunday, April 6 - 2pm
Referee: Jarrod Cole
Head to Head: Redcliffe 26 Central 7 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PHINSvCQC
Brisbane Broncos playmaker Duncan Paia’Aua makes his Intrust Super Cup debut for the Central Queensland Capras in their must-win game against the Dolphins. A CQ junior, Paia’Aua will make the step up into senior footy from the Broncos NYC ranks. “Duncan is a phenomenal talent who has played a key role in the great start to the 2014 year for the Broncos NYC side,” Capras operations manager Walson Carlos said. “We are very excited about what Duncan will bring to our side.” The Capras have now gone eight games without a victory in a run that stretches back to August last year. A trip to Dolphin Oval isn’t the place a visiting team wants to go to break its duck, but the Capras can draw confidence from their win and draw against Redcliffe last year. After a slow start themselves, the Dolphins have hit form with gritty wins over the Easts Tigers and Tweed Heads Seagulls. The emergence of classy halves pairing Zach Strasser and Adrian Davis has played a key role in the resurgence. However, Dolphins coach Troy Lindsay will need to find a replacement for Davis after the livewire half was last night suspended for one match for a dangerous throw.
‘Dobbo’ says: The Dolphins have had their pay cheques threatened and have finally started to show they are a real threat to the comp! They will make light work of Capras who to their credit turn up with effort every week. Stewart Mills, in his first season in the Intrust Super Cup, has been outstanding and is putting a lot of pressure on the players ahead of him at the Broncos for a starting spot. Redcliffe Dolphins by 16.
IPSWICH JETS v PNG HUNTERS
North Ipswich Reserve on Sunday, April 6 - 2pm
Referee: Chris Anderson
Head to Head: First game
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #JETSvPNG
Live Stream: http://www.qrl.com.au/interactive/live-stream.html
Former Kumul and current Ipswich Jets forward Rod Griffin goes head to head with his fellow countrymen in Sunday’s clash at the North Ipswich Reserve. Griffin is in career-best form for the Jets, who will need to be at their very best against a powerful Hunters line up. The Hunters staged a great fightback to record a 20-20 draw against Easts in what has already been dubbed by many good judges as the game of the season. The epic end-to-end contest produced some extraordinary rugby league in front of one of the biggest crowds seen at Brisbane’s Langlands Park in years. With the PNG team’s fan base expanding by the day, Sunday’s match is expected to attract another bumper crowd. Adding to the appeal of this game is the attacking arsenal of both teams. Ipswich’s dynamic smaller men, including Wes Conlon, Marmin Barba, Troy O’Sullivan and Matt Parcell, have been posing problems for opposition defences. Like the Jets, the Hunters can score tries from anywhere on the field, with their ability to off-load and break out of tackles a feature of their play. Ipswich will be without injured fullback Javarn White, while the Hunters are set to be without strike centre Thompson Teteh.
‘Dobbo’ says: What a great game this will be. The Sunday afternoon game at the North Ipswich Reserve will double as the Disability Awareness Day and is the Hunters’ first game at Ipswich. Ollie Olds, the import from Wales, made his debut at Intrust Super Cup level last weekend and is starting again on Sunday. The Hunters were fantastic in their second half last week against the Tigers. Never tip against the Jets! Ipswich Jets by 8. * I’ll be calling this game with Greg “Jacko” Lyons via www.phoenixradio.com.au
SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES v WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS
Davies Park on Sunday, April 6 - 2pm* (Live on Channel 9)
Referee: Tim Rutherford
Head to Head: Wynnum 23 Souths Logan 10 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SLMvWYN
Any match that pits two talented brothers against each other is always worth the price of admission. For the first time, Ben Cronin will go up against his younger brother Mitch. The siblings previously played together at Souths Logan, but Ben has since switched back to Wynnum Manly and is playing some great footy. Mitch has also made a move, linking with the Canberra Raiders to pursue his NRL dream. But the young hooker is back with the Magpies for the time being following the re-establishment of their secondary affiliation. In milestone news, Wynnum Manly hooker Jake Granville plays his 100th match for the Seagulls and winger Peter Gubb his 50th. Wynnum Manly have won their past four matches against Souths Logan, but the Magpies might just be slight favourites here due to the home ground advantage. The Seagulls produced their best performance of the season last week, belting Burleigh 46-6 at BMD Kougari Oval. Bronco David Stagg is poised to turn out for his second game for the Seagulls after being a late addition to the Wynnum team last week.
‘Dobbo’ says: Josh Hannay needs to take my advice and bring the “Love Rat” into the top grade. Souths made light work of the Capras but face a big battle against Wynnum. Maybe I got the Jake Granville hair thing wrong last weekend. There is always a first! Rack and stack another scalp to be had for Wynnum. Wynnum Manly Seagulls by 16.