Rd 11 Intrust Super Cup preview
PNG HUNTERS v WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS
Kalabond Oval, Kokopo on Saturday, May 10 – 2.30pm
Referee: Peter Gough
Head to Head: First game
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PNGvWYN
Wynnum Manly warhorse Tim Natusch will step out for his 100th match for the Seagulls in Saturday’s round 11 clash in Papua New Guinea. Never one to take a backward step, the feisty forward and Seagulls skipper will need to lead from example against a refreshed Hunters outfit. The Hunters, who had last week off with the bye, have won three of their four home games this year. Wynnum’s form on the road has been below par, with only one win to show from four away matches. But the Seagulls have momentum behind them after consecutive wins over the Norths Devils and Redcliffe Dolphins. The contest in the middle promises to be spectacular, even with both teams missing some key personnel. Seagulls’ hooker Jake Granville is named on an extended Broncos bench, while the Hunters go into the match without key forwards Gonzela Urakusie, David Loko and Timothy Lomai. Urakusie and Loko were not considered for selection due to disciplinary reasons, while Lomai is serving the final week of a two-match suspension for a dangerous throw. Their absence opens the door for the hard-running Willie Minoga to get his second game in the starting line-up.
Ben ‘Dobbo’ Dobbin (Triple M) says: Wynnum are like a bottle of red wine; they just keep getting better. However, playing the Hunters in PNG is a completely different story. With the week off and playing at home, Wynnum could be in trouble, especially with Jake Granville up in Townsville with the Broncos. This will be a fantastic game. Hunters by 4.
IPSWICH JETS v CQ CAPRAS
North Ipswich Reserve on Saturday, May 10 - 5pm
Referee: Jarrod Cole
Head to Head: Ipswich 21 Central 11 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #JETSvCQC
Live call: www.phoenixradio.com.au
All eyes will be on Ben Hannant's return to the Intrust Super Cup. Having missed selection with the Brisbane Broncos this week, Hannant will play for the Jets in his first Cup game since July, 2006, when he turned out for the Toowoomba Clydesdales. Hannant is no stranger to the green and white colours, having played for the club in a pre-season trial earlier this year. But there is a lot more at stake this time around, with the former Maroons prop hoping to push his claims for an NRL return with a big performance. Saturday night’s game is set to be fiercely competitive as well. The Capras appear to be a team on the rise and head into this match with their tails up after a 36-0 win over the Sunshine Coast last week. Ipswich is also riding high on the back of five-straight wins, but there is a school of thought that the home team could be ripe for the picking here. Central will have to overcome a horror away record if they are to upset the second-placed Jets, whose last loss against the Capras at the North Ipswich Reserve was in 2006. One Capras player worth following closely in the gifted Marlon Doak. An electric runner of the ball, Doak last weekend became just the third Capras player to score four tries in a single match.
‘Dobbo’ says: Jason Hetherington and his men are quietly confident they have the wood on the Jets; but that was before they saw Ben Hannant was bound for the Ipswich front row! All were surprised by his Broncos omission; but one team’s loss is another’s gain. Plenty to like about the Capras, but in front of an Ipswich home crowd on Ladies Day raising money for Kim Walters Choices – no chance! Jets by 16.
MACKAY CUTTERS v SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS
Stadium Mackay on Saturday, May 10 - 6pm
Referee: Robert Gallacher
Head to Head: Mackay 9 Sunshine Coast 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #MCvSCF
It’s not often a coach is happy after a defeat, but Mackay’s Kim Williams managed a smile after his side went down fighting to the Pride last weekend. “If they are the best team in the competition at the moment, we are not too far off the pace,” he told a visiting QRL official following their 22-18 loss. Smiles may be hard to find for the Falcons however, who have now lost a record equalling 28 matches in succession after going down 36-0 to an impressive CQ Capras. Once again, a good effort was not enough to provide a spark for the Sunshine Coast, who are yet to find the finishing polish of the other teams. In team news – Niko Mataia comes into the centres for the Cutters with Doug Hewitt moving to the bench. For the Falcons, Mboya Adams has been named as starting prop in place of Melbourne Storm Under 20 Shae Ah Fook, with Rowan Klein also not named. Brad Reed comes onto the bench. Sunshine Coast back rower Jacob Samoa has received plenty of praise from his coach for his efforts so far this season and on Saturday, he will run out for his 50th Cup game (having previously played for Norths).
‘Dobbo’ says: Mackay will still be upset after being beaten by “Big Brother” Pride last weekend and will be ready to take it out on the Sunshine Coast. Ivan Henjak is doing a mighty job, along with the players who turn up every week and compete. Maybe the pizza shop owner in Mooloolaba who shouts Queenslander should come out of retirement and show the boys some passion – or maybe just shout them free pizza. Mackay by 20.
TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS v NORTHERN PRIDE
Piggabeen Sports on Sunday, May 11 – 2pm* (Live on Channel 9)
Referee: Chris Anderson
Head to Head: Tweed 7 Pride 6
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #THSvPRIDE
Quite suddenly, the Tweed Heads Seagulls are now well within reach of a top five spot on the Intrust Super Cup ladder. Their 28-0 XXXX Rivalry Round win over Burleigh last weekend was their biggest ever result over the Bears and saw them surge up the ladder from 10th to 6th position. This weekend, they face an impressive Northern Pride outfit who withstood a late Cutters charge to win 22-18 – proving they know how to hang on in tough situations. In team news, Cameron King will make his debut for the Cowboys, meaning Jack Svendsen and Ryan Ghietti will return to the Pride line-up, with Ethan Lowe not named in either team. While Tweed coach Aaron Zimmerle would love to field an unchanged 17 from last weekend – the Titans have called upon Matt Srama, with Cody Nelson also named as 18th man. Halfback Beau Henry has also taken an early guilty plea for a Detrimental Conduct charge and will sit out the weekend’s game. While the head-to-head statistics for these two sides are close – the Seagulls have a strong home record, with the visiting Pride only managing the one win in five away games, with two of those games having been played at Piggabeen.
‘Dobbo’ says: Tweed will do a job on the comp leaders Pride. The loss of Cameron King to the Cowboys will see them lose starch in the middle. Tom Merritt scored three meat pies last weekend and has been outstanding for Tweed. It’s the Channel 9 game and one to not miss. Will we see another polished performance from fill-in sideline eye Frank “I have more product in my hair than Miranda Kerr” Barrett. Only time will tell. Upset on the way, Tweed by 10.
EASTS TIGERS v SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES
Langlands Park on Sunday, May 11 - 2pm
Referee: Tim Rutherford
Head to Head: Easts 24 Souths Logan 11
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TIGESvSLM
Fan favourite Donald Malone has been named on the wing again this weekend in what will be his 150th Cup game (having previously also played for Toowoomba, Ipswich and Mackay). He will be joined in the backline by Melbourne Storm-contracted Cameron Munster who will make his Easts Tigers debut at fullback. Munster – who played in Queensland’s Under 20 Origin loss to NSW last weekend – is no stranger to the competition, having won the 2013 Rookie of the Year award playing with the CQ Capras. He comes in for Eddie Tautali, while the rest of the team line-up will remain the same. For Souths Logan, Josh Papalii returns to the Raiders with Shane Duck slotting in to the back row. Both sides are coming off close losses – with Easts hoping to gain more reward on the scoreboard after crossing the line more times than Norths, but having two tries disallowed. Souths however did not take advantage of their chances in their first half against the Jets – with the Ipswich side running over the top of them in the second half. The Tigers have a strong 24-11 record against the Magpies and have also won the past four matches played between the two sides.
‘Dobbo’ says: Coach Trigger is still curled up in a ball after last week’s loss to Norths along with their No. 1 ticket holder Salty. Souths don’t have Josh Papalii this week and will struggle to try and beat the wrath of the East Tigers. The Tigers will be way too strong for Souths this week. Tigers by 16.
REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS v NORTHS DEVILS
Dolphin Oval on Sunday, May 11 - 2pm
Referee: Clayton Sharpe
Head to Head: Redcliffe 24 Norths 11 Drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PHINSvDEVILS
In a weekend full of interesting match-ups; Redcliffe will play host to one of the more traditional ones when the Devils head to Dolphin Oval on Sunday. Redcliffe went down in a tight match against Wynnum Manly last weekend, while Norths played in an even closer game; but were able to come out with a win. While they had some luck, their defence was again their strength, and overall it is second only to the Pride this year. While Dolphins coach Troy Lindsay named David Hala as a starting prop, the Broncos have called on his services, while fullback Paul Byrnes has been selected for the Brisbane Under 20 side. Backrower Jake Marketo will have a long stint on the sidelines after accepting an early guilty plea for a Grade 3 shoulder charge. For Norths, Broncos young gun Kodi Nikorima is set to play for the club, while Todd Lowrie may yet re-join the team having been named in 18 for the NRL side. Redcliffe enjoy the upper hand in the head-to-head stakes – but in recent times their home record has not been as strong. The Dolphins have only a 50% home record since the start of 2013 (overall it is 72%).
‘Dobbo’ says: Redcliffe really need to find some form and were beaten by their arch rivals Wynnum last week. This week will prove just as tough when they take on the might of the Devils. Cameron Cullen has been one of the shining lights for Redcliffe, but Gibbo and the Norths forward pack just keep on getting better and better. Todd Lowrie will play for Norths and they are loving his leadership. Norths by 12.
Burleigh Bears – bye