PNG HUNTERS v EASTS TIGERS
Kalabond Oval, Kokopo on Saturday, June 21 – 2.30pm
Referee: Michael Gordon
Head to Head: PNG 0 Easts 0 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PNGvTIGES
The last time these two sides met, the game ended in a thrilling draw – and both sides will do well to produce a similarly entertaining game this week. Both clubs are coming off losses – with the Hunters going down to the Cutters in Mackay and Easts suffering a 44-20 loss against the Northern Pride. The Tigers were on the back foot from the get-go – only getting on the scoreboard late in the game when the result was beyond doubt. The Hunters too were below their best form – although early injuries also made it difficult for them to lift against a Mackay side who were playing for their season. In team changes, the PNG Hunters will see Dion Aiye on the bench with Sebastian Pandia not named. The Tigers haven’t had the best preparation for such an important match, with uncertainty surrounding their final 17 due to the unavailability of their Melbourne Storm players, including Cameron Munster and Hymel Hunt. Both players were named but it is understood the talented pair will now stay behind in Melbourne.
Ben ‘Dobbo’ Dobbin (Triple M) says: This is an important game for the Tigers if they want to force their way back into the top five. Beaten last weekend by the Pride at home, this is a make or break road trip for the Tigers in PNG. Easts to win in an upset by 6.
NORTHERN PRIDE v CQ CAPRAS
Barlow Park on Saturday, June 21 – 5.30pm
Referee: Nick Morel
Head to Head: Pride 9 Central 5
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PRIDEvCQC
A spirited second-half comeback by the Capras was not enough to overcome Souths Logan in Gladstone last weekend; and they will need to summon all of that spirit again as they take on one of the toughest tasks in the competition – the Northern Pride in Cairns. There have been five changes made to their line-up, with injury – and the retirement of playmaker Brent Crisp – seeing a major reshuffle. John Clayton replaces an injured Mitch Zornig, with skipper Gavin Hiscox to join him in the back row. Liam Pickersgill (medial ligament), Arlin Paki and Ha’ofanga Rabakewa are the other omissions, with Sam Madden, Tyson White and Tom McKenzie the new faces. Already highly regarded, the Pride went to another level last weekend with their comprehensive 44-20 win over the in-form Easts Tigers. This week, XXXX man of the match Robert Lui has been called up to the Cowboys bench, with Ricky Thorby not named, with Ryan Ghietti and Semi Tadulala to re-join the team. Five-eighth Shaun Nona booted six goals in last week’s win, and now requires two goals to bring up 100 in the Cup.
‘Dobbo’ says: The Pride’s first 60 minutes last week was close to perfect rugby league. Jason Demetriou would not have been happy with the late tries that the Tigers scored but the Pride are clear cut favourites for this year’s Intrust Super Cup. CQ are always tough but the competition leaders should make light work of it all. Northern Pride by 16.
SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS v WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS
Stockland Stadium on Saturday, June 21 - 6pm
Referee: Robert Gallacher
Head to Head: Wynnum 9 Sunshine Coast 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SCFvWYN
Preview from 4pm: http://www.spreaker.com/show/intrust-super-cup-inquisition
Despite contrasting results last weekend; both sides will field unchanged line-ups for this Saturday night match-up. After producing a stirring performance in round 15 to go within one point of producing the upset of the year; last week the Falcons were unable to contain the point-scoring prowess of the Burleigh Bears, going down 60-6. The Seagulls however went on a scoring binge of their own against the Devils, and their 52-12 win was the first time Wynnum have scored in excess of 50 points away from home in more than 10 years. Matt Seamark kicked eight goals in the victory and now only needs six more points to bring up 100 for the season. When he does, it will be his sixth season in succession where he has scored 100 points or more. The last time the teams met – the Seagulls were too good for the Sunshine Coast posting a 36-0 win, but the Falcons can be expected to put up a big fight at home. Falcons lock Tom Murphy will play in his 50th Cup game, having played with Redcliffe in the past.
‘Dobbo’ says: Sunny Coast are not on their own at getting beaten by large scores this season. Almost every team has had a turn. Wynnum will look to do a job on the Sunny Coast and cement a top five spot. Jordan Kahu’s form is slowly improving and he is knocking on the door of selection at NRL level again. Wynnum Manly Seagulls by 12.
TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS v BURLEIGH BEARS
Piggabeen Sports on Sunday, June 22 – 2pm
Referee: Clayton Sharpe
Head to Head: Tweed 12 Burleigh 11
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #THSvBEARS
A team on an eight-game winning streak in Tweed Heads will come face-to-face with a team in Burleigh that has scored 134 points in their past three wins. Add into the mix the fact it is a local derby – and you have all the ingredients for a classic. However, much was also expected of their XXXX Rivalry Round match earlier this year – but that time, the Seagulls were dominant, posting a 28-0 win. Given the good form the Bears have found in recent weeks; it’s unlikely this will be repeated. Burleigh have made one change to the side that undid the Sunshine Coast 60-6 (a score that included a club record six-try haul to fullback Henare Wells) last weekend, with Dimitri Pelo in to the centres for Jamie Anderson. Matt Beddow came off with a leg injury early in last week’s game, but has been named at hooker. For the Seagulls, their one change sees Chris Piper in for Ryan James. Fittingly for a derby, the head-to-head record is quite even, however, Tweed have won six of the past seven games between these two sides.
‘Dobbo’ says: Match of the round for me. Tweed were a touch lucky to win against the Jets while Burleigh ran up a cricket score. Battle of the south coast and sure to be as good as it gets. The Tweed have been the surprise packet of the year while the Bears have made a climb up the ladder under “Disco” Jimmy Lenihan. There are huge raps on the Burleigh five-eighth Conner Toia who has put plenty of structure and shape into the backline. Burleigh Bears by 16.
SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES v REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS* (Live on Channel 9/WIN/NBN)
Davies Park on Sunday, June 22 - 2pm
Referee: Chris Anderson
Head to Head: Redcliffe 27 Souths-Logan 8 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SLMvPHINS
Souths Logan return home after three weeks away (plus a bye) to host a team they have traditionally struggled against, the Dolphins. The Magpies held on last weekend to snap a two-game losing streak with a 30-22 win over the Capras; and will be looking to halt a six-game losing record against Redcliffe. In their last game, the Dolphins were on track to become the second team to record a win over PNG in Kokopo, only to be thwarted by a remarkable comeback. Rested from the bye, they have a number of players returning this weekend, with co-captain Marty Hatfield in at centre for Nick Ritter, and Jake Marketo to return following a lengthy suspension. In developing news, Petero Civoniceva is poised to come into the forwards for Bronco Dave Hala. Caleb Hoffmann will come in at lock, with Joe Bradley and James Ackerman the players to be omitted. The Magpies have made two changes, with Sam Mataora returning via the bench in place of Zac Lemberg, while Darcy Wright will start. Shane Duck drops to an extended bench.
‘Dobbo’ says: A cracking Channel 9 game featuring the battle of the first year coaches. Both sides have had up and down seasons and are really looking to find some consistent form. The “Love Rat” has retired after pulling a heart muscle so Souths are a real chance. Redcliffe on the road are a chance. Souths Logan Magpies by 4.
NORTHS DEVILS v IPSWICH JETS
Bishop Park on Sunday, June 22 - 3pm
Referee: Adam Devcich
Head to Head: Norths 23 Ipswich 11 Drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #DEVILSvJETS
Livestream: Tiger TV (Yes that is right, Tiger TV will call this match while their boys are in PNG!)
The top of the Intrust Super Cup ladder is a congested place – and recent losses have seen Norths drop out of the top five and Ipswich clinging to fifth. Both have lost three games in a row – and in the past two weeks – both teams (Ipswich in round 15 and Norths in round 16) have also conceded 50 points. This match will be viewed as a good opportunity to reclaim their impressive early season form. In a boost for the Jets, skipper Keiron Lander has been named at lock, while Josh Seage has also been included to start. Last week’s debutant Ben White and Billy McConnachie will both make way if everyone is fit. For the Devils, Sam Foster will start at halfback in the place of youngster Kalolo Saitaua, with BJ Munns in for Kainga Turner. Dean Sheppard comes onto the bench. While Norths are undefeated in the previous five games between these two sides (four wins and a draw) – they have not enjoyed their time at home so much this season, and have lost three of their past four games at Bishop Park.
‘Dobbo’ says: Nothing more to say other than Ipswich Jets by 6.