CQ CAPRAS v BURLEIGH BEARS
Browne Park on Saturday, June 28 – 4pm
Referee: Tim Rutherford
Head to Head: Burleigh 29 Central 6
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #CQCvBEARS
Despite a bruising 16-16 draw with Tweed Heads last week, Burleigh Bears will be the popular choice amongst tipsters. The Bears won three in a row before last week’s draw at Piggabeen, a form line that suggests they will be hard to topple in Rockhampton tomorrow night. Under new coach Jim Lenihan, the Bears are launching a strong charge for a semi-final berth. The Capras will look to play a spoiling role and their recent home record against Burleigh suggests they could be more than a nuisance in this Round 18 clash. Central has won three of their past four games against Burleigh at Browne Park. However, Jason Hetherington’s team has endured a spate of bad luck in recent weeks, with a heavy injury toll testing the club’s depth. Three of their best attacking players – Brent Crisp (now retired), Marlon Doak and Marco Delapeno – are among those on the sidelines. Hetherington will now go with the new halves pairing of Ian Webster and Shannon Rupapere this weekend. Burleigh haven’t named injured stars Matt Keating and Nafe Seluini, but there is still plenty of strike power throughout their line-up which includes the competition’s leading try scorer (Henare Wells) and points scorer (Khan Ahwang).
Ben ‘Dobbo’ Dobbin (Triple M) says: Burleigh and Tweed had a draw last week and some believe it was a preview to the grand final. CQ have had a real go this year but injuries and a lack of depth has taken a toll. “Disco” Jimmy has really turned the Bears around since taking over the reins mid-season and they will keep on winning. Burleigh Bears by 16.
SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS v IPSWICH JETS
Stockland Stadium on Saturday, June 28 – 6pm
Referee: Rob Gallacher
Head to Head: Ipswich 7 Sunshine Coast 3 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SCFvJETS
Ipswich is bracing itself for a tough contest against a desperate Sunshine Coast at Stockland Stadium. The Falcons, still pushing for their first win of the Intrust Super Cup season, will attempt to ambush the fourth-placed Jets in front of their home fans. The Falcons pushed a highly-fancied Wynnum Manly team last week, particularly in the first half which produced a 10-10 scoreline. However, the second 40 minutes saw the Seagulls pull clear to win 38-10. Ipswich is likely to make at least one change, with big prop Rowan Winterfield tipped to come into the team for his first Intrust Super Cup game of the 2014 season. After a surprise mid-season return to the club, Winterfield had an important hit out for the Jets in their FOGS Cup win over Norths at Bishop Park last weekend. The Jets have won their past five games against the Sunshine Coast, although their most recent encounter at the North Ipswich Reserve this year was a relatively close contest with the Sunshine Coast posting three second half tries before falling 38-16.
‘Dobbo’ says: Ipswich were last week back in the winners’ circle after a lean month. The Jets were back to their attacking best with Marmin Barba once again scoring tries from all over the park. Local boy Matt Parcell has been outstanding at dummy half. The Sunny Coast is rugby league heartland and the players are trying their best, with big Joe Meninga a consistent force. Ipswich Jets by 10.
MACKAY CUTTERS v NORTHS DEVILS
Stadium Mackay on Saturday, June 28 - 6pm
Referee: Michael Gordon
Head to Head: Norths 8 Mackay 6
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #MCvDEVILS
The Mackay Cutters have made several forced changes for Saturday’s must-win clash against the Devils with Cowboys contracted trio Anthony Mitchell, Curtis Rona and John Asiata expected to remain in Townsville to take on the Rabbitohs on Saturday night. But in positive news, the Cutters will welcome back former Devil Dan Beasley after a long injury lay off. Kelvin Nielsen has been named to fill the key hooking role in the absence of Mitchell. For Norths, Troyden Watene gets the chance to start up front following an injury to big prop Jared Blanke in the Devils’ 36-10 loss to the Ipswich Jets. Norths have lost their last four games to slip from third to eighth, but with nine rounds still to play, there is enough time for Mark Gliddon’s team to turn it around. It will be another huge day of rugby league at Stadium Mackay with Norths Mackay playing Magpies in an annual Cultural Heritage round match. The annual event for Norths sees the club celebrate the cultural diversity within the region. This includes players and match officials wearing specially designed jerseys to mark the occasion. These will be raffled off at the after match function.
‘Dobbo’ says: Norths need to turn their season around real quick after another loss, otherwise the writing is on the wall for this proud club. Last year’s premiers the Cutters have had only six wins for the year and they would be disappointed with how their season has played out so far. Don’t know who to pick – but I have a feeling if Norths lose again there could be a pay freeze! Norths Devils by 6.
NORTHERN PRIDE v PNG HUNTERS
Barlow Park on Sunday, June 29 – 2.10pm* (Live on Channel 9/NBN/WIN)
Referee: Michael Wise
Head to Head: Pride 1 PNG 0
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PRIDEvPNG
Northern Pride are expecting a massive crowd this weekend when they host the PNG Hunters. A popular drawcard wherever they play; there is a large PNG community in Cairns who have come out in big numbers to support the team in trial matches, leading the Pride to believe their record home crowd of 3200 (against Mackay two years ago) could be broken. On the field – this is shaping as a key game for the Hunters who have slipped out of the top five following back-to-back losses. The Pride however have won six games in a row and also have an imposing home record – winning all seven of their matches at “the Jungle” this year. In team news, Pride co-captain Brett Anderson (shoulder) will be given every opportunity to prove his fitness, while Ricky Thorby has been named to play his 50th Cup game, coming in for Joel Riethmuller (hamstring). For the Hunters, coach Michael Marum has reshuffled his backline, with Dion Aiye to start at five-eighth and captain Israel Eliab shifting to centre for the injured Thompson Teteh. New signing Jason Tali has been drafted in on the bench. Timothy Lomai has not been named, with Lawrence Tu’u and Garry Lo the new additions.
‘Dobbo’ says: Wow, won’t this be a game of rugby league. The Hunters were beaten soundly last weekend at home and will be looking for an improved performance. It’s really hard to see the Pride getting beaten at the moment as they have been outstanding the last six weeks. Kyle Feldt was on song last weekend in another big performance. Northern Pride by 12.
REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS v TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS
Dolphin Oval on Sunday, June 29 - 2pm
Referee: Chris Anderson
Head to Head: Redcliffe 20 Tweed 6
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PHINSvTHS
Two youngsters will be asked to fill some pretty big shoes for the Dolphins this weekend, with Colts players Tyson Cleal and Hayden Hansen named for injured co-captain Jon Green and the unavailable Petero Civoniceva for Redcliffe’s important game against Tweed. Hansen will start at hooker while Cleal will start at prop. While the Dolphins suffered a second half fade-out last weekend to lose to the impressive Souths Logan 30-20; Tweed Heads were able to salvage a 16-16 draw with Burleigh to extend their unbeaten run to nine games this season. Prop Damian Sironen is returning from a two-match suspension via the bench, with Cody Nelson named in the starting line-up. Caleb Binge has been named as 18th man while Sam Saville and Oliver Percy are the two players to make way. It has also been reported that Titan Albert Kelly may be looking to make his return from injury with the Seagulls. The Seagulls co-captains are on track to achieve some key milestones, with Matt King moving to 224 games, equal fourth all-time with Brendon Lindsay. James Wood requires two tries to draw level with the club’s top try scorer in the comp, Nat Barnes on 93.
‘Dobbo’ says: Tweed will be ready to give the Dolphins a big whack. Tweed just keep on getting better with Tom Merritt attacking from anywhere. This will be a great game, but picking the Dolphins could bring me to my knees as they have had a frustrating season to date. Tweed Heads Seagulls by 20.
WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS v SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES
BMD Kougari Oval on Sunday, June 29 - 3pm
Referee: Nick Morel
Head to Head: Wynnum 24 Souths Logan 10 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #WYNvSLM
Live Call: http://www.spreaker.com/user/wynnumseagulls2014
Pre-Game “Inquisition”: Join John Devine from BayFM with interviews from Matt King, Phil Dennis, Jason Roos and Darren Griffiths, plus live crosses to Redcliffe and Cairns.http://www.spreaker.com/show/intrust-super-cup-inquisition
A hat-trick of tries in the Seagulls’ win over the Sunshine Coast last weekend has seen fullback Daniel Ogden move to equal 10th on the all-time Cup try scorers list. His 86 tries in 108 games means the former Norths flyer has the best strike rate of any player in the top 10. In other milestone news, team-mate Matt Grieve has been named to play his 50th Cup game, all for the Seagulls. This week, coach Jon Buchanan has made one change to his team to face Souths Logan, with Mitchell Buckett returning for Joe Mua. The Magpies are also coming into this match with a win – following an exciting comeback against the Dolphins last Sunday. They too have only made one change, with Jordan Rapana in at fullback with Grant Cooke not named. Skipper Phil Dennis led the way with two tries in his XXXX man of the match performance in the win last weekend – and he and his team will need to be sharp if they are to ruffle the feathers of the Seagulls. Wynnum Manly have been the victors in the past five games between these two sides and have also won seven of their eight games at home this year.
‘Dobbo’ says: Wynnum Manly are again without Jake Granville but they are tracking really well. Currently in third, Wynnum Seagulls are the smoky for the comp. Halfback Matt Seamark is a real threat to any team and fans may start calling him the super boot. Souths are always super competitive – let’s just see what happens this weekend. Wynnum Manly Seagulls by 12.