I AM calling it now. Wynnum Manly cannot win this year's premiership.
The Seagulls’ loss to the Pride at home last Sunday was a death knock for their season.
If they can't beat the Pride at home, they can't win the premiership.
With Jake Granville likely to be unavailable for most of their run home, Wynnum Manly simply don't have the firepower to knock over the Pride, Easts Tigers or Ipswich Jets which for mine are the only three clubs that can hoist the trophy this year.
The Seagulls kicked out on the full in their first set against the Pride last week and then conceded a try in their first defensive set.
That is not premiership material.
Wynnum Manly players will probably tear this out, stick it to their dressing room and use it as inspiration to make a fool of me.
I hope they do. A successful Wynnum Manly means a successful Intrust Super Cup.
They are the best club in the competition in terms of their connection to their community.
However, this year won't be theirs.
If I was framing a market, the Pride would be $2.55, the Tigers $3.10, Jets $5.00, Tweed Heads $6.50, Hunters $8.00 for the premiership.
A MICHAEL Marum masterstroke has saved the PNG Hunters' season.
Shifting captain Israel Eliab from five-eighth to fullback has re-invigorated the PNG side who were brilliant in their demolition of Burleigh. Their 56-12 victory extinguished the hopes of the only other club outside the top five that was battling them to sneak into the finals.
A gifted five-eighth who seems to have endless time with Steeden in hand, Eliab's move to the custodian role could prove the key to a finals run for the Hunters.
While I don't think they can win the premiership, I do think they can push Wynnum Manly out and qualify for the post-season.
Earlier this year I wrote that Eliab was among the top 10 players in the Intrust Super Cup.
I stand by that claim, but should have also included winger Garry Lo.
Lo scored two of the Hunters' 10 tries against the Bears to bring his season tally to 21.
There was considerable outside pressure for the Hunters to appoint an experienced Intrust Super Cup coach to the top post, but they backed local man Marum and he has repaid their faith.
During my pre-season trip to PNG, where I stayed with the Hunters' camp, it was obvious they made the right choice in appointing Marum.
He has made some interesting selections this year, including switching 5'6 winger George Benson to the backrow. Benson is as wide as he is tall and cuts players down during energetic stints from the bench.
I wrote the Hunters' finals hopes off last week, but I hope they prove me wrong.