PNG HUNTERS v NORTHS DEVILS
Kalabond Oval, Kokopo on Saturday, August 2 – 2.30pm
Referee: Nick Morel
Head to Head: Norths 1 PNG 0
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PNGvDEVILS
The PNG Hunters will take an unchanged starting team into the Round 22 match against the Devils. There is however one change to an extended bench, with coach Michael Marum adding Lawrence Tu’u to his squad for a match the Hunters simply must win to stay on course for a finals berth in their debut season. PNG currently sits three points behind Wynnum Manly Seagulls and the Ipswich Jets, who occupy fourth and fifth positions respectively. Norths are now out of finals contention and will look to play a spoiling role over the concluding stages of the regular season. The middle part of the season hasn’t gone to script for the Devils, who have now lost eight in a row, including their last five away games. However, Devils fans should be encouraged by the team’s eye-catching finish against the Souths Logan Magpies, who conceded three-straight tries before holding on to win 31-24 last weekend.
Ben ‘Dobbo’ Dobbin (Triple M) says: This could get really ugly if Norths think they are going on a Contiki tour in PNG. The Hunters are back baby! Gee they were good against Burleigh, putting 56 points on the Bears. Norths season has really hit a stone wall in the last month and this proud club needs to step up. PNG Hunters by 12.
IPSWICH JETS v MACKAY CUTTERS
North Ipswich Reserve on Saturday, August 2 - 5pm
Referee: Peter Gough
Head to Head: Ipswich 9 Mackay 5
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #JETSvMC
Live call: www.phoenixradio.com.au
The Mackay Cutters will return to the North Ipswich Reserve for the first time since they hoisted the Intrust Super Cup premiership trophy at the ground in September last year. But this time around, the Cutters are fighting to stay in the finals hunt with the defending premiers having to win all five remaining matches to be a chance. Despite sitting in eighth spot, the Cutters are one of the form teams of the competition in recent weeks. But they may have to play this match without centre Chris Ulugia, who is in doubt with an ongoing calf injury. The versatile Josh Osborne, who scored two tries in last week’s 30-20 win over Redcliffe, is on standby to switch from the back-row to centre should Ulugia be ruled out. Ipswich have lost their past three home games, mainly due to flimsy defence. They will need to tighten up that aspect of their game against a dangerous Cutters team featuring attacking weapons Curtis Rona and Anthony Mitchell. In milestone news, Brendon Marshall plays his 150th top grade match for Ipswich and classy hooker Matt Parcell lines up for his 50th.
‘Dobbo’ says: Danger game for the mighty Jets who had a fantastic win against a strong Tigers side last Sunday. This weekend the Jets are back at home and need to keep on winning if they are to be a title threat. Martin Kennedy played his best game of the season in any grade last weekend, impressing skipper Keiron Lander. Mackay are last year’s premiers and want to finish the season off strongly, but this won’t be their week. Ipswich Jets by 6.
CQ CAPRAS v SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS
Marley Brown Oval on Saturday, August 2 – 7pm
Referee: Liam Kennedy
Head to Head: Central 7 Sunshine Coast 3 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #CQCvSCF
Capras coach Jason Hetherington has shown faith in the new players he blooded last week in the club's 35-24 loss to the high-flying Tweed Heads Seagulls. Hetherington was extremely happy with the three debutants – Garrett Field, Rajan Opetaia-Halls and Mitch Hallinan who all looked at home with the step up to Intrust Super Cup footy. The Sunshine Coast Falcons are fresh from the bye and will be out to make amends after their heavy 36-0 loss to the Capras in Round 10 earlier this year. But the Falcons have made considerable progress since then, notching their first win of the season against the Redcliffe Dolphins. They have also pushed competition heavyweights the Northern Pride, Ipswich Jets and Papua New Guinea Hunters until the final siren in that period. A big crowd is expected at Gladstone’s Marley Brown Oval, with a full day of footy starting with the Under 18 Brothers v Calliope match commencing at 2.15pm. It will be followed by local Reserve and A Grade fixtures.
‘Dobbo’ says: Ignore the ladder, this will be a great Intrust Super Cup game. The Sunny Coast have a spring in their step and now can see a light at the end of the tunnel. CQ really turned up against the Tweed last weekend and showed plenty of grit. I can’t pick this game. Sunshine Coast Falcons by 10.
NORTHERN PRIDE v TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS
Barlow Park on Sunday, August 3 – 12.30pm* (Delayed on Channel 9/WIN/NBN from 2pm)
Referee: Clayton Sharpe
Head to Head: Tweed 9 Pride 5
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PRIDEvTHS
It’s the battle of the big guns with the top-of-the-table Northern Pride hosting the second-placed Tweed Heads in what could be an early indicator of finals football. Both teams are coming off strong wins and will be looking to stamp their authority on the competition. The Seagulls have gone 12 games without a loss and interestingly, are the only side with a “winning” record over the Pride. They have also won five of their past six games against the northerners – however, the Pride’s record at home is formidable. The Cairns-based side have won their past nine games at this venue, and overall have lost only 13 of 76 Cup games played there. In team news, despite suffering injuries in their win over Wynnum Manly last weekend, Hezron Murgha, Kyle Feldt and Latu Fifita are all named for the Pride. Jack Svendsen has also been included in the only change to the squad. For the Seagulls, Caleb Binge is the only new addition and has been named on an extended bench. The match will be played as the curtain-raiser to the 3pm NRL match between the Souths Sydney Rabbitohs and Newcastle Knights; with organisers expecting to draw a large crowd to the venue.
‘Dobbo’ says: How good would it be to be in Cairns to watch this game live! Oh well, we’ll still get to watch it on Channel 9. This is the match of the round and it could even be match of the year! I am going for the Pride only because I will attacked by the powers of the Pride if I don’t. On a side note, the fans have spoken and it was great to see Frank “my hair is so important” Barrett back on the TV as the No.1 sideline eye in the business. Killing it Frank!
SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES v EASTS TIGERS
Davies Park on Sunday, August 3 – 2pm
Referee: Chris Anderson
Head to Head: Easts 25 Souths Logan 11
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SLMvTIGES
Live stream: Tiger TV http://tigertv.net/tigertv-live/
Souths Logan kept their finals hopes alive for another week when they held on to beat the Devils last weekend, but face a tough challenge at home when they host Easts. The Tigers are coming off what many would consider a surprise loss to Ipswich last weekend and will be keen to bounce back against their cross-town rivals. For this match, fullback Cameron Munster, five-eighth Jacob Fauid, skipper Steven Thorpe, lock Jacob Ling and Richie Kennar are returning to the starting line-up; while Joel Romelo, Dane Chang, Sam Bielefeld and Dwayne Craft are the players to make way. Eddie Tautali has been shifted to an extended bench. Half Cody Walker – who had his first game back from a (hamstring) injury last weekend – has been named for his 50th Cup game. Souths however have only made the one change, with Herschel Gideon named on the bench for Jake Eden. While the Magpies will be buoyed by their good recent home record, winning their past three games – the Tigers also seem to like Davies Park and have won their past three games here. The home side will also have a 50 gamer take to the field this weekend in winger Luke Archer (previously with Easts).
‘Dobbo’ says: Trigger was an angry man last Sunday when his boys were beaten by the Jets. On the other hand Souths are having a late season run and the man everybody is talking about is Jordan Rapana! The high flying fullback is dominating every side he comes up against. Sunday will be a tough one as the Tigers are back to full strength but I don’t think it will stop the might of the Magpies. Souths Logan Magpies by 6.
REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS v WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS
Dolphin Oval on Sunday, August 3 - 2pm
Referee: Michael Gordon
Head to Head: Redcliffe 25 Wynnum 13 Drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PHINSvWYN
Live call: http://www.spreaker.com/user/wynnumseagulls2014
Wynnum Manly received extra motivation for their game this week, with Courier Mail reporter and QRL columnist Chris Garry writing the side off as premiership contenders. The Seagulls already had plenty to play for – coming off a loss against the Pride and coming up against the Dolphins for the Herald Cup. Redcliffe trail Wynnum by six points in the battle for this piece of silverware, which is decided on points aggregate over the two regular season games. Playing for pride, the Dolphins will have to overcome some recent poor form which has seen them lose seven games in a row. They have only once before in their history gone eight games without a win – and that included one draw. This weekend, the Dolphins will welcome the return of Zach Strasser who missed the game against the Cutters last weekend with an ankle injury. Big forward David Hala has not been named for the Dolphins, while Wynnum Manly’s only change sees Alehana Mara return for Jake Granville (Brisbane Broncos). This match will also be the last chance for Dolphins fans to see their side play on home soil this season, with their next scheduled home game against Burleigh being taken to the Longreach Showgrounds as part of Country Week.
‘Dobbo’ says: The Dolphins need a win as much as I need a pork dumpling. Let’s see if they can turn it around here. Wynnum currently sit fourth and are doing it well. They will benefit from having Jordan Kahu back and in form. I can’t see an upset. Wynnum Manly Seagulls by 6.
Burleigh Bears – bye