SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS v TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS
Sunshine Coast Stadium on Saturday, August 23 – 4pm
Referee: Tim Rutherford
Head to Head: Tweed 9 Sunshine Coast 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SCFvTHS
The Falcons are looking to make their last home game of the season a fun day for fans, providing a live band, jumping castle and kick for cash competition at halftime; while former NRL player Brett Finch will also be in the crowd. On the field, coach Glen Dreger has stayed loyal to the side beaten 36-0 by Norths last weekend, saying the players deserved the opportunity after helping lift the club in the past few months. The only change sees Jaz Nahu-Main return to the back-row for Dalton Harry. Opposition coach Aaron Zimmerle however, has been forced to make a number of changes to his well-beaten side from last weekend and may yet need to make a few more for this highly important game. A win here will take the Seagulls one step closer to a finals berth. Tom Merritt is out injured, while Tom Kingston has been named on an extended Titans bench. Grafton’s Oliver Percy will start at prop, while Jamal Fogarty will return from a hip injury at five-eighth. Blake Anderson was the sole try-scorer for the Seagulls against the Tigers last weekend and has been named to play in his 50th Cup game (all for Tweed).
Ben ‘Dobbo’ Dobbin (Triple M) says: Both teams were smashed last weekend, but the pressure will be on the Seagulls to respond straight away and return to the winner’s circle. Tweed must win their next two games to keep their premiership dream alive. Last weekend’s loss showed a few worrying signs for the Gulls but they are capable of hitting back here after some soul searching during the week. Tweed Heads Seagulls by 16.
NORTHERN PRIDE v IPSWICH JETS
Barlow Park on Saturday, August 23 – 5:30pm
Referee: Clayton Sharpe
Head to Head: Pride 8 Ipswich 6 drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PRIDEvJETS
Ipswich will attempt to break its long run of outs at Barlow Park in Saturday night’s intriguing Round 25 clash. The Jets’ only win there was in 2008 when the likes of Danny Coburn, Michael Ryan, Isaak Ah Mau, Aaron Sweeney and Jason Bulgarelli were in the green and white. A victory would seal Ipswich’s spot in the finals, however a loss could potentially thrust the Jets into a sudden-death final round match against the Redcliffe Dolphins. Fullback Javarn White and centre Nemani Valekapa return for the Jets after missing the trip to Papua New Guinea. The Pride are coming off a tenacious 18-16 win over northern rivals the Mackay Cutters. Despite having already wrapped up the minor premiership, the Pride kept fighting against the Cutters and their persistence paid off when Kyle Feldt and Davin Crampton picked up late tries to get their team home 18-16 in a thriller.
‘Dobbo’ says: This could be the match of the round with the Jets travelling to Cairns to take on the minor premiers in what some believe could be a grand final preview. The Pride are still smarting after being beaten by the Jets the last time they met. There are massive wraps on Matt Parcell who has been outstanding all year at dummy half for the Jets. The Pride have a few injuries and are fully aware of what went on last year at the back end of the season. There is no love lost between these teams! The Pride are filled with superstars and will be very hard to beat at home. Tough to pick. Ipswich Jets by 6.
MACKAY CUTTERS v CQ CAPRAS
Stadium Mackay on Saturday, August 23 – 6pm
Referee: Nick Morel
Head to Head: Mackay 9 Central 4
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #MCvCQC
The Mackay Cutters will look to retain the M Group Shield when they face the CQ Capras in the local derby at Stadium Mackay this Saturday. The annual trophy is normally decided across three games, however with this year’s trial match cancelled and only a narrow six-point Cutters victory in Round 9, the shield remains up for grabs. With both teams ending their season next week, expect a finals-like intensity from the opening kick-off. The Cutters have won the past eight matches between the two sides, and will enter heavy favourites after putting in an impressive showing against the Northern Pride last week. In team news, Doug Hewitt returns for the Mackay side after missing last week with a hamstring strain, while Kelvin Nielsen will miss this game through suspension for a Dangerous Contact charge. For the Capras, Marlon Doak is back after being a late withdrawal from last week’s match, and Sam Doherty returns in place of Hayden Buckman. Peter Gallen and Matt Mizzi come into the side, while Brent Crisp and Shannon Rupapere are out. Entry to the ground is free to the public this weekend, with the Cutters celebrating their final home game for the season.
‘Dobbo’ says: Another hard game to pick as Mad Monday approaches. The Cutters had a really slow start but the quality is still there, while the Capras are the danger side of the Intrust Super Cup every week as they turn up and give 100 percent. Both teams are starting to look to 2015 and who they have in their ranks to build their sides around. Mackay Cutters by 10.
SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES v PNG HUNTERS
Davies Park on Sunday, August 24 – 2pm
Referee: Chris Anderson
Head to Head: PNG 1 Souths Logan 0
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SLMvPNG
Live stream: http://www.qrl.com.au/interactive/live-stream.html
PNG will need to overcome an alarming away record when they travel to Davies Park on Sunday to face Souths Logan in a must-win game. The Hunters have struggled away from home in their debut season, recording three wins, seven losses and a draw from their 11 outings. By their own admission, the Magpies were disappointing last week against Burleigh, and with finals out of the question; they will want to redeem their 42-12 loss to the Hunters earlier in the year. In the process, they can end the competition newcomers’ finals aspirations with a victory. This weekend holds a plethora of milestones for Souths Logan, who will bring up their 150th win or 250th loss depending on the outcome, while Dallas Anderson will play in his 50th Cup game. The Magpies have named four new inclusions to the side following the loss to Burleigh last week, with Tim Brooks and Darcy Wright returning to the starting side, while Daniel Tamou and Aotealofa Tuimavave have been added to an extended bench. Ihaka Watene is out while Patrick Mago and Luke Bateman will play for the Raiders NYC side. Stanton Albert is out for the Hunters, with George Benson taking his place.
‘Dobbo’ says: Although the Hunters were beaten last weekend there is still plenty of fight left in the PNG boys with two round to go. The Hunters felt a little empty after last weekend’s loss and were certainly a touch unlucky. This weekend they should be back in the winner’s circle against the Magpies who have been really good and really bad during the season. However, it is very hard for the Magpies with Canberra players flying back at the end of each week. We love the PNG cult hero Garry Lo … can he continue his try scoring feats this weekend? PNG Hunters by 10.
BURLEIGH BEARS v EASTS TIGERS
Davies Park on Sunday, August 24 – 2pm* (Live on Channel 9 / WIN / NBN)
Referee: Michael Gordon
Head to Head: Burleigh 21 Easts 16 Drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #BEARSvTIGES
Radio: Tiger on Air http://tigertv.net/tigeronair/
The Bears rebounded strongly last week in their win against Souths Logan, with coach Jim Lenihan praising his side’s defensive effort after letting in seven tries in their previous match. Burleigh will need their defence to fire once more when they meet a red-hot Tigers outfit that recorded their largest ever victory over Tweed Heads in a 40-4 romp last weekend. Easts accounted comfortably for the Bears in Round 8 with a 48-20 victory, and will enter this match confident of a repeat performance having won five of the last six games between the two sides. They have also won their past six matches on the road. Young Titan Caleb Morehu has been named to replace Jake Hughes in the starting side for the Bears, while Francis Veukiso takes James Dunley’s spot on the bench. Liam McDonald returns for the Tigers in place of John Puna. A strong win to the Tigers here sets up a blockbuster showdown next week when they meet Wynnum Manly in a play-off for second place, while the Bears will be striving for an upset in Steve Michaels’ 50th Cup game with the club and his 83rd overall, having also played for Toowoomba and Wynnum Manly. The Bears will host a reunion on Sunday to celebrate their epic extra time grand final win over Easts in 2004.
‘Dobbo’ says: Easts coach Craig “Trigger” Ingebrigtsen is trying everything to play down the Tigers! Sorry Trigger, the Tigers are hot and are firing at the business end of the season. There is talent across the park and at the moment Burleigh will only be a speed bump in the Tigers race to the finals. Cody Walker is on fire! Our Channel 9 match of the round will feature Peter Psaltis, the best in the business, giving us all the updated information from the sideline during the call. Easts Tigers by 12.
NORTHS DEVILS v REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS
Bishop Park on Sunday, August 24 – 3pm
Referee: Michael Wise
Head to Head: Redcliffe 25 Norths 11 Drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PHINSvDEVILS
Both the Dolphins and the Devils posted morale boosting wins last weekend, with Norths breaking a nine-game run of outs against the Falcons, while Redcliffe scored seven tries in their 42-10 win over the Capras. With the finals beyond them, both teams have blooded a number of players in the Intrust Super Cup this year. For the Devils, Rhett Webster returns to the FOGS Colts side this week, while prop Jarrod Wallace has been called up to the Brisbane Broncos. Todd Lowrie has not been named. Shaun Carney returns as fullback and will captain the side, while Darren Nicholls comes in at halfback. Nathan Lowrie slots onto the bench. For the Dolphins, Oliver Regan will replace Misi Pesamino on the wing, with Aaron Whitchurch joining him in the centres in place of Nick Ritter. Constantine Mika comes in for Christian Morris on the bench. This year, Norths have struggled to win at their home of Bishop Park and have lost five of their past six games there. However, the Dolphins too have their own poor record to overcome, only managing to win three of their 10 away games this year.
‘Dobbo’ says: Redcliffe have decided in the last couple of weeks that it’s time to start playing and are really challenging teams. On the other hand, Norths have been disappointing in the last month or two. David Hala and Jon Green are NRL front rowers and they alone can change the course of a game. Throw in Zach Strasser in the backs and it spells danger. Redcliffe Dolphins by 12.