An attractive opening round featuring the Intrust Super Cup grand final replay, a scorching northern derby and the return of an immensely popular international team to our shores will usher in the statewide competition’s 20th season.
The QRL’s official release of the 2015 draw today confirmed the blockbuster scheduling for the weekend of March 7-8.
Fans from across the state get their first look at defending Intrust Super Cup premiers and NRL State Champions Northern Pride when they play Easts Tigers in the Sunday afternoon television match live on Channel 9.
The Round 1 intensity lifts another notch when competition newcomers Townsville Blackhawks host the Mackay Cutters in an historic northern derby between two of the North Queensland Cowboys’ feeder teams.
Fresh from an excellent debut season in Queensland’s premier competition, crowd favourites Papua New Guinea Hunters begin their 2015 campaign against Souths Logan Magpies at Davies Park.
Adding to the widespread appeal of Round 1 is four other big games between teams who appear evenly-matched.
Redcliffe Dolphins play Tweed Heads, Central Queensland Capras meet Burleigh Bears, Sunshine Coast clash with Norths Devils and Ipswich Jets host Wynnum Manly Seagulls.
It marks an explosive start to the first of 25 rounds as teams set off on their journey to qualify for the finals and ultimately the September 27 grand final.
The top six teams (see further below for the format) at the end of the regular season will contest the finals.
QRL Competitions and Representative co-ordinator Chris Rushton said it all pointed to a captivating season.
“You only have to look at the Round 1 match ups to get a snapshot of the excitement that this competition will generate throughout the course of the year,” Rushton said.
“Our clubs continue to produce talented players and coaches, many of whom will capitalise on the pathways and opportunities on offer by securing NRL contracts before the season’s end.
“To be able to celebrate the 20th year of this wonderful statewide competition marks a special time for everyone involved in the 2015 Intrust Super Cup.
“We’ve witnessed some truly great matches and grand finals, stretching right back to that very first premiership decider between Toowoomba and Redcliffe in 1996.”
Intrust Super Cup 2015:
· Season kick off: March 7-8.
· 25 Rounds.
· 11 Home and 11 Away matches each.
· Two Byes; plus Country Week (neutral venues).
· Top six finals series.
· XXXX Rivalry Round (Rd 12; May 30-31).
· Country Week (Rd 23; August 15-16).
· Turn to Me (TBA).
Finals Format – Top Six:
Week 1: September 5-6
· Teams 1 & 2 week off
· 3 v 6 and 4 v 5 (losers eliminated)
Week 2: September 12-13
· 1 v 2 (winner to Grand Final)
· Winner of 3 v 6 plays the winner of 4 v 5 (Game 4)
Week 3: September 19-20
· Winner of Game 4 v loser of 1 v 2 (winner to Grand Final)
Week 4: September 27
· Grand Final
NRL State Championship Final: October 4