BURLEIGH BEARS v NORTHERN PRIDE
Pizzey Park on Saturday, March 28 – 4pm
Referee: Tyson Brough
Head-to-Head: Pride 9 Burleigh 4 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #BEARSvPRIDE
After slumping to a record home defeat at the hands of the rampant Townsville Blackhawks last week, all eyes will be on how the Northern Pride respond against the Bears. The defending premiers leaked 52 points in the northern derby to collect a host of unwanted records in front of their home fans.
In contrast, Burleigh recorded a reasonably comfortable 28-12 win over the Sunshine Coast to kick-start their premiership campaign. Bears coach Jim Lenihan has made one change, with the experienced Todd Seymour coming in at five-eighth for the injured Christian Hazard.
Pride coach Joe O’Callaghan will also field a different halves combination. Regular utility Ryan Ghietti comes into the starting side for Jordan Biondi-Odo at pivot, while there is also a reshuffle to the outside backs. Perhaps the most significant change is Hezron Murgha’s switch from centre to fullback.
Linc Port moves from fullback to wing, replacing veteran flyer Semi Tadulala on the flank for the Pizzey Park clash. In last year’s match on the Gold Coast, the Bears kicked a last minute field goal to beat the Pride for the first time in four matches.
TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS v CQ CAPRAS
Jack Manski Oval on Saturday, March 28 - 5pm
Referee: Nick Pelgrave
Head-to-Head: First Game
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TSVBvCQC
Townsville made their Round 2 loss to the Ipswich Jets look like a blip on the radar with their 10 tries to two performance against the Pride last weekend.
Blackhawks coach Kristian Woolf has named an unchanged line up for the match against the Capras and has shown faith in those who proved too good for the reigning Intrust Super Cup premiers and NRL State Champions. However, Kyle Feldt has not been named in the Cowboys team to face Melbourne on Monday night and may yet slot back into the team.
While it will be a daunting task for the Capras, the side will be doing their best to make coach Jason Hetherington’s 50th Cup match in charge a good one. Central could consider themselves unlucky to have not at least earned one point from last week’s game against the Jets, with goal kicking the only thing separating the two sides in the match that was in the balance until the final whistle.
They have also named an unchanged line-up, but will be waiting on the fitness of Peter Gallen and Gerrard Tema who are in doubt with knee injuries. Josh Johnston and Rajan Opetaia-Halls remain on standby if the pair are not able to play.
MACKAY CUTTERS v EASTS TIGERS
Stadium Mackay on Saturday, March 28 – 7pm
Referee: Michael Gordon
Head-to-Head: Easts 9 Mackay 7
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #MCvTIGES
Livestream: Tiger TV
While the Tigers have had the better of this weekend’s opponents Mackay in recent times by winning four of their past five games – the loss was “a big one” – the 2013 grand final. Since then, the two teams have shared a healthy rivalry which is set to be on display again with both teams in good form.
Easts have won two of their past three matches, with their only loss coming thanks to a last-gasp effort from Wynnum Manly in Round 2. The Cutters however have been building nicely since falling to fellow northerners Townsville. Their next two games saw them bring down Tweed Heads and Wynnum Manly with strong performances.
This weekend, Josh Osborne will replace Tyson Martin (personal commitments) in the back row in the only change to the line-up for the home side.
The Tigers have a number of changes including a return to football for Matt Duffie. The Storm winger has suffered a horrid run over the past two years with repeat anterior cruciate ligament injuries. In other team changes, Brentt Warr and Christian Welch are in for Foisa Peni and Joel Romelo.
NORTHS DEVILS v REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS
Bishop Park on Sunday, March 29 - 1.40pm* (Live on Gem)
Referee: Jarrod Cole
Head-to-Head: Redcliffe 25 Norths 12 Drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #DEVILSvPHINS
Joe Bond and Jon Green return for the Redcliffe Dolphins in Sunday’s match at Bishop Park.
Bond, a key player in Redcliffe’s surge into the 2012 grand final, slots in at fullback for the Round 4 clash after overcoming a hamstring injury. Experienced campaigner Green will pack down in the front-row for a Dolphins team that needs to lift after two early losses.
There is no shortage of firepower in the Troy Lindsay-coached Redcliffe team, with Luke Capewell and Bronco Aaron Whitchurch to spearhead the backline. Norths will look to hit back after a 34-10 loss to Tweed Heads in heavy conditions at Piggabeen last weekend. The Devils are one of nine teams on four competition points after the opening three rounds.
On the milestone front, prop Mark Vaiao plays his 115th cup game for Norths (145th overall), passing Wade Fenton to become the club’s most capped Cup player. Due to the World Cup cricket final, Sunday’s match will be televised live on Gem.
WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS v SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES
BMD Kougari Oval on Sunday, March 29 – 1.45pm
Referee: Chris Anderson
Head-to-Head: Wynnum 25 Souths 10 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #WYNvSLM
Livestream: Wynnum Manly TV
The Seagulls fell victim to a hoodoo last Saturday against the Cutters – and will be hoping to benefit from another this weekend against Souths Logan. Wynnum Manly have now lost their past four games against Mackay. They were held scoreless in the second half to go down 28-10, despite leading 10-0 at halftime. The weekend however, the boot is on the other foot, with the Gulls having the better of their feathered rivals, winning the past six games between the two sides.
The Seagulls have named an unchanged side following last weekend’s loss, with Daniel Ogden again lining up as fullback. Ogden scored a try last weekend and now only requires three more to become the sixth player to score 100 Cup tries.
Coming out of a weekend off with the bye and a last-start win against the Capras in Miriam Vale – Magpies coach Josh Hannay has make minimal changes to his Round 4 line-up. Phil Dennis returns via the bench, with Travis Waddell moving into the halves for Rhys Jacks.
Following the match – Wynnum Manly coach Jon Buchanan and club favourite Peter Gubb will be shaving their hair to help raise money for cancer research. To donate to the cause – follow this link: Wynnum Manly Be Brave and Shave.
SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS v IPSWICH JETS
Sunshine Coast Stadium on Sunday, March 29 – 2pm
Referee: Tim Rutherford
Head-to-Head: Ipswich 8 Sunshine Coast 3 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SCFvJETS
Ipswich suffered a major blow during the week following confirmation that star fullback Wes Conlon would miss the remainder of the season. The electric Swifts junior has been a revelation for the Jets at the back, with his crafty kick-offs adding an extra dimension to Ipswich’s attacking arsenal.
An anterior cruciate ligament injury sustained in last week’s win over the Central Queensland Capras will ground the classy Jet for the rest of 2015. The versatile Troy O’Sullivan has been named in the No. 1 jersey for Sunday’s clash against the Falcons on the Sunshine Coast.
Bronco Daniel Vidot has been named for the Jets, but is unlikely to play as he sorts out his immediate player future with the NRL club.
After two losses and a postponed match, it’s nudging close to a ‘must win’ for the new-look Sunshine Coast Falcons. Despite last weekend’s loss to the Burleigh Bears, there were some positive signs that a season-defining performance could be in reach.
“The vibe is still pretty positive,” captain Tom Murphy told the Sunshine Coast Daily. “It's only our second time we've played together (with the Melbourne Storm connection). “It won't be too long now until we start finding our combinations and start finding our feet a bit and start getting the two points.”
PNG HUNTERS v TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS
Kalabond Oval, Kokopo on Sunday, March 29 – 2.30pm
Referee: Liam Kennedy
Head-to-Head: PNG 1 Tweed 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PNGvTHS
The Hunters are back home in Kokopo after leaving Tapout Energy Stadium empty handed following a tough loss to Easts last weekend. Both sides scored two tries apiece, but superior goal kicking and some poor discipline from the Hunters saw the Tigers take the spoils.
For this weekend’s game against Tweed Heads, PNG have three new faces in an extended 19-man with either Jay Jay Garrison, Nickson Borona or John Ragi set to debut. Enock Maki has also been named in a squad missing Thompson Teteh and Adex Wera with injury.
Despite coming off an impressive win last weekend against Norths, Seagulls coach Aaron Zimmerle has also been forced to adjust his team with rising halfback Kane Elgey named to make his NRL debut for the Titans. Another talented youngster in Jamal Fogarty will return from injury in his place, while Matt Parata is in for an injured Leva Li. The big winger was a key figure in last week’s victory and is expected to be out for several weeks with stress fractures in his foot.
In milestone news, this will be the 204th game for skipper James Wood, who draws level with Cameron Durnford to sit 10th on the list of most Cup games played. It will also be the 50th Cup game for Kalifa Faifai Loa (Pride/Mackay/Tweed).