Easts Tigers v Wynnum Manly Redland City
Tapout Energy Stadium
The south-east derby kicks off a huge afternoon of BRL fixtures, with all five games held on Saturday. The Tigers were stunned by a resilient Gaters outfit last week, but their pack is bolstered by the return of Ash Little, who played off the bench against Burleigh last week in the Intrust Super Cup. Maeli Seve has been named to run on at fullback after starting on the wing.
Redland City were dominant against Normanby at BMD Kougari Oval last Sunday, but have tinkered with their side for this one. Against his former club, Mitch Moore moves from hooker to five-eighth. However, don’t be surprised to see coach Ron Troutman shuffle playmaking positions during the match. The game will be streamed live online from Tapout Energy Stadium.
Valleys Diehards v Ipswich Jets
Valleys are set to draw a big crowd at Emerson Park at the club’s first home fixture of the regular season. The Diehards are holding a traditional Old Boys’ Day and encouraging former players to get behind the new breed. Aside from four grades of footy, Valleys are hosting a jumping castle, face painting as well the Footy Show Pathfinder.
After the late withdrawals of Aiona Nona and Sean Yorston, the blue and whites lacked guidance last weekend. However, the nippy Nona is back and is a big inclusion. Meanwhile, Ipswich clicked into gear in the second half against West Brisbane last weekend, scoring 27 unanswered points. Former Under 18 Queensland representative Jordan Tighe is one to watch at fullback.
For the trivia buffs, Valleys won the two club’s last BRL meeting 18-14 way back in 1995. Could history repeat?
West Brisbane Panthers v Gaters
Kev McKell Oval
Gritty Gaters. That was the buzz cry after the side’s two-point upset of Easts last weekend.
Five-eighth Marlon Doak crossed for a double, showing speed to burn with a fingertip effort placing a grubber early in the second half. The Gaters can again draw on the Cup experience of former Tiger and Dolphin Adam Marr in the front row and they’ll back their defence against a West Brisbane outfit that only crossed twice against Ipswich.
All the signs point to Gaters making it two-from-two, but as we’ve already seen in the BRL, form lines may not count for much. There is plenty of talent in the Panthers, with Brisbane Broncos Under 20s graduate Kristian Wanka named alongside Cup-experienced Jaz Nahu Main in the backrow.
Normanby Hounds v Redcliffe Dolphins
Redcliffe coach Daniel Green wants to build his side on defence, so rest assured there were plenty of tackling drills at Dolphins HQ after conceding four tries against Carina. Mind you, Green would still be buoyed by his chargers’ effort to turn a 14-12 halftime deficit into a 32-20 win.
Coming off a 22-point loss to Wynnum Manly Redland City, Normanby face another tough challenge against a side with heavy Intrust Super Cup affiliation. Coach Wayne Treleaven has made one change, with Ben Faulkner coming in at prop for Alex Barnes. The Hounds can again count on a mammoth effort from Rez Phillips at prop, but need to ensure they stick in tackles against one of the top attacking sides in the competition.
Carina v Logan Brothers
Leo Williams Oval
You don’t always get reward for effort in rugby league and Carina found out the hard way last weekend. They kept pace with Redcliffe for the majority of the match before conceding late tries and eventually the game.
Carina’s biggest strength lies in halves. Colts premiership winner Jon Stewart is paired with veteran Isaac Kaufmann (152 Queensland / Intrust Super Cup appearances). But their task doesn’t get any easier this Saturday against a physical Logan Brothers, who put 40 points on Valleys last weekend. However, Brothers coach Jason Gainey will want his side to improve in defence after letting in 26 second half points.
One of the best on ground at Civic Park, Logan’s Ihaka Watene gets a second start at five-eighth.