By Ethan James & Colleen Edwards
CQ CAPRAS v SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS
Browne Park on Saturday, May 30 – 6pm
Referee: Tyson Brough
Head-to-Head: Central 8 Sunshine Coast 4 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #CQCvSCF
Both the CQ Capras and Sunshine Coast will be determined to get a win under their belt after a clichéd ‘tough day at the office’ last round. The Falcons were missing a large portion of their Melbourne Storm contingent in their heavy loss to Easts and may be without similar names this weekend. After serving a one week suspension, Ben Hampton has been named on an extended Melbourne Storm bench as cover for their Origin contingent. The nippy playmaker is joined by Kenny Bromwich and Hymel Hunt, meaning the Falcons could again be without their core dual registered players. However, they will have a member of Melbourne’s coaching staff in John Dixon join the club in an advisory role.
Selection-wise, Callum Klein returns to the centres, while James Ackerman moves to the front row with co-captain Jacob Samoa starting at lock. The Capras couldn’t match it with the attacking prowess of the Dolphins last week, but coach Lionel Harbin can draw some heart from the fact his side kept trying, scoring two late tries at Dolphin Oval.
Jacob Gagai, the younger brother of Newcastle Knights centre Dane, is replaced by Shaun Collins in the backline, while Hayden Buckman is another addition on the wing. Historically, the Capras have the superior record between these two teams and have also won the past three games between these two sides.
NORTHS DEVILS v EASTS TIGERS
Bishop Park on Sunday, May 31 – 1.40pm* (Live on Channel 9/WIN/NBN)
Referee: Nick Pelgrave
Head-to-Head: Norths 20 Easts 18 Drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #DEVILSvTIGES
Traditional Brisbane rivals the Norths Devils and Easts Tigers will battle it out in front of the cameras on Sunday as part of this weekend’s XXXX Rivalry Round.
The Tigers come into this game with confidence after putting in a slick performance to defeat fellow Melbourne Storm affiliates the Sunshine Coast Falcons 60-12 last weekend. The Devils however were on the wrong end of a big score line in Round 11, falling to a 42-4 loss at the hands of the Souths Logan Magpies.
Back at home at Bishop Park this week, the Devils will lift for this game against a highly-fancied Easts side who will be looking to post back-to-back wins. Easts have one change to their side from last week with Matt Zgrajewski returning at prop in the place of youngster Christian Welch. Former Newcastle Knights NSW Cup forward Brenton Horwood is 18th man.
For Norths, young half Joshua Fauid has been named to make his Intrust Super Cup debut at five-eighth for Sam Foster, while other changes see Josh Afoa and Steve Elliott in for Hiale Rycroft and Rhett Webster. This will be the 50th Cup game for Krys Freeman (all Norths).
NORTHERN PRIDE v MACKAY CUTTERS
Barlow Park on Sunday, May 31 – 2pm
Referee: Tim Rutherford
Head-to-Head: Pride 11 Mackay 4
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PRIDEvMC
Are last year’s defending premiers back in business? That’s the question on the lips of every Intrust Super Cup fan with the Northern Pride seemingly returning to normal transmission after a horror start to the season. They have now won four from their past five with a Tom Hancock try snatching a late victory against Wynnum Manly last Saturday in an epic encounter.
The form of halfback Sam Obst has been key in turning around their performances. Javid Bowen (centre) returns for this match along with hooker Cameron King, who is back from NRL duties with the Cowboys. King is one of seven named on an extended interchange, indicating there is plenty of competition for spots in coach Joe O’Callaghan’s top 17.
While the Pride were triumphant by a point last weekend, Mackay went down by the same margin to the Bears in an equally thrilling match. Josh Osborne earns a start in the backrow at the expense of Kelvin Nielsen, while rising star of the game Coen Hess and Gavin Bennion are two inclusions on a five-man interchange.
In milestone news, Alex Starmer moves past Ben Laity to become the second most capped Pride player with 118 games (behind Jason Roos, who after playing his 150th game for Pride last weekend, will notch his 150th Cup game this weekend).
REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS v WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS
Dolphin Oval on Sunday, May 31 – 2pm
Referee: Clayton Sharpe
Head-to-Head: Redcliffe 25 Wynnum 14 Drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PHINSvWYN
The battle of the bayside hits the peninsular on Sunday with Wynnum Manly travelling north to meet a resurgent Redcliffe. After an unconvincing start to the season, the Dolphins are now just two points shy of sixth place following wins over Central Queensland Capras, Easts Tigers and Souths Logan in the past three weeks.
The form of 2013 Courier Mail Best and Fairest winner Luke Capewell, who picked up the XXXX man of the match honours last weekend against the Capras, will have the Dolphin Oval faithful fancying their chances of an upset.
After last week’s call-up to the Brisbane Broncos; winger Aaron Whitchurch is back in the side for Josh Rudolph at centre, while Charlie Faingaa makes a return at prop. The Seagulls five-game winning streak came to a halt in Round 11, losing a last-minute thriller to the Northern Pride in front of a terrific BMD Kougari Oval home crowd.
Coach Jon Buchanan has named the same 17 that went down to the Pride by one point, hoping to prove their last-start was just a blip on the radar. Veteran forward David Stagg is named on an extended bench for Brisbane, but may be a late inclusion for the Seagulls should he drop off.
This with also be the 50th Cup game for Tristan Lumley (previously with Norths).
TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS v BURLEIGH BEARS
Piggabeen Sports on Sunday, May 31 – 3pm
Referee: Chris Anderson
Head-to-Head: Tweed 12 Burleigh 11 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #THSvBEARS
Coastal supremacy is on the line when Tweed Heads host Burleigh at Piggabeen in the final match of the round.
"It's about the pride of the Gold Coast,” Bears skipper Darren Griffiths told the Burleigh Bears website.
“They are normally very tight tussles regardless of where either team sits on the ladder. There is always that bit extra in these games. It's a lot more physical and fiery and I'm guessing this weekend will be no different."
Burleigh have only won one of the past eight games between these two sides (there has also been one draw) and they also not had success at Piggabeen since 2006. However, the Bears will be full of confidence following their gutsy 23-22 win over top-four side Mackay last weekend.
Coach Jim Lenihan has been made to shuffle his spine considerably, with regular backrower Jamie Dowling transitioning to five-eighth while Todd Seymour looks set to play hooker in place of Ayden Lee. Kevin Gordon’s NRL recall to the Titans means Jamie Anderson gets a start on the wing.
Meanwhile, Tweed Heads will be missing dummy half Matt Srama who will be out for at least a month with an ankle problem and will be a big loss given is work rate. However, Sam Meskell has been promoted to the run-on side with American international Mark Offerdahl returning to the team via bench.
HISTORIC MATCH IN CHERBOURG
SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES v IPSWICH JETS
Jack O’Chin Oval, Cherbourg on Saturday, May 30 – 3pm
Referee: Jarrod Cole
Head-to-Head: Ipswich 20 Souths-Logan 17 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SLMvJETS
While this weekend will celebrate club football with Rivalry Round matches being played across the state – the Souths Logan Magpies and Ipswich Jets will be putting their on-field hostilities aside when they take the first Cup game to Cherbourg. The two clubs will play their Round 12 match at Jack O’Chin Oval on Saturday, but before and after the game – both teams will also take part in community and cultural activities.
On the field, these are two teams with recent form on their side. The Magpies went back-to-back with a 42-4 win over Norths, while second-placed Ipswich are on a run of four wins. For the Jets, skipper Keiron Lander is welcome return at lock, pushing Liam Capewell out of the side in the only change. However, hooker Matt Parcell is rumoured to be making his Broncos debut this weekend and would be a big out for the Jets.
Souths Logan mentor Josh Hannay would be relishing consistency at the selection table with the former Queensland centre sticking with the same 17 that did the job against the Devils.
Currently sharing top spot on the Intrust Super Cup leading try scorers list with Wynnum Manly’s Daniel Ogden, flyer Marmin Barba (previously with Tweed Heads) is set to play in his 50th Cup game this weekend.
Townsville Blackhawks – bye
PNG Hunters – bye