TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS v NORTHS DEVILS
Jack Manski Oval on Saturday, July 11 – 4pm
Referee: Nick Morel
Head-to-Head: First Game
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TSVBvDEVILS
The absence of halfback Robert Lui and key forward Glenn Hall didn’t hamper the Townsville Blackhawks last weekend, with the competition leaders scoring a 46-12 win over the Burleigh Bears.
Playmaker Michael Parker-Walshe left the field after 20 minutes with a cork, but is expected to be fit for this match. Townsville coach Kristian Woolf named an unchanged side for their meeting against the Devils this weekend; but don’t be surprised to see Lui and Hall return from NRL duties with North Queensland having the bye.
Townsville are hosting a Local League Appreciation Day and inviting all fans to don their local jerseys with prizes on hand for the most parochial supporters.
In a roving role, lock Krys Freeman was a shining light in the Norths Devils 40-16 loss to Wynnum Manly Seagulls in Round 17. His side will need plenty of lion-hearted efforts against a star-studded Townsville pack.
Brisbane Broncos-contracted Kodi Nikorima made his return from injury for the Devils last round but hasn’t been named by Mark Gliddon for the Townsville trip. Forward Kristian Wanka is the new addition on the bench for this game.
SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES v NORTHERN PRIDE
Tully on Saturday, July 11 – 5pm
Referee: Jarrod Cole
Head-to-Head: Pride 14 Souths-Logan 4
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SLMvPRIDE
Souths Logan have taken a ‘home’ fixture virtually to the Northern Pride’s backyard this weekend, with this match to be held two hours south of Cairns in Tully.
The Magpies scored seven tries against Ipswich last round, but found themselves on the end of a 52-34 loss. For this match, coach Josh Hannay has called on Brandon Khuu and the experienced Josh Damen to bolster the backline. Ihaka Watene has not been named while Ken Levu drops to an extended bench. Forward Leon Panapa has been named to make his 100th Cup appearance, having previously played for Easts and Wynnum Manly.
Meanwhile, the Pride’s case for finals footy continues to gather momentum. They have claimed the scalps of Ipswich and Easts in the past fortnight and could sneak into the top six by the end of the round with a win and favourable results.
Hezron Murgha and Patrick Kaufusi return to Joe O’Callaghan’s starting side for Semi Tadulala and Brent Oosen, while prop Alex Starmer is an outside chance to make a comeback from a shoulder injury.
This is the first Cup game in Tully; with the venue set to become the ninth location these two teams have played each other.
EASTS TIGERS v IPSWICH JETS
Tapout Energy Stadium on Sunday, July 12 – 1.40pm* (Live on Channel 9)
Referee: Clayton Sharpe
Head-to-Head: Easts 19 Ipswich 19 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TIGESvJETS
The Easts Tigers line-up will be boosted by the inclusion of a strong Storm contingent for this enticing match against the Ipswich Jets.
Matt Duffie and Mahe Fonua slot into the backline with Christian Welch to start at prop. Donald Malone, Whetu Austin and Brenton Horwood are the players not named.
The Jets too will welcome the return of their try-scoring weapon Marmin Barba from suspension with Dane Phillips also coming back into the side at halfback. Richard Pandia and Haydan Lipp return to the Jets BRL side.
The two sides have a great rivalry – with their current head-to-head record level at 19 wins each with one draw.
Off the field, the Tigers will wear special pink jerseys to help celebrate their Kim Walters Choices Day.
The club will be selling special merchandise, collecting donations and selling raffle tickets to raise much needed funds for The Kim Walters Choices Program which is a free community service available to anyone diagnosed with breast or gynaecological cancers.
It will be a particularly special day for Kim Walters’ sons Billy, who will be lining up for the Tigers in the Intrust Super Cup side and Jack who will line up for the Normanby Hounds in the BRL fixture.
SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS v TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS
Sunshine Coast Stadium on Sunday, July 12 – 2pm
Referee: Michael Wise
Head-to-Head: Tweed 10 Sunshine Coast 3
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SCFvTHS
The Falcons will hoping to produce another win over Tweed Heads this season – this time in front of their home fans. It was a close 28-24 win in Round 6 which saw them come back from an 18-16 halftime deficient in a game that remained tight throughout. It was also their first win in their past nine games against Tweed.
This weekend; coach Glen Dreger has made one change from the side that lost 32-14 to the Cutters last weekend with Melbourne’s Kurt Mann coming into the halves as five-eighth. Sam Young has not been named.
For the Seagulls, the results of the past few weeks would have been frustrating as they have for the most part been matching it with their opposition only to go down in tight matches.
With their line-up already hit by injury; the Seagulls will also be without influential forward Damian Sironen who has signed with the Newcastle Knights. Caleb Binge and Jai Ingram are missing from the Seagulls line-up, while Matt Robinson has also been named on an extended bench for the Titans.
Both clubs will have players celebrating milestones with Jay Lobwein playing his 50th Cup match (all for the Falcons) and Tweed’s Shaun Carney his 50th for the Gulls and his 70th overall following his previous stint with Norths.
BURLEIGH BEARS v REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS
Pizzey Park on Sunday, July 12 – 3pm
Referee: Chris Butler
Head-to-Head: Redcliffe 22 Burleigh 19 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #BEARSvPHINS
Burleigh have incurred back-to-back losses and will be desperate to get back on the winners’ list as the finals race heats up.
The club’s forward strike – which has been one of their key strengths this season – has taken a hit, with Mark Ioane granted a mid-season release to join St George Illawarra. The 24-year-old made an immediate impact in his Dragons debut last Saturday night, scoring a try after starting from the bench.
Coach Jimmy Lenihan has named an unchanged 17 from last weekend’s loss at home to the Blackhawks, but has made several positional alterations, with Jamie Anderson shifting from wing to centre and Pele Peletelese earning a start in the front row.
The brutal defence of Tyson Cleal was the talking point following Redcliffe’s thrilling 28-28 draw with PNG Hunters in last weekend’s TV match. He will start from the bench in an otherwise unchanged line-up for the Dolphins.
Following Troy Lindsay’s decision not to renew his contract, Redcliffe earlier this week announced the their coaching plans for 2016, with 2006 premiership winner and former Brisbane Broncos mentor Anthony Griffin returning as head coach.
In their last meeting in Round 5, the Bears defeated Redcliffe 32-18; their first in nine games against the Dolphins.
WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS v CQ CAPRAS
BMD Kougari Oval on Sunday, July 12 – 3pm
Referee: Chris Anderson
Head-to-Head: Wynnum 27 Central 8 Drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #WYNvCQC
Livestream: Seagulls TV
After a few weeks on the sidelines, try sneak Daniel Ogden returns at fullback for Wynnum Manly when they host the Central Queensland Capras at BMD Kougari Oval. The Seagulls have proved hard to beat for CQ at the bayside, with the visitors last winning a game at the venue in 2010.
While the fourth-placed Seagulls get one back, they look set to be without this season’s Intrust Super Cup leading point scorer Matthew Seamark. The halfback scored a try and kicked six goal in the Gulls’ 40-16 win over the Norths Devils last weekend.
Coach Jon Buchanan has called on his depth, again installing Matthew Smith in the halves. In other selection news, Mitchell Dodds returned from injury with the Gulls last weekend and has been elevated to the Broncos bench for their match against the Bulldogs. His absence is offset by the inclusion of Mitchell Frei, who recently inked a one-year deal with the Sydney Roosters.
Central Queensland are coming off the bye, and coach Lionel Harbin has named a 22-man squad in preparation for this match which includes retuning Capras duo Marco Delapena and Josh Tanner. Scottish international Corbyn Kilday is named at lock, while former North Queensland Under 20 representative Sam Smith could debut.
Mackay Cutters – Bye
PNG Hunters – Bye