IPSWICH JETS v NORTHERN PRIDE
North Ipswich Reserve on Sunday, September 6 – 1.35pm* (Live on Channel 9/WIN/NBN)
Referee: Peter Gough
Head-to-Head: Pride 10 Ipswich 7 Drawn 1
Head-to-Head Finals: Ipswich 1 Pride 1
Finals Record: Ipswich (played 16, won 6, lost 10; Pride played 15, won 9, lost 6)
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #JETSvPRIDE
Ipswich is preparing to enter a fifth successive finals series under the coaching of Ben and Shane Walker. They are yet to reach the preliminary final stage in that period, but with the opportunity to potentially host two matches on home turf, Jets fans will be hoping that this is their breakthrough year.
In an incredible statistic, the last 14 games between these two sides have resulted in 13 wins for the home team, with one draw at Ipswich in 2011.
The Pride went close to breaking that sequence back in Round 5, only to fall short by four points in a thrilling tussle that went down to the final play of the game.
Joe O’Callagahan’s team will fancy their chances of extending their stay in this year’s finals beyond week 1, particularly if they match the first-half form displayed against the Central Queensland Capras last weekend.
The Capras went at more than a point a minute in a scintillating opening burst to lead 42-4 at half-time. Points were harder to come by in the second half, although impressive fullback Linc Port did manage to cross the line for his fourth try of the evening late in the game.
Such is the impressive form, the former junior athletics star has retained his spot in the No.1 jersey in front of the returning Hezron Murgha, a former Queensland Residents fullback.
The prospect of Port and Ipswich speedster Marmin Barba matching motors in broken play only adds to the appeal of what will be a fascinating clash.
Barba requires one more try to bring up 50 for Ipswich in his 42nd game for the Jets. He is also the competition’s top try-scorer with 27 from just 18 games with seven doubles and three hat-tricks.
Kurt Capewell (Jets) and Sheldon Powe-Hobbs (Pride) play their 50th games for their respective clubs. For the Jets, Nemani Valekapa replaces the suspended Chris Walker.
WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS v EASTS TIGERS
BMD Kougari Oval on Sunday, September 6 – 3pm
Referee: Clayton Sharpe
Head-to-Head: Wynnum 20 Easts 20 Drawn 1
Head-to-Head Finals: Easts 4 Wynnum 0
Finals Record: Wynnum (played 23, won 11, lost 12; Easts played 30, won 14, lost 16)
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #WYNVTIGES
Livestream: Seagulls TV and Tiger TV
Wynnum Manly and Easts Tigers will do it all again this weekend when the Seagulls host the second of the elimination finals this Sunday.
Last weekend, the Gulls earned the right to host this sudden-death match with a gritty 17-10 win over their traditional rivals in a game where defence dominated proceedings.
This game is set to be another close one, with five of the last six games between these two sides decided by eight points or less. Furthermore, their past eight encounters have been split 4-4 with two home and two away wins each. The Tigers however have a superior record over their opposition in finals games.
For this match, Donald Malone has been named to return as fullback for Eddie Tautali in the Tigers line-up and his point scoring ability will be highly valued. Easts are otherwise unchanged, but could get a boost with returning Strom players. Prop Liam McDonald (Souths Logan/Burleigh/Mackay) has been named to play in his 150th Cup match.
The home side however have made a handful of changes to their team this weekend and will also need to find a replacement for their skipper Tim Natusch who was found guilty of a Contrary Conduct charge and will miss this match.
David Stagg played in the Broncos loss to Melbourne last night and is replaced in the Gulls line-up by young forward Aaron Rockley, while other changes see Greg Eden and Ben Shea named in the side. Winger Jeriah Goodrich and Josh Hoffman are the players omitted.
Two Seagulls are also set to play in their 50th Cup matches for the club with centre Mitchell Buckett (75th overall including Sunshine Coast matches) and forward Mitchell Frei (64th overall including Norths) reaching the milestone.
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