ROUND 3 PREVIEW - PlayNRL Round
TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS v SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES
Jack Manski Oval on Saturday, March 19 - 4pm
Referee: Matt Noyen
Head-to-Head: Townsville 1 Souths Logan 0
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TSVBvSLM
After knocking over the Redcliffe Dolphins at home last weekend, the Souths Logan Magpies will head to Townsville with a spring in their step. This, however, will undoubtedly be the Magpies’ biggest test of the season to date. The Blackhawks are coming off a 30-18 victory over 2015 premiers the Ipswich Jets and look to have plenty of improvement left in them. Kristian Woolf’s charges kept the normally free-flowing Jets to a solitary penalty goal in the second half of last weekend’s grand final re-match at the North Ipswich Reserve. This will be Josh Hannay’s 50th match as Magpies coach, with his current record standing at 18 wins, one draw and 30 losses. Last weekend’s tenacious 24-18 triumph over the Dolphins at Davies Park suggests that record will improve considerably in 2016.
BURLEIGH BEARS v SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS
Pizzey Park on Saturday, March 19 - 4pm
Referee: Liam Kennedy
Head-to-Head: Burleigh 11 Sunshine Coast 3
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #BEARSvSCF
One of only three unbeaten teams in the Intrust Super Cup, the Burleigh Bears are enjoying their most productive start to an Intrust Super Cup season in many years. Jimmy Lenihan’s men were super-impressive in Round 1 against Wynnum Manly, before backing that performance up with a 36-26 win over fierce rivals Tweed Heads. The new halves pairing of Cameron Cullen and Jamal Fogarty have been particularly strong for the Bears in the opening two weeks. They will go head-to-head with young Falcons playmakers Alex Bishop and Ryley Jacks. Both players were kept relatively quiet in the Falcons loss to the Easts Tigers last weekend. Jacks, who got the Falcons home with a late field goal in Round 1, will go up against his former team-mates for the first time since leaving Pizzey Park to link with the Falcons.
CQ CAPRAS v IPSWICH JETS
Browne Park on Saturday, March 19 - 6pm
Referee: Tyson Brough
Head-to-Head: Ipswich 25 Central 11 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #CQCvJETS
While their last meeting was a comprehensive 52-6 win to Ipswich – their corresponding Round 3 fixture last season saw the Jets sneak home 28-26 at Browne Park over an unlucky Capras side. This season – both clubs have posted Round 1 wins and Round 2 losses – and the CQ side will be looking to spring an upset over the defending premiers after their promising, but ultimately futile, second-half comeback against Norths last weekend. The Jets on the other hand let a good first-half lead slide against the Townsville Blackhawks in last Sunday’s televised match – with their grand final foes holding them tryless and scoring three tries of their own to go on and secure the win. CQ coach will be wanting to turn around the Capras recent poor home record, which has seen the side lose their past nine games at Browne Park.
NORTHS DEVILS v NORTHERN PRIDE
Bishop Park on Saturday, March 19 - 6pm
Referee: Nick Morel
Head-to-Head: Pride 14 Norths 2 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #DEVILSvPRIDE
Both teams notched their opening 2016 season wins last weekend, with the Devils holding of a second-half charge from the Capras to secure their victory. Todd Murphy was in the points for the boys in blue, with the Bronco-contracted half scoring a hat-trick and kicking a perfect five goals from five attempts. His second half penalty goal were the only points the visitors were able to score in the final half of the match and coach Mark Gliddon will be hoping his charges maintain their intensity for the entirety of this match – which will be his 50th Cup game in charge of the Devils (and 70th overall). While Norths were pushed to the end, the Pride claimed their victory in style, with two of their classy backs in Javid Bowen and Linc Port picking up hat-tricks in their 44-24 win over northern rivals Mackay. The visiting side will also be hoping to maintain their strong record against their opposition this week, with the Pride having won the past six games played between the two sides.
PNG HUNTERS v TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS
National Football Stadium on Saturday, March 19 - 6.30pm
Referee: Nick Pelgrave
Head-to-Head: PNG 3 Tweed 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PNGvTHS
The PNG Hunters host their first home game of the season on Saturday night at Port Moresby’s new National Football Stadium. Having secured two away wins to start their season, Hunters fans will be hoping to witness a home ground win when they take on Tweed Heads. Opposition teams have found it hard to win at PNG, with the Hunters claiming 20 wins from 21 games played either in Kokopo or Port Moresby. Last weekend, a poor start to the first half saw the Seagulls outclassed and outpointed by the Burleigh Bears. While they fought hard to claw their way back into the match; that 20-minute period cost them the game. Coach Aaron Zimmerle will know his team can’t afford to give the Hunters a similar head-start given their good form and will hope to see more from his players, including fullback Shannon Walker last week brought up his 50th cup try in his 59th game. While pleased with his side’s results so far – Hunters coach Michael Marum is sweating on the fitness of two of his experienced players with captain Noel Zeming and Ase Boas both under an injury cloud.
MACKAY CUTTERS v EASTS TIGERS
BB Print Stadium Mackay on Sunday, March 20 – 12.40pm*
(Live on Channel 9 / WIN / NBN)
Referee: Chris Anderson Assistant Referee: Belinda Sleeman
Head-to-Head: Easts 10 Mackay 8
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #MCvTIGES
Mackay have endured a tough start to their season – with their inexperienced line-up learning what it takes to be competitive in the Intrust Super Cup. However, while they went down 44-24 for the Northern Pride last week – they fought their way to within 10 points with about 10 minutes to play – only for the Pride to kick it up a notch and run away with the game. Despite playing at home last weekend, the Tigers were considered underdogs against a Falcons side coached by their former mentor Craig Ingebrigtsen. However, they responded with a resounding victory for Scott Sipple. This week, the Tigers have made changes on their bench, with Francis Tualau and Ashley Little in for Mat Pitman and John Puna. Guy Hamilton is 18th man. However, Sipple will have to name a replacement for Cheyse Blair who will sit out the match after receiving a one-match ban for Contrary Conduct. The Pride have named an unchanged side from last weekend’s victory, with Jordan Biondi-Odo added to the bench as the 18th man.
WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS v REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS
BMD Kougari Oval on Sunday, March 20 – 3pm
Referee: Jarrod Cole
Head-to-Head: Redcliffe 25 Wynnum 16 Drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #WYNvPHINS
One of the biggest rivalries in the competition takes centre stage this weekend with the Wynnum Manly Seagulls hosting the Redcliffe Dolphins in five grades this Sunday. Surprisingly, both teams are searching for their first win and would love nothing more than to open their account with a victory against their bayside rivals. Redcliffe have arguably been in the better form of the two sides, pushing Townsville all the way in their Round 1 match, while they were outgunned in the second half against a resurgent Magpies last weekend. This week, the Dolphins will be without Brandon Lee after he hyperextended his elbow last weekend. Joseph Bradley will take his place on the bench. The home side Wynnum Manly have found the going tough in the opening rounds and have not managed to convert their good play into points, which has cost them on the ladder. The Gulls, however, have won the past four games played between the two sides and will be looking to extend that record. There’s plenty of entertainment planned off the field, with rugby league fans able to meet Queensland and Broncos forward Corey Parker from 1.30pm to 2.30pm. The Seagulls will also have a jumping castle, face painting and plenty of prizes on offer on the day.