ROUND 4 PREVIEW – Easter Weekend
EASTS TIGERS v NORTHS DEVILS
Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park on Saturday, March 26 - 3pm
Referee: Nick Pelgrave
Head-to-Head: Norths 20 Easts 19 Drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TIGESvDEVILS
Live Stream: Tiger TV
Two traditional foes clash on Easter Saturday for the right to lift the Black & White Cabs Rivalry Cup. Both teams have shown early signs of promise with two wins from three matches each. Easts came from behind to steal a late victory over Mackay last weekend, while the Devils made it back-to-back wins with a 28-20 triumph over Northern Pride at Bishop Park. Broncos-contracted halfback Todd Murphy has been instrumental in the Devils’ form surge over the past two weeks, despite playing with a niggling injury. This will be his 50th Cup game (including past games for Redcliffe, Sunshine Coast and Easts). The Tigers will field a classy line-up bolstered by the inclusion of Melbourne Storm quartet Suliasi Vunivalu, Cheyse Blair, Francis Tualau and Dean Britt. But pleasingly for coach Scott Sipple, the Tigers’ successful fortnight has been built on a committed team effort right across the board. When the game was on the line against Mackay last weekend, experienced Cup campaigners Shane Neumann and Javarn White stood up to get the Langlands Park club the vital two competition points.
BURLEIGH BEARS v MACKAY CUTTERS
Pizzey Park on Saturday, March 26 - 4pm
Referee: Tim Rutherford
Head-to-Head: Mackay 8 Burleigh 7 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #BEARSvMC
Burleigh came back down to earth last weekend against the Falcons, falling to their first loss of the season after launching 2016 with two impressive wins. After racing to a 14-0 lead mid-way in the first half, the Bears where then held scoreless – and also suffered injury woes to worsen the blow. Despite being named in the side on Tuesday, Matt Srama is expected to be out for the season after he tore his ACL in last weekend’s match in another unfortunate injury setback for the back-up Titans hooker. Burleigh coach Jim Lenihan told the Gold Coast Bulletin the loss was a “wake-up call” following their early successes and he will be looking for his squad to refocus against a Mackay side determined to claim their maiden win. The Cutters be lamenting a second-half fade-out that allowed the Tigers to snatch victory in last weekend’s televised game after they had produced the perfect start to their match. That heart-breaking loss means have now not won in their past nine games (includes one draw) – which equals their longest non-winning run of nine losses in a row in 2009. This will be the 50th Cup game for Burleigh half Cameron Cullen – who was part of the Mackay line-up last year and has also previously played for Redcliffe.
TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS v WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS
Jack Manski Oval on Saturday, March 26 - 4pm
Referee: Liam Kennedy
Head-to-Head: Townsville 1 Wynnum 0
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TSVBvWYN
Live Stream: Seagulls TV
The undefeated Townsville side host the Seagulls this Saturday with the visiting side desperate to break their duck by recording an upset win over the ladder leaders. Wynnum have lost their opening three games of the season and are down on confidence after uncharacteristically leaking points in all three of those losses. Despite competing hard, they have also struggled to put points on the board – and their challenge to kick-start their season will be a one against a Blackhawks side who are again showing their attacking prowess with each game. In just their second season in the competition, they require only 10 more points to bring up their 1000 tally. This weekend, the Blackhawks will be without the services of emerging Cowboys prop Sam Hoare who has been ruled out for the season after sustaining a knee injury in last weekend’s win over the Magpies. The former Mackay forward will undergo a full knee reconstruction after going down in an innocuous tackle late in the second half. Glenn Hall has been moved from lock to start as prop, with Lorenzo Maafu starting in the 13 this week. The Seagulls are unchanged from last weekend’s line-up which included the late addition of forward Brendon Gibb.
SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS v PNG HUNTERS
Sunshine Coast Stadium on Sunday, March 27 – 2.05pm
Referee: Nick Morel
Head-to-Head: PNG 3 Sunshine Coast 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SCFvPNG
Live Stream: QRL Live Stream
Sunshine Coast Falcons are back at home on Sunday afternoon, fresh from a rousing victory against the Burleigh Bears last weekend. Down 14-0 early in the match – they fought back to 14-12 before the break and ran away with the match in the second all while putting in a perfect defensive effort to claim a 26-14 win. The Hunters however were pushed all the way in a seesawing match against the always troublesome Tweed Heads. A late try to Atte Bina levelled the scores, while Noel Zeming’s conversion attempt bounced off the post to go over and clinch them a thrilling win. This Sunday, Hunters will be without co-captain Adam Korave who has pleaded guilty to a Careless High Tackle charge and will miss the next two games. Jye Ballinger has been added to last week’s otherwise unchanged line-up for the Falcons. The two sides will compete for the Pacific Allies Cup, with the Falcons the current holder, having won the corresponding match last year. PNG’s 36-10 loss to the Sunshine Coast in that game last year was their second biggest loss in the competition, with their heaviest defeat (60-28) coming at the hands of Tweed Heads.
SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES v IPSWICH JETS
Davies Park on Saturday, March 26 – 12.40pm* (Live on Channel 9 / WIN / NBN)
Referee: Michael Gordon Assistant Referee: Belinda Sleeman
Head-to-Head: Ipswich 22 Souths Logan 17 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SLMvJETS
Premierships aren’t decided in March, but Sunday’s Channel 9 clash could have a major bearing on who will be standing when the whips are cracking in September. Both teams have a single win each from the opening three weeks, a factor which won’t be lost on Magpies coach Josh Hannay and the Walker brothers. Interestingly, both teams have been beaten by the Townsville Blackhawks in the early rounds. Another point of interest is the inclusion of powerhouse centre Marion Seve in the Magpies’ line up. The former Wests Tiger scored two tries for the Jets in their Round 1 win over Norths, only to be transferred by the Broncos to Souths Logan the following week. Souths Logan leaked 46 points against the Blackhawks last weekend, but Hannay’s charges did show some promise with the ball by scoring 26 points themselves thanks to doubles to Cameron Booth and Jonathon Kent. In contrast, Ipswich’s normally free-flowing attack was stifled by the desperate Capras, who kept the defending premiers to just 14 points on their way to a massive upset win in Rockhampton. In milestone news, Magpies skipper Phil Dennis continues to move up the Most Games tally and this week passes Wade Liddell to become the ninth most capped Cup player with 213. For Ipswich, flying winger Marmin Barba will play his 50th game for Ipswich – a tally that includes last year’s winning National State Championship appearance.
Round 4 byes:
Tweed Heads Seagulls