Round 5 Intrust Super Cup preview
IPSWICH JETS v NORTHERN PRIDE
North Ipswich Reserve on Saturday, April 2 - 5pm
Referee: Tim Rutherford
Head-to-Head: Pride 10 Ipswich 8 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #JETSvPRIDE
Live Call: Phoenix Radio
The Northern Pride will head to the North Ipswich Reserve to take on the defending premiers without the dynamic Javid Bowen. A standout performer for the Pride over the past two and a bit seasons, Bowen will have all of the Far North behind him when he makes his NRL debut with the North Queensland Cowboys on Saturday night. It’s a fitting reward for the classy outside back and nephew of former Origin star Matt Bowen following his impressive form in the Intrust Super Cup. Bowen has scored 28 tries in 40 games for the Pride. He starred for the Cairns-based team with a memorable hat-trick in their upset win over the Penrith Panthers in the 2014 NRL State Championship final. Even without their most potent finisher, the Pride still have plenty of class in their backline with the likes of Linc Port and Khan Ahwang. Pride hooker and captain Ryan Ghietti lines up for his 100th Cup game, while Ipswich fullback Carlin Anderson will take the field for his 50th top-grade game with the Jets. Anderson is yet to hit his best form in 2016 and was well contained by the Souths Logan Magpies last weekend. However, Ipswich still managed to come away with a 28-20 victory, their second of the season.
SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS v REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS
Sunshine Coast Stadium on Saturday, April 2 - 6pm
Referee: Michael Gordon
Head-to-Head: Redcliffe 7 Sunshine Coast 6
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SCFvPHINS
This weekend, the Falcons and Dolphins will be playing for the James Ackerman Cup – named in honour of the much-loved player who pulled on the jersey for both clubs. Redcliffe are encouraging Dolphins supporters to make the trip up the highway to show their support; while before the match, the Falcons will unveil a special James Ackerman Memorial. The Falcons, one of the form teams so far having won two matches in a row, will be pushing to make that three against their "big brother" Redcliffe, something they have not done since 2010. Integral to their success this season has been the form of half Ryley Jacks who spent the off-season representing Canada in the RLWC qualifiers. He has returned in great form, scoring two tries last weekend and he will look to continue on his run against a Redcliffe side coming in fresh from a bye and a Round 3 win. After going close in Round 1 against the Blackhawks and letting their lead slip the following week against Souths Logan, the Phins finally got on the board against their fierce rivals Wynnum Manly – putting in a 38-6 performance that saw impressive winger Tom Opacic score a hat-trick in their Round 3 victory.
MACKAY CUTTERS v PNG HUNTERS
BB Print Stadium Mackay on Saturday, April 2 – 6.05pm
Referee: Nick Pelgrave
Head-to-Head: PNG 2 Mackay 1 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #MCvPNG
Live Stream: QRL Live Stream
The Hunters will be looking to re-enter the winner’s circle when they take on the Cutters this Saturday night. The visiting Hunters dropped their first game of the season last weekend against the Falcons who seized the initiative with an impressive opening to their second half on their way to a 28-20 win. The Hunters will welcome back Stargroth Amean at fullback this week and coach Michael Marum has also made positional changes with Wartovo Puara moving to halfback and Adex Wera to centre. Thompson Teteh and Atte Bina have not been named. The PNG side will also have extra motivation to push for victory, having never won in Mackay (they have recorded a loss and a draw). After letting a maiden victory slip through their fingers in Round 3 against Easts, the Cutters were unable to match it with the Bears last Saturday, going down 36-18. However, the side is relatively unchanged from last weekend, with Tone Susuga coming in for Joss Boyton (personal reasons). Despite being named in the back-row, the Cutters will have to do it without Patrick Mago who will miss the next two games after pleading guilty to in a Dangerous Throw.
CQ CAPRAS v EASTS TIGERS
Marley Brown Oval, Gladstone on Saturday, April 2 - 7pm
Referee: Jarrod Cole
Head-to-Head: Easts 28 Central 9 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #CQCvTIGES
Live Call: CQ Capras Radio
The Capras might have had the bye last weekend – but that didn’t mean they got to celebrate their upset win over last year’s defending premiers the Jets in Round 3. Coach Kim Williams on Tuesday named an unchanged line-up for their trip to Gladstone this week, but made sure his charges endured some "tough stuff" at training in preparation to face the highly fancied Tigers. Easts have one of the more impressive forward packs in the competition and it’s something the home side have identified as a key area to overcome if they are to continue their winning ways. The Tigers have won six of the past seven games between these two sides and they have also won the only previous game played in Gladstone between them back in 1998 where Easts took the honours 34-20. On the team sheet, the visitors will field an unchanged line-up from Round 4 – with winger Suliasi Vunivalu one of three Storm-contracted players in the Intrust Super Cup in the running to replace Marika Koroibete. Having held on for a draw last weekend against Norths, the Tigers are still aiming to be only the second team (behind Redcliffe) to record 250 Cup wins in their 458th game.
NORTHS DEVILS v BURLEIGH BEARS
Bishop Park on Sunday, April 3 – 1.40pm* (Live on Channel 9 / WIN / NBN)
Referee: Chris Anderson Assistant Referee: Nick Morel
Head-to-Head: Burleigh 22 Norths 18
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #DEVILSvBEARS
Family and fun will be the buzz words when the Norths Devils host the Burleigh Bears in Sunday’s match at Bishop Park. The 1.40pm clash between two of the competition’s form teams will be televised live across the Nine Network. Fans looking for an entertaining day out have plenty of reasons to get down to the Nundah venue to watch the Round 5 match, which will be one of the highlights of the nab Family Fun Day. There will be numerous activities for the kids, including amusement rides and a sausage sizzle. This day is open for all Devils junior affiliate clubs that are involved in the Northern Broncos Development program. The Devils’ Intrust Super Cup players will get into the spirit by wearing their junior club socks for the game, and a march-past featuring junior teams will take place at half time of the main game. The Bears have not won at Bishop Park since 2009. In fact, 11 of the last 12 games between these two sides have been won by the home team – the only exception was in 2013 when Norths beat Burleigh at Pizzey Park 28-10. Referee Chris Anderson will control his 100th Intrust Super Cup game.
TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS v TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS
Piggabeen Sports on Sunday, April 3 - 2pm
Referee: Gavin Badger
Head-to-Head: Townsville 2 Tweed 0
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #THSvTSVB
Fresh from the bye and with a week to stew over a two-point loss against the Hunters in PNG – the Tweed Heads Seagulls will be looking to take down the ladder-leading Blackhawks when they host them at Piggabeen on Sunday. In the end, goal kicking was the only difference for the Gulls who came close to an upset in Round 3 in Port Moresby. For this match, the Seagulls will see Doug Hewitt come in at halfback for the injured Michael Burgess, while co-captain Sam Meskell will start at hooker for Kierran Moseley who has been named on an extended Titans bench. Blake Anderson is the other new face in the team. Blackhawks coach Kristian Woolf has not made any changes to the side that played in the Round 4 victory over Wynnum Manly other than to add Noel Underwood as 18th man for the away trip. Townsville are preparing themselves for a tough few weeks on the road and will be looking to kick-start a three-week stint away from home with another solid win over the Gulls. In their two games played last year, the Blackhawks won them comfortably, totalling 80 points to 12.
XXXX RIVALRY MATCH OF THE ROUND*
WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS v SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES
BMD Kougari Oval on Sunday, April 3 - 3pm
Referee: Clayton Sharpe
Head-to-Head: Wynnum 27 Souths-Logan 10 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #WYNvSLM
Live Stream: Seagulls TV
Two Broncos feeder clubs go head-to-head at BMD Kougari Oval in what looms as a crucial Round 5 clash. Usually a model of consistency, the Seagulls have been poor so far in 2016 with four-straight defeats, leaving them anchored at the foot of the table. Their defence has been a major concern, with opposition teams piling on 156 points against them in the opening month of the competition. Josh Hannay’s Magpies have been a little tighter in that department, but only have the one win to show from their opening four weeks. The Seagulls’ faithful can draw some confidence from their recent head-to-head record, which currently stands at eight consecutive victories over the Magpies. Furthermore, Souths have not won at BMD Kougari Oval since 2011. Wynnum Manly skipper Patrick Templeman will look to provide the spark from fullback on Sunday, with Matt Smith and Mathew Seamark in the halves.
*Each week, the XXXX Rivalry Match of the Round will highlight a match that showcases a traditional rugby league rivalry. The storied histories of club battles, local derbies and bitter grand final combatants will take centre stage in this new promotion by XXXX that helps celebrate the heritage of the “greatest game of all”.
Match statistics: Brad Tallon