Intrust Super Cup Round 7 preview
Burleigh Bears v CQ Capras
Pizzey Park on Saturday, April 16 - 4pm
Referee: Tyson Brough
Head-to-Head: Burleigh 30 Central 8
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #BEARSvCQC
Capras half Matt Minto is to play his 50th game for the club and how he performs will go a long way to deciding whether or not his team can upset the in-form Bears. The 101 Cup game veteran (having played with Easts and Mackay) was on-song in the Capras last win back in Round 3 against Ipswich where he scored two tries. However, in a blow to the side, they are without hooker Ian Webster and winger Marco De La Pena, who were both injured in CQ’s loss to the Sunshine Coast last weekend and are expected to be out for the next few weeks. Mark Johnstone and Justin Tavae are come into the side. Burleigh are sitting in second place on the ladder and have won their past three games in a row, but they are anticipating a tough month ahead and would like to begin their next batch of matches with a win. They were made to work for their victory against Souths Logan last weekend and coach Jim Lenihan will not be allowing any complacency in his players going into this match. According to media reports, Tyrone Roberts is expected to return to the Titans team, so Cameron Cullen can resume his killer combination with Jamal Fogarty in the halves, a week after making his NRL debut.
Mackay Cutters v Redcliffe Dolphins
Stadium Mackay on Saturday, April 16 - 6pm
Referee: Tim Rutherford
Head-to-Head: Mackay 8 Redcliffe 7 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #MCvPHINS
Redcliffe is in ominous form after a convincing 38-12 win over the Ipswich Jets. The Dolphins blew the defending premiers off the park in the opening half – and coach Adam Mogg would dearly love a similar start in Mackay this weekend. But the Phins will be up against a desperate Cutters outfit in hot pursuit of their first win of the season. With Cowboys duo Matthew Wright and Tautau Moga in the Mackay backline, there is no shortage of attacking firepower at David Simpson’s disposal. Former Queensland Under 20s star Moga is on the comeback trail from a long injury lay-off and will be looking to press his claims for an NRL return with the defending premiers. For the Dolphins, former Cutters forwards Chris Gesch and Tyson Andrews will return to Mackay to play against their old club for the first time. Gesch and Andrews were key members of the Mackay team that won the 2013 Intrust Super Cup premiership under Kim Williams.
PNG Hunters v Norths Devils
National Football Stadium on Saturday, April 16 – 6.30pm
Referee: Nick Morel
Head-to-Head: PNG 2 Norths 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PNGvDEVILS
The PNG crowd were treated to a thriller last weekend with the field goal from Ase Boas in the final minute of the match hitting the upright before eventually sailing over to see the Hunters claim a 11-10 win over the then undefeated Blackhawks. The Hunters are making a habit of this in their home games – with their 20-18 win over Tweed Heads in Round 3 coming after the conversion kick to win the game hit the post before bouncing over. Their opponents this weekend the Devils have collected three wins and a draw to give them a positive start to the season and they will be quietly confident of achieving something special against the Hunters. However, they have been guilty of dropping away in the second half of games after doing enough to win them in the first – and anything other than an 80-minute performance against PNG is bound to be punished. This will be the 50th Cup game Adex Wera who will join Wartovo Puara as the second player to reach the half century for the Hunters.
Sunshine Coast Falcons v Townsville Blackhawks
Sunshine Coast Stadium on Sunday, April 17 – 1.40pm* (Live on Channel 9 / WIN / NBN)
Referee: Michael Gordon Assistant Referee: Nick Pelgrave
Head-to-Head: Townsville 1 Sunshine Coast 0
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SCFvTSVB
Skipper Troy Giess has been named to make his return from injury this weekend and the timing could not be better with the Falcons to lose the leadership of Nafe Seluini on the field after he suffered a hamstring injury last weekend. Prop Tom Geraghty also comes into the side with Alex Bishop – who scored the final try in the win over the Capras – will start in 9. The Blackhawks were handed their first defeat of the season last weekend, going down by one point in a thriller in Port Moresby. That loss was only their second in their 14 away games. In a record they will be working hard to maintain, the club have also never lost two games in succession – but will have a challenge on their hands against a Falcons side who achieve strong results so far this season. The visitors named forward Lorenzo Maafu at lock earlier this week, but after pleading guilty to a Dangerous Contact charge, he will miss the next three weeks.
Northern Pride v Easts Tigers
Barlow Park on Sunday, April 17 - 3pm
Referee: Chris Anderson
Head-to-Head: Pride 13 Easts 5
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PRIDEvTIGES
Live Steam: Tiger TV
Both the Pride and Tigers have flown under the radar to some extent this year. But those days might be officially over after the two teams made major statements in Round 6 last weekend. The Pride ran riot against Tweed Heads, with Tom Hancock and Luke George notching two tries each in their 48-0 thrashing of the Seagulls at Barlow Park. The points didn’t flow as freely for Easts in their 12-point win over Wynnum Manly, but the courage and commitment displayed by Scott Sipple’s men was of the highest order. The injury-hit Tigers pressed on without any reserves on the bench to fend off Wynnum Manly in the second half and claim their fourth win of the season. Now they will need to show every bit of that fortitude on the road against a Pride outfit that has won their past seven at Barlow Park and are set to welcome winger Javid Bowen back from NRL duties. The Tigers will travel without back-rower Jake Foster, who is serving a one-match suspension for a shoulder charge.
Souths Logan Magpies v Tweed Heads Seagulls
Davies Park on Sunday, April 17 – 3pm
Referee: Ben Watts
Head-to-Head: Tweed Heads 15 Souths Logan 12
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SLMvTHS
While they may have lost the game last weekend, the Magpies would not have lost any fans as for the most part they kept pace with the high-flying Bears in their entertaining Round 6 match. Once again playing in front of their home fans, they will be without forwards Caleb Timu and Joe Boyce for the game, with Timu making the much-publicised move to the Queensland Reds, while a shoulder injury is set to keep Boyce out of action for a few weeks. Skipper Phil Dennis and new inclusion Bronco Tevita Pangai move into the starting side to replace the pair. The Seagulls will travel to Davies Park with plenty to prove after suffering a fortnight they would rather forget. Their 48-0 loss to Northern Pride last week was their second worst result in their Cup history; their biggest defeat was 62-10 against Ipswich in 2008. However, they are a proud club and coach Aaron Zimmerle will not accept a third poor performance in a row, following their heavy loss to the Blackhawks in Round 5.
XXXX Rivalry Match of the Round
Ipswich Jets v Wynnum Manly Seagulls*
North Ipswich Reserve, on Sunday, April 17 – 3.30pm
Referee: Alan Shortall
Head-to-Head: Wynnum Manly 10 Ipswich 17 Drawn 3
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #JETSvWYN
Live Stream: Seagulls TV
Wynnum Manly might have lost six in row, but the history books suggest there is still hope for the Seagulls faithful who endured a similar start in 2011. In that year, the Gulls staged an incredible turnaround under Paul Green to win the Intrust Super Cup. Their immediate focus, however, is simply to put in a consistent 80 minutes and open their account against the Ipswich Jets on Sunday. Ipswich are struggling to find the rhythm that took them all the way to the Intrust Super Cup / NRL State Championship last season, and with a 2-4 record, badly need the two competition points as well. It hasn’t been the best week on the training paddock either for the Jets, who have lost a number of players, including Sam Martin and Michael Purcell, due to injury. Tyson Lofipo is set to make his return in the top grade for the Jets, who are looking to pick up their first win at home since Round 1.
*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”.
**Statistics by Brad Tallon