ROUND 11 PREVIEW
Ipswich Jets v Easts Tigers
North Ipswich Reserve on Saturday, May 21 - 4pm
Referee: Liam Kennedy
Head-to-Head: Ipswich 20 Easts 20 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #JETSvTIGES
Live Stream: Tiger TV
It’s make or break time for an Ipswich Jets outfit which slumped to its seventh loss of the season last weekend. There were, however, several positives to emerge from last weekend’s 30-18 defeat at the hands of the Burleigh Bears. The most obvious was the eye-catching return of livewire fullback Wes Conlon, who produced a strong performance in his first game back from last year’s season-ending ACL injury. Conlon could just be the spark the Jets need to get their season going. Having lost their past four home games, the Jets simply must beat arch rivals the Easts Tigers tomorrow afternoon to stay in finals contention. Like Ipswich, Scott Sipple’s Tigers have some key personnel back in their line-up with classy fullback Javarn White and former Queensland Residents hooker Tom Butterfield named in the Round 11 team. Fourth-placed Easts have been flying under the radar this year to some extent, with five wins and a draw placing the Langlands Park club in a great position to push for a finals berth.
Townsville Blackhawks v Mackay Cutters
Jack Manski Oval on Saturday, May 21 – 4pm
Referee: Nick Pelgrave
Head-to-Head: Townsville 2 Mackay 0
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TSVBvMC
One glance at the Intrust Super Cup premiership ladder suggests the Mackay Cutters will be in for a tough day at the office this weekend. The Cutters have just the one win to show from 10 outings, but the most worrying statistic is their for-and-against record with the northern team having conceded 357 points. In contrast, the Blackhawks are once again setting a cracking pace with eight wins and a draw from their opening 10 games. The Kristian Woolf-coached team has been super impressive at home since their entry into the Intrust Super Cup, winning 15 of their 16 games at Jack Manski Oval. Townsville’s XXXX Queensland Residents contingent – Jahrome Hughes, Anthony Mitchell and Corey Jensen – are all on deck to play the Cutters, who have lost their past eight away games. Star hooker Josh Chudleigh is back again for the Cutters after putting in a huge effort in a losing team last week, while former Roosters centre Tautau Moga will gain look to press his claims for a Cowboys recall.
Northern Pride v Burleigh Bears
Roosters Stadium, Atherton, on Saturday, May 21 – 7pm
Referee: Michael Gordon
Head-to-Head: Pride 10 Burleigh 5 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PRIDEvBEARS
The Round 11 clash at the home of Cairns District Rugby League finals contenders the Atherton Roosters looms as one of the highlights of the weekend. This is the third Cup game in Atherton – the Cairns Cyclones beat Norths 26-24 in 1998 and Ipswich 26-22 in 2000. Another close game is on the cards between two of the in-form teams of the Intrust Super Cup. The Pride knocked over the Redcliffe Dolphins 20-16 last weekend while the Burleigh Bears were too good for Ipswich to the tune of 30-18. Burleigh have won their past four games and are well positioned to maintain their winning momentum with the electric halves pairing of Cameron Cullen and Jamal Fogarty intact. Saturday’s match is the 50th Cup game for Pride enforcer Jack Svendsen, who made a strong debut for the XXXX Queensland Residents earlier this month. Pride star Khan Ahwang is closing in on 100 points for his club, having racked up 94 already in a blistering start to the season.
CQ Capras v PNG Hunters
Browne Park on Sunday, May 22 – 1.40pm* (Live on Channel 9 / WIN / NBN)
Referee: Nick Morel
Assistant Referee: Tyson Brough
Head-to-Head: PNG 3 Central 0
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #CQCvPNG
The Hunters travel to Rockhampton this weekend to face a home side keen to find the early season form that saw them claim the scalp of ladder-leading team the Burleigh Bears. PNG will prove another tough challenge for the CQ side who put up a good fight against the Blackhawks last weekend. The Hunters 68-4 win the last time they met (in Round 16 at Kokopo last year) was PNG’s highest score and biggest win – but will expect a tougher contest this time around. The Capras named an eight-man bench earlier in the week, however Bayley Liu and Ian Webster (foot injury) will not be in the final team. Another player on the extended bench is Lance Kuveu, who the Capras recruited from Digicel Cup club Agmark Gurias last year, while young winger Jake Ainsworth is set to make his return from long-term injury. For the Hunters, co-captain Noel Zeming will play in his 50th Cup game, becoming the fourth player from the club behind Wartovo Puara, Adex Wera and Esau Siune to achieve the milestone. The visitors will be without halfback Watson Boas who injured his arm in the Pacific Test against Fiji in the Representative Round. Atte Bina will take his place in the starting line-up.
Redcliffe Dolphins v Norths Devils
Dolphin Oval on Sunday, May 22 – 2pm
Referee: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski
Head-to-Head: Redcliffe 27 Norths 12 Drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PHINSvDEVILS
After weeks on the road, Redcliffe will play their first game at their home ground this Sunday. While the turf is ready to host the action at Dolphin Oval, fans will have to wait a few more weeks before they can sit in the new stands. It will be the first time a number of the club’s 2016 recruits (including skipper Sam Anderson) have played at the famous venue – so it is expected to be a big occasion. The Dolphins have been in good form this season, but come into this match off the back of a frustrating loss to the Pride and will be looking to put on a good show for their home fans. However, the Devils will be keen to spoil the party, but will need to make sure they get off to a much better start than they did last weekend against Souths. The Magpies blitzed them in the first half; but their stronger showing in the second half would have given coach Mark Gliddon some relief, while the return of Jai Arrow to the side following his NRL debut last week will also be welcomed. The two teams will play the first round of the Kav Cup, played in honour of Steve Kavanagh, who passed away in 2012. “Kav” was a player and a coach at both clubs, with the trophy to be awarded to the team with the most points after the two games.
XXXX Rivalry Match of the Round*
Tweed Heads Seagulls v Wynnum Manly Seagulls
Piggabeen Sports on Sunday, May 22 – 2pm
Referee: Jarrod Cole
Head-to-Head: Wynnum 16 Tweed 15
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #THSvWYM
Live Stream: Seagulls TV
With the two sides having found form these past few weeks – the always anticipated ‘flockbuster’ should again provide some great entertainment for fans. The head-to-head record highlights the rivalry between the sides with Wynnum having claimed one extra victory in their tally – which includes the 2011 grand final. The Tweed Heads Seagulls have won their past three home games; while Wynnum Manly has also won three games in a row after losing their opening six games. In their premiership year of 2011 they won their next four matches in a row after enduring their six-match losing streak. Last weekend, Wynnum’s attack clicked into gear to heap pain on the Cutters with their 62-16 win. Outside back Daniel Ogden scored two tries in the match to move him to equal third on the all-time try scorer list alongside Nick Parfitt on 113. Only Donald Malone with 117 and Tweed’s Nathanael Barnes (133) have more. Another Tweed winger in David Sheridan has also found a knack for scoring tries this season, having now scored at least one try in his past three outings in Gulls colours, including a double against the Falcons last weekend. In this match, Wynnum coach Jon Buchanan is aiming for his 50th win as a coach in his 83rd game – he has never had a draw.
Sunshine Coast Falcons v Souths Logan Magpies
Sunshine Coast Stadium on Sunday, May 22 – 3pm
Referee: Chris Anderson
Head-to-Head: Souths-Logan 11 Sunshine Coast 4
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SCFvSLM
An already upbeat Magpies outfit have more good news to celebrate, with the return from NRL duty of experienced hooker Travis Waddell. His inclusion (and the omission of Ben Jackson with a wrist injury) are the main changes to the side that defeated Norths last weekend – thanks mostly to an outstanding first half. The Falcons however come into this game after a poor first half cost them against the Tweed Heads Seagulls in Round 10 which saw them trail 16-4 at the break. This week, the home side will boast an exciting line-up with Curtis Scott set to take the field for the after being a late withdrawal last week with injury. Both sides will see players take part in their milestone Cup games, with Falcon Tom Geraghty (previously with Redcliffe) playing his 50th Cup game and Magpie Luke Archer is 50th for the club (and 60th overall including his time at Easts). Souths skipper Phil Dennis moves to seventh in all time games played with 220, passing Danny Burke with 219, after pasting Shane Perry’s 218 games last weekend.
*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