ROUND 16 PREVIEW
XXXX Rivalry Match of the Round
Easts Tigers v Northern Pride
Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park on Saturday, June 25 – 3pm
Referee: Clayton Sharpe
Head-to-Head: Pride 14 Easts 5
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TIGESvPRIDE
Easts Tigers enter the Round 16 clash without experienced forward Matt White, who is serving a one-week suspension for a shoulder charge. The former Titan and current Melbourne Storm squad member has been a key player for the Tigers this year, with his strong runs and tough defence a feature of the team’s impressive start to the season. Scott Sipple’s men did hit a hurdle last weekend, however, with the fired-up Sunshine Coast Falcons getting over the top of the Langlands Park club to the tune of 26-6. Back in front of their home fans this weekend, the Tigers will look to hit back against the seventh-placed Northern Pride in a game that will bring back memories of the 2014 grand final. The Pride got the better of Easts 30-16 in their first encounter this year and have won four of the past five encounters between the teams. Easts can draw plenty of encouragement though from their excellent home record, which stands at five wins and a draw in 2016. Outstanding young Cowboys backrower Coen Hess will get another chance to impress in the Intrust Super Cup, with the Queensland Under 20s star named in the starting side.
Townsville Blackhawks v Sunshine Coast Falcons
Jack Manski Oval on Saturday, June 25 - 4pm
Referee: Jarrod Cole
Head-to-Head: Townsville 2 Sunshine Coast 0
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TSVBvSCF
The Sunshine Falcons will head up to Townsville this weekend full of confidence following their strong win over the Easts Tigers in Round 15. The Melbourne feeder club have named six Storm players in their 17-man line up – with some quality players on show against the northern powerhouse, including Tony Tumusa – who scored a try last week’s 26-6 win. The home side are coming off two consecutive losses for the first time in their history and will be keen to not make it three in a row this weekend. Coach Kristian Woolf said the team know what’s required and were committed to the task. “We are certainly looking to be better than we have been in our previous two matches,” he told his club’s website. “We are aiming to get back in the winner’s circle and we know what we need to improve on to make that happen.” Their task will be made more difficult, however, with fullback Matt Bowen suspended for one week for a dangerous throw. The Queensland Police Service will take on the Australian Army’s 3rd Brigade in a Charity Match prior to the Intrust Super Cup game to help raise funds for the Islah’s Sparkle Appeal. Find out more on the Townville Blackhawks website. Entry for the game on Saturday is half price for police and army personnel with ID. – with Blackhawks Media
CQ Capras v Burleigh Bears
Browne Park on Saturday, June 25 – 6pm
Referee: Liam Kennedy
Head-to-Head: Burleigh 30 Central 9
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #CQCvBEARS
Burleigh’s quest for a long-awaited finals berth continues when they travel to Central Queensland to take on the Capras at Browne Park. The Capras suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of the Devils last weekend, but performed strongly in the second half to add a modicum of respectability to the 40-24 scoreline. The CQ side also got the better of the now top-of-the-table Bears when they played them at Pizzey Park this year, recording a 38-32 win. In fact, the Capras have won five of the past seven games played between the two sides; and the Bears have also struggled at Browne Park, with CQ winning five of the past six games played between the sides at the venue. Bears centre Conner Broadhurst told the club’s website his side would not be taking this game lightly – despite their standing on the Intrust Super Cup ladder. “If you start the game a little complacent, then suddenly they get a roll on early and you’ve got to try and stop their momentum, which is hard,” Broadhurst said. “There are no easybeats in this competition and if you do approach it that way you’ll get beaten, like we have in the past. We’ve just got to keep playing the way we have been and we should be right.” For the home side, Aleki Falepaini (previously with Mackay) will play in his 50th Cup game. – with Kevin Braysher
Redcliffe Dolphins v Mackay Cutters
Dolphin Oval on Sunday, June 26 – 1.40pm* (Live on Channel 9)
Referee: Chris Anderson Assistant Referee: Nick Pelgrave
Head-to-Head: Redcliffe 8 Mackay 8 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PHINSvMC
Redcliffe are set to be without rising star Tom Opacic who has been named to make his Broncos debut this weekend. With Brisbane’s first-choice left centre Jack Reed out of action with a shoulder injury and his replacement Jordan Kahu (pectoral strain) also in the casualty ward – the Serbia-eligible back has been handed his NRL opportunity. The Dolphins are at the top of the Intrust Super ladder and have been hard to beat at home – winning all four played at Dolphin Oval this year. Mackay have struggled to win this season, but have played well enough in patches to give opposition sides a run for their money. A case in point is last weekend where they led for much of the match against the Pride, only to fall at the final hurdle. This week, Mackay announced the resignation of coach David Simpson, with interim coach Jim Wilson appointed fulltime to the role for the rest of the season. In a club statement, chairman John Glanville thanked Simpson for his commitment to the club. In his first week in the head coach position, Wilson and his team will come up against a formidable challenge, with Redcliffe in great form and looking to impress their home crowd and the TV audience. Cutters fullback Liam Taylor, who kicked three goals last weekend, requires three more to bring up 300 Cup goals and nine points to bring up 800 Cup points.
Tweed Heads Seagulls v Souths Logan Magpies
Piggabeen Sports on Sunday, June 26 – 2pm
Referee: Tim Rutherford
Head-to-Head: Tweed Heads 15 Souths Logan 13
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #THSvSLM
Although named on Tuesday by coach Aaron Zimmerle –Tweed Heads will be without prop Josh Coyle (two weeks for a dangerous throw) and winger Tevita Folau (one week for a dangerous throw) in a big blow for the side. The Seagulls are coming off a heavy home-ground loss against local rivals Burleigh last weekend, where repeated errors were punished by the in-form Bears. They cannot afford to give the visiting Magpies similar opportunities with the ball – with Souths Logan making opposition teams work hard to earn their wins. Before their last-minute Round 14 loss to PNG where they were a Noel Zeming try away from handing the Hunters their first home loss this season – the Magpies were unbeaten in four matches (two wins and two draws). In team news, Herman Ese’ese has been named on an extended Broncos bench so is not expected to play for the Magpies. In an interesting pattern the Seagulls will be hoping continues this Sunday, the past four games between these two sides have been won by the home team, including back in Round 7 where the Magpies were 28-10 winners at Davies Park.
Despite occupying 10th position on the Intrust Super Cup ladder, the Devils believe they can feature in this year’s semi-finals. A win over the PNG Hunters at Bishop on Sunday afternoon will certainly enhance those claims. Last weekend in Bundaberg, the Devils flew out of the blocks to lead the Central Queensland Capras 36-0 at the break. A double from Luke Pollock and further tries from Harry Pondekas, Francis Molo, Billy Brittain, Sean Yortson and Michael Lucas put the Devils in an unassailable position by the sound of the half-time siren. The Capras did a great job to make a game of it in the second half, but the Devils walked away with a vital 40-24 win, a crucial result in the wake of a narrow two-point defeat at the hand of the Ipswich Jets the week before. The Hunters were also in the winners’ circle last weekend, downing the desperate Wynnum Manly Seagulls 18-4 in humid conditions in Port Moresby. All eyes will be on how the Hunters perform on the road after three-straight away defeats put a dent in their minor premiership aspirations. Sunday’s match will be streamed live on the QRL website.
Wynnum Manly Seagulls - bye
Ipswich Jets - bye
Statistics by Brad Tallon
**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”.