Round 22 Preview – Women in League
Mackay Cutters v Tweed Heads Seagulls
BB Print Stadium Mackay on Saturday, August 6 – 5.30pm (new time)
Referee: Tyson Brough
Head-to-Head: Tweed 10 Mackay 3 Drawn 4
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #MCvTHS
After just missing out on recording an upset win over the Townsville Blackhawks last weekend, the Cutters will be hoping to turn the tide with a win over the visiting Tweed Heads Seagulls. It’s been a lopsided head-to-head record against the home side in recent times, with the ‘Gulls winning four of the past five encounters between the two sides. However, many of the games played in the past have been tightly-contested affairs, with three of the nine games played in Mackay between these sides ending in a draw. This weekend, the Cutters will be without experience fullback Liam Taylor who is sitting out with an injury. Five-eighth Yosepha Kepa has been named, but has also been hampered by injury. For the Seagulls, Mitch Sharpe will come onto the interchange bench for Kobi Annand. Five-eighth Sam Irwin will play his 50th Cup game this weekend, having previously played with coastal rivals Burleigh. Irwin, who returned to Tweed Heads this year following a stint in France is the only player to have appeared in all of the Seagulls games this season.
CQ Capras v Souths Logan Magpies
Browne Park on Saturday, August 6 - 7pm
Referee: Michael Gordon
Head-to-Head: Souths Logan 20 Central 18 Drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #CQCvSLM
Pride goes on the line for the Capras who have had an extra week to think about their heavy Round 20 loss to the Townsville Blackhawks. Their 74-12 defeat in Mount Isa was a disappointing loss for the side who have this season worked hard to stay competitive in matches. However, the Magpies will also be about to restore their standing after putting in one of their poorest performances of the season last weekend against the Falcons. The loss saw them relinquish their place in the top six to the Sunshine Coast – who are guaranteed two points this weekend with the bye. The Magpies will have added motivation to play well, with skipper Phil Dennis to play his 200th game for the club. While it will be his 230th game overall due to past stints with Wests and Easts, Dennis will become the seventh player to reach the milestone with a single club. In team news, the Capras will be boosted by the return of centre Brandon Manase, halfback Matt Minto and prop Jack Kavanagh this weekend.
Easts Tigers v Redcliffe Dolphins
Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park on Sunday, August 7 – 1.40pm*
Referee: Chris James Assistant Referee: Nick Morel
Head-to-Head: Redcliffe 26 Easts 16 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TIGESvPHINS
The Redcliffe Dolphins will travel to Coorparoo to face the Tigers with one eye on claiming the top of the table spot from Burleigh. With the Bears in PNG attempting to become the first side to defeat the Hunters this season; the Phins will fancy their chances of overtaking the Gold Coast team if they put in a similar performance to the one that saw the beat the Devils 60-16 last weekend. Easts – who have been rocked by injury this season – are coming into this game from a bye, following their Round 20 Country Week loss to the PNG Hunters in Port Moresby. The Tigers have used 40 players this year (with prop Sam Gee being #41) - the most they have used in a season in Cup history. It is also the most used by any team in the competition this year. Although he has not been named, Tigers coach Scott Sipple told Quest News he was hopeful of having the services of Melbourne Storm Matt White for the game. While the Phins will be favourites to win this game given their recent run of form, they have a strong record at home this year, with six wins and two draws from their eight games played at the Suzuki Stadium venue. In milestone news, this will be the 50th Cup game for Tigers five-eighth Brentt Warr who made his Cup debut with Mackay.
Norths Devils v Wynnum Manly Seagulls
Bishop Park on Sunday, August 7 – 3pm
Referee: Liam Kennedy
Head-to-Head: Wynnum 21 Norths 17 Drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #DEVILSvWYN
A number of records are set to tumble when two of the competition’s traditional rivals face off at Bishop Park. Classy Wynnum flyer Daniel Ogden needs two more tries to become the first Cup player to score 500 points without kicking a goal, while halfback Matt Seakmark (1245) requires three points to become the second highest points scorer in Cup history. Furthermore, the match will be Tanu Wulf’s 150th game in Queensland’s premier competition and Rogan Dean’s 50th for the Norths Devils. All signs point to a comprehensive Wynnum Manly victory, with the Seagulls well placed to make a late surge into the semi-finals. The proud Bayside club stayed on target for finals footy with a 34-14 win over Tweed Heads Seagulls last weekend, but the reality is that one slip up in the run home could end their top six ambitions. Norths are out of contention after yet another mid-season slump and they will need to lift after conceding 60 points against a rampant Redcliffe Dolphins outfit last weekend. Wynnum have won the past 10 games between these two sides, with the Devils’ last win against the Seagulls dating back to 2011.
XXXX Rivalry Match of the Round
Northern Pride v Townsville Blackhawks
Barlow Park on Sunday, August 7 – 3pm
Referee: Tim Rutherford
Head-to-Head: Townsville 3 Pride 0
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PRIDEvTSVB
The first three northern derbies have gone the way of Townsville and at first glance the Blackhawks should make it four here. However, a closer look at the form of both teams suggests that if the Pride were to finally chalk one up over the Blackhawks, then this could finally be the day. Not only are the Pride at home, but they are coming off a tenacious 25-24 victory over the competition leaders last weekend. Young five-eighth Jordan Biondi-Odo booted the Pride to victory against Burleigh with a late field goal in a result that would have given Joe O’Callaghan’s charges a huge lift heading into the Round 22 clash against Townsville. While a finals appearance is unlikely for the Pride, they would love nothing more than to put a dent in Townsville’s premiership campaign. The Blackhawks nail-biting two-point win over the Mackay Cutters last week was their first away win in five games. Key Townsville forward Lorenz Ma’afu plays his 100th game, while Pride speedster Linc Port lines up for game number 50 in the Intrust Super Cup.
PNG Hunters v Burleigh Bears
National Football Stadium on Sunday, August 7 – 3.05pm
Referee: Chris Anderson
Head-to-Head: PNG 3 Burleigh 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PNGvBEARS
Rounding off Round 22 is a massive Sunday afternoon clash between two teams destined for the 2016 Intrust Super Cup semi-finals. With the home ground advantage, the PNG Hunters will be strongly tipped to record their 26th straight win at home. And if the result falls their way, Michael Marum’s Hunters will draw to within one point of the league leading Bears. However, Burleigh fans shouldn’t despair as the Gold Coast team’s form on the road has been nothing short of superb this year. They have won eight of their nine away games (only loss to Redcliffe) to stamp themselves as a genuine premiership contender following a lengthy period in the finals wilderness. Burleigh did also beat the Hunters 20-18 in Round 8 at Pizzey Park this year. The Hunters weren’t overly convincing on their home patch last weekend, needing a 78th minute Ase Boas penalty goal to get over the line against the plucky Ipswich Jets. In milestone news, Bears halfback Jamal Fogarty requires three points to bring up 400 in the Cup.
Ipswich Jets – bye
Sunshine Coast Falcons – bye
*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