Turn to Me Round preview: Round 25

Round 25 Preview – Turn to Me Round

CQ Capras v Northern Pride
Browne Park on Saturday, August 27 – 6pm

Referee: Nick Pelgrave
Head-to-Head:
Pride 11 Central 5
Twitter:
#intrustsupercup #CQCvPRIDE

The Northern Pride will miss the Intrust Super Cup semi-finals for just the second time since their entry into the competition in 2008, regardless of the outcome of the final round clash. But the Pride certainly haven’t disgraced themselves this year. If the Pride pick up their 11th win of the season and other results fall their way, Joe O’Callaghan’s team could finish as high as seventh. This will be the departing O’Callaghan’s final match at the helm of the Pride, with former Cowboy and Pride star Ty Williams to take the reins in 2017. Despite having to travel to Rockhampton’s Browne Park, the Pride will start hot favourites following their big win over the finals-bound PNG Hunters last weekend. Central have been a touch disappointing this year after exploding out of the blocks in March under new coach Kim Williams. However, they have already registered five more wins than last year, as well as a draw against the Easts Tigers.

Redcliffe Dolphins v Tweed Heads Seagulls
Dolphin Oval on Saturday, August 27 – 7pm
Referee:
Tim Rutherford
Head-to-Head:
Redcliffe 20 Tweed 8
Twitter:
#intrustsupercup #PHINSvTHS

The Dolphins can wrap up the minor premiership with a final round win over the Tweed Heads Seagulls on Saturday. While the Dolphins have enjoyed a resurgence this season under Adam Mogg, the Seagulls have endured a year to forget. Regardless of what happens this weekend, they can finish no higher than 12th – their worst finish in Cup history. Tweed have lost 10 of their 12 away games this year, including their last four and those numbers are likely to get worse this weekend against the high-flying Dolphins. Redcliffe have won their past seven games, and seven of their eight games at Dolphin Oval this year. This weekend looms as a big match for Dolphins halfback Darren Nicholls, who currently sit just six points behind Burleigh’s Jamal Fogarty in the race to finish at the top of the leading points scorers standings. Fogarty has scored 11 tries to Nicholls’ eight, but the Dolphins playmaker has booted three more goals than his Bears rival.

Wynnum Manly Seagulls v Ipswich Jets
BMD Kougari Oval on Sunday, August 25 – 1.40pm*

Referee: Chris Anderson Assistant Referee: Jarrod Cole
Head-to-Head: Wynnum 22 Ipswich 17 Drawn 3
Twitter:
#intrustsupercup #WYNvJETS

It speaks volumes about the strength of the Intrust Super Cup that two regular semi-finalists won’t feature in September this year. This will be the first time the Jets have missed the finals since 2010, while Wynnum last failed to qualify in 2009. Ultimately, slow starts will cost Sunday’s rivals dearly. The winner could yet finish as high as seventh, one spot out of the finals. Wynnum forward Salesi Funaki won’t be taking part in the Channel 9 clash after accepting a two-match ban for striking. The Seagulls are coming off a nail-biting two-point loss to the Sunshine Coast Falcons, while Ipswich came from behind to beat the Tweed last weekend. Livewire fullback Wes Conlon returns from a two-match suspension for the Jets, who have lost their past three games to the Seagulls. Ipswich forward Tyson Lofipo plays his 135th Cup game for the Jets, equalling Brendon Lindsay as the third most capped player for the club. Wynnum’s Daniel Ogden requires four points to bring up 500 points in the Cup - his 496 points have come from 124 tries.

XXXX Rivalry Match of the Round*
Easts Tigers v Mackay Cutters
Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park on Sunday, August 25 – 2pm
Referee:
Ben Watts       
Head-to-Head: Easts 10 Mackay 9
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TIGESvMC

The season goes on the line for the Tigers this weekend who are battling it out with Souths Logan for the sixth and final spot in this year’s finals series. A win over their 2013 grade final foes Mackay will see them fight into September. Easts dropped out of the top six this week for the first time since Round 8; and the last time they missed the cut for the finals was in 2012. The Tigers put up a good fight against top-two side Burleigh last weekend, but were unable to halt their losing streak which has now stretched to five games. However, in a positive statistic, the Tigers have won four of the past five games played against Mackay. The Cutters also haven’t been able to win at Suzuki Stadium (Langlands Park) since 2012. For Mackay, this game brings to a close a difficult season which will see them pick up their second wooden spoon, their first since 2009. For this game, they will be without half Delayne Ashby after he took an early guilty plea for a shoulder charge. Grant Rovelli will be the halfback for this game. In milestone news, fullback Liam Taylor (160) will need to score 11 points to break his own Cutters season points-scoring record of 170 set in 2013. This will also be the 150th Cup game for Tigers centre Shane Neumann (previously with the Sunshine Coast).

Burleigh Bears v Souths Logan Magpies
Pizzey Park on Sunday, August 25 – 2pm

Referee: Peter Gough
Head-to-Head: Burleigh 22 Souths Logan 11 Drawn 3
Twitter:
#intrustsupercup #BEARSvSLM

While the Tigers will play for their season in Brisbane, the Bears home ground of Pizzey Park will see the Magpies fight their own top six battle. A win here for Souths Logan could see them finish as high as fifth, but a loss could see them drop out of the finals race completely in seventh position if the Tigers can overcome Mackay. A draw would also see them safely in sixth spot. Magpies coach Josh Hannay has named a strong side for what could be his last game with the club, with the former Queensland Origin player taking up a role with the NQ Cowboys next season. One player who has not been named is skipper Phil Dennis – but his remains a chance to return from a quad injury to feature in his 200th Cup game for Souths Logan (and 230th overall following in stints with Easts and Wests). If the Tweed Heads Seagulls can spring an unlikely upset on the Dolphins on Saturday, the Bears have the chance to snatch the minor premiership with a good win at home. Burleigh have not won the minor premiership since 2004. Whatever the result, the Bears will be celebrating the fact they will be a force in the finals this year, having not been in the finals since 2005 (last year they were coached by Rick Stone). Magpie Scott Doyle (248) requires 11 more points to become the Magpies all-time leading Cup points scorer, surpassing Brett Kelly with 258.

Norths Devils v Townsville Blackhawks
Bishop Park on Sunday, August 25 – 3pm
Referee:
Liam Kennedy
Head-to-Head: Townsville 2 Norths 0
Twitter:
#intrustsupercup #DEVILSvTSVB

While they’ve been guaranteed a finals berth for a number of weeks now, the Blackhawks may still be able to snare an all-important top-two spot with a win here and if other results go their way. If the Magpies can upset the Bears, the NQ side can leapfrog Burleigh to give themselves a second ‘bite at the cherry’ in the first week of the finals. While Norths cannot improve their final standing on the ladder, they are arguably one of the form teams of the competition at the moment having posted two impressive wins in their last two outings. Playing in front of their home crowd, they will be looking to finish their season on a high and win three home games in a row. However, with Townsville again hitting their strides following a rough injury-affected patch earlier in the season, it will still be a big ask. Devils half Todd Murphy – who is so often the key to the side performing well – is now equal 3rd with Daniel Ogden for all time Cup points for the Devils with 308. In other milestone news for the club, winger Michael Lucas will play his 50th Cup game all for the Devils.

PNG Hunters v Sunshine Coast Falcons
National Football Stadium on Sunday, August 25 - 3.05pm
Referee:
Michael Gordon
Head-to-Head: PNG 3 Sunshine Coast 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PNGvSCF

The Hunters will be hoping their imposing home record remains intact after suffering some indifferent form on the road of late. The Hunters have won 34 of their 36 home games, including their last 26 in a row. However, five of those wins this year have been by a margin of four points or less. Last weekend, the Hunters were disappointing in going down 40-16 against the Pride – especially after putting in a good showing against their other NQ opponents Townsville 24-20 in Round 23. For the Falcons – it is a difficult away trip to end the regular season, but no matter the result, they are guaranteed to finish in either fifth or sixth place on the ladder. This will be the first time the Falcons feature in final since 2010, an achievement they celebrated with gusto last weekend after downing Wynnum Manly 30-28 in a thriller at home. This game will be the 100th Cup game for Sunshine Coast back Rowan Klein, making him the first player to play 100 games for the club. Twin brother Callum is not far behind, with this to be his 99th Cup game for the club. This Sunday, both teams have had a player ruled out by suspension, with Falcon Tui Kamikamica Tui pleading no contest to a careless high tackle charge, while Philimon Kimisive has pleaded guilty to a Shoulder Charge offence.

*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