INTRUST SUPER CUP
Intrust Super Cup Round 3 preview
Townsville Blackhawks v Mackay Cutters
Jack Manski Oval on Saturday, March 18 - 4pm
Referee: Tim Rutherford
Head-to-Head: Townsville 4 Mackay 0
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TSVBvMC
Blackhawks captain Daniel Beasley will play in his first game back at Jack Manski Oval tomorrow when his side take on Mackay in a northern derby. Beasley played his first game since he suffered a season-ending knee injury in the first trial match of 2016 on Sunday against Ipswich, but told the Townsville Blackhawks website that he could not wait to play in front of the home fans. “I’m feeling a lot more confident after the game on Sunday,” Beasley said. “I’m really looking forward to playing in front of a home crowd tomorrow.” The 2015 Prop of the Year scored one of his side’s seven tries in their 39-26 win and will be hoping the team can put in a similar performance against the resurgent Cutters. Mackay posted a morale-boosting 38-6 win over Tweed Heads in Round 2 and would love nothing better than to improve on their recent away record which has seen then claim only one draw and 14 losses in their past 15 games on the road.
CQ Capras v Burleigh Bears
Browne Park on Saturday, March 18 - 5pm
Referee: Tyson Brough
Head-to-Head: Burleigh 31 Central 9
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #CQCvBEARS
The defending premiers the Burleigh Bears will travel to Rockhampton tomorrow with another new halves pairing set to lead them around the field. Sam Grant is back in the halfback role alongside five-eighth Daniel Schwass after off-season signing Tyler Cornish earned himself a call-up to the injury-hit Titans for their game against the Eels tonight after filling the role for the Bears last weekend. Both the Bears and their Round 3 opponents the Capras are searching for their first win after suffering some heavy losses in the opening rounds. However, it has not been due to a lack of effort with both sides showing some bright sparks despite their losses. The Capras were well within striking distance at halftime against Redcliffe last weekend, but could not hold on, going down 41-20 despite a second half double from winger Ken Tofilau. Interestingly, while the Capras have lost their past seven home games, their record against the Bears is encouraging and they have won three of their past four and five of their past seven home game against the Gold Coast side.
Northern Pride v Sunshine Coast Falcons
Barlow Park on Saturday, March 18 – 5.30pm
Referee: Liam Kennedy
Head-to-Head: Pride 10 Sunshine Coast 7
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PRIDEvSCF
Sunshine Coast Falcons coach Craig Ingebrigtsen will preside over his 107th Queensland Intrust Super Cup game this Saturday, moving him past current Queensland Maroons coach and former Jets and Clydesdales mentor Kevin Walters into the top 10 games coached. The man they call Trigger will go up against rookie Pride coach Ty Williams who in his two games in charge so far has seen his side win well against Mackay and lose a close one against Wynnum Manly. While the Falcons were disappointing in their loss to the Magpies last weekend, the Pride could consider themselves unlucky to have lost their thrilling encounter against the Seagulls where a late penalty goal from Travis Burns sunk their attempt at a second-half comeback which saw them run in three tries in the second half. Playing their first home game of the season, the Pride also have the head-to-head statistics in their favour and have won their past six games against the Falcons.
Easts Tigers v Redcliffe Dolphins
Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park on Saturday, March 18 - 6pm
Referee: Chris Anderson
Assistant Referee: Jarrod Cole
Head-to-Head: Redcliffe 27 Easts 16 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TIGESvPHINS
Livestream: Tiger TV
After opening their season with a draw against the Falcons and then last weekend undertaking the competition’s toughest away trip to PNG; the Tigers will be looking forward to getting home this weekend. However, there to greet them will be early premiership favourites the Redcliffe Dolphins. While the Tigers have only a solitary point to show for their efforts this season, the Dolphins are two wins from two starts, having accounted for the reigning premiers Burleigh in Round 1 and overpowering the Capras last weekend. Redcliffe will have no fear about travelling to the home of the Tigers, having won their past two games played there. They have also been victorious in their past five regular season away games. In milestone news, Easts centre Shane Neumann has moved equal with Wade Liddell on 65 tries (which is the most Cup tries for Easts) follow his second half effort against PNG last weekend. – with Matt Crowhurst
Tweed Heads Seagulls v Wynnum Manly Seagulls
Ron Stark Oval, Stradbroke Island on Sunday, March 19 – 12.40pm*
Referee: Chris James
Assistant Referee: Nick Morel
Head-to-Head: Wynnum 18 Tweed 15
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #THSvWYN
Wynnum Manly Seagulls make their third trip in four years to the home of the North Stradbroke Island Sharks in Sunday’s ‘Indigenous Recognition Game’. Wearing their Indigenous jersey designed by Sandra Delaney, they will take on the Seagulls from north of the border in front of the Channel 9 cameras. Wynnum comfortably won their two previous matches at Straddie; and Adam Brideson’s charges will start hot favourites against the Tweed this weekend after a strong start to the season. While Wynnum have beaten Souths Logan and the Northern Pride, the Tweed have leaked more than 30 points in each of their defeats to Ipswich and Mackay. But Tweed is set to be boosted by the late inclusion of experienced centre James Wood, a veteran of 222 games for the club.
Souths Logan Magpies v PNG Hunters
Davies Park on Sunday, March 19 – 2.05pm
Referee: Nick Pelgrave
Head-to-Head: PNG 6 Souths-Logan 0
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SLMvPNG
Livestream: QRL Live Stream
Inspiration five-eighth Israel Eliab plays his 50th match for PNG when the Hunters travel to Davies Park to play the Magpies. Eliab, who returned to the Hunters this year after spending 12 months with the London Broncos, has made an immediate impact in 2017. He scored a try in the Hunters’ 30-20 win over the Easts Tigers last week. A victory over the Magpies this weekend will give foundation Hunters coach Michael Marum his 50th victory from 76 games. In other milestone news, Magpies centre Scott Doyle last weekend became the leading points scorer in Souths Logan’s Cup history when he scored two tries and kicked three goals in their 22-12 win over the Sunshine Coast Falcons. Souths are yet to beat the Hunters in six attempts, but last weekend’s win will give Jon Buchanan’s charges a real boost heading into the Round 3 clash.
Norths Devils v Ipswich Jets
Bishop Park on Sunday, March 19 - 3pm
Referee: Belinda Sleeman
Head-to-Head: Norths 23 Ipswich 16 drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #DEVILSvJETS
The Jets have won their past five games against the Devils, but they’ll be up against it in their bid to extend the winning sequence this weekend. Richard Pandia and Jesse Roberts will be scratched for the Round 3 clash, and question marks remain over the fitness of several other key players. The injury-hit Jets were beaten 39-26 by the impressive Townsville Blackhawks last weekend, while the Devils secured a 26-14 victory over 2016 Intrust Super Cup premiers the Burleigh Bears on the back of a Michael Lucas double. There is growing speculation that former Rabbitoh Chris Sandow will make his debut for the Devils in the Sunday afternoon clash. But even if he doesn’t take the field, the Devils will still field a formidable attacking line-up with young Broncos Kodi Nikorima and Todd Murphy in the halves.
*Statistics provided by Brad Tallon