ROUND 5 PREVIEW: Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation Round
Townsville Blackhawks v Easts Tigers
Jack Manski Oval on Saturday, April 1 - 4pm
Referee: Peter Gough
Head-to-Head: Townsville 2 Easts 1 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TSVBvTIGES
Livestream: Tiger TV
Easts will be heading north confident of their chances to return home with the two points against Townsville. The Tigers come into this game off the back of a dominant display against the Northern Pride last weekend where they ran in six tries to two. Townsville on the other hand suffered their first loss of the season last weekend against a Benji Marshall-inspired Redcliffe Dolphins and will be aiming to get back on track in from of the home supporters. They will be buoyed by the fact they have won 21 of their 25 games at Jack Manski Oval, while Easts have struggled on the road and have only won one of their past nine away games and have been defeated in both games against Townsville at home. David Munro is free to play for the Blackhawks this weekend after he successfully challenged a Contrary Conduct charge.
Norths Devils v CQ Capras
Bishop Park on Saturday, April 1 – 3.30pm
Referee: Tim Rutherford
Head-to-Head: Norths 28 Central 10 Drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #DEVILSvCQC
Norths are on a high after claiming a rare away win against the Hunters. Punctuated by the clean boot of Todd Murphy and some quality inputs from new signing Chris Sandow in his first Cup game since 2007, the Devils posted a 32-18 win. The Capras too have positive momentum behind them, having posted a big win over Tweed Heads. The side have now won two games in a row and will be aiming to make it three for the first time since 2009. Former Capras junior Stephen Coombe (named on the Devils bench) told the Rockhampton Morning Bulletin he was wary of Saturday’s opponents, despite the fact Norths have won the past 10 games between these two sides. “That is a good effort to beat Tweed on the road … They will be a tough match-up this weekend.” He also spoke about his side’s good start to the season so far. “We have a great vibe around the club right now – going to PNG and getting the win was special,” he said. “I know it is only early days, but as a whole squad we are looking very solid.” – with Matty Holdsworth
Sunshine Coast Falcons v Wynnum Manly Seagulls
Sunshine Coast Stadium on Saturday, April 1 – 4.45pm* (new time)
Referee: Liam Kennedy
Assistant Referee: Damian Brady
Head-to-Head: Wynnum 11 Sunshine Coast 4
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SCFvWYN
Livestream: Seagulls TV
Two Sunshine Coast players are set to celebrate milestone matches this weekend, with Martin Cordwell (previously with Souths Logan and Redcliffe) set to step out for his 100th Cup game and fullback Jahrome Hughes (Tweed Heads and Townsville Blackhawks) to play in his 50th Cup game. Hughes, who played for the XXXX Queensland Residents last year following his good form for Townsville, is one of four Storm players named in the Falcons squad for their intriguing matchup against Wynnum Manly. The Seagulls will still be smarting from their close last-start loss against a then winless Mackay Cutters and will be pushing hard to cut out the errors that cost them dearly in their last game. They will also be aiming to halt their recent poor record against the Falcons where they have lost their past two encounters.
Northern Pride v Burleigh Bears
Barlow Park on Saturday, April 1 - 5.30pm
Referee: Ben Watts
Head-to-Head: Pride 11 Burleigh 6 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PRIDEvBEARS
Jim Lenihan’s 150th game in charge of the Bears (including the Intrust Super Championship) would be a fitting occasion for his side to notch their opening win of the 2017 season. Lenihan, who helped guide the Bears to their first premiership win since 2004 last year, has so far recorded 75 wins, five draws and 69 losses. The Bears came agonisingly close to claiming their first competition points last weekend, but were thwarted by a late Sam Scarlett field goal that handed the Magpies a win. The Pride will be desperately keen to push aside the memories of their Round 4 game which saw them go down 42-12 to Easts Tigers. However, the comforts of home have not brought about the sort of success the Pride were famous for in the past, with the side having only won two of their past six game played at Barlow Park. This is a trend they’ll be working to turn around on Saturday night. This match will also be the 50th Cup game for Bears winger Oliver Regan, who moved to the club from Redcliffe.
Mackay Cutters v PNG Hunters
BB Print Stadium Mackay on Saturday, April 1 - 6.05pm
Referee: Chris Anderson
Head-to-Head: PNG 3 Mackay 1 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #MCvPNG
Livestream: QRL Livestream
Sport has taken a back seat in many North Queensland communities this week due to the much-publicised destruction of Cyclone Debbie. The chances of this game going ahead earlier in the week looked slim, but Mackay officials have banded together to ensure the Round 5 match will be played. Locals can now look forward to enjoying a top night of footy between their home team and the entertaining PNG Hunters. The Cutters have come to the party as well, slashing general admission adult ticket prices to just $5. After an excellent 22-18 win against Wynnum Manly last weekend, Cutters coach Steve Sheppard will be calling for a repeat performance. PNG will be eager to bounce back after a rare defeat on home soil against the Norths Devils last Sunday. The Hunters have won both away games this year after losing seven of their last eight away in 2016.
Redcliffe Dolphins v Ipswich Jets
Dolphin Oval on Sunday, April 2 – 1.40pm*
Assistant Referee: Dan Munroe
Referee: Nick Morel
Head-to-Head: Redcliffe 27 Ipswich 15
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PHINSvJETS
Key Redcliffe forward Nick Slyney will make his 50th appearance for the Dolphins against the Jets on Sunday. A former Brisbane Broncos contracted player, Slyney has also played for the Northern Pride and London Broncos. He forms part of a formidable Dolphins forward pack that will look to dominate the Jets on a heavy Dolphin Oval surface this weekend. Redcliffe proved its premiership credentials with a gritty 18-6 win over the previously undefeated Townsville Blackhawks last Saturday. Former Wests Tigers premiership-winning half Benji Marshall had some nice touches on debut for the Phins in that game and he’ll be looking to make his mark against the unpredictable Jets. Ipswich was comprehensively beaten by the Sunshine Coast Falcons in Round 4, with the 2015 premiers kept to a solitary try in 80 minutes.
Tweed Heads Seagulls v Souths Logan Magpies
Piggabeen Sports Complex on Sunday, April 2 - 2pm
Referee: Tyson Brough
Head-to-Head: Tweed 15 Souths 14
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #THSvSLM
Fresh from a thrilling one-point victory over Burleigh, the Souths Logan Magpies will be aiming for win number three this weekend. The Magpies sealed last week’s win thanks to a Sam Scarlett field goal with only 22 seconds to go, and while coach Jon Buchanan was ecstatic to get the result, he will be eager to avoid another pulsating finish this weekend. Buchanan has named an unchanged team for the trip over the NSW border. For the Seagulls, the Round 5 clash is essentially a must-win game after starting the season with four-straight losses. However, the Gulls haven’t been all that far away in their last two games against Wynnum Manly and the CQ Capras, and an upset here against the Magpies wouldn’t surprise. In milestone news, experienced Tweed centre James Wood has gone past Brendon Lindsay to be the sixth most capped player in Cup history. Souths Logan’s Daniel Tamou will line up for his 50th game in the black and white colours.
Please note: Tweed Heads Seagulls v Souths Logan Magpies Meninga and FOGS Under 20 Cup games have been postponed. New match details for these games and the Western Mustangs v Capras games (new venue) are available via QRL Live.
*Statistics provided by Brad Tallon