ROUND 7 PREVIEW
Townsville Blackhawks v Burleigh Bears
Jack Manski Oval on Saturday, April 15 - 4pm
Referee: Liam Kennedy
Head-to-Head: Townsville 2 Burleigh 1 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TSVBvBEARS
Buoyed by their first win of the season, the Burleigh Bears will look to strike again this weekend in Townsville. Not a lot has gone the way of the defending premiers this year, but there were signs in last weekend’s 22-16 win over XXXX Rivalry Round opponent the Tweed Heads Seagulls that better times are ahead. Five-eighth Keanu Te Kiri was particularly impressive for the Bears, with the classy playmaker laying on a number of tries in the Pizzey Park win. Te Kiri also landed five goals to put the boot into the Seagulls, who are still yet to open their account in 2017. Townsville is coming off a solid 28-18 win over the Northern Pride in Cairns. But they will be without the services of classy utility Blake Leary, who has again been named at hooker for the Cowboys’ team, while prop Corey Jensen is set to make his NRL debut.
Northern Pride v Ipswich Jets
Barlow Park on Saturday, April 15 – 5.30pm
Referee: Tim Rutherford
Head-to-Head: Pride 11 Ipswich 9 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PRIDEvJETS
The Ipswich Jets will be out to break a run of five-straight defeats when they travel to Cairns to meet the dangerous Northern Pride. Another loss here could spell big trouble for a Jets team which is yet to fully fire in 2017. They pushed the fancied Tigers all the way last Saturday, only to fall short by two points after a Wes Conlon conversion attempt was waved away after the siren. The Pride have two wins from their opening six matches, but the Ty Williams-coached outfit will be fancied to get the points here in front of their home fans. Ipswich has won only twice at Barlow Park in 10 games. Former Jets back-rower Joel Riethmuller has been named in the Pride side for the clash against his former club.
Easts Tigers v Wynnum Manly Seagulls
Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park on Sunday, April 16 – 1.40pm* (Live on Channel 9 QLD)
Referee: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski
Assistant Referee: Nick Pelgrave
Head-to-Head: Easts 22 Wynnum 21 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TIGESvWYN
A quick glance at the head-to-head record suggests this contest will be one worth watching. The traditional rivals always seem to lift for this game and the team which needs to find a gear most is the Wynnum Manly side. The Seagulls were held scoreless by the table-topping Dolphins last weekend and they will need to quickly find some rhythm against a very good Tigers outfit. Key Tigers forward David Murphy will line up for his 50th Intrust Super Cup game. Murphy joined the Tigers from the Northern Pride this year and he will be looking for another big performance to push his claims for a second XXXX Queensland Residents jersey. Players will have just three more rounds to impress new Residents coach Jon Buchanan and his selection panel before the team is announced for the May 7 clash against NSW at Suzuki Stadium.
Souths Logan Magpies v Mackay Cutters
Davies Park on Sunday, April 16 - 2pm
Referee: Michael Gordon
Assistant Referee: Belinda Sleeman
Head-to-Head: Souths-Logan 12 Mackay 4 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SLMvMC
Halfback Sam Scarlett was named for the Magpies this week, despite suffering an ankle injury in his side’s big win over the Norths Devils last weekend. If the Broncos-contracted half is out of the match, it will be a big flow for the home side as he has been in good form of late and has enjoyed scoring many of Souths Logan’s points – having crossed for four tries in the past two rounds. The visiting Cutters enter this game having posted a high-scoring 38-22 win over the Capras last weekend and will be ready to test themselves against the Magpies. Having also won their past two games on the road, the Mackay side will confident of improving their away record at Davies Park. Mackay have only won one of nine away games against the Magpies, but did manage to secure a draw last year.
Sunshine Coast Falcons v CQ Capras
Sunshine Coast Stadium on Sunday, April 16 - 2.30pm
Referee: Nick Morel
Head-to-Head: Sunshine Coast 8 Central 8 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SCFvCQC
CQ Capras skipper Guy Williams will achieve a first for his club when he steps out onto the field on Sunday, becoming the first player to play 200 games for the club. Williams, who has complemented his time at the Rockhampton club with playing stints in France, will become the 14th player to reach a double century for Cup games; and only the eighth player to reach the milestone for a single club. While his team-mates will be working towards nothing less than a win for their leader – it will be a difficult task away from home and against an impressive Sunshine Coast outfit. Flying high in second spot on the ladder, the Falcons made light work of the Hunters last weekend, with some striking performances from their players – including Justin Olam making more than 200m despite only playing one half of football. The home side have also won the past four games between these two sides, despite the head-to-head ledger reading eight wins each and a draw.
PNG Hunters v Redcliffe Dolphins
National Football Stadium on Sunday, April 16 - 3pm
Referee: Jarrod Cole
Head-to-Head: PNG 4 Redcliffe 1 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PNGvPHINS
The Hunters welcome the top-of-the-table Redcliffe Dolphins to National Football Stadium this Sunday, with the home side knowing they will need to lift if they are to get back into a winning rhythm. While their formidable home record built in recent seasons remain intact, the Hunters have lost two of their past three home games after only losing two of their previous 35. They were away from home last weekend to the Sunshine Coast and appeared flat across the field. Former Hunter Justin Olam struck against them with a try, while this weekend another former Hunter in Thompson Teteh will also be aiming up to perform well against his former club. Dolphins captain Sam Anderson is penning blog of his team’s trip to Hunters territory which can be read at the Redcliffe website. The skipper said he and his team were determined to make sure this trip culminates in this club’s first win against the PNG Hunters on their home soil.
Norths Devils v Tweed Heads Seagulls
Bishop Park on Sunday, April 16 – 3.30pm
Referee: Tyson Brough
Head-to-Head: Norths 14 Tweed 11 Drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #DEVILSvTHS
The Seagulls are in the midst of their worst ever run (they have lost 12 games in a row) and will be hunting for their first win when they travel to Bishop Park to take on a strong Devils outfit. Speaking to the Tweed Heads website as he prepared his team for his 100th Cup game in charge (41 wins, three draws, 55 losses), coach Aaron Zimmerle said that despite the loss to derby rivals Burleigh last weekend, it was “easily their best” showing so far this season. The side changed up their tactics for the game and completed at a much higher rate, and may be considered unlucky to have walked away without at least a draw. For this game against a Devils side who slipped away in the second half against an impressive Souths Logan last weekend, Zimmerle was hoping to make their star recruit Chris Sandow do a lot of defensive work to try and nullify his potency in attack. The Broncos recent injury woes have also hit the Devils, with standout Jai Arrow out for six weeks after injuring his thumb last weekend.
*Statistics provided by Brad Tallon