Round 8 Intrust Super Cup preview
ROUND 8 PREVIEW
Mackay Cutters v Easts Tigers
BB Print Stadium Mackay on Saturday, April 22 - 6pm
Referee: Tim Rutherford
Head-to-Head: Easts 12 Mackay 8
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #MCvTIGES
Easts recorded their fifth win in succession last weekend when Scott Sipple’s charges came from behind to beat arch rivals Wynnum Manly 19-11. The Tigers last won six in a row in 2011/12 and they’ll be keen to equal that record when they travel to Mackay this weekend. While the new-look Tigers are yet to hit top gear in 2017, the early signs point to a big year for the Langlands Park club. Speedsters Gerard McCullum and Linc Port are looking more dangerous by the week in the backline, but it is hard to past the experienced Tom Butterfield as their main man. The crafty hooker scored a brilliant solo try last weekend, and he’ll again be the glue that holds the Tigers together when they go on the hunt for their fifth win in six matches against the Cutters. Mackay’s form has been up and down this year, but with three wins from seven matches, Steve Sheppard’s team is only a win or two away from forcing its way into the top six.
Wynnum Manly Seagulls v CQ Capras
BMD Kougari Oval on Saturday, April 22 - 6pm
Referee: Ben Watts
Head-to-Head: Wynnum 29 Central 8 Drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #WYNvCQC
Live Stream: Seagulls TV
The Seagulls will be without Peter Gubb for this match after the key winger was found guilty of a Dangerous Throw at the judiciary. Despite his absence, the Gulls will still warm start favourites at home against a Capras outfit which has not won at BMD Kougari Oval since 2010. Wynnum have won nine out of the past 10 games between these two sides, although the Bayside club is going through a minor slump after dropping their past four matches. Experienced Seagulls halfback Matt Seamark (1243) requires five more points to overhaul Liam Georgetown (1247 - Redcliffe) for most points for a single club. Seamark also scored 22 points for Redcliffe to give him 1265 and is in second place to Nick Parfitt for the all-time points record (1421). Wynnum Manly forward Aaron Rockley will take the field for his 50th game in the Intrust Super Cup.
Souths Logan Magpies v Ipswich Jets
Davies Park on Sunday, April 23 – 1.40pm* (Live on Channel 9 QLD)
Referee: Liam Kennedy
Assistant Referee: Nick Pelgrave
Head-to-Head: Ipswich 23 Souths-Logan 17 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SLMvJETS
The in-form Souths Logan Magpies will go on the hunt for their sixth win of the season when they host the Ipswich Jets at Davies Park. But the Magpies will need to do it without big forward Joe Ofahengaue, one of their best players in recent weeks. Ofahengaue has been recalled to the Broncos line-up to play his first NRL match since Round 21 last year following an injury to Tevita Pangai Jnr. Souths Logan will still carry an impressive forward pack into the Round 8 clash, with impressive young guns Jaydn Su’A and George Fai backing up after playing key roles in the Magpies’ big win over Mackay last week. Ipswich found its rhythm on a slippery surface in Cairns last Saturday evening on their way to beating the Northern Pride 24-10. Forward Nat Neale had a blinder, crossing for two tries in his best performance of the season. In milestone news, Ipswich halfback and captain Dane Phillips will play his 100th match for the Jets and his 156th overall game in the competition.
Redcliffe Dolphins v Sunshine Coast Falcons
Dolphin Park on Sunday, April 23 - 2pm
Referee: Michael Gordon
Head-to-Head: Redcliffe 10 Sunshine Coast 6
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PHINSvSCF
This weekend’s top-of-the-table clash between the Dolphins and Falcons will see both teams play for the James Ackerman Cup. The trophy is contested in the first match of the season between the two clubs Ackerman played for. Three Dolphins players — Nick Slyney, Troy Giess and Aaron Whitchurch — spoke to Quest News about what being involved with the game meant to them. The Falcons will play in special jerseys for the match that were designed by Wes Middleton, who was a good friend and old team-mate of James. On the field, Redcliffe have the upper hand against their opponents and have won the past three games between the two sides, with the Falcons having only won once in six games played at Dolphin Oval (back in 2009). The Phins also have a strong recent record at home the visitors will have to overcome, having claimed the victory in seven of their past eight games at home. However, the Sunshine Coast’s recent good form has seen them win their past five games – the last time won six in a row was back in 2010.
Burleigh Bears v PNG Hunters
Pizzey Park on Sunday, April 23 - 2.05pm
Referee: Jarrod Cole
Head-to-Head: PNG 4 Burleigh 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #BEARSvPNG
Live Stream: QRL Live Stream
The traditional Anzac weekend clash between the Burleigh Bears and PNG Hunters throws out an intriguing contest this year. The Bears have finally clicked and have now notched back-to-back wins, including a gutsy effort against Townsville last weekend where they won 20-18. The Hunters too were last round winners, toughing it out for a 12-10 win over the Dolphins in a match were centre Adex Wera stood out in a dour encounter. The Bears have won two of the of the three games played between these sides at Pizzey Park, while the Hunters have a reason to be optimistic, having claimed victory in three of their four away games this year. Although he has been named on an extended bench by coach Michael Marum, Moses Meninga will not play this weekend after taking an early guilty plea for a Dangerous Contact charge. On the milestone front, Burleigh centre Connor Broadhurst will play his 50th game for the Bears (in a tally that also includes his appearance in last year’s State Intrust Super Championship Final).
Norths Devils v Northern Pride
Bishop Park on Sunday, April 23 - 3pm
Referee: Chris Anderson
Assistant Referee: Tyson Brough
Head-to-Head: Pride 15 Norths 3 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #DEVILSvPRIDE
Two of the Devils’ key performers in Javarn White and Todd Murphy will both take part in their 50th game for the club this Sunday. It will be the 138th game for fullback White – who has played previously with Ipswich, Central and Easts – while it will be match number 75 for Murphy who has also had stints with Redcliffe, the Sunshine Coast and Easts. Their side do not have a great record against the Pride, having only claimed victory in three of 19 games. However – all of those have been at home at Bishop Park (in 2010, 2012 and 2016). The battle of the forward pack will be one to watch, as both sides will be pushing to regain their winning momentum. After a strong start to the season, the Devils have fallen of the pace in recent weeks, losing their past two games. The Pride – who have also lost their past two matches – will be looking to find their spark – but will have to do so without the services of workhorse Ben Spina who has again been named to play for the NQ Cowboys following a strong performance against the Dragons last weekend.
Townsville Blackhawks v Tweed Heads Seagulls
Jack Manski Oval on Sunday, April 23 - 3pm
Referee: Nick Morel
Head-to-Head: Townsville 3 Tweed 0
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TSVBvTHS
Last weekend’s loss to the Bears would have held an extra sting for the Blackhawks as it was the first time in the club’s history they have suffered consecutive home defeats. It’s been a mixed start to the season for the powerhouse club, who have lost three of their past four home games – a stat that was unimaginable when they entered the competition where they lost only three of their previous 23. They will be looking to make amends against a Tweed Heads side who were finally able to celebrate a win following in a high-scoring game against the Devils last weekend. The Seagulls have never won against Townsville and will have to face them at a time when players have vowed to return to the mindset that helped make them a formidable opponent. However, co-captain Damien Sironen told the Seagulls Facebook page he was looking forward to the challenge of playing up there, and also praised the contributions of the experienced James Wood and Sam Saville and the combination of the exciting McGrady cousins Lindon and Brayden
*Statistics provided by Brad Tallon