ROUND 11 PREVIEW
Ipswich Jets v PNG Hunters
North Ipswich Reserve on Saturday, May 20 – 3.05pm
Referee: Chris Anderson
Head-to-Head: PNG 4 Ipswich 3
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #JETSvPNG
Live Stream: QRL Live Stream
Both teams will see popular members of their squads reach their 50th games this weekend with Hunters winger Bland Abavu (all for his PNG team) and Jet Wes Conlon about to reach the milestone. It will be Conlon’s 62nd game overall having previously played with Souths Logan before joining the Jets. The fullback also only needs to kick one more goal to tally 100 for Ipswich. While Ipswich have won their past four games, the Hunters will come into this game with confidence – knowing they have won four of their five games away from home this season. This weekend’s game will have a home-ground feel however, with Jets celebrating Harmony Day with plenty of activities off the field to entertain alongside the football with traditional PNG food, art and fashion on display – see the Jets Facebook page for more details.
Sunshine Coast Falcons v Mackay Cutters
Sunshine Coast Stadium on Saturday, May 20 - 4.30pm
Referee: Nick Morel
Head-to-Head: Mackay 14 Sunshine Coast 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SCFvMC
The Sunshine Coast are enjoying a good run of form and quickly becoming premiership favourites in the eyes of many rugby league fans. However, in a curious stat – they have had great difficulty taming their opponents this weekend the Mackay Cutters. The visitors from NQ have astonishingly won the past 12 games played between these two sides. The Sunshine Coast last recorded a win over the NQ team way back in August of 2010. However, their team this year is brimming with young talent – including Storm hooker Brandon Smith who was leading the Courier Mail Medal count following Round 9 with 15 points. However, he has been named on an extended bench for the Storm and could make the trip to Perth for their game against the Rabbitohs. The Cutters pushed the ladder-leading Redcliffe Dolphins all the way last weekend before going down 14-6 in a tight game.
Townsville Blackhawks v CQ Capras
Jack Manski Oval on Sunday, May 21 – 1.40pm*
Referee: Tyson Brough
Assistant Referee: Ben Watts
Head-to-Head: Townsville 4 Central 0
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TSVBvCQC
The Blackhawks will be looking to bounce back following a disappointing home loss against the Magpies last weekend. They got off on the wrong foot early with the visitors scoring in the first five minutes and they were unable to make up any ground, scoring only the one try in the 22-6 loss. While they have only won two of their five home games this year, skipper Dan Beasley told the Townsville Bulletin it was his side’s worst loss of the season. The Capras too will be wanting to put their last round loss behind them – going down 30-16 in front of their home fans against the Jets. They have a battle ahead of them though, having never beaten the NQ side. This year they have also struggled to win on the road and have only claimed the points in twice in five away games in 2017.
Souths Logan Magpies v Northern Pride
Davies Park on Sunday, May 21 - 2pm
Referee: Jarrod Cole
Assistant Referee: Ethan Menchin (debut)
Head-to-Head: Pride 14 Souths-Logan 6
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SLMvPRIDE
Northern Pride ground out an important – if not attractive – win last weekend, defending their way to a 6-4 victory over Tweed Heads. After an up-and-down season to date, coach Ty Williams will be willing his charges to earn their first back-to-back wins this year. However, they come up against a team full of confidence in the Souths Logan Magpies. While down on the head-to-head ledger, the home side have won the past two games played between the sides and are also coming into this game with a strong win over another northern opponent, Townsville. George Fai is set to be a trivia answer in the future after his NRL debut with the Broncos last weekend resulted in him sitting on the bench for the game. While he has not been named by the Magpies, he is expected to return to the front row and will be raring to go on the field. Javid Bowen will make his return from a shoulder injury in this game for the Pride.
Burleigh Bears v Wynnum Manly Seagulls
Pizzey Park on Sunday, May 21 - 2pm
Referee: Liam Kennedy
Head-to-Head: Wynnum 20 Burleigh 15 Drawn 3
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #BEARSvWYN
Live Stream: Seagulls TV
This game will hold special significance for both teams as the annual Adam Watene (Cook) Memorial Trophy will be contested. Adam was a former Bears player of 83 games and a member of the 2004 premiership winning team who also played 22 games for the Seagulls before to the UK. He passed away suddenly in 2008 at the age of 31. On the field, both teams have played well in parts this season, but have found hard to sustain those efforts and work them into wins this season. Wynnum Manly sit in ninth spot with three wins, six losses and a bye so far this year. The Bears meanwhile sit in 13th with two wins and will be desperate to grab a win here to help gather some momentum. The Seagulls are featuring in the competition after two weeks off with firstly the representative round and a Round 10 bye. This will also be the 100th Cup game for key forward Luke Page. The PNG international has previously played with the Jets and Souths Logan Magpies. – with Kevin Braysher
Redcliffe Dolphins v Norths Devils
Dolphin Oval on Sunday, May 21 - 2pm
Referee: Gavin Reynolds
Head-to-Head: Redcliffe 29 Norths 12 Drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PHINSvDEVILS
Benji Marshall returns to the field this weekend in what should be a cracker of a contest between two Brisbane rivals. The top-of-the-table Dolphins will be favoured to take down the Devils – especially with their home crowd behind them – however, Norths rose to the challenge last weekend to upset the Tigers in East Brisbane. Led by the halves pairing of Danny Kerr and youngster Jack Miers, the Nundah club were able to fight back to claim the late win. It was their second win in a row and saw them move up one spot on the ladder into fifth. This weekend, Marshall will start at fullback for the Phins and will be hoping to help spark his side to their fifth straight win over their opposition. The Dolphins have won their past seven, and 10 of their past 11, home games.
Tweed Heads Seagulls v Easts Tigers
Piggabeen Sports Complex on Sunday, May 21 - 2pm
Referee: Tim Rutherford
Head-to-Head: Tweed 15 Easts 12 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #THSvTIGES
Tweed Heads have enlisted former Queensland Origin forward and four-time grand finalists Kevin Campion to their coaching ranks. Campion, who was Ivan Cleary’s assistant coach at the Warriors in 2005, will assist Aaron Zimmerle as a player mentor and helping with defence and technique. (Read more at the Tweed Heads Seagulls website.) It is hoped his presence will build the mental toughness and resilience of the young squad. The Gulls did improve their defensive effort last weekend in their agonising 6-4 loss to the Pride, a marked improved to their 58-0 defeat against the Falcons. For the Tigers, Linc Port will slot into the fullback role this weekend in the absence of Gerard McCallum, with Brandon Downey elevated to the Cup side following a four-try haul in the Tigers remarkable comeback win in the BRL last weekend. While the head-to-head statistics are close, the Gulls have five wins and a draw from their past six games against Easts at Piggabeen.
*Statistics provided by Brad Tallon