Celebrations of Indigenous culture and acknowledgment of the contribution made by Indigenous and Torres Strait Island people to rugby league continue this round to mark the conclusion of NAIDOC Week.
Home grounds will again broadcast a special message outlining some important milestones; including the anniversaries of the 1967 Referendum, Mabo Judgement, Torres Strait Islander flag and 1997 Bringing Them Home report.
Easts Tigers v Mackay Cutters
Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park on Saturday, July 8 - 3pm
Referee: Liam Kennedy
Head-to-Head: Easts 12 Mackay 9
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TIGESvMC
Both the Cutters and Tigers secured last-gasp wins in Round 17 in thrilling games which bodes well for another entertaining clash this weekend. A Brayden Torpy field goal proved the difference for the home side against the Falcons; while Mackay nearly blew an early lead against the Pride before holding on to claim the northern derby. With some good form behind them (Mackay are undefeated in their past four games with three wins and a draw; while the Tigers have won the past four games played between these two sides at Suzuki Stadium); this is anyone’s game. However, Mackay sit just outside the top six and have more riding on the result with finals fast approaching. In milestone news, Easts winger Jarrod McInally has been named to play in his 100th Cup game this weekend. McInally – who returned to the competition and the Tigers this season following a stint with the Canterbury Bulldogs; also played previously with the Ipswich Jets.
Sunshine Coast Falcons v Redcliffe Dolphins
Sunshine Coast Stadium on Saturday, July 8 - 4:30pm
Referee: Chris Sutton
Assistant Referee: Tim Roby
Head-to-Head: Redcliffe 11 Sunshine Coast 6
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SCFvPHINS
Despite all being named to play against the Falcons this weekend, Redcliffe have reportedly been dealt a big blow; with Moses Pangai, Aaron Whitchurch and Christian Hazard all suffering long-term injuries. The battle of the two v three ranked clubs will still see some great action – with two in-form teams with a well-established rivalry going head-to-head. When the sides last met in Round 8 however, the Dolphins were far too strong; muscling their way to a 46-28 win with Hazard crossing for a hat-trick in that match. The Dolphins have also won the past four games played between these two sides. The Falcons though have good form at home in their favour and have won their past six home games; their best ever home run. Prolific points-scorer Khan Ahwang transferred to the Sunshine Coast from the Northern Pride earlier this week and has been named to start from the bench for this match.
Northern Pride v Norths Devils
Barlow Park on Saturday, July 8 – 5.30pm
Referee: Tim Rutherford
Head-to-Head: Pride 16 Norths 3 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PRIDEvDEVILS
A poor start cruelled the Pride's chances of claiming a win against their northern rivals Mackay last weekend. With plenty to play for, the home side were on the back foot early and trailed 18-0 after 34 minutes, before mounting a spirited comeback that saw them go down 26-18, with the game in the balance until the closing moments. This has been a recurring pattern for the NQ side who have competed well at various stages of games, but can't quite put together a full 80-minute performance. Their opposition this weekend the Devils have had a similarly frustrating season; with promising wins and crushing losses. Last weekend, they rediscovered some of their defensive resolve and held the powerful Blackhawks to two tries in going down 12-6 in a hard-fought game. While both the Devils and the Pride will be looking to reclaim that winning feeling tomorrow, the Pride have more reason to be optimistic, as Norths have never won in Cairns and have recorded eight losses and a draw (in 2012). The Pride will be without Gideon Gela-Mosby for this game after he pleaded guilty to a careless high tackle. This will be the 50th Cup game form Pride forward William Bugden who was a star for Tweed Heads last season. Earlier this week, Norths coach Mark Gliddon announced that this season with the Devils would be his last.
CQ Capras v Wynnum Manly Seagulls
Browne Park on Saturday, July 8 - 6pm
Referee: Nick Pelgrave
Head-to-Head: Wynnum 29 Central 9 Drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #CQCvWYN
The Capras club are celebrating the elevation of another alumnus to the State of Origin arena, with Cameron Munster confirmed as Queensland's five-eighth for the Origin decider. Munster, who received Rookie of the Year honours in the Intrust Super Cup in 2013 will provide young players in the region and at the club inspiration to see how far their rugby league journey can take them. Last week, the young Capras side took the challenge up to the PNG Hunters side at National Football Stadium, and even took an early lead before a late blast from the home side secured them a 30-10 result. The CQ side will be looking for a similarly upbeat performance this weekend against Wynnum Manly outfit that have struggled for consistency. Last week the Seagulls went down in a close game to the Souths Logan Magpies, with fullback Paora Kemp scoring two tries and kicking two goals in an impressive outing. He has been named at 6 for this weekend's game. The Seagulls will be missing Adam Tuimavave-Gerrard for this match after he was found guilty of dangerous contact at the judiciary panel.
Souths Logan Magpies v Ipswich Jets
Davies Park on Sunday, July 9 – 1.40pm* (Live on Channel 9)
Referee: Jarrod Cole
Assistant Referee: Belinda Sleeman
Head-to-Head: Ipswich 24 Souths Logan 17 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SLMvJETS
An imposing forward pack will greet the Ipswich Jets this Sunday at Davies Park, with the Magpies line-up boasting the likes of Travis Waddell, Jaydn Su’A and Tevita Pangai Junior. Throw in man mountain Herman Ese’ese and Joe Boyce; and that’s a lot of firepower to overcome! However, the Jets do have history on their side and have won the past five; and 12 of the past 13 games at the West End venue. They have also won the past four games – and six of the previous seven games – played between the two sides. The visitors played their way back into form against Tweed Heads last weekend with a 40-14 win which saw speedster Michael Purcell produce a first-half hat-trick. The Magpies were made to work hard to overcome the Seagulls in the competition Wynnum Manly, 22-16. Fullback Jaymane Isaako slotted three conversions and remains one of the top for the Intrust Super Cup Leading Point Scorers tally with 134.
PNG Hunters v Burleigh Bears
National Football Stadium on Sunday, July 9 - 3pm
Referee: Chris Anderson
Head-to-Head: PNG 5 Burleigh 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PNGvBEARS
After suffering an early scare from the Capras last weekend, the Hunters will need to make sure they are on their game from the outset against a Bears team who have been playing better than their ladder position might suggest. Last week however, they were outdone by the Redcliffe Dolphins, but will be aiming high against the Hunters and will look to make amends for their 42-6 loss to the side back in Round 8 at Pizzey Park. The home side have won all three games between these two sides played in PNG and have won five of their past six home games, with their only recent blemish being their shock 14-10 loss to the Tweed Heads Seagulls back in Round 15. This Sunday, Jimmy Lenihan will coach his 161st Cup game to move to fourth on all time Cup games coached passing Neil Wharton (160). The Bears coach has 80 wins, 5 draws and 75 losses.
Tweed Heads Seagulls – bye
Townsville Blackhawks – bye
*Statistics provided by Brad Tallon