Player wellbeing will assume the spotlight this weekend when players and match officials involved in the Intrust Super Cup and FOGS Colts Challenge don blue socks for the ‘Turn to Me’ Round.
The last competition round each year is dedicated as the Turn to Me Round to help highlight the issue of mental health in all the game’s participants and to also reinforce the message of mateship during the off season.
Throughout the course of this weekend’s round, there are a number of game day activities scheduled to take place at the Major Competition venues. You can read about those activities here: ‘Turn to Me’ campaign puts focus on player wellbeing
Ipswich Jets v CQ Capras
Cahill Park, Gatton on Saturday, August 26 - 5pm
Referee: Dan Munroe
Head-to-Head: Ipswich 27 Central 12 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #JETSvCQC
The Intrust Super Cup heads to Gatton for the first time this week with the Jets taking their home match against the Capras to Cahill Park. The change of scenery might be a good thing for the CQ side who last beat the Jets in Ipswich in 2009 at their then home of Briggs Road. Ipswich have also won six of the past seven, and 12 of the past 14 games between the two sides. While both teams will not be featuring in the finals – there will still be plenty of attacking talent on show for fans, with competition top five leading try scorers this season Ken Tofilau from the Capras with 17 and Michael Purcell from the Jets with 22 going head-to-head. Jets youngster Julian Christian made his Cup debut last week and has kept his spot in the team, with the former Queensland Under 18 rep having a heavy involvement in last week’s game, including scoring a try.
Northern Pride v Redcliffe Dolphins
Barlow Park on Saturday, August 26 – 5.30pm
Referee: Tim Rutherford
Head-to-Head: Pride 15 Redcliffe 3
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PRIDEvPHINS
The Dolphins have it all to play for this week, with a top two finish up for grabs if they can defeat the Northern Pride. While firmly ensconced in the top six on the ladder for much of the season – finishing in second spot will guarantee them a week off and two chances in the finals. Redcliffe have won two of the past three games against the Pride, despite the NQ side's overall domination. However, they have only won one of nine games between these two sides when played in Cairns (the first in 2009). The Pride have recently struggled at home though and have only won one of their past five games at Barlow Park and will be looking to finish their season on a high by posting their first back-to-back wins of the season.
Mackay Cutters v Souths Logan Magpies
BB Print Stadium Mackay on Saturday, August 26 - 6pm
Referee: Liam Kennedy
Head-to-Head: Souths Logan 13 Mackay 4 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #MCvSLM
Souths Logan rediscovered their form last weekend with a strong 52-10 win over the CQ Capras. The Magpies had some experience back in their side – including that of half Matt Minto – and it showed in their performance. They will be hoping to keep their recent dominant record against the Cutters intact tomorrow night, having enjoyed six wins and a draw from the past eight games played between these two sides. They also have eight wins and draw from their past 10 home games against the Cutters, with Mackay's only win at Davies Park coming back in 2012. Magpies hooker Travis Waddell has been named to play in his 88th game for the club, passing Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e to move into fifth for most Cup games played for Souths Logan. Laulu-Togaga’e (who still the all-time leading try-scorer for the Souths Logan Magpies) is currently playing with the Toronto Wolfpack in the UK’s Kingstone Press League 1 competition.
Easts Tigers v Burleigh Bears
Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park on Saturday, August 26 - 6pm
Referee: Peter Gough
Assistant Referee: Jarrod Cole
Head-to-Head: Burleigh 23 East 19 Drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TIGESvBEARS
Livestream: Tiger TV
The Tigers go into this game knowing that a win could boost them up into second place on the ladder – depending on the result of the Pride v Redcliffe game being played in Cairns. However, getting over the top of the Bears will not be an easy task, with last year’s premiers hitting a strong run of late-season form, winning their past five matches on the trot. The Bears also won both games played between these two sides last year, with this being their first meeting this season. Two Tigers stalwarts in Shane Neumann and Matt Zgrajewski will play their 150th Cup games for the club this weekend. It will be Neumann’s 169th game overall, having previously played with the Sunshine Coast – including their 2009 grand final win where he scored three tries. This match will also be the 500th Cup game for Easts. They have won 273, drawn 16 and lost 210 in that time and they are the second team to reach milestone the behind Redcliffe.
Sunshine Coast Falcons v Townsville Blackhawks
Sunshine Coast Stadium on Sunday, August 27 – 1.40pm* (Live on Channel 9)
Referee: David Munro
Assistant Referee: Michael Gordon
Head-to-Head: Townsville 4 Sunshine Coast 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SCFvTSVB
Impressive young hooker Brandon Smith will make his return from injury for the Falcons who are hosting fellow finalists Townsville in this weekend’s Channel 9 TV game. The Melbourne Storm-contracted rake had surgery on an injured wrist in June. The Blackhawks travel to the coast with recent results on their side, with the NQ club having won both games played against the Falcons at the stadium, as well as having the Round 15 result go in their favour 36-14. However, before their Round 23 loss to Norths Devils, the Falcons had built up an imposing home record, winning their previous seven home games. They have now also lost their past two matches – the first time they have lost two in a row this season. Currently the competition’s leading try scorer with 25, Townsville winger Jonathon Reuben has been named to play in his 50th Cup game (all for the Blackhawks).
Tweed Heads Seagulls v PNG Hunters
Piggabeen Sports Complex on Sunday, August 27 – 2.05pm
Referee: Chris Anderson
Head-to-Head: PNG 5 Tweed 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #THSvPNG
Live Stream: QRL Live Stream
While they have the minor premiership in the bag, the Hunters will not want to slacken off in their final regular round match of the season. Their top-of-the-table finish ensures them a week off before hosting the second-placed team in Week 2 of the finals and they will not want to splutter their way into that big match. They will also know not to take the Seagulls lightly despite their lowly place on the ladder, having been stunned by them at home; making Tweed Heads one of only three teams to beat PNG in their 24 games in Port Moresby. Gulls clubman James Wood (107) still requires one more try to catch Nathanael Barnes (108) to become the club’s leading try scorer and to also top the tally for most tries for a single club. Liam Georgetown (on 107 for Redcliffe) is the only other player to score more than 100 for a single club. Ase Boas (194) requires six points to become the first Hunter to score 200 points in a season. He has already passed Noel Zeming’s 2015 season record mark of 190. This will also be coach Aaron Zimmerle’s last game in charge of the Seagulls.
Norths Devils v Wynnum Manly Seagulls
Bishop Park on Sunday, August 27 - 3pm
Referee: Ben Watts
Head-to-Head: Wynnum 22 Norths 18 Drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #DEVILSvWYN
Livestream: Seagulls TV
Another Intrust Super Cup coach will say farewell to his club this round, with Mark Gliddon in charge for his last game with Norths. Gliddon announced his intention to resign earlier this season but he will not be lost to the game and has his role with the USA team to look forward to in the World Cup this year. His charges come into this match from the bye and with an upset Round 23 win over the Sunshine Coast under their belts. The Seagulls put up a strong fight against the Hunters last weekend, going toe-to-toe to much of the match before eventually going down 28-22. Wynnum Manly fullback Daniel Ogden still requires one more try to become the highest in Queensland’s Intrust Super Cup. While he was unable to travel to PNG last week and missed that game, he turned out for the club’s BRL A Grade team and scored four tries in their win over Ipswich.
*Statistics provided by Brad Tallon