Will Marmin Barba make his return to the Jets line-up? And milestone men for the Falcons and Magpies.
Ipswich Jets v Townsville Blackhawks
North Ipswich Reserve on Saturday, March 17 -1.10pm* (Channel 9 TV game)
Head-to-Head: Ipswich 4 Townsville 3
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #JETSvTSVB
The Jets first home game of the season will see them host Townsville in their annual Defence Force Appreciation Day. The two sides have built up a strong rivalry where neither of them have been able to win consecutive games against each other. Ipswich were the last to claim victory, having won the last clash at Winton last year. Blackhawks Rod Griffin and Carlin Anderson return to their old stomping ground, with Anderson only needing two more points to bring up 600 in the Intrust Super Cup, having notched 20 last weekend with a try and eight conversions. While not initially named on Tuesday, fans will be hoping to see the expected return of Marmin Barba to the Jets line-up. Brenden Santi will not make the trip south for Townsville, having pled no contest to a dangerous contact charge.
Burleigh Bears v Redcliffe Dolphins
Pizzey Park on Saturday, March 17 – 4pm
Head-to-Head: Redcliffe 26 Burleigh 21 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #BEARSvPHINS
Round 1 winners Burleigh will be at home to what is set to be a fired-up Redcliffe who were last-gasp losers to the Magpies last week. Bears coach Jim Lenihan, who in the preseason extended his contract with the club until 2020, will want his side to have learnt from their second half fadeout which saw the Falcons charge back into contention. They will also have to cover the considerable loss of forward Matt White who will serve a two-match suspension for a dangerous contact charge. Redcliffe had originally named Tom Opacic to play on the wing this weekend, but are set to lose him to Broncos duties, forcing them into a backline reshuffle. The venue will hold no fear for the visitors, with the Dolphins having won their past six games at Pizzey Park.
Northern Pride v PNG Hunters
Barlow Park on Saturday, March 17 – 6pm
Head-to-Head: PNG 4 Pride 3
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PRIDEvPNG
All the attention may have been on Todd Carney last weekend in his return to Australian football – but his young halves partner Jake Clifford impressed with his performance, scoring two tries. The former Cyril Connell Cup Under 16 captain for the Pride in 2014, he helped lead his team to the nation final that year and knows what it means to be part of the club. The opposing halves pairing this weekend also warrants plenty of attention, with the Boas brothers Ase and Watson having grown with the experience of guiding their team to premiership glory last season. After making a winning start at home, they now have to relaunch their title defence on the road. The Pride will be without lock David Murphy who was found guilty of a dangerous throw by the QRL Judiciary this evening.
CQ Capras v Norths Devils
Browne Park on Saturday, March 17 - 7pm
Head-to-Head: Norths 29 Central 10 Drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #CQCvDEVILS
Both teams head into this match in high spirits after opening round wins. The Capras snuck home in a one-point thriller against the highly-fancied Easts Tigers last week, while the Devils put in a strong performance at home to beat Tweed Heads 24-12. The contest between opposing forwards Dave Taylor (Capras) and Sam Tagataese (Devils) promises to be a real feature of this Round 2 clash at Browne Park. Taylor acquitted himself well upon his return to the Intrust Super Cup, while former Sharks premiership-winning forward Tagataese scored a try and ran the ball for 105m against the Tweed. Norths have won the past 11 games between these sides, including the last six at the Rockhampton venue.
Easts Tigers v Mackay Cutters
Suzuki Stadium on Sunday, March 18 – 3pm
Head-to-Head: Easts 13 Mackay 9
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TIGESvMC
Josh Chudleigh makes his long-awaited return to the football field for the Cutters this weekend, after a lengthy period away having ruptured his ACL. The Cowboys-contracted rake – who took home the Intrust Super Cup Player of the Year award in 2016 – has been named to start at 9, but told the Townsville Bulletin (tongue in cheek) he did not want be in that “unlucky” number jersey, with last wearer hooker Aaron Booth also unfortunately being struck down with an ACL injury himself in Round 1. The battle of the hookers in this game will be one to watch, with Brandon Smith lining up for the Tigers. The Storm signing was the top tackler of Round 1, making 49.
Wynnum Manly Seagulls v Sunshine Coast Falcons
BMD Kougari Oval on Sunday, March 18 – 3pm
Head-to-Head: Wynnum 11 Sunshine Coast 6
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #WYNvSCF
Livestream: Seagulls TV
Wynnum Manly Seagulls big bopper Salesi Funaki returns from suspension for this Sunday’s match up against the Sunshine Coast. The Brisbane-contracted forward will be joined by Broncos affiliates and young guns Payne Haas and Patrick Carrigan to form a strong interchange rotation for the Seagulls. The Falcons ears will still be ringing from the words of “instruction” from their coach Craig Ingebrigtsen following a terrible first half last week against Burleigh. While they rallied in the second to make a game of it – last year’s grand finalists can be expected to begin this game with a lot more intent and energy. This will be the 100th Cup game for forward Jye Ballinger (all Sunshine Coast), making him only the third Falcons player to reach the century milestone behind the Klein twins Callum and Rowan.
Souths Logan Magpies v Tweed Heads Seagulls
Davies Park on Sunday, March 18 – 3pm
Head-to-Head: Souths Logan 16 Tweed 15
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SLMvTHS
Key Souths Logan forward Brendon Gibb takes the field for his 150th Cup match on Sunday. Now with his fourth Cup club after stints with Central, Norths and Wynnum Manly, the hard-working forward has settled in nicely at Davies Park. He played all 80 minutes against Redcliffe in Round 1, making 30 tackles and 92m with the ball. His efforts helped the Magpies notch a last-gasp victory over the Dolphins and they will fancy their chances of going back-to-back against Tweed. The Magpies have won their past five games against the Seagulls, who should improve after a promising opening round effort against Norths. The Seagulls scored three tries in that match, but were unable to land a single conversion to keep pace with the Devils.
*Statistics by Brad Tallon