XXXX Rivalry Round is upon us

 The weekend’s XXXX Rivalry Round match-ups are guaranteed to produce some fireworks, with local derbies and grand final rematches dotted throughout an exciting round of rugby league.

Tweed Heads Seagulls v Burleigh Bears 
Piggabeen Sports Complex - Saturday, March 24 - 1.10pm (QLD) * Live on Channel 9
Head-to-Head: Burleigh 15 Tweed 13 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #THSvBEARS 

  • Burleigh will be favourites – but it’s XXXX Rivalry Round and a Gold Coast derby – and anything can happen.
  • The Bears are in good form having won their two opening clashes, and have a four-game winning streak against Tweed Heads.
  • Last weekend’s star recruit Ben Hannant is not named for Burleigh. His brief cameo (seven minutes) against Redcliffe was eventful – however, he suffered a mild hamstring strain and spent the rest of the match on the bench.
  • The Gulls will be missing try-scoring centre Brayden McGrady after he took an early guilty plea for a dangerous throw charge.
  • This will be the 50th Cup game for Burleigh fullback Kurtis Rowe who has played all of his competition games with the club.
Kurtis Rowe of the Burleigh Bears.
Kurtis Rowe of the Burleigh Bears.

Easts Tigers v Ipswich Jets 
Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park on Saturday, March 24 - 5pm
Head-to-Head: Easts 23 Ipswich 20 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TIGESvJETS
Livestream:Tiger TV 

  • Both Easts and Ipswich are coming off two-point victories and it wouldn’t surprise if another tight contest played out here.
  • The Jets announced they were major contender with a crafty victory over the Blackhawks last week, while the Tigers held off a committed Mackay to get their first win of the season.
  • For the Jets, little men Jayden Connors, Julian Christian and Wes Conlon were exceptional behind big forwards Hastings Deering Man of the Match Nat Neale and Bea Shea.
  • Easts put some nice passages of attacking play together in their win over the Cutters.
  • The Tigers have won seven of their past eight home games and their chances of adding to that tally will receive a boost if young forward Brett Greinke is passed fit to play.
Nat Neale accepts the Hastings Deering Man of the Match award.
Nat Neale accepts the Hastings Deering Man of the Match award.

Mackay Cutters v CQ Capras 
BB Print Stadium Mackay on Saturday, March 24 - 6pm
Head-to-Head: Mackay 13 Central 6
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #MCvCQC 

  • Impressive young forward Bill Cullen is set to return for the Capras. Cullen missed last weekend’s loss to the Devils with injury, but is tracking nicely for a return for Saturday's Round 3 clash.
  • Mackay coach Steven Sheppard has been keeping a close eye on his contracted players in the local league, including star hooker Jayden Hodges who after a long period out of the game, has enough for Brothers in the MDRL to ensure selection for the derby.
  • The Cutters were unlucky not to come away with at least a share of the points against Easts last weekend and will look to kick-start their season with a much-needed win.

SEE THE REFEREE APPOINTMENTS FOR ROUND 3 HERE

Townsville Blackhawks v Northern Pride
Jack Manski Oval on Saturday, March 24 - 6pm
Head-to-Head: Townsville 6 Pride 0
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TSVBvPRIDE 

  • Another chapter is this year’s Foley Shield contest will be played out in this northern derby.
  • Townsville will be smarting after their loss to ‘thorn-in-their-side’ team the Jets – who posted a tight 20-18 win last weekend after claiming 70% of possession in the match.
  • The Pride made opposition teams look up after running out to an unassailable lead against defending premiers the Hunters to record their first win last weekend.
  • Townsville have a dominant 6-0 record against the Pride – and a formidable home ground record which has seen them lose only one of their past six home games.
  • Star recruit Todd Carney has not been named for the Pride, while David Murphy returns on an extended bench. 

*All former Foley Shield A Grade players will receive free entry to this game. Pre-register your arrival by contacting Adrian Thompson at 0419 662 528 or operations@blackhawkstsv.com.au

 Wynnum Manly Seagulls v Redcliffe Dolphins 
BMD Kougari Oval on Sunday, March 25 - 3pm
Head-to-Head: Redcliffe 29 Wynnum 17 Drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #WYNvPHINS
Livestream: Seagulls TV

  • Patrick Templeman chalks up his 50th Intrust Super Cup game for Wynnum Manly. After a season-ending injury curtailed his 2017 campaign, his return is a welcome boost.
  • New halves pairing Michael Dobson and Shaun Nona are starting to settle nicely, giving the Seagulls no shortage of attacking options.
  • A big and vocal crowd is expected to pack the ground for the traditional clash between two of the competition’s most successful Cup teams.
  • Wynnum opened their win tally in Round 1, but the Dolphins have been slow out of the gate with consecutive defeats.
  • This grudge match should bring the best out of the Dolphins, who have won their past two matches in front of Wynnum’s army of ‘Chook Pen’ supporters.  

Souths Logan Magpies v Norths Devils
Davies Park on Sunday, March 25 - 3pm
Head-to-Head: Norths 23 Souths Logan 19 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SLMvDEVILS

  • Both teams sit at the top of ladder – adding another level of expectation to this crosstown rivalry.
  • While in front in the head-to-head stakes, Norths have struggled in recent times in this match-up, with the Magpies claiming seven wins and a draw in the past eight games.
  • Despite their win, Souths but were held scoreless in the second half against Tweed Heads and will have to lift against an impressive looking Norths outfit.
  • Touted young centre Gehamat Shibasaki has been named to make his Cup debut for Norths.
  • Guy Williams is on an extended Devils bench for Cup game 219 Cup. If he plays, he will pass Shane Perry and move into equal eighth for all-time appearances alongside Danny Burke.

See the Round Judiciary Results here

 Sunshine Coast Falcons v PNG Hunters 
Sunshine Coast Stadium on Sunday, March 25 - 3pm
Head-to-Head: PNG 5 Sunshine Coast 4
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SCFvPNG 

  • There’s nothing quite like a grand final rematch to get bring up old rivalries!
  • The make-up of both teams has changed since last September – but there is still a key core of players involved, with the Falcons fielding nine grand final players and the Hunters 10.
  • PNG will be boosted by the return from injury of fullback Stargroth Amean.
  • The Falcons have proved hard for the Hunters to beat at Sunshine Coast Stadium, winning the past three games.
  • Last weekend, the Falcons claimed a late victory over Wynnum Manly with a field goal from Kurt Aldrige – the 250th kicked in the competition.
  • Coach Michael Marum told PNG local media his side needed to ‘switch on’ and adjust to having a target on their backs as defending premiers.

 *Statistics by Brad Tallon


NOTE: The livestreams linked in this preview are not official QRL productions.