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.
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
- 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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.