This Easter weekend will see a feast of football, with the Capras at home to an in-form Ipswich Jets tonight. Elsewhere, the talent of the Intrust Super Cup will go on display to what will hopefully be a big crowd at Suncorp Stadium, with the Norths Devils and Wynnum Manly Seagulls going head-to-head there on Sunday afternoon.
Central Queensland Capras v Ipswich Jets
Browne Park on Thursday, March 29 – 7pm
Head-to-Head: Ipswich 28 Central 12 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #CQCvJETS
Livestream: Capras TV
- The Capras and Jets play a rare Thursday night fixture tonight – kicking off the Easter weekend of football.
- The venue holds little fear for Ipswich who have won six of their past seven games at Browne Park. They last lost there in in 2016.
- The Capras however will be looking to reverse their poor form at home, having won only one of their past nine games there (against Easts in Round 1 earlier this year).
- Jets co-coaches Ben Walker and Shane Walker are aiming for their 100th Cup win with Ipswich in their 175th game. They have presided over seven draws.
- The battle between the rakes will be an interesting one with Capras new cult favourite Billy Gilbert up against the experienced Kierran Moseley who is hoping good form at the Jets will see him press for a future NRL return.
Easts Tigers v Sunshine Coast Falcons
Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park on Saturday, March 31 -1.10pm* (Channel 9 TV game)
Head-to-Head: Easts 11 Sunshine Coast 6 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TIGESvSCF
- Melbourne Storm's two feeder clubs lock horns in what promises to be a gripping contest at Suzuki Stadium.
- Both clubs are laced with aspiring young talent from Melbourne, the 2017 NRL premiers. The Easts line-up includes Billy Walters, the son of Maroons legend and current coach Kevin Walters.
- The Falcons will be led around the park by Ryley Jacks, an impressive Storm-contracted halfback who made his NRL debut last year.
- Easts have won seven of the past eight games between these two sides at Langlands Park (now Suzuki Stadium) – the loss was 26-22 in last year's elimination semi-final.
- Falcons forward Tui Kamikamica has today been cleared following his concussion test and will play against the Tigers.
- Jye Ballinger (pictured below) plays his 102nd game to become the Sunshine Coast’s most capped Cup player, passing Callum Klein (101).
Burleigh Bears v Souths Logan Magpies
Pizzey Park on Saturday, March 31 – 4pm
Head-to-Head: Burleigh 23 Souths-Logan 13 Drawn 3
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #BEARSvSLM
Livestream: BEARS TV
- Burleigh sits on top of the table as one of only two unbeaten teams following the opening three rounds. They go up against the fourth-placed Magpies, who dropped their first game of the season last week against the Norths Devils.
- The Bears have been a real powerhouse at home in recent times, having won their past three at Pizzey Park, and five of their past six home games.
- Magpies stalwart Phil Dennis moves to 258 Cup games; equal second with Danny Coburn, and behind only Troy Lindsay (270).
- This will be the 100th Cup game for Bears centre Jamie Dowling, a member of the club’s 2016 premiership-winning team.
Northern Pride v Mackay Cutters
Barlow Park on Saturday, March 31 – 6pm
Head-to-Head: Pride 15 Mackay 6
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PRIDEvMC
- Cowboy Lachlan Coote has been named to return from injury via the Intrust Super Cup, named at fullback for Mackay. He previously played Cup in 2015 – one game for the Pride.
- This will be Intrust Super Cup game 150 for Pride skipper Ryan Ghietti. The Italian international – who previously played with Redcliffe – has been named at hooker, going up against Mackay rising star Josh Chudleigh.
- This is the second northern derby in a row for the Pride who secured a strong win over Townsville last weekend. The Pride have won four of the past five games against the Cutters; although Mackay won last year's match-up at Barlow Park.
- The Pride's win over the Hunters in Round 2 was their first win at home in eight games.
- Mackay have a win and a draw from their past five away games.
Redcliffe Dolphins v Townsville Blackhawks
Dolphin Stadium on Saturday March 31 – 6pm
Head-to-Head: Townsville 4 Redcliffe 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PHINSvTSVB
- The Dolphins notched their first win last weekend, with skipper Cameron Cullen praising his side’s ability to “hang in” during a tight game to claim the win.
- Townsville on the other hand were stunned by the Pride and were only able to score one first half try in their loss.
- Redcliffe have won two of the past three games between these two sides played at their home ground.
- The Blackhawks have won only won one of their past four and two of their past seven away games.
- Dolphins fans will be keeping an eye on Kotoni Staggs who seems destined for bigger things. The young centre scored two tries and kicked four goals in their win over Wynnum Manly last weekend.
Cullen on comeback
PNG Hunters v Tweed Heads Seagulls
Oil Search National Football Stadium on Sunday, April 1 – 3pm
Head-to-Head: PNG 5 Tweed 3
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PNGvTHS
- This inexperienced Tweed Heads side will be hoping to conjure up the spirt of their 2017 team who were the only side to beat the premiership-winning Hunters twice last season – despite themselves finishing second last on the ladder.
- However, the Hunters have won three of the four games played between these two sides in PNG.
- The Hunters have won 10 and drawn one of their past 12 games at home – their only loss in that time was at the hand of Tweed Heads; while the for the Seagulls, heir only win in their past away games was against the Hunters.
- The Seagulls will be chasing their first win of the season, while the Hunters will be hoping home crowd advantage will help them to halt a two-game loss streak.
Norths Devils v Wynnum Manly Seagulls
Suncorp Stadium, on Sunday, April 1 – 4pm
Head-to-Head: Wynnum 22 Norths 19 Drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #DEVILSvWYN
- Two of the Broncos’ feeder clubs go head to head at Suncorp Stadium before the Easter Sunday NRL derby between Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
- Norths have started the 2018 season in sparkling touch with three-straight wins, including a stunning come-from-behind victory over Souths Logan last weekend.
- Wynnum went down to the Redcliffe Dolphins by 16 points in last weekend’s XXXX Rivalry Round match, but should be better for the run as the new halves pairing of Michael Dobson and Aaron Booth find their feet.
- This will be the 50th Intrust Super Cup game for Wynnum’s Delouise Hoeter, who joined the Seagulls from the Devils this year.
- Under new coach Rohan Smith, the Devils excellent early season form has been built around a committed forward pack and their new attacking spine, led by halves Todd Murphy and Gary Riccardi; and new faces Jack Ahearn and Alex Bishop.
*Statistics by Brad Tallon
NOTE: The livestreams linked in this preview are not official QRL productions.