Plenty of intrigue around the Cup this weekend; with family rivalries, major milestones and a chance to impress a broader crowd as an NRL curtain-raiser.
Townsville Blackhawks v Tweed Heads Seagulls
Jack Manski Oval on Saturday, April 7 - 1.10pm* (Channel 9 TV game)
Head-to-Head: Townsville 5 Tweed Heads 0
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TSVBvTHS
- It will be a family affair this weekend with brothers Kristian Woolf (Townsville) and Ben Woolf (Tweed Heads) becoming the first set of siblings to coach against each other in the Cup competition.
- Ben’s son Brent has also been named on the bench for the Blackhawks to face off against his father’s team.
- On the field, Townsville is one of the bogey teams for Tweed Heads, who have never beaten the Blackhawks in their past five attempts.
- Both teams will be desperate for a win, with the Seagulls having lost their past four games, while Townsville have lost their past three games; equalling their worst losing run.
- Gold Coast Titans centre Brendan Elliot has today been named in the Tweed Heads line-up.
Ipswich Jets v Northern Pride
North Ipswich Reserve on Saturday, April 7 - 3pm
Head-to-Head: Ipswich 11 Pride 11 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #JETSvPRIDE
- The dangerous Ipswich Jets against the in-form Northern Pride – this has all the hallmarks of a Saturday afternoon thriller.
- Ipswich have won their past three, and four of the past five games against the Pride.
- The Pride have won only one of nine games at North Ipswich (in 2016) with one draw, although five of those seven losses were by a converted try or less.
- Ipswich is coming off a 28-18 loss at the hands of the rejuvenated CQ Capras, while the Pride are on a roll after notching their third-straight win courtesy of a 22-16 victory over the Mackay Cutters.
- In milestone news, Ben and Shane Walker will be aiming for their 100th Cup win in their 176th game as Jets coaches, while Pride forward Graham Clark plays his 50th game for the club.
Norths Devils v PNG Hunters
Bishop Park on Saturday, April 7 - 5.30pm
Head-to-Head: Hunters 4 Norths 3
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #DEVILSvPNG
- Reliable performer Adex Wera has been named at fullback for the Hunters, taking the place of Stargroth Amean who has retired from the sport to focus on his studies.
- Both sides have won two games apiece head-to-head at Bishop Park.
- The Hunters have lost their past three, and four of their past five away games.
- Norths require a further 16 points against them to become the fourth team with 12000 against in the Cup – they have scored 13148.
- Centre Chevi Ellis (pictured below) scored a second-half try for the Devils in their game at Suncorp Stadium last Sunday, incidentally the 150,000th point of the competition.
- Former Australian Schoolboys and NSW Under 20 representative Troy Dargan made his debut for the Devils last weekend, with the former Eel having signed with the Brisbane Broncos late last year.
Mackay Cutters v Sunshine Coast Falcons
BB Print Stadium Mackay on Saturday, April 7 - 6pm
Head-to-Head: Mackay 15 Sunshine Coast 3
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #MCvSCF
- The Cutters have won 13 of the past 14 games played between these two sides. The Sunshine Coast’s only win however is their most recent result, claiming the Round 11 clash last year.
- Mackay have a strong record at home against the Falcons as well and have won their past eight home games.
- Falcons halfback Ryley Jacks requires one more try to equal that of the club’s top try scorer Dennis Sandow, who crossed for 28.
- This will be a milestone match for Sunshine Coast centre Justin Olam (pictured below), who will play in his 50th Cup game. Olam – who recently represented PNG at the RLWC2017, previously played with the Hunters.
- Victoria Thunderbolts Hastings Deering Colts forward Tino Fa'asuamaleaui made his Intrust Super Cup debut for the Sunshine Coast Falcons, making him the first player born in the 2000s to play in the competition.
- It’s an early start for the teams who will be playing as a curtain-raiser to the Gold Coast Titans v Manly NRL game.
- This will be the first time the Capras have played the Bears in Gladstone.
- CQ however have played 19 games in Gladstone, but have only won six times.
- Burleigh have won their past four games and are sitting up the top of the Intrust Super Cup ladder as outright leaders.
- CQ seem to have taken a liking to the Bears, having won eight of the past 13 games between the two sides.
- Two players will take part in their 50th Cup games this weekend – Bears forward Sami Sauiluma (includes the Intrust Super Championship), while Capras player Luke George (previously with the Pride) will also feature in his milestone match.
Easts Tigers v Redcliffe Dolphins
Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park on Sunday, April 8 - 3pm
Head-to-Head: Redcliffe 29 Easts 17 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TIGESvPHINS
Livestream: Tiger TV
- With both teams hitting their straps last weekend, this is shaping up to be a cracking contest.
- Easts blew the Sunshine Coast Falcons away early on their way to notching a convincing 38-8 win, while the Dolphins were too good for the Townsville Blackhawks to the tune of 26-14.
- Big forward Patrick Kaufusi has been in destructive early season form, and his match up against a strong Dolphins pack will be worth the price of admission alone.
- Interesting, only once since 2001 have these two teams won more than two consecutive games against each other (Redcliffe back in 2011/12).
- Easts have won 12 of the 21 games between these two sides at Langlands Park, Suzuki Stadium.
Souths Logan Magpies v Wynnum Manly Seagulls
Davies Park on Sunday, April 8 - 3pm
Head-to-Head: Wynnum 29 Souths Logan 12 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SLMvWYN
Livestream: Seagulls TV
- Wynnum have won their past five games at Davies Park and may just go in as favourites here after a strong win over the previously unbeaten Norths Devils at Suncorp Stadium.
- Souths Logan were soundly beaten last weekend by the Burleigh Bears, the only undefeated team in the competition after four weeks.
- The Magpies will be missing young forward Thomas Flegler due to a one-match suspension for a dangerous contact.
- Wynnum Manly’s Daniel Ogden is now the equal third try-scorer for the club on 66 with Simon Phillips – only Seagulls greats David Seage (83) and Luke Dalziel-Don (82) have more.
*Statistics by Brad Tallon
NOTE: The livestreams linked in this preview are not official QRL productions.