Memorable milestones, rising stars of the game and flying feathers headline Round 6 of the Intrust Super Cup this weekend.
Northern Pride v Easts Tigers
Barlow Park on Saturday, April 14 – 1.10pm* (Channel 9 TV game)
Head-to-Head: Pride 14 Easts 9
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PRIDEvTIGES
- A star for the Tigers last year, there is speculation Melbourne Storm half Brodie Croft will return to the Easts line-up this weekend, possibly setting up a showdown with another rising prospect in Pride halfback Jake Clifford.
- Clifford’s halves partner Todd Carney is sure to have a spring in his step, having joined the Cowboys at their training this week.
- While the Pride dominate the head-to-head stakes, the Tigers will be hoping to continue their recent winning run against them; having claimed the past three games played.
- The Pride have won nine of the 11 games between these two sides played at Barlow Park.
- Currently sitting in fifth place on the ladder, the Pride are first in defence (15.2 per game), but equal 10th in attack (19.6 per game).
Ipswich Jets v Mackay Cutters
North Ipswich Reserve on Saturday, April 14 – 3pm
Head-to-Head: Ipswich 12 Mackay 7
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #JETSvMC
- Mackay were dealt a big blow in last weekend’s loss to the Falcons, with talented half Kyle Laybutt tearing his pectoral muscle. He will reportedly miss the next three months.
- On the field, Ipswich have won four times, while Mackay have claimed three wins when these sides have played head-to-head at North Ipswich Reserve. Mackay also famously claimed a grand final win over Easts at the venue in 2013.
- The Jets have won six of their past seven games at home.
- Mackay have won only one of their past six away games (with one draw).
- Cutters winger Johnny Faletagoa’i has proven effective performer for his team this year and has been leading the charge for his team, making some tough runs. In the loss last week to the Falcons, he still carried the ball for the most metres, making 170m for his team.
Sunshine Coast Falcons v Townsville Blackhawks
Sunshine Coast Stadium on Saturday, April 14 – 5pm
Head-to-Head: Townsville 4 Sunshine Coast 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SCFvTSVB
- The Blackhawks bounced back last weekend to break a three game loss streak with a strong performance against Tweed Heads. It was the first time siblings had faced off in the coach’s box, with Kristian getting the points over brother Ben.
- Townsville have a solid record at Sunshine Coast Stadium, winning two out of the three games they have played there – but Townsville have lost four of their past five games on the road.
- The Falcons however have been hard to beat at home, winning 10 of their past 12 games at the Sunshine Coast.
- Two Falcons players are set to play their 50th Cup games this weekend - Tui Kamikamica (all for the Sunshine Coast) and Justin Olam (previously with the Hunters). Despite being initially named in the side – the powerful centre didn't play last weekend.
- Rhys Jacks (no stranger to the Cup competition) is back from a stint with the Toronto Wolfpack moves into the halfback spot for the Falcons in place of brother Ryley Jacks, who has been recalled to the Storm side.
- Sunshine Coast skipper Dane Hogan took an early guilty plea for a careless high tackle and will miss this match.
Norths Devils v Burleigh Bears
Bishop Park on Saturday, April 14 – 5.30pm
Head-to-Head: Burleigh 24 Norths 19
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #DEVILSvBEARS
Livestream: Bears TV
- This will arguably be the game of the round with the undefeated Burleigh Bears traveling to face Norths, who have only dropped one game so far this year.
- Burleigh however has lost a key performer for their side, with Kurtis Rowe set to be sidelined for at least a month after fracturing his eye socket his side’s close win over the Capras in Gladstone last weekend.
- The Bears won last year at Bishop Park, but Norths have won the previous six games played there against Burleigh.
- Norths have won their past three home games, while the Bears have won five of their past six away games.
- Devils pair Michael Sio (pictured above) and Sam Tagataese have been impressive early on this season and are part of a leading pack so far in this year’s Courier Mail Medal race.
- There will be half-centuries all-round for the Bears with three players notching milestones. Josh Ailaomai (all Burleigh), 50th Cup game: Sami Sauiluma (51st game overall for Burleigh, including his Intrust Super Championship appearance in 2016) and 50th Cup game for Matthew White (previously with Ipswich, Tweed Heads and Easts Tigers).
Redcliffe Dolphins v Papua New Guinea Hunters
Dolphin Stadium on Saturday, April 14 – 6pm
Head-to-Head: PNG 6 Redcliffe 2 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PHINSvPNG
- Broncos contracted centre Tom Opacic plays his 50th match in Dolphins colours.
- Adam Mogg’s Dolphins have climbed into fourth spot on the ladder after three-straight wins, while the Hunters are in 10th spot with two wins from the opening five weeks.
- Seven of the nine games between these two sides have been decided by a converted try or less.
- Redcliffe have two wins and a draw from the four games between the sides at Dolphin Oval. PNG's only win at Redcliffe was in their first Cup match back in 2014.
- The Hunters will be out to improve their away record, having lost their past four, and five of their last six, away games.
Wynnum Manly Seagulls v Tweed Heads Seagulls
BMD Kougari Oval on Saturday, April 14 – 7pm
Head-to-Head: Wynnum 20 Tweed 15
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #WYNvTHS
Livestream: Seagulls TV
- The competition’s two ‘Seagulls’ cross flight paths in a crucial match for both sides in a match-up that has been dubbed ‘the flockbuster’.
- Tweed is yet to get off the mark after five losses, while the Gulls from Wynnum Manly slipped down the ladder last week after a shock 40-6 loss to Souths Logan.
- Wynnum will relish a return to the bayside to play in front of a vocal home crowd, where they have beaten Tweed Heads in the past four encounters at BMD Kougari Oval.
- Although soundly beaten in the end by Townsville last week, the Tweed did push the Blackhawks and were unlucky not to put more points on the board, particularly via the dangerous AJ Brimson who came agonisingly close to scoring on several occasions.
- Ethan Roberts was named in the 6 for Tweed Heads earlier this week, but will miss this matching having made an early guilty plea for a shoulder charge.
Souths Logan Magpies v Central Queensland Capras
Davies Park on Sunday, April 15 – 3pm
Head-to-Head: Souths Logan 22 Central 18 Drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SLMvCQC
- Souths Logan put in their best performance of the season last week, thumping Wynnum Manly 40-6. Jon Buchanan’s team are back at home this weekend at Davies Park where they will face a rejuvenated Capras.
- The CQ team really stuck to it the unbeaten Burleigh Bears last weekend, falling just short in a tight contest.
- Central will need to shut down impressive Souths Logan fullback Corey Allan, who crossed for two tries in the big win over Wynnum last weekend. Allan and playmakers Sam Scarlett and Guy Hamilton found plenty of room to move behind a dominant forward pack.
- The Capras will need to overcome a poor away record, having recorded a draw and seven losses from their past eight away trips.
*Statistics by Brad Tallon
NOTE: The livestreams linked in this preview are not official QRL productions.