In Safe Hands Cup Round 16 preview

Round 16 marks the beginning of the final home-and-away round of the 2018 In Safe Hands Cup with six teams vying for four finals spots.

The Panthers, as they have done for most of the season, remain at the top of the ladder (36) with 2017 runners-up Redcliffe in hot pursuit (35).

The Seagulls (33) have a bit more breathing space in third spot ahead of defending champions Valleys (29).

The Tigers and Magpies can mathematically still make the four, but the reality is, one more loss from here and it will be time to start thinking about 2019.

If nothing else, both clubs have the talent to throw a spanner in the works and be a spoiler for the top four sides and their aspirations for a shot at the title come September 15.

>> See the BRL A Grade draw here

A big day is expected at Emerson Park tomorrow (Saturday, July 28) as the Diehards host the launch of the 'Return of the Diehards' film, followed by the 3pm clash with the Tigers.

The Premiers have lost their past two fixtures; convincingly beaten by the Panthers 38-12 and the Seagulls 34-20, however, prior to that they were too good at home in Round 13 against Redcliffe 26-18.

Outside of his spine, Diehards coach Don Gailer has rarely had the luxury of a stable squad to choose from this season, leading to a stop/start title defence in 2018.

Stacey Everitt, Chris Aition, Callum Klein, Tom Collins, Liam Herrington and Jordan Mitchell have been regular starters in their current positions and Gailer will look to that stability to register a vital win against a do-or-die Tigers outfit.

Tigers coach David Krause will want to go back in time to try and find the form that had Easts register three big wins on the trot a month ago to keep their finals hopes alive.

For Krause, he too has a familiar spine that has produced at crucial times. Jack Walters, Brayden Torpy, Josh Ralph and Gene Ropoama have been the target of opposing teams since that impressive trifecta of wins.

With everything to gain and nothing to lose, the Tigers could well play a vastly different style of footy to resurrect their season.

Over at Dolphin Stadium (also at 3pm tomorrow), the Dolphins will take on the Magpies. Souths will still be a bit dusty after a bruising encounter against the Seagulls last Sunday and with a short turnaround the Magpies will have to lift against their more fancied rivals.

Cody McIntosh, Jordan Mago, Justin Fai and others will need to shake off that 10-8 loss and roll up their sleeves and rally behind "captain courageous", Lane Ferling.

The grit and determination that Souths, under coach Steve Bretherton, have put on the park in past month has served them well and with players returning to the nest it will not surprise to see the visitors claim the three competition points.

Redcliffe bounced back following consecutive losses to the Panthers and Valleys with a 40-10 win over the Tigers last week.

Redcliffe are without Trai Fuller; however, Tony Tumusa at fullback is more than capable of cutting up the defensive line in his absence.

With "bash brothers" Bailey Butler and Jordan Pinnock to come off the bench, the Magpies may have bruises on top of bruises after this encounter.

Finally, the match of the round between the competition leaders West Brisbane and the Seagulls at Bishop Park on Sunday from 1.20pm will be a spectacle.

Wests have had an extra day to recover from last week's win against Valleys at Emerson Park. The Panthers were outstanding last week, particularly halfback Mikaere Beattie.

Beattie was everywhere and with Adam Harris showing the same form he displayed in his explosive debut six weeks ago, the Panthers look dangerous.

For Bayside, Ron Troutman has named a similar 17 to take on Wests. The Seagulls have their own duo of players in outstanding form, with the unpredictability of Kalolo Saitaua and Matt Milson keeping oppositions guessing.

A win for the Panthers will see them remain at the top of the ladder while victory for Bayside will keep the heat on the second placed Dolphins.

In Safe Hands Cup Round 16

Diehards v Tigers – Emerson Park, Saturday, July 28 at 3pm
#BRLTV

Diehards

1. Stacey Everitt 2. Tom Collins 3. Jamie Casey 4. Ethan Quai-Ward 5. Fruean Easthope 6. Jordan Mitchell 7. Callum Klein 8. Liam Herrington 9. Chris Aiton 10. Patrick Akauola 11. Paul Ivan 12. Moses Noovao-Mc Greal 13. Jacob Kelly 14. TBA 15. Mattais Heimuli 16. Jacob Kelly 17. Brenden Cousins

Coach: Don Gailer

Tigers

1. Jacob Teevan 2. Brandon Downey 3. Connor Jones 4. Leon Ellia-Nuikore 5. Rahkeem Auda 6. Josh Ralph 7. Brayden Torpy 8. Anton Iaria 9. Jack Walters 10. Matt Groat 11. Jared Tuite 12. Jack Anderson 13. Michael Egan 14. Adam Crear 15. Gene Ropoama 16. Harry Pondekas 17. Haydin Elsebach

Coach: David Krause

Dolphins v Magpies – Dolphin Oval, Saturday, July 28 at 3pm

Dolphins

1. Tony Tumusa 2. Michael Walit 3. Rinsma Saueha 4. Justice Utateo 5. Will Partridge 6. Reece Braun 7. Josh Fauid 8. Samson Graham 9. Tristan Hope 10. Nick Slyney 11. James Flack 12. Agassi Stowers 13. Sheldon Pitama 14. Jordan Pinnock 15. Tauaalo Vaipulu 16. Ayden Devery 17. Bailey Butler

Coach: Daniel Green

Magpies

1. Javarn White 2. Henry Pritchard 3. David Pritchard 4. Cameron Booth 5. Luke Archer 6. Sato Ketia-Opo 7. Lane Ferling 8. Jordon Mago 9. Savaan Tahere 10. Will Samuel 11. Matty Brown 12. Justin Fai 13. Sam Elliott 14. Bernard Mosby 15. Jesse Matafeo 16. Cody Mc Intosh 17. Ajay Tuimavave 18. Alex Beaumont – One to be omitted

Coach: Steve Bretherton

Panthers v Seagulls – Bishop Park, Sunday, July 29 at 1.20pm
#PANTHERSTV

Panthers

1. David Fauid 2. Campbell Moore 3. Kennedy Pettyborne 4. Mitchell Hallinan 5. James Olds 6. Kyle Van Klaveren 7. Mikaere Beattie 8. Troy Swift 9. Adam Harris 10. Michael Molo 11. Jordon Riki 12. Billy Rogers 13 Dominic Biondi 16. Gavin Cause 17. Drae Aiono 18. Ethan Marrinan 19. Ethan Bullemor

Coach: Wayne Weekes

Seagulls

1. Matthew Milson 2. Peter Gubb 3. Bradley Mana 4. Harlan Collins 5. Tumoana Halkyard 6. John Te Reo 7. Adrian Elder 8. Ngarima Pita 9. Kalolo Saitaua 10. Billy Solah 11. Mitchell Frei 12. Semisi Ahoafi 13. Josh Hoffman 14. Corey Davis 15. Jacob Paulo 16. Kelly Tate 17. Jaz Nahu-Main

Coach: Ron Troutman

In Safe Hands Cup Ladder   
1. Panthers  36  +67 
2. Dolphins  35  +91 
3. Seagulls  33  +48 
4. Diehards  29  -48 
5. Tigers  24  +41 
6. Magpies  23  -199 

* John Devine is a QRL correspondent covering the BRL A Grade