Finals Week 1 Preview: past GF opponents add to rivalry

Week 1 of the Intrust Super Cup finals has arrived - with two blockbuster matches that will see recent grand final rivals face off in their elimination semi finals.

Marmin Barba in action for the Jets in their grand final at Suncorp Stadium against Townsville.
Marmin Barba in action for the Jets in their grand final at Suncorp Stadium against Townsville.

Elimination Final 1
Townsville Blackhawks (3) v Ipswich Jets (6) 
Jack Manski Oval, Saturday, September 1
1.10pm* (Live on Channel 9 from 1pm)
Live on Channel 9 from 1pm
Head-to-Head - finals: Ipswich 1 Townsville 0 (2015 GF - Easts 32 def Townsville 20)
Finals: Townsville (played 5, won 2, lost 3); Ipswich (played 20, won 10, lost 10)
Head-to-Head: Ipswich 5 Townsville 4
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TSVBvJETS

  • It’s been a close contest throughout the season whenever these two sides have met so far this year with each team getting up once – The Jets 20-18 in Round 2 and North Ipswich Reserve and the Blackhawks in Round 18 at Jack Manski Oval 22-14.
  • Each team has also got one win in the two games played between these two sides at Jack Manski Oval.
  • When it comes to attack, the teams are similarly ranked; Townsville are 4th in attack and 1st in defence; while Ipswich are 5th in attack and 9th in defence.
  • Townsville have 9 wins from their 11 home games this year - losses to Pride and Redcliffe; while Ipswich have 5 wins from their 11 away games this year.
  • In the six-team final series where the third-placed team has played the sixth-placed side; the home team (3rd) has won 4 (including Townsville in 2016 v Wynnum) and the away team has won one.
  • Ipswich played in the corresponding game in 2015 defeating Pride 54-26; while Townsville played in the corresponding game in 2016, defeating Easts 46-4 and losing to Easts 20-16 in 2017.
  • Ipswich have good form heading into this match, winning their past five games to move from 10th to sixth; while in contrast the Blackhawks have lost three of their past four games, dropping from first to third.
  • Jets back Wes Conlon missed last weekend’s win over Norths with the flu and still requires three more points to bring up 500 for Ipswich.
  • Grand final combatants in 2015; there are two players named for Townsville side (Zac Santo and Dan Beasley) and five for Ipswich (Marmin Barba - pictured above), Richard Pandia, the retiring Dane Phillips, Billy McConnachie and Huskie Teutau) who played in that game. Townsville have also named forward Rod Griffin who won with the Jets.

See the Finals Week 1 Appointments here

Now NRL regulars, Cameron Munster and Cody Walker played for the Tigers in their 2014 grand final loss to the Northern Pride.
Now NRL regulars, Cameron Munster and Cody Walker played for the Tigers in their 2014 grand final loss to the Northern Pride.

Elimination Final 2
Northern Pride (4) v Easts Tigers (5) 
Stan Williams Park, Cairns 3pm
Head-to-Head: Pride 14 Easts 11
Head-to-Head finals: Pride 2 Easts 1 (2013 Major Easts 29-16; 2014 Major Pride 8-7; 2014 GF Pride 36-4)
Finals: Pride (played 16, won 9, lost 7); Easts (played 35, won 16, lost 19)
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PRIDEvTIGES

  • With traditional home Barlow Park out of action; the game will be played at Stan Williams Park, the third time a Cup game will be played there (previous games are Cairns v Souths in 2000 and the Young Guns / Burleigh in 2006).
  • Pride will aim to turn results around from the past two times these sides have met, with Easts winning 14-4 in Round 6 at Barlow Park and 24-18 win at Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park in Round 17.
  • Pride finished the regular season fifth in attack and eighth in defence; while Easts were fourth in attack and third in defence.
  • The Tigers have traditionally struggled up north and have only won three of their 12 games against in Cairns. However, they have won their past two there and have also won their past five games against the Pride.
  • The Pride have been strong at home this season and have eight wins and a draw (last weekend against Tweed Heads) from their 11 home games this year. The losses were to the Tigers and minor premiers Redcliffe, while Easts have won six of their 11 away games this year.
  • This will be Shane Neumann's 164th Cup match for Easts. The centre will pass Wade Liddell to be second for Cup appearances for the club behind coach Scott Sipple (196).
  • Ryan Ghietti will also achieve a major milestone in his 165th game for the club (including NRL State Championship final). The skipper will pass Jason Roos to become most capped Pride player.
  • Wednesday night’s Second Rower of the Year winner Patrick Kaufusi will play his 50th game; with the Easts forward also having played with this weekend’s opponents the Pride.
  • There are four players named for Pride (Brett Anderson, Javid Bowen, Sheldon Powe-Hobbs and Ghietti), and two for Easts (Neumann, Tom Butterfield) who played in the 2014 grand final won by the Pride. 

See the Round 24 Judiciary Results here 

Finals Week 1 – weekend off 

Redcliffe Dolphins (1), Burleigh Bears (2) 

*Statistics by Brad Tallon