After a pre-season filled with intriguing player transfers, intense training and anticipation for a strong year ahead – Round 1 has finally arrived!
There are a few changes to look forward to in season 2019 in the Intrust SuperCup – including a new top eight finals format for the 2019 season.
“Our clubs identified this move as a priority in 2019 and we are pleased to deliver an outcome that will assist them greatly moving forward,” QRL Statewide Competitions manager Dave Maiden told QRL Media at the announcement.
The weekly televised match will also this season return to the fan-friendly Sunday afternoon slot in 2019.
Channel Nine’s Sunday afternoon coverage of Queensland’s premier statewide competition will open with the Round 1 clash will be between last year’s semi-finalists – the Ipswich Jets and Townsville Blackhawks.
In exciting news for fans, there are now even more ways for fans to get involved in the competition, with the revamped Statewide Competitions app up-and-running, while the new Intrust Super Cup tipping game is also underway.
See how your tips stack up against celebrity tipping panel of Annette Brander, Ben Ikin, Brent Tate, Jeff Horn, Joel Gould, Meg Ward, Peter Psaltis and Petero Civoniceva.
Below are the ‘Stats that Matter’ for each match up in Round 1.
Easts Tigers v Mackay Cutters
Langlands Park on Saturday, March 9 – 4.30pm
Head-to-Head: Easts 15 Mackay 9
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TIGESvMC
Livestream: Tiger TV
- Easts have won the past three, and six of the past seven games between these two sides.
- The Tigers have also won the past six games played between these two sides at Langlands Park; with Mackay last scoring a win over the home side there was in 2012.
- More recently, Easts have won six of their past seven home games.
- The Cutters have had seven losses and a draw from their past eight away games.
- Both sides are boosted by new inclusions and key signings, with former Newcastle player Matt Cooper at fullback for Easts and Cowboys allocations Carlin Anderson and Dan Russell ones to took out for at Mackay.
- This will be the 50th Cup game for Brenden Treston (all Mackay); making him the 16th players in the club’s history to reach the milestone.
Sunshine Coast Falcons v Wynnum Manly Seagulls
Sunshine Coast Stadium on Saturday, March 9 – 5.30pm
Head-to-Head: Wynnum 11 Sunshine Coast 8
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SCFvWYN
- While it will be a new-look Falcons side who take on Wynnum Manly on Saturday, there will be some familiar faces in the line-up with halfback Todd Murphy and young hooker Tyson Smooth returning to the Sunshine Coast.
- Wynnum Manly have some exciting fans to look out for, including PNG international pairing Edene Gebbie and Rahdly Brawa.
- The Sunshine Coast have won the past six games between these two sides, including the last three played at the Kawana venue.
- The Falcons have also won five of their past six home games.
- Wynnum Manly however will be looking to reverse their recent trend which has seen them lost their past four games away from home.
Northern Pride v Redcliffe Dolphins
Barlow Park on Saturday, March 9 – 6pm
Head-to-Head: Pride 16 Redcliffe 5
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PRIDEvPHINS
- Northern Pride fans are in for a treat this weekend, with the club set to field a line-up filled with experience, with new Cowboys recruit Nene Macdonald named to join speedster Gideon Gela-Mosby on the wings.
- It will also be a return to Queensland Intrust Super Cup by Maurice Blair, who has come back to Australia following a stint in the UK.
- A youthful Redcliffe side will see the Intrust Super Cup debut of rising half Cory Paix, with the Broncos contracted youngster moving to the Dolphins from the Devils last year. The Darling Downs product led the Western Mustangs to the Mal Meninga Cup title in 2017.
- The Dolphins won five of their last six games in 2018 with one drawn and they won their last four away games.
- Redcliffe have won three of the past four and four of the past six games played between these two after the Pride had won 13 in a row.
- Redcliffe have won the past two clashes between against the Pride in Cairns after their opponents had won the previous eight there.
- The Pride have two losses and a draw from their past games in Cairns.
Match: Jets v Blackhawks
Round 1 -
Venue: North Ipswich Reserve
- Nine Network
Ipswich Jets v Townsville Blackhawks
North Ipswich Reserve on Sunday, March 10 – 12.10pm* (Channel 9 TV)
Head-to-Head: Ipswich 6 Townsville 4
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #JETSvTSVB
- The Channel 9 TV game sees the two sides face off in their annual Defence Force Appreciation match.
- The Jets have won three of the past four games between these two sides.
- The four games played between these two sides at North Ipswich have seen two wins apiece.
- Ipswich have won their past three and four of their past five away games.
- This will be the 50th Cup game for Ipswich half Josh Cleeland (all for Ipswich) who returns to the club after a successful stint in the NSW Cup where he started for the Bulldogs and was unlucky not to get an NRL start.
- The Townsville Blackhawks line-up sees the inclusion of a number of promising Under 20 players from last season, with Michael Carroll in the centres and Cowboys-contracted and Queensland representative forward Thomas Gilbert named on the bench.
Tweed Heads Seagulls v PNG Hunters
Piggabeen Sports Complex on Sunday, March 10 – 2.05pm
Head-to-Head: PNG 7 Tweed 3
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #THSvPNG
- The injury curse continues to plague Tweed Heads, with skipper Cheyne Whitelaw still a few weeks away from hitting the field; while recruit Christian Hazard will also miss Round 1 after sustaining an injury while playing for the Titans in a recent trial.
- However, their halves pairing will be one to watch, with the talented Lindon McGrady to be accompanied by Titans recruit Ryley Jacks, who is no stranger to dominating the Cup competition.
- Fans will be curious to see how the PNG Hunters perform having lost a huge amount of experience in the off-season with many players taking up opportunities with overseas clubs.
- The Hunters won both games played between these two sides in 2018 after the Seagulls won both in 2017, including the final round match against the minor premiers to avoid that year’s wooden spoon.
- The PNG struggled to win away from home in 2018 and come into this game having lost seven of their past 10 away games.
- This will be the 100th Intrust Super Cup game for newly appointed Hunters skipper Adex Wera (all games for PNG). He is set to become the 213th player to reach the century milestone.
Souths Logan Magpies v CQ Capras
Davies Park on Sunday, March 10 – 3pm
Head-to-Head: Souths 23 Central 19 Drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SLMvCQC
- All eyes will be on the Souths Logan Magpies young brigade on Sunday with Broncos-contracted half and Magpies junior Tanah Boyd in the thick of the action at halfback and new signing Gerome Burns named at fullback.
- In contrast, the Capras have named the NRL-experienced and recruit Matthew Wright to make his club debuts in the custodian role.
- The Magpies have won 17 of the last 21 games played between these two sides, although Central won their last clash when it was played in Barcaldine last year. The Capras’ last win at Davies Park was back in 2003.
- However, the Magpies lost their last three home games in 2018 and will be aiming to start their season on a high in front of their home fans.
- The Capras have a draw and 17 losses from their last 18 away games – their last win on the road was over Wynnum Manly at BMD Kougari Oval in Round 8, 2017.
- Capras second row forward Bill Cullen has been named to play in his 50th Cup game (all for CQ).
Norths Devils v Burleigh Bears
Bishop Park on Sunday, March 10 – 3pm
Head-to-Head: Burleigh 24 Norths 21
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #DEVILSvBEARS
Livesteam: BEARS TV
- This will be Burleigh's 500th game in the Intrust Super Cup competition. They have 281 wins, 19 draws and 199 losses. They will become the seventh team to reach 500 games.
- The Devils have some key offseason signed named to make their clubs debuts in Round 1 with centre Connor Broadhurst, back row Nixon Putt and fellow forward Brendan Frei looking to make an impression.
- The Bears too have some eye-catching performers set to feature, including former Titan and speed machine Tyrone Roberts Davis and former Wests Tigers prop Jack Buchanan.
- Norths have won the past three games between these sides.
- The Devils have also won seven of the past eight games played between these two sides at Bishop Park.
*Statistics by Brad Tallon
**NOTE: The livestreams linked in this preview are not official QRL productions