Round 1 of the Intrust Super Cup saw some great action, with some upsets and some huge individual performances lighting up the competition.
This weekend, the Channel Nine cameras will be at Piggabeen for their Sunday afternoon coverage of two first-round winners in the Tweed Seagulls and Townsville Blackhawks.
The NQ side gave new coach Aaron Payne a reason to celebrate with their strong showing to open the season – and ICYMI – QRL Media went behind the scenes with the former Cowboy to document the match.
Behind closed doors: Blackhawks coach Aaron Payne
Below are the ‘Stats that Matter’ for each match up in Round 2.
Burleigh Bears v Ipswich Jets
Pizzey Park on Saturday, March 16 – 4pm
Head-to-Head: Burleigh 24 Ipswich 15 Drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #BEARSvJETS
Tipping % - via QRL Tipping: Bears 80% v Jets 20%
Livestream: Bears TV
- Burleigh’s first home game of the season will provide the club with an opportunity to celebrate a major milestone – 500 games in the Intrust Super Cup.
- Ipswich will be out to spoil the Bears’ party to make amends for a disappointing start to their own campaign. The Jets were taught an early Cup lesson by arch-rivals the Townsville Blackhawks in Round 1.
- Burleigh has been particularly dominant against Ipswich in recent times, having won seven of their past eight encounters.
- Like the Jets, the Bears went down in the opening round in a result that caught some by surprise. With big forwards Jack Buchanan, Luke Page and Josh Ailaomai in their line-up, the Bears will look to punch holes through the Ipswich middle.
- The Jets have no shortage of firepower themselves; but will need to improve their timing if they are to get the win.
Burleigh Bears celebrate 500 games
Redcliffe Dolphins v Sunshine Coast Falcons
Dolphin Stadium on Saturday, March 16 – 6pm
Head-to-Head: Redcliffe 13 Sunshine Coast 8
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PHINSvSCF
Tipping % - via QRL Tipping: Phins 69% v Falcons 31%
- A special game; this Round 2 match will see the sides vie for the James Ackerman Cup which celebrates the life of James who made a big contribution to both clubs he played with.
- This weekend sees several Melbourne Storm players come into the Falcons line-up, with Sandor Earl, Cooper Johns, Harry Grant, Justin Olam, Kayleb Milne all named, as well as former Cutter Nicho Hynes at fullback.
- Last week saw the Cup debut of three locally produced players in Tom Rafter, Tyson Smoothy and Riley Moore for the Falcons.
- Redcliffe have won eight of the nine games played between these two sides at Dolphin Oval – with the Sunshine Coast having won the 2017 preliminary final there.
- Redcliffe have also only lost one of their past eight games at Dolphin Oval with one drawn result.
- In milestone news, Redcliffe’s Adam Mogg will be involved in his 100th Cup game as a coach (having also been at the helm at the Sunshine Coast). He has 56 wins and one draw. He is the 18th coach to bring up 100 games.
Norths Devils v Easts Tigers
Bishop Park on Saturday, March 16 – 6pm
Head-to-Head: Norths 22 Easts 22 Drawn 3
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #DEVILSvTIGES
Tipping % - via QRL Tipping: Norths 43% v Tigers 56%
- Both teams were Round 1 winners, with their young crop helping fire the sides to victory.
- This week, both teams will be boosted by NRL inclusions from their affiliated clubs, with the Devils to see the likes of Broncos Gehamat Shibasaki (centres) and Sean O'Sullivan (halfback) join their line-up, while the Tigers have named Cheyse Blair in the centres.
- In an interesting quirk, the away team has won nine of the past 10 games between these two sides with one drawn result.
- The Tigers have won the past five games against the Devils played at Bishop Park; with the home side last winning at home against Easts in in 2012.
- Easts co-captain Brett Greinke will play in his 50th Cup game, having previously been at Norths.
Mackay Cutters v Souths Logan Magpies
BB Print Stadium Mackay on Saturday, March 16 – 6pm
Head-to-Head: Souths Logan 16 Mackay 4 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #MCvSLM
Tipping % - via QRL Tipping: Cutters 53% v 47%
- Paul Byrnes comes in at fullback for the Cutters in place of the injured Carlin Anderson. The Cowboys-contracted fullback shared his thanks for the messages of support and concern on social media.
- Shaun Fensom joins an impressive forward pack for the Magpies who will be motivated to perform after their side were upset by the Capras last Sunday.
- Mackay have won only one of the past 11 games between these two sides, with one drawn game.
- The Magpies have won four of the past five games played between these two sides in Mackay.
- The Cutters have won only one of their past nine home games.
CQ Capras v Wynnum Manly Seagulls
Browne Park on Saturday, March 16 – 7pm
Head-to-Head: Wynnum 32 Central 9 Drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #CQCvWMS
Tipping % - via QRL Tipping: Capras 59% v Wynnum Manly 41%
Livestream: Capras TV
- After producing a big upset in the first round with a win on the road, home fans will be hoping the Capras can make it two wins on the trot when they host Wynnum Manly.
- The Seagulls however can consider themselves as bit unlucky to not also have a win beside their name after they outscored the Falcons five tries to four – but could only convert two of them in their 26-24 loss.
- The Capras have now won three games in a row. While this goes across seasons, the last time they did this was in 2009.
- The Seagulls have won seven of the past eight games against CQ.
- The Capras have only won one of the past 14 games between these two sides at Browne Park with one drawn match – but, they have won their past four games in Central Queensland.
- The Seagulls will be aiming to halt their poor recent run of away results where they have lost their past five games on the road.
Tweed Seagulls v Townsville Blackhawks
Piggabeen Sports Complex on Sunday, March 17 – 12.10pm* (Channel 9 TV game)
Head-to-Head: Townsville 7 Tweed 0
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #THSvTSVB
Tipping % - via QRL Tipping: Tweed 18% v Townsville 82%
- Tweed Seagulls and Townsville Blackhawks, two of the more impressive teams in the opening round of the competition, will meet in the televised Sunday afternoon clash.
- Tweed is coming off a solid win against the PNG Hunters, while the Blackhawks opened their campaign under new coach Aaron Payne with a convincing win over Ipswich.
- The battle of the playmakers shapes as an enthralling match up, with Tweed No. 7 Ryley Jacks to go up against Michael Parker-Walshe. Parker-Walshe is relishing his second stint in a Blackhawks jumper; and with Kyle Laybutt and Shaun Nona striking early form as well, the Townsville outfit are blessed with playmaking options.
- The head-to-head match up is stacked heavily in favour of Townsville, with the Blackhawks having won all seven previous games with an average winning margin of 37 points.
PNG Hunters v Northern Pride
National Football Stadium on Sunday, March 17 – 3pm
Head-to-Head: PNG 5 Pride 4
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PNGvPRIDE
Tipping % - via QRL Tipping: PNG 46% v Pride 54%
- It was a tough day for the Hunters last week, with the side being held scoreless in their close 10-0 loss to Tweed. It was the first time in their history that the club have been unable to score a point.
- The Pride opened their season with an impressive 22-18 win over Redcliffe.
- The Pride however will travel to the home of the Hunters without Kumul Nene Macdonald, who has been named for the Cowboys following a strong showing last week.
- While the visitors will fancy their chances, they will have to overcome PNG’s strong recent record which has seen the Hunters win three of their past four games between these two sides.
- The Hunters have also won the past four games between these two sides in PNG.
- They have a most impressive record at home and have lost only two of their past 18 home games with one drawn result.
*Statistics by Brad Tallon
**NOTE: The livestreams linked in this preview are not official QRL productions