Top of the table clash expected to be tight

Easts Tigers and Sunshine Coast Falcons are going into Saturday's game undefeated; and both are determined to win for bragging rights.

Falcons second rower Chris Lewis said games between the two Melbourne Storm-feeder clubs were always challenging; and he expected Saturday at Sunshine Coast Stadium to be no different.

"I'm looking forward to the challenge," Lewis said.

"It'll be a good check in for us to see how we're going.

“Easts play a lot through the middle, so to stop them through the middle will be our main aim."

Lewis said he was confident his team - "a good mixture of a few old blokes and young fellas willing to learn" - would come away with the two points, despite the Falcons having only won one of the last seven clashes between the two teams on the Sunshine Coast.

Falcons' Chris Lewis during a warm up. Photo: QRL Media
Falcons' Chris Lewis during a warm up. Photo: QRL Media

Falcons coach Eric Smith said his team was "fit and healthy" and ready to go for what he expected to be "a very tight and physical game".

"To be six weeks in and have two teams unbeaten is pretty unusual to be honest," Smith said.

"Both teams play with a lot of aggression.”

Smith said being feeder teams for the same NRL club meant both teams played “similar football with similar traits, which is good and bad”.

Smith said everyone in his team had a role to play to ensure success on the field.

Falcons players lined up before their clash against Redcliffe Dolphins. Photo: QRL Media
Falcons players lined up before their clash against Redcliffe Dolphins. Photo: QRL Media

"We've been playing decent football, and doing good things, but there's plenty of improvement to be made.... this week's game will be a pretty good test,” Smith said.

"I have been really impressed by our middle forwards - the ones who start and the ones who come off the bench… they have been most consistent.

"We have also been playing great football down our edges, but we need to be even better again.

"I'm looking forward to see how we go against arguably the best team in the competition."

Tigers coach Scott Sipple said the game against the Falcons - " the premiership favourites" - would be "a big challenge - one we are looking forward to".

"The Falcons were talked up all pre-season as the premiership favourites, and they have been playing like the favourites," Sipple said.

"It's business as usual for us this week.

"We focus on ourselves and improving every week... we take everything week by week.

"This game will be a good test to see where we're at."

Tigers players lined up before playing PNG Hunters. Photo: QRL Media
Tigers players lined up before playing PNG Hunters. Photo: QRL Media

Sipple, most impressed by Aaron Booth and Bennett Leslie so far this season, said his young squad looked forward to playing the curtain raiser to South Sydney Rabbitohs versus New Zealand Warriors NRL game.

"There should be more of it," Sipple said.

Falcons CEO Chris Flannery said it would be a huge game for both clubs, in front of what he expected to be a 5000 to 7000-strong crowd.

"This has been our best start to the season in a very long time," Flannery said.

Both teams are desperate to win to have bragging rights.

"It's still early days though - there's a long way to go in the competition... it doesn't take much to drop.”

Four of the last five games between these two sides have been decided by four points or less.

Flannery said there would be "a fair contingent of Melbourne Storm players" fielded in both teams, so the game would no doubt be a "tight contest" again.

"It doesn't get much tighter... we're on the same points on the ladder and same differential," Flannery said.

"Easts have been blowing teams off the park… but I'm always confident in our players here and our team; I know they have been working really hard to be the best they can be.

"There will be a great atmosphere.”

The game will be live streamed on the QRL website and Intrust Super Cup Facebook page