The In Safe Hands Cup reaches with the halfway point in Round 9 with the competition favourites as clear as mud.
Such is the nature of the spinning leader board; form guides are of no use as all six sides have traded wins with little regard for the logic of the punters.
This week, the competition has thrown up three more coin tosses as the six teams continue to jostle for position.
Seagulls v Dolphins – Saturday, May 25 at Kitchener Park, 12.30pm
The battle of the Baysiders continues this weekend at Kitchener Park, home of the Wynnum Manly Juniors.
The Seagulls had been flying nicely until they went down to Valleys 50-24 in round 7 then followed that up with another lose at home to the Panthers 32-24.
The Dolphins are also licking their wounds after losing their past two outings, 20-18 to Wests and a last start loss to the Magpies 42-34.
Redcliffe have been guilty on nearly every outing of allowing their opposition to get away to a start. A start that they have come very close to running down, only to be beaten by the clock.
Reinforcements arrive in the return of inspirational Phins leader James Flack as well as bone collector Taylor Brown as the Dolphins look to buck the trend of their recent form.
Wynnum Manly looked to be on track to take the points against West Brisbane last start, but had no points in them after the break at Frank Lind Oval.
The Gulls have named Brad Mana in the centres, promoting Corey Davis off the bench to start in a massive Wynnum Manly pack.
Matt Groat continues his search of form and match minutes to join the mercurial Tristan Hope in the front row.
Hope is one of seven Seagulls named in the representative sides for the QRL A Grade Carnival. Such is the brilliance and class of Hope; he would surely be considered by most Intrust Super Cup clubs to be included in their starting 13.
Magpies v Diehards – Saturday, May 25 at Noffke Farm Park, 1pm
The Magpies will host the Diehards at Noffke Farm Park on Saturday. The Diehards ran rampant in their last meeting, running out 41-16 winners at Emerson Park on Old Boys Day.
Valleys went down to the Tigers by two points in their last game and will look to return to the winner’s circle this week.
Not long ago, the Diehards travelled to Kougari Oval and put 50 on the defending premiers and Valleys will surely be looking to that game for inspiration as they look to return to form.
Joe McGuire returns to a 17 that features four players named in the SEQ Men’s Green team that will compete at the QRL A Grade Carnival starting June 1.
One of those is the ever-green Luke Archer who has been used by Valleys coach Craig Kennedy as his air man.
Nearly every kick off from the Diehards has been a short kick off for the spring footed Archer to regather to get the right-side attack of the Diehards on the front foot.
It will be interesting to see if Kennedy continues with his unorthodox restarts this weekend against a confident Magpies outfit.
Magpies coach Darren Ferricks will once again have the wizardry of Phil Dennis at his disposal to add to the huge pack and lightning backs that are taking the competition by the scruff of the neck.
Ferricks probably wishes there wasn’t a bye last week as his flock had found their mojo with back-to-back wins and 118 points in their last three games alone.
They are not the finished product yet, as they are still conceding too many points (96 in their last three games), but it appears once they get their defence in order they will be a genuine threat.
“We have been leaking points (but) I have been really happy with our attack, especially in the last few weeks,” Ferricks said.
“We work really hard on our defence, if you get that right you will go a long way to winning games in the Brisbane Rugby League.”
Panthers v Tigers – Saturday, May 25 at Purtell Park, 4pm
The Panthers return to their traditional home of Purtell Park for Old Boys Days when they take on the Tigers this Saturday.
Some punters suggest it is safer in the middle of Purtell than amongst the shenanigans of a Panthers Old Boys reunion.
The Panthers are at the top of the In Safe Hands Cup ladder and have not been beaten since Round 3 when they went down to the Seagulls 46-14.
The Panthers came from behind last week after a motivational chat from the co-coaches at half time to hold off the Seagulls.
Wests have a near identical side that played in Round 8 and are looking for their sixth straight win and have the bookends Kyle Van Klaveren and Michael Molo in the starting 13.
The Tigers were desperately seeking three competition points at Emerson Park and came home in the final minute against the Diehards, 28-26 to break a horror five rounds without a win.
Easts played out the whole 80 minutes and with clever use of a massive bench with Lachlan Barr and Lachlan Lanskey, coach Jason Di Lizio will have again to bring his genius to Purtell Park if they are to go back-to-back.
The Tigers and Panthers will be playing for the Craig Little Cup, while the player of the match will receive the Mike Higgison Trophy.
'Higgo' passed away last year taking memories of playing for his beloved Panthers and his wealth of rugby league knowledge with him.
No doubt the spirit of Higgo will be mingling amongst the chaos of the Mud and Blood Old Boys at Purtell Park this Saturday.
In Safe Hands Cup Round 9 team lists
Seagulls v Dolphins – Saturday, May 25 at Kitchener Park, 12.30pm
1. Matthew Milson 2. Harlan Collins 3. Brad Mana 4. Rashaun Denny 5. Jack Goodsell 6. Edwin Ipape 7. John Te Reo 8. Matt Groat 9. Tristan Hope 10. Semisi Ahoafi 11. Corey Davis 12. Sam Elliott 13. Rahdly Brawa 14. Andrew Clayton 15. Jacob Paulo 16. Orisi Qaraniqio 17. Braden Collins
Coach: Ron Troutman
1. Corban Daniels 2. Michael Walit 3. Sam Leach 4. Justice Utatao 5. Glen Ellis 6. Oscar Carter 7. Kyle Foxwell 8. Tevita Mapapalangi 9. Fiatotoa Fiatotoa 10. Ben King 11. James Flack 12. Josh Rudolph 13. Asipeli Fine 14. Taylor Brown 15. Zeve John 16. Fabien Paiatua-Kiri 17. Kian Shead.
Coach: Daniel Green
Magpies v Diehards – Saturday, May 25 at Noffke Farm Park, 1.30pm
1. Josh Bowen Bowyer 2. Samsoni Vaiolati 3. Lilena Vudugo 4. Cameron Booth 5. Tommy Sau 6. Haydn O’Hara 7. Lachlan Cooper 8. Simione Fatafehi 9. Savarn Tahere 10. Cody McIntosh 11. Luke Burton 12. Jerome Veve 13. Phil Dennis 14. Jayde Williams 15. Brett Ferguson 16. AJ Tuimavave 17. Kobe Tararo
Coach: Darren Ferricks
1. David Fauid 2. Namilla Davui 3. Henry Penn 4. Sam Collins 5. Luke Archer 6. Simon Brittain-Snowden 7. Brad Frith 8. Joe McGuire 9. Liam Horne 10. Patrick Akaoula 11. Joe Bradley 12. Iian Riccardi 13. Moses Noovao-McGreal 14. Jack Miers 15. Jordan Mago 16. Jacob kelly 17. Dylan Tavita
Coach: Craig Kennedy
Panthers v Seagulls – Saturday, May 25 at Purtell Park, 4.30pm
1. Kyle Van Klaveren 2. Campbell Mohr 3. Eddie Tautali 4. Kennedy Pettyborne 5. James Olds 6. Kahn Ahwang 7. Mackenzie Reid 8. Michael Molo 9. Wayne Kennedy 10. Johnnie Fox 11. Keelyn Tuuta 12. Troy Swift 13. Jordan Brown 15. Michael Egan 16. Stephen Buckley 17. Shane Pumipi 18. Evander Cummins 20. Foisa Peni (One to be omitted)
Coach: Wayne Weekes and Craig Ingebrigtsen
1. Brendon Downey 2. Connor Jones 3. Max Felosi 4. Zac Taibi 5. Aaron Piddock 6. Nathan Brown 7. Josh Curti 8. Heath Wilson 9. Jack Walters 10. Jaiyden Hunt 11. Jack Peoples 12. Tevita Wolske 13. Jack Anderson 14. Jesse Uhlmann 16. Ash Harawira-Naera 17. Lachlan Lanskey 18. Lachlan Barr
Coach: Jason Di Lizio