The In Safe Hands Cup returns for Round 12 with three important clashes taking place this Saturday afternoon.
The Panthers, Diehards, Seagulls and Tigers make up the top four, with the Magpies knocking on the door and the Dolphins playing for their season in sixth.
Jack Miers (Valleys), Michael Molo (West Brisbane) and Sam Elliott, Tristan Hope and Harlan Collins (Seagulls) will all miss Round 12 due to their selection in the XXXX Queensland Rangers team who will take on the NSW Pioneers this weekend.
Easts Tigers v Souths Logan Magpies – Saturday, June 29 at Langlands Park, 1pm
The battle for fourth position is on when the Tigers and Magpies face off at 1pm at Langlands Park.
While a superior for-and-against means the Magpies can’t go past the Tigers this week, a win on Saturday would leave both sides even on 22 competition points.
Easts have some significant Intrust Super Cup experience with Shane Neuman and Jack Svendsen both named in the starting side.
Neuman has played 95 Intrust Super Cup games while Svendsen has 115 ISC games under his belt.
They join a resurgent Tigers outfit who have recovered from losing five consecutive games in Rounds 3-7 and are now on the cusp of three straight wins.
Defence has been the key as they have not had their line crossed in Rounds 10 and 11 with the four points conceded to Redcliffe coming from two penalty kicks.
The Magpies welcome back play maker Hayden O’Hara to the halves to join Josh Bower who was outstanding last start as was fullback Benaiah Bowie.
The return of the Magpies inspirational leader and dynamic playmaker Lane Ferling is not far away. When Ferling does return his brilliant kicking game and vision would complement the illusionist Phil Dennis who is named to come off the bench with the animal Kobe Tararo before half time.
Honours have been shared in the two encounters between these clubs so far this season. In Round 2 the Tigers won 32-22 at Davies Park before Souths Logan returned the favour 44-22 in Round 7.
Valleys Diehards v Wynnum Manly Seagulls – Saturday, June 29 at Emerson Park, 3pm
The match of the round between the Diehards and the Seagulls at Emerson Park also has the potential to shake up the ladder.
Both are on 25 points with Valleys ahead on for-and-against, meaning the winner will finish the round in second place.
However, if the Panthers were to lose to the Dolphins, the winner will join West Brisbane at the top.
With Miers is unavailable for the Diehards, Liam Horne has been handed the number nine jersey with Kobe Hetherington named in the halves with Simon Brittain-Snowden.
Out wide, the try line magnet Luke Archer returns to the side from injury, and the Diehards faithful will be hoping for an Archer post-try kiss or two to the crowd at Emerson Park as Valleys look to put their last start nightmare behind them.
It won’t be easy for the home side as the Seagulls have named a monstrous pack. Lachlan Lee returns from injury to replace Matt Groat who has returned to the top side for Wynnum Manly.
Internationals Rahdly Brawa and Edwin Ipape will back up after playing for PNG against Samoa last weekend.
The Seagulls will also be without their starting number nine, Tristan Hope, who has also been selected for the Rangers along with Sam Elliott and Harlan Collins.
Collins’ replacement is the dynamic Dredin Sorensen-McGee with James Robinson to start in Elliott’s number 12.
West Brisbane Panthers v Redcliffe Dolphins – Saturday, June 29 at Kev McKell Oval, 4.30pm
The Panthers will be expecting a Dolphins outfit with everything to play for at 4.30pm at Kev McKell Oval. Redcliffe are staring down the barrel of a sixth straight loss and a potential end to their top four aspirations.
Will Partridge, who scored three tries in the Dolphins 2018 grand final loss to Wynnum Manly, returns to add some speed to an already lightning fast back line that includes Sam Leach who returns to the centres after a cameo at fullback.
Josh Rudolph and James Flack will be out to lift the tempo of the Phins forward pack to take on the premiership favourites.
The Panthers were devastating last start against the Diehards where they ran amok putting on 46 points.
Wests will be without Michael Molo, but the Panthers backline remains relatively unchanged with Joe Bond starting at six.
A notable omission is Shane Pumipi, but such is the depth at the Panthers they have options aplenty.
Mackenzie Reid has been named at hooker, with Wayne Kennedy and Tommy Butterfield also having dummy half experience, while Foisa Peni would not look out of place with his speed from dummy half another possibility.
A win to the Panthers will keep them at the top of the In Safe Hands Cup ladder, while a loss to Redcliffe will have them walking the tight rope to the finals.
In Safe Hands Cup Round 12 team lists
Tigers v Magpies – Saturday, June 29 at Langlands Park, 1pm
1. Brandon Downey 2. David Pritchard 3. Keenan Yorston 4. Shane Neumann 5. Aaron Pidcock 6. Josh Curti 7. Nathan Brown 8. Heath Wilson 9. Jack Walters 10. Justin Fai 11. Jack Peoples 12. Tevita Wolske 13. Jack Svendsen 14. Zak Taibi 15. Lachlan Barr 16, Ash Harawira-Naera 17. Jaiyden Hunt
Coach: Jason Di Lizio.
1. Benaiah Bowie 2. Joseteki Lalagavesi 3. Lenny Magey 4. Cameron Booth 5. Vesi Sa’u 6. Haydn O’Hara 7. Josh Bowyer 8. Harrison Muller 9. Blake Scott 10. Simione Fatafehi 11. Jerome Vave 12. Jacon Alick 13. Cody McIntosh 14. Savarn Tahere 15. Phil Dennis 16. AJ Tumavave 17. Kobe Tararo
Coach: Darren Ferricks.
Diehards v Seagulls – Saturday, June 29 at Emerson Park, 3pm
1. David Faiud 2. Jayden Baker 3. Henry Penn 4. Sam Collins 5. Luke Archer 6. Kobe Hetherington 7. Simon Brittain-Snowden 8. Lilomaiava Mago 9. Liam Horne 10. Jacob Kelly 11. Moses Noovao-McGreal 12. Ethan Richards 13. Joe McGuire 14. Brad Frith 15. Patrick Akaoula 16. Jordon Riki 17. Jonty Hansen
Coach: Craig Kennedy.
1. Rashaun Denny 2. Mitchell McMillian 3. Moses Pangai 4. Dredin Sorensen-McGee 5. Elliot Vincent 6. Edwin Ipape 7. Matthew Milson 8. Lachlan Lee 9. Reece McKenzie-O’Brien 10. Semisi Ahoafi 11. Brad Mana 12. James Robinson 13. Rahdly Brawa 14. Corey Davis 15. Jacob Paulo 16. Clayton Mack 17. Orisi Qaaraniqio
Coach: Ron Troutman
Panthers v Dolphins – Saturday, June 29 at Kev McKell Oval, 4.30pm
1. Kyle Van Klaveren 2. Campbell Mohr 3. Eddie Tautali 4. Evander Cummins 5. James Olds 6. Joe Bond 7. Tommy Butterfield 8. Chris Gesch 9. Mackenzie Reid 10. Johnnie Fox 11. Taniela Moa 12. Troy Swift 13. Stephen Buckley 14. Wayne Kennedy 15. Kahn Ahwang 16. Jordan Brown 17. Keelyn Tuuta 20. Foisa Peni (One to be omitted)
Coach: Craig Ingebrigtsen and Wayne Weekes
1. Regan Baker 2. Will Partridge 3. Sam Leach 4. Isaiah Lealiiee 5. Nathan Dawes 6. Hayden Herbert 7. Kyle Foxwell 8. Harry Skinner 9. Oscar Carter 10. Josh Rudolph 11. Faitotoa Faitotoa 12. James Flack 13. Fabian Palatua Kiri 14. Leon Vaipulu 15. Joel O’Brien 16. Raiden Fonoti 17. Jayden Newbolt
Coach: Daniel Green