The Hastings Deering Colts action continues to impress late in the season, with teams pressing to stay in touch with the top eight and earn themselves a place in the finals.
Match: Blackhawks v Pride
Round 17 -
Venue: Jack Manski Oval, Townsville
It’s a northern derby at Jack Manski Oval to kick off the round, with the Blackhawks taking in plenty of confidence for their match-up against the Pride.
Townsville are coming off a 21-12 win over their other NQ rivals the Cutters, while the Pride are looking to reset and regroup after a tough 36-0 loss at the hands of the Falcons.
Townsville proved too strong despite being a player down for much of the game due to a send off, while this weekend, the Pride will be looking to start the game better after allowing the Falcons in for four first half tries.
Match: Dolphins v WM Seagulls
Round 17 -
Venue: Dolphin Stadium, Brisbane
Traditional Brisbane Rugby League rivals the Dolphins and the Seagulls will come together at Dolphin Stadium in a big Saturday game.
Redcliffe clinched a draw against the Jets in Ipswich last weekend, while Wynnum continued to apply pressure to the top-of-the-table Bears with a 34-18 win over Tweed.
The Wynnum Manly Seagulls were too good for their Tweed namesake, despite suffering after a slow start where Tweed got the jump on their rivals. Wynnum then settled down to finish the match stronger and earn the win.
Wynnum are now equal with the Bears on 27 points and are only behind them on the ladder due to for-and-against. They will not want the Bears to pull away from them; while the Phins also have plenty of motivation to do well and will be chasing a win to get off the bottom of the ladder.
Seagulls coach Joe O’Callaghan said he and his side were focused on a top four spot and on overcoming the Dolphins.
“For us, this is a game where you need to be focused, you never go to Redcliffe and get it easy and they will want to finish the year well,” O’Callaghan said.
“We are really focused on our systems at Wynnum and in the last three weeks we have had nine (Auswide Bank) Mal Meninga players play Colts and our Colts have been moved up to BRL and we haven’t dropped a game in Colts.
“That is a great testament to our depth.”
Match: Capras v Cutters
Round 17 -
Venue: Marley Brown Oval, Gladstone
The Capras completed a tough drawn game against the Tigers in Rockhampton last weekend, the second drawn result of the round which was they led 8-6 at halftime before finishing the game at 20-20.
Fullback Travis Turnbull did his best to ensure the Capras went home with points to show for their efforts with two tries and two goals.
The Cutters played Townsville and lost 21-12 despite having 58% of the ball. They just could not find a way to turn that into points and will be after greater execution this week.
They missed half as many tackles as the Blackhawks and won all the other areas of the game, except on the scoreboard.
Capras coach Damien Seibold was sure that lessons would be learnt from the drawn game.
“That’s the most important thing that we understand that it was a game we should have won but we are coming away with a draw and why that happened,” Seibold said.
“The break has taken some momentum away from us; everyone had to deal with it, so we have to get better at having that break.”
Match: Seagulls v Bears
Round 17 -
Venue: Piggabeen Sports Complex, Tweed Heads
In the “battle of the beach” the Bears will take on their coastal rivals Tweed. Burleigh are still top the table, but have a Wynnum side right behind them ready to come over the top.
Tweed are just outside the top eight and this will be a game that can not only move them up in to finals contention, but also send a warning through the Hastings Deering Colts that they can mix it with the best of them.
Tweed matched it with the second placed Wynnum for much of that game and they will be keen to replicate a lot of that play again against a tough Bears side who continue to win.
Match: Devils v Magpies
Round 17 -
Venue: Bishop Park, Brisbane
Old foes the Devils and the Magpies will line up on opposite sides of the field with both teams looking to bounce back from Round 16 losses.
Norths would be acutely aware that a loss here would apply all sorts of pressure to their season after they lost to the Mustangs in the upset of the round last weekend.
Match: Tigers v Jets
Round 17 -
Venue: Langlands Park, Brisbane
Two teams that placed out draws last weekend come together at Langlands Park, with the Tigers having drawn with the Capras, while the Jets could not shake the Dolphins at North Ipswich Reserve.
The Jets made steps forward and stayed in the game longer, but the Dolphins and the Jets exchanged tries twice.
If the Jets could ask to shake one habit, it would be letting the other team strike straight back straight after they score themselves.
The Tigers will be looking to get their missed tackles down from 37 as it gave the Capras too many chances last weekend.
Match: Falcons v Mustangs
Round 17 -
Venue: Sunshine Coast Stadium, Sunshine Coast
The Mustangs are the giant killers of the competing having scored a win over Norths last week in Toowoomba. It was their second win this season and they showed plenty of courage to hold off a fast-finishing Norths.
The big win took the Mustangs off the bottom of the ladder in what would be a massive moral boost for the club.
This week though, they will have to back it up with another good performance against the Sunshine Coast who were too good for the Pride.
The Falcons are in fourth and will have to replicate their strong Round 16 showing which produced 42 tackle breaks and only 14 missed tackles in one of the most complete performances of the year.
Mustangs coach Eugene Seddon said it had been a good period for the club in recent weeks.
“It’s been a really positive few weeks for us, a one-point loss to the Pride and a win over Norths,” Seddon said.
“This is a big week for us against the Falcons ... because they are a very good team.
“Our goal will be to play well again this week and set ourselves up for a really good month after the break.
“We have a really good strength and conditioning program we have started with Steve Nance and Fitlab and I really think that it has been a catalyst for change here at the Mustangs.”