The popular ‘Get in the Game’ Country Week round has arrived with five Queensland towns set to welcome the Intrust Super Cup into their communities for the first time this weekend.
Nanango, Pittsworth, Cloncurry, Thursday Island and Ilfracombe are all about to get their first taste of Queensland’s premier statewide competition.
Presented by BHP, the round will also feature a historic game between the PNG Hunters and Easts Tigers in Wabag, Papua New Guinea.
The television broadcast will be on Channel 9 on Sunday, with ladder leaders Sunshine Coast Falcons facing off with fifth-placed Norths Devils in Nanango. The broadcast will begin at 1pm with kick off at 1.10pm.
Below are the 'stats that matter' for each match up in Round 18 – thanks to Brad Tallon.
PNG Hunters v Easts Tigers
Aipus Oval, Wabag on Saturday, July 20 at 2pm
Head-to-head: Easts 4 PNG 3 Drawn 1
Twitter: #IntrustSuperCup #PNGvTIGES
Tipping % via QRL Tipping: PNG 13% Tigers 87%
The PNG Hunters and Easts Tigers kick off the special round, with the Hunters having arrived in Wabag yesterday to take part in a number of community activities including primary school and hospital visits. They will also take part in coaching and referee clinics at Aipus Oval. Game day curtain raisers include under 14 boys and under 18 open girls matches.
- In Round 4 this year, Easts powered their way to a 30-14 win over PNG at Langlands Park
- The Hunters have lost their past three games, with their 60-6 defeat to the Sunshine Coast last weekend their biggest ever Cup loss
- Tigers flyer Jarrod McInally has now scored 92 Cup tries, only three short of teammate Shane Neumann and Shane Perry on 95 (both ninth overall)
- Hunters star Ase Boas requires three more points to bring up 500
Tweed Seagulls v CQ Capras
Wayne Taylor Oval, Ilfracombe on Saturday, July 20 at 6pm
Head-to-head: Tweed 24 Central 7 Drawn 1
Twitter: #IntrustSuperCup #TWEEDvCQC
Tipping % via QRL Tipping: Tweed 95% Capras 5%
NRL Game Development staff have arrived early in Ilfracombe to deliver a number of fun coaching clinics for club and school participants. Both teams will share in a community dinner before game day; which is set to be a huge day of rugby league at Wayne Taylor Oval.
- These two teams last met in Round 4, where Tweed prevailed 26-12 at Browne Park
- Tweed have won the last three, and 15 of the past 16, between these two teams in a dominant head-to-head record
- Central have not had a win in their last 16 games (one draw), but there were promising signs in their narrow loss to Mackay last weekend
- Tweed will need to lift after dropping their past five matches in a worrying sign for coach Ben Woolf
- In a boost for Tweed, Gold Coast Titans' Ash Taylor will line up in Ilfracombe
Northern Pride v Ipswich Jets
Ken Brown Oval, Thursday Island on Saturday, July 20 at 6pm
Head-to-head: Ipswich 13 Pride 12 Drawn 1
Twitter: #IntrustSuperCup #PRIDEvJETS
Tipping % via QRL Tipping: Pride 19% Jets 81%
Thursday Island will provide a spectacular setting for this historic clash. Pride and NRL Game Development staff have been delivering clinics since the start of the week across Horn Island, Badu Island and Thursday Island. Both teams arrive on Friday and will attend a community fun run to help in the fight against diabetes. They will also attend a welcome dinner on Friday to prepare for a big day on Saturday which will see Zenadth Kes junior challenge games played, as well as the Skytrans North Queensland United v Queensland Outback game.
- Ipswich took the points in their first encounter earlier this year with a strong 28-16 victory over the Pride at North Ipswich
- These two teams played in Country week last year with the Pride winning 34-24 in Cooktown (Ethan Lowe, who made his State of Origin debut for the Queensland Maroons in Game III, played for the Pride in that match)
- Jets star Marmin Barba requires nine more points to bring up 600 in the Cup
- Pride players Shawn Bowen (shoulder charge) and Matt Laumea (striking) will both miss the match due to suspension
Redcliffe Dolphins v Souths Logan Magpies
Short Street, Pittsworth on Saturday, July 20 at 6.30pm
Head-to-head: Redcliffe 33 Souths Logan 11 Drawn 1
Twitter: #IntrustSuperCup #PHINSvSLM
Tipping % via QRL Tipping: Redcliffe 94% Magpies 6%
Pittsworth has already received a visit from Clinton Toopi who delivered a State of Mind presentation, with Dolphins, Magpies and NRL Game Development staff also facilitating junior clinics in the lead up to the weekend. On Saturday, the Pittsworth Danes and Highfields Eagles under 18, reserve grade and A grade will warm up the crowd before the Cup game.
- The Dolphins snatched victory with a thrilling 19-18 result over the Magpies in their first encounter earlier this season
- Redcliffe have won four of the last five games between these two sides
- After a slow start to their premiership defence, the Dolphins are on the way up with four consecutive wins
- Matt Soper-Lawler last week became the first Souths Logan player to score four tries in a Cup match after Magpies players had previously scored 27 hat-tricks since 1996 – he is now only three tries short of the club's season record of 19 set by Quentin Laulu-Togagae in 2008
- This will be the 50th Cup game for Redcliffe’s Hugh Pratt
Wynnum Manly Seagulls v Mackay Cutters
The Eddie Lee Field, Cloncurry on Saturday, July 20 at 7pm
Head-to-head: Wynnum 11 Mackay 11
Twitter: #IntrustSuperCup #WYMvMC
Tipping % via QRL Tipping: Wynnum 96% Cutters 4%
A cyber security information course, coaching clinics and League Stars introductory sessions have all been taking place in the lead up to the main event on Saturday. NRL Game Development staff will facilitate a girls tackle gala and various modified games. On Saturday, Seagulls coach Adam Brideson and Cutters coach Steve Sheppard will provide a coaching update, while Cloncurry and Town juniors face off in a number of curtain raiser games.
- Wynnum Manly edged out Mackay 16-8 earlier this season
- Wynnum Manly have won the past two games between these sides
- Patrick Templeman landed his 100th Cup goal last weekend – he needs one more to kick 100 for Wynnum Manly
- Mackay speedster and former Jets premiership-winning fullback Carlin Anderson requires two more points to bring up 700 in the Intrust Super Cup
- Anderson scored two tries in Mackay’s tight win over the CQ Capras last weekend
Sunshine Coast Falcons v Norths Devils
Bernie and John Cronin Memorial, Nanango on Sunday, July 21 at 1.10pm* LIVE on Channel 9
Head-to-head: Norths 11 Sunshine Coast 8
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SCFvDEVILS
Tipping % via QRL Tipping: Sunshine Coast 95% Devils 5%
School visits are the order of the week at Nanango, with NRL Game Development and Queensland Police staff helping to promote reading. There will also be clinics and player and coach development sessions held, as well as a special combined junior training session featuring both Intrust Super Cup teams. On Sunday, there will be a number of junior and women’s games taking place in a big celebration of rugby league.
- Sunshine Coast got the job done to the tune of 32-20 in their first encounter with Norths this year.
- The in-form Falcons have won five of the last six games between these two sides
- Todd Murphy (782) is now the 10th highest scorer in Cup history, last week leapfrogging Jamal Fogarty (779). Murphy kicked his 300th Cup goal last weekend, and requires one more goal to bring up 100 for the Falcons
- The Sunshine Coast’s Jon Reuben (17) is now only two tries short of the club's season record of 19 set by Ryley Jacks in 2016
- This will be the 100th game for Intrust Super Cup referee Nick Pelgrave who will be assisted by Jacob Whitehouse for this game. See all the referee appointments for the weekend here.
Townsville Blackhawks v Burleigh Bears
AR ‘Artie’ Gofton Oval, Ingham on Sunday, July 21 at 2pm
Head-to-head: Townsville 4 Burleigh 4 Drawn 1
Twitter: #IntrustSuperCup #TSVBvBEARS
Tipping % via QRL Tipping: Townsville 46% Bears 54%
League Tag Come and Try, coaching updates, Girls Come and Try, State of Mind sessions and junior gala events will all take place as Ingham gears up for Sunday’s game. Game day will see Herbert River Crushers and Charters Towers Miners face off in a number of matches scheduled during the day. This will be just the second Cup game played in Ingham following the 2004 clash between the Young Guns and Burleigh.
- In their Round 4 clash, Townsville won a fiery contest 16-10
- Both sides have won their last five games and are on a roll heading into the finals
- Burleigh have won 12 of their last 13 games
- Jimmy Lenihan moves to third all-time in the number of Cup games coached (210th), passing Burleigh club great Rick Stone
- Jamal Fogarty requires two more points to bring up 600 for Burleigh and three more goals to bring up 250 for Burleigh
- This will be the 50th match for Townsville forward Dan Beasley; and his 85th overall (Norths/Mackay/Townsville)
- The Herbert River Crushers, who are hosting the clubs this weekend, have had a one-off jersey made for the occasion that incorporates both the Blackhawks and Crushers colours. They have put together an online auction for 14 of the jerseys. All will be signed by the Blackhawks players who wear them.
** NOTE: The livestreams linked in this preview are not official QRL productions unless stated