Tigers and Seagulls battle to wrap up finals place

Four teams are fighting for the last two places in the In Safe Hands Cup finals series as the competition resumes this weekend for Round 15.

Six rounds remain in the regular season and only the West Brisbane Panthers and Valleys Diehards are certain to be there for the finals.

The Magpies and Dolphins sit outside the top four and the equation is a simple one. One more loss and their seasons are over.

A total of 40 competition points are the most that both clubs can amass, leaving the Tigers and the Seagulls, both on 28, requiring three wins from the six fixtures to secure a finals berth.

Wynnum Manly Seagulls v Easts Tigers – Saturday, July 27 at Kitchener Park, 2pm

The Seagulls have only won one of their past five games, while the Tigers had won four in a row before going down to the Panthers two weeks ago. The last time they clashed, Easts shut the Seagulls out 34-0 at BMD Kougari Oval.

Seagulls Colts player of the Year in 2018 Shannon Gardiner has been named to make his debut at fullback, with Matt Milson moving to the halves to partner Edwin Ipape. Veteran John Te Reo returns via the bench.

Skipper Semisi Ahoafi also returns from injury while Lachlan Perry has been named after an outstanding game in Cloncurry for the Seagulls in the Intrust Super Cup.

Wynnum Manly are not short on big men and the bench itself will have a bow in it with the likes of Brad Mana and James Robinson biding their time for inclusion to the fray.

Easts have a pack that has intimidating size as well; Lachlan Barr, in particular, has destroyed opposition defensive lines of late.

Barr was rewarded with a try against the Panthers and will be out to trod on some Seagulls to prove it wasn’t a fluke.

Barr is joined by another damaging forward, Anthony Cheng, who has no regard for his own safety as he throws himself at ball carriers hell bent on destruction.

While no doubt out of form, the Seagulls are the defending premiers and they will be looking to rediscover their early season mojo and get their title defence back on track, while the Tigers are out to score another win and separate themselves from the chasing pack in the run home.

Redcliffe Dolphins v Valleys Diehards – Saturday, July 27 at Matheson Oval, 5.30pm

Last year’s minor premiers, Redcliffe, have left it late, but are finally on the march back up the ladder.

They put in a near-perfect performance at Dolphin Stadium last start against the Seagulls to go back-to-back for the first time this season. Bryce Donovan was outstanding as was forward Zev John and hooker Oscar Carter.

Coach Daniel Green has his side humming along nicely and with nothing to lose they could quite easily go three in a row.

They face the unpredictable Valleys who got back in the winner’s circle after taking down the Magpies 52-18 in their last appearance.

Diehards coach Craig Kennedy has been scrambling for numbers and he will take confidence out of their last win with a side only finalised on game day. He is faced with a similar story this week, naming only 15.

He will start firebrand Joe McGuire at lock and will look for him to find his outstanding early season form. With ‘Mister 80-minutes’ Jacob Kelly at his side in the second row, McGuire and his Diehards are looking to hold on to second place against a desperate Redcliffe playing for their season.

Souths Logan Magpies v West Brisbane Panthers – Sunday, July 28 at Davies Park, 2.50pm

The Panthers are out to turn the tables on Souths Logan after the Magpies took the win 38-22 in their last meeting.

West Brisbane were blown away in the first half that day but came out strong in the early part of the second half, only for the Magpies to stand tall and deny a Panthers win.

A good win over Easts in their last start ensured that Wests remain competition leaders, while Souths Logan have lost their way of late, largely through player promotion and injury.

Wests have named an almost unchanged 17 with the loss of Troy Swift the only change.

Souths Logan have a few changes but it’s a path well-travelled for the Magpies. Coach Darren Ferricks has the nucleus of the team to draw from and will fancy his chances against the Panthers again.

Lane Ferling’s kicking game will add a new dimension as the crafty halfback will look to turn the mud and blood forwards around.

The battle of the halves will be the show stealer in this Sunday outing, with Pies Lane Ferling and Hayden O’Hara playing mind games with the Panthers playmakers Tommy Butterfield and Joe Bond.

One thing is for certain, if the Panthers are again behind at half time the change room walls will be in for another ‘memorable’ Craig Ingebrigtsen sermon.

In Safe Hands Cup Round 15 team lists

Wynnum Manly Seagulls v Easts Tigers – Saturday, July 27 at Kitchener Park, 2.00pm

Wynnum Manly Seagulls

1. Shannon Gardiner 2. Elliot Vincent 3. Harlan Collins 4. Dredin Sorensen - McGee 5. Rashaun Denny 6. Matt Milson 7. Edwin Ipape 8. Semisi Ahoafi 9. Corey Davis 10. Jacob Paulo 11. Lachlan Perry 12. Sam Elliott 13. Rahdly Brawa 14. John Te Reo 15. James Robinson 16. Brad Mana 17. Orisi Qaaraniqio

Coach: Ron Troutman

Easts Tigers

1. Brandon Downey 2. Curtis Dansey-Smaller 3. Keenan Yorston 4. Zak Taibi 5. Aaron Pidcock 6. Dray Ngatuere-Wroe 7. Josh Curti 8. Heath Wilson 9. Hayden Elsebach 10. Jaiyden Hunt 11. Jack Peoples 12. Tevita Wolske 13. Jesse Uhlmann 14. Justin Fai 15. Lachlan Barr 16, Ash Harawira-Naera 17. Anthony Cheng

Coach: Jason Di Lizio

Redcliffe Dolphins v Valleys Diehards – Saturday, July 27 at Matheson Oval, 5.30pm

Redcliffe Dolphins

1. Bryce Donavan 2. Will Partridge 3. Corban Daniels 4. Josh Rudolph 5. Regan Baker 6. Hayden Herbert 7. Kyle Foxwell 8. Ben King 9. Oscar Carter 10. Zev John 11. Faitotoa Faitotoa 12.  Fabian Palatua Kiri 13. Patrick O’ Callaghan 14. Leon Vaipulu 15. Brayden Dee 16. Joel O’Brien 17. Tevita Mapapalangi

Coach: Daniel Green

Valleys Diehards

1. Luke Archer 2. Fruen Easthope 3. TBA 4. Sam Collins 5. Jonty Hansen 6. TBA 7. Simon Brittain-Snowden 8. Lilomaiava Mago 9. Brad Frith 10. Jacob Kelly 11. Moses Noovao-McGreal 12. Ethan Richards 13. Joe McGuire 14. Dylan Tavita 15. Patrick Akaoula 16. Hiale Roycroft 17.Brodie Baker

Coach: Craig Kennedy

Souths Logan Magpies v West Brisbane Panthers – Sunday, July 28 at Davies Park, 2.50pm

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Souths Logan Magpies

1. Josh Bowyer 2. Jethro Tessman 3. Lenny Magey 4. Vesi Sa’u 5. Jayde Williams 6. Haydn O’Hara 7. Lane Ferling 8. Harrison Muller 9. Blake Scott 10. Kobe Tararo 11. Cameron Booth 12. Jacob Alick 13. Phil Dennis 14. Jayden Thompson 15. Jerome Veve 16. Shaun Hoeler 17. Zac

Walsh Coach: Darren Ferricks

West Brisbane Panthers

1. Kyle Van Klaveren 2. Campbell Mohr 3. Eddie Tautali 4. Kahn Ahwang 5. James Olds 6. Joe Bond 7. Tommy Butterfield 8. Michael Molo 9. Mackenzie Reid 10. Stephen Buckley 11. Keelyn Tuuta 12. Michael Egan 13. Jordan Brown 15. Taniela Moa 16. Evander Cummins 17. Shane Pumipi 20. Foisa Peni

Coach: Craig Ingebrigtsen & Wayne Weekes

Ladder

Pos Team +/- Pts
1 West Brisbane Panthers 78 36
2 Valleys Diehards 86 32
3 Easts Tigers 66 28
4 Wynnum Manly Seagulls -6 28
5 Redcliffe Dolphins -77 22
6 Souths Logan Magpies -147 22