Valleys clash with ladder leaders as finals approach

The last home-and-away round of the 2019 In Safe Hands Cup begins this week with just five weeks left until the semi-finals.

Only the ladder-leading Panthers have guaranteed their place in the finals, with Valleys needing just one more win to book their place.

The Magpies cannot afford anymore losses and the Dolphins are coming home strong and pushing for a spot in the top four.

Souths Logan Magpies v Wynnum Manly Seagulls – Saturday, August 3 at Greenbank Sports Complex - 3pm

A desperate Souths Logan came close to notching back-to-back wins against the Panthers, going down by just two points after Wests scored in the 75th minute last week.

It was a crucial loss, as Souths mathematically can still make the four, but would need to win all their remaining games first and rely on other results.

They come up against a side out of form and down on confidence, suggesting the Magpies could well take the win and stay alive for another week.

The Seagulls haven’t won since defeating the Magpies 40-18 in Round 11, have leaked 130 points in five games. Another loss this weekend would be their fifth straight.

Souths have the in-form Hayden O’Hara and Lane Ferling in the halves and the same starting pack led by the dynamic number nine Bake Scott.

A no-nonsense forward pack will test the Seagulls’ big men and if they take that battle, the Magpies backs could be in for some chalk crossing.

If Wynnum Manly are to defend their title, they must return to the winner’s circle soon.

John Te Reo returns to the run on side as well as playmaker Tristan Hope and it will be those two that coach Ron Troutman will look to in order to get the Seagulls back on course.

With Redcliffe nipping at the Gulls talons for fourth place, Wynnum Manly cannot afford another loss.

Easts Tigers v Redcliffe Dolphins – Saturday, August 3 at Langlands Park - 1pm

Easts bounced back from a Round 14 slug-a-thon against the Panthers to run out eventual winners against the Seagulls last weekend.

While Tigers coach Jason Di Lizio described the win as ugly, it was a win that has them challenging the Diehards for second place.

However, they come up against a pod of Dolphins who look more like a pack of bloodthirsty sharks, given recent form.

Redcliffe have won their last three games comprehensively and their ‘nothing to lose’ attitude has been paying off.

On their quest for a fourth straight grand final, Redcliffe are well aware a loss will drastically reduce their finals chances.

The Tigers have some backrowers that will look to do a Mick Fanning on the shark-like Dolphins, with the punch of Heath Wilson, Lachlan Barr and John Puna in particular lining up for a shot.

Add the try scoring hunger of Curtis Dansey-Smaller and Zak Taibi out wide and Easts could well throw a spanner in the works of Redcliffe’s pilgrimage to the finals.

West Brisbane Panthers v Valleys Diehards – Saturday, August 3 at Kev McKell Oval - 4.30pm

Six points clear at the top of the ladder, the Panthers are coming off two titanic struggles in the last two rounds against the Tigers and the Magpies.

Whether that gives Valleys a better chance to repeat the 36-12 win they notched against the Panthers in Round 1 remains to be seen, as the Diehards have had an inconsistent season despite managing to hang on to second place on the ladder.

They will look to reverse the form of last week when the Dolphins mauled the men in blue, 40-16.

For the first time in three rounds, Valleys coach Craig Kennedy has named a complete 17, including game-changer Jack Miers.

The forward pack of Valleys will need to roll up their sleeves if they are to create any opportunities for a backline that also features the return of Sam Collins.

A loss to the Diehards would open the door for the Tigers to join then in second place on the ladder.

West Brisbane, meanwhile, are a step closer to their first minor premiership after holding off the Magpies last Sunday.

Joe Bond returns to the starting side to join Tommy Butterfield in the halves, pushing Khan Ahwang into the centres to replace Luke Pollock. Michael Egan also comes back, and the Panthers may have enough fresh legs to keep the Diehards at bay.

In Safe Hands Cup Round 16 team lists

Easts Tigers v Redcliffe Dolphins – Saturday, August 3 at Langlands Park - 1pm

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Easts Tigers

1. Brandon Downey 2. Curtis Dansey-Smaller 3. Keenan Yorston 4. Zak Taibi 5. Aaron Pidcock 6. Nathan Brown 7. Josh Curti 8. Tyrone Amey 9. Haydin Elsebach 10. John Puna 11. Jack Peoples 12. Tevita Wolske 13. Jaiyden Hunt 14. Jesse Uhlmann 15. Lachlan Barr 16. Justin Fai 17. Heath Wilson

Coach: Jason Di Lizio

Redcliffe Dolphins

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

Coach: Daniel Green

Souths Logan Magpies v Wynnum Manly Seagulls – Saturday, August 3 at Greenbank Sports Complex - 3pm

Souths Logan Magpies

1. Josh Bowyer 2. Brendon Roberts 3. Lenny Magey 4. Vesi Sa’u 5. Thane Kellermyer 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. Shaun Anderson 15. Jerome Veve 16. Mahpala Ah Chong 17. Savarn Tahere

Coach: Darren Ferricks

Wynnum Manly Seagulls

1. Matt Milson 2. James O’Toole 3. Moses Pangai 4. Rashaun Denny 5. Harlan Collins 6. John Te Reo 7. Edwin Ipape 8. Jacob Paulo 9. Tristan Hope 10. Semisi Ahoafi 11. Brad Mana 12. Sam Elliott 13. Rahdly Brawa 14. Reece McKenzie – O’Brien 15. Corey Davis 16. Zane Holleran 17. Orisi Qaaraniqio

Coach: Ron Troutman

West Brisbane Panthers v Valleys Diehards – Saturday, August 3 at Kev McKell Oval - 4.30pm

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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 and Wayne Weekes

Valleys Diehards

1. Luke Archer 2. Fruen Easthope 3. Jack Paterson 4. Sam Collins 5. Jonty Hansen 6. Brad Frith 7. Dylan Tavita 8. Lilomaiava Mago 9. Jack Miers 10. Hiale Roycroft 11. Joe Bradley 12. Ethan Richards 13. Moses Noovao-McGreal 14. Zac Friend 15. Joe McGuire 16. Patrick Akaoula 17. Jacob Kelly 18. Sosefo Filipine – (one to be omitted)

Coach: Craig Kennedy

Ladder

Pos Team +/- Pts
1 West Brisbane Panthers 80 39
2 Valleys Diehards 62 33
3 Easts Tigers 78 31
4 Wynnum Manly Seagulls -18 29
5 Redcliffe Dolphins -53 25
6 Souths Logan Magpies -149 23