Gulls aim to lock up finals spot against Panthers

Three rounds remain in the 2019 In Safe Hands Cup regular season and the Seagulls can secure their spot in the finals if they can defeat the Panthers this Sunday.

Currently six points clear in fourth place, the Seagulls need one win from their remaining games to qualify for the finals.

There remains a faint pulse in the veins of the Dolphins and Magpies, who go head-to-head this week.

The winning team will stay in the fight for another week if the Panthers defeat the Seagulls on Sunday.

Diehards v Tigers – Saturday, August 17 at Emerson Park - 3pm

The Diehards have returned to form thanks to back-to-back wins against the Seagulls and over the Panthers the week before.

They will be at home to the Tigers who are still licking their wounds after the Magpies ripped in against them at Rochedale last week.

The key to Easts late season winning formula had been their defence, however that was exposed by Souths Logan who produced their best 80 minutes of the year according to Pies coach Darren Ferricks.

Valleys held off the Seagulls last week with a three-man bench after an injury early in the game to the dynamic David Fauid.

Jayden Baker will move to fullback with Zac Friend moving to the centres and Blaid Pakura shifting to the right wing.

The Diehards have the backs to match the Tigers, but they also have a mobile pack of try scoring forwards. Joe McGuire, Brad Frith, Hiale Roycroft and Ethan Richards have all crossed the chalk in the last few weeks.

The Tigers have come off a week of defensive drills as they look to rediscover the defensive grit that was so important to their best form this year.

Like the Diehards, the Tigers have forwards capable of going over, plus the electric backline made up of speedsters Connor Jones and Aaron Pidcock.

It will be the benchmen that hold the key to a Tigers victory as coach Jason Di Lizio will look for an 80-minute effort from the entire 17.

Dolphins v Magpies – Saturday, August 17 at Dolphin Stadium - 4pm

Either the Dolphins or Magpies will make season ending plans at the conclusion of this contest on Saturday.

The Dolphins had a found a purple patch after three straight wins, but with losses in their last two games their campaign is now on its last legs.

The Magpies, on the other hand, looked to have run out of steam until last week’s massive win over the Tigers revived their sleight chances.

Souths Logan have beaten every team this year other than the Diehards so they are more than capable of taking the three points.

Redcliffe will be at home and are motivated by the keeping alive their hopes of featuring in a fourth straight grand final.

Magpies also have their own Holy Grail as they look to make the In Safe Hands Cup semi-finals for the first time.

The match ups across the park are too close to call. The halves contest of Souths Logan’s Hayden O’Hara and Josh Bowyer up against Regan Baker and Hayden Herbert is a ripper as is the battle of the number nines.

With so much on the line this will be an epic, semi-final, sudden death football game that will go down to the wire.

Seagulls v Panthers – Sunday, August 18 at BMD Kougari Oval - 3.45pm

West Brisbane flexed its muscle last week after a month of form that co-coaches Wayne Weekes and Craig Ingebrigtsen have been less than happy with.

After a courageous effort to hold off the Tigers in Round 14, the Panthers have stumbled - they only just got home against the Magpies and were found wanting against neighbours Valleys.

The Panthers have been guilty of late season form slumps in previous years, however, they found their winning feat against the Dolphins last week in what might prove to be a pivotal performance.

The Seagulls, after destroying the Magpies in the second 40 in Round 16, couldn’t put the knockout blow on the Diehards who outlasted them at Emerson Park last week.

The Panthers have named a 20-man squad with some noticeable changes to that winning side form last week as Luke Sanderson and Josh Speer named to debut and Khan Ahwang moving to prop.

While the backline remains intact, noticeable omissions include Troy Swift, Michael Molo and Tommy Butterfield.

Defending premiers Wynnum Manly looked to have their season on track after a stylish second half against Souths Logan two weeks ago, but couldn’t go the full 12 rounds with the Diehards.

The Seagulls have a huge pack and opposing sides have avoided the middle and gone wide to conjure wins with the edges being targeted in defence lately.

Wynnum Manly have the go forward of Semisi Ahoafi, Sam Elliott and Corey Davis, plus the try hungry Orisi Qaaraniqio ready to come off the bench. The inclusion of Lucky Taavale adds even more muscle to the engine room.

Edwin Ipape and Rahdly Brawa are in the starting 13 and will be out to impress the PNG Hunters who will be looking on after taking on the Gulls in the Intrust Super Cup game played earlier.

* Main image courtesy of Wynnum Manly Seagulls

In Safe Hands Cup Round 18 team lists

Valleys Diehards v Easts Tigers – Saturday, August 17 at Emerson Park - 3pm

#DiehardsTV LIVE

Valleys Diehards

1. Jayden Baker 2. Blaid Pakura 3. Zac Friend 4. Sam Collins 5. Luke Archer 6. Kobe hetherington 7. Simon Brittain-Snowden 8. Lilomaiava Mago 9. Jack Miers 10. Hiale Roycroft 11. Moses Noovao-McGreal 12. Ethan Richards 13. Joe McGuire 14. Brad Frith 15. Patrick Akaoula 16. Jacob Kelly 17. Brodie Baker

Coach: Craig Kennedy

Easts Tigers

1. Brandon Downey 2. Connor Jones 3. Keenan Yorston 4. Max Fesolai 5. Aaron Pidcock 6. Zak Taibi 7. Nathan Brown 8. Tyrone Amey 9. Jack Walters 10. Jaiyden Hunt 11. Jack Peoples 12. Justin Fai 13. Jesse Uhlmann 14. Haydin Elsebach 15. Lachlan Barr 16 Will Samuel 17. Ash Harawira-Naera

Coach: Jason Di Lizio

Redcliffe Dolphins v Souths Logan Magpies – Saturday, August 17 at Dolphin Oval - 4pm

Redcliffe Dolphins

1. Corban Daniels 2. Will Partridge 3. Sam Leach 4. Josh Rudolph 5. Nathan Dawes 6. Hayden Herbert 7. Regan Baker 8. Ben King 9. Oscar Carter 10. James Taylor 11. Scott Schultz 12. James Flack 13. Tyson Cleal 14. Leon Vaipulu 15. Joel O’ Brien 16. Fabian Palatua Kiri 17. Zev John

Coach: Daniel Green

Souths Logan Magpies

1. Brandon Roberts 2. Brant Quinn 3. Lenny Magey 4. Shaquille Gafa 5. Jethro Tessman 6. Haydn O’Hara 7. Josh Bowyer 8. Harrison Muller 9. Savarn Tahere 10. Jerome Veve 11. Cameron Booth 12. Jacob Alick 13. Phil Dennis 14. Goodbrey Cooper 15. Jayde Williams 16. Shaun Hoerler 17. Kobe Tararo

Coach: Darren Ferricks

Wynnum Manly Seagulls v West Brisbane Panthers – Sunday, August 18 at BMD Kougari Oval - 3.45pm

#BRLTV Livestream

Wynnum Manly Seagulls

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

Coach: Ron Troutman

West Brisbane Panthers

1. Kyle Van Klaveren 2. Campbell Mohr 3. Eddie Tautali 4. Luke Polluck 5. James Olds 6. Zach Strasser 7.  Joe Bond 8. Chris Gesch 9. Mackenzie Reid 10. Kahn Awang 11. Keelyn Tuuta 12. Michael Egan 13. Jordan Brown 14. Luke Sanderson 15. Ethan Marrinan 16. Stephen Buckley 17. Shane Pumipi 18. Johnnie Fox 19. Josh Speer 20. Foisa Peni (three to be omitted)

Coach: Craig Ingebrigtsen and Wayne Weekes