Diehards aim for four straight as finals approach

Final standings are still up for grabs across the board in the penultimate round of the In Safe Hands Cup regular season.

It wouldn’t be the In Safe Hands Cup if two weeks out from finals the make-up of the ladder was nicely settled and 2019 has delivered another thrilling finish.

Once again, punters are unsure where to place their hard earned after 18 weeks of football with the minor premiership, the final spot in the top four and the wooden spoon all in the air.

Wynnum Manly Seagulls v Redcliffe Dolphins – Saturday, August 24 at Kitchener Park - 2pm

The last spot in the finals could be decided at Kitchener Park on Saturday in this 2018 grand final rematch.

The Seagulls looked sharp last week against the Panthers with only a field goal the difference, while the Dolphins put the Magpies to the sword to become the last threat to Wynnum Manly making the top four.

Almost a year ago, both these sides were in a grand final that was decided in the last minutes and considering what is on the line this Saturday’s clash could follow the same path.

A loss for Redcliffe would bring to an end their aspirations of making their fourth straight decider, while a Seagulls win would keep the Phins alive heading into the last round.

The first time these sides met was a second half disaster for Redcliffe as they blew a 20-8 halftime lead to lose 48-20. The Phins turned it around in the Round 14 return match, winning 42-22.

Redcliffe have named a familiar line-up while Wynnum Manly are looking for a full 80 minutes after only putting 79 out there last week.

The forwards were outstanding as their backline feasted on forward momentum.

Redcliffe have to put the blinkers on and continue the ’nothing to lose’ attitude that has them every chance of banking three valuable points.

West Brisbane Panthers v Easts Tigers – Saturday, August 24 at Kev McKell Oval - 4.30pm

It is one of the best rivalries going in the In Safe Hands Cup and these sides have never disappointed when they come together.

There was carnage at Purtell Park in Round 9 when the Tigers savaged the Panthers in the first half, only for the men from the west to come home on Old Boys day to take the biscuits 24-20.

No love was lost in their next encounter at Langlands Park as the Panthers held off a relentless Easts attack to claim a 18-10 win.

Both sides have mutual respect for each other, and rarely do they come to blows, preferring to put all their efforts into smashing each other in the best and most legal way possible.

The Panthers have some players back to add to their jubilation after downing the defending premiers with a last-minute field goal last week.

Easts are looking to hold on to third place, while the Panthers are looking to wrap up the minor premiership. They’ve led for the majority of the year, but need one more win to make their first minor premiership a reality.

Souths Logan Magpies v Valleys Diehards – Sunday, August 15 at Davies Park - 11.30am

Having bowed out of finals contention with their loss last week, Souths Logan have one last quest in their remaining fixtures – be the spoilers and try to avoid the spoon.

Sunday’s mission will be to end the Diehards’ chances of top billing. The Magpies have yet to defeat the Diehards in 2019, with a 28-24 loss in Round 9 the closest they have come.

Souths were short on numbers last week as a result of injuries and Intrust Super Cup call ups and copped a hiding from an unforgiving Dolphins.

They have named some players who will make their BRL debut and enthusiasm can go a long way for players looking to get the call up in 2020.

Valleys are making their run at the right time of the season, winning their last three games after a horror third quarter.

After following their 2017 premiership with a disappointing season last year, there are hopes at Emerson Park that a second title in three years is a possibility.

While the forward pack for the Diehards are settled, their backline has had a reshuffle.

The mission is simple for the boys in blue; keep winning. However, Souths Logan are out for revenge and as Valleys are the only team they have not defeated this year, a win would be a valuable scalp and a point of pride for a side with just two games left to play.

Wynnum Manly Seagulls v Redcliffe Dolphins – Saturday, August 24, Kitchener Park, 2pm

Wynnum Manly Seagulls

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

Coach: Ron Troutman

Redcliffe Dolphins

1. Corban Daniels 2. Regan Baker3. Sam Leach 4. Josh Rudolph 5. Nathan Dawes 6. Hayden Herbert 7. Harry Smith 8. Ben King 9. Oscar Carter 10. James Taylor 11. Fabian Palatua Kiri 12. Tom Geraghty 13. Tyson Cleal 14. Leon Vaipulu 15. Logan Cox 16. Joel O’Brien 17. Zev John

Coach: Daniel Green

West Brisbane Panthers v Easts Tigers – Saturday, August 24 at Kev McKell Oval - 4.30pm

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West Brisbane Panthers

1. Kyle Van Klaveren 2. Campbell Mohr 3. Eddie Tautali 4. Luke Pollock 5. James Olds 6. Zach Strasser 7. Mackenzie Reid 8. Chris Gesch 9. Wayne Kennedy 10. Johnnie Fox 11. Troy Swift 12. Keelyn Tuuta 13. Stephen Buckley 14.  Taniela Moa 15. Jordan Brown 16. Ethan Marrinan 17. Shane Pumipi 20. Foisa Peni

Coach: Craig Ingebrigtsen & Wayne Weekes

Easts Tigers

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

Coach: Jason Di Lizio

Souths Logan Magpies v Valleys Diehards – Sunday, August 25 at Davies Park - 11.30am

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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

Valleys Diehards

1. Luke Archer 2. Matthew McCouat 3. Moses Noovao-McGreal 4. Zac Friend 5. Jonty Hansen 6. Jack Miers 7. Simon Brittain-Snowden 8. Lilomaiava Mago 9. Brad Frith 10. Jacob Kelly 11. Hiale Roycroft 12. Ethan Richards 13. Joe McGuire 14. Dylan Tavita 15. Patrick Akaoula 16. Brodie Baker 17. Owen McCarron

Coach: Craig Kennedy

Ladder

Pos Team +/- Pts
1 West Brisbane Panthers 99 46
2 Valleys Diehards 94 42
3 Easts Tigers 44 36
4 Wynnum Manly Seagulls -3 34
5 Redcliffe Dolphins -33 30
6 Souths Logan Magpies -201 28