After an action-packed 22 rounds, the last regular round of the season has arrived.
Clubs not featuring in the finals will be hoping to snag upsets wins, send favourite team mates out on a high and set the platform for a successful 2020; while those in the playoffs will want nothing less than a momentum-building win in their last games before the finals.
One of the most important rounds in the season, it highlights the issue of mental health and wellbeing in all statewide competitions participants and beyond, and its also reinforces the message of mateship over the off season.
Below are the ‘Stats that Matter’ for each match up in Round 23 – thanks to Brad Tallon.
Match: Tigers v Blackhawks
Round 23 -
Venue: Langlands Park, Brisbane
Easts Tigers v Townsville Blackhawks
Langlands Park on Saturday, August 31 – 3pm
Head-to-Head: Townsville 4 Easts 3 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TIGESvTSVB
Tipping % - via QRL Tipping: Easts 20% Blackhawks 80%
Livestream: TIGER TV
- Experienced centre Shane Neumann has been named to play his 200th Cup game this weekend. Neumann – who previously played with the Sunshine Coast and won a premiership with them under the Sea Eagles name – will become the 18th player to achieve this feat. He is also ninth on the list of all-time top try scorer with 96.
- The Tigers come into this game with a poor recent run of form – they have one win and a draw from their past eight games.
- The Blackhawks have won the past two games played against Easts (including in Round 11 at Jack Manski Oval 30-6) – however Easts have two wins and a draw from the three games between these two sides at Langlands.
- They will want to snap their recent record at home however which has seen them lost their past three and four of their past five home games.
- Townsville have won three of their last four away games.
- In team news, there has been speculation that Storm half Brodie Croft – who was rested by his NRL club last weekend – may make an appearance for the Tigers as he is listed as a reserve on the Melbourne line-up.
Match: Seagulls v Pride
Round 23 -
Venue: Piggabeen Sports Complex, Tweed Heads
Tweed Seagulls v Northern Pride
Piggabeen Sports Complex on Saturday, August 31
Head-to-Head: Pride 12 Tweed 11 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TWEEDvPRIDE
Tipping % - via QRL Tipping: Tweed 94% Pride 6%
- The Tweed Seagulls are celebrating the fact they will play in their first finals series since 2014 and are putting on a family fun day to celebrate.
- In the head-to-head stakes, the clubs are even – however, the Seagulls has two wins and a draw form the past three games between the two sides.
- Tweed have won their past three, and four of their past five games.
- Tweed have won five of their past seven home games, while Pride have lost their past nine away games.
- The Pride's win last round against the Tigers was their first in seven games.
- There plenty of milestones being reached in this game, with Pride forward leader David Murphy (who previously played with Easts Tigers) named to feature in his 100th Intrust Super Cup game.
- This is set to be Murphy's last Cup game after he announced his retirement alongside fellow leader Tom Hancock.
- Tweed forward Will Matthews has been named to play in his 50th Cup game.
- Congratulations as well to Tim Rutherford who will officiate his 150th Intrust Super Cup game this weekend. Rutherford debuted as a Cup referee in 2011 and becomes the sixth referee to achieve this honour.
Match: Dolphins v Cutters
Round 23 -
Venue: Dolphin Stadium, Brisbane
Redcliffe Dolphins v Mackay Cutters
Dolphin Stadium on Saturday, August 31 – 6pm
Head-to-Head: Redcliffe 11 Mackay 9 Drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PHINSvMC
Tipping % - via QRL Tipping: Phins 95% Cutters 5%
- The Dolphins have hit a purple patch of form and will be a formidable opponent come finals time.
- Redcliffe have won eight of their past nine games – and are in good form at home as well, having won their past five and six of their past seven games at Dolphin Stadium.
- They have three wins a draw from the past four games played between the two sides at Dolphin Stadium as well.
- However, the last time the sides met in Round 11, Mackay scored an upset 16-12 win at Stadium Mackay, the first time they had won in seven against the Dolphins.
- In a remarkable stat, Mackay back Yamba Bowie will make it three seasons in a row where he has not missed a game. Only eight other players in Cup history have achieved three consecutive seasons without missing a match. No player has played four consecutively.
Match: Capras v Bears
Round 23 -
Venue: Browne Park, Rockhampton
CQ Capras v Burleigh Bears
Browne Park on Saturday, August 31 – 6pm
Head-to-Head: Burleigh 35 Central 10
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #CQCvBEARS
Tipping % - via QRL Tipping: Capras 6% Bears 94%
Livestream: Capras TV
- The Bears are set to travel to Rockhampton with team that has been struck hard by injuries (Jack Buchanan, Jeff Lynch and Troy Leo) and suspension (Sami Sauiluma) following a bruising encounter against the Sunshine Coast Falcons last weekend. If he was to play, it would be Lynch’s 50th game for the Bears (which includes the National State Championship game).
- While the Burleigh have won the past four, and five of the past six games against the Capras, they have hit a blimp on the road in recent times and have lost three of their past five away games.
- The Capras will be looking to claim their last chance to add to their tally of one win and a draw this season – they have gone 21 games without a win (includes their draw). Their worst ever losing streak was 22 in 2015.
- In their favour, CQ have won four of the past five and six of the past eight games against Burleigh when played at Browne Park – however, they have lost all seven games at Browne Park this year.
Ben Walker's final game as coach at North Ipswich Reserve
Match: Falcons v Jets
Round 23 -
Venue: Sunshine Coast Stadium, Sunshine Coast
Sunshine Coast Falcons v Ipswich Jets
Sunshine Coast Stadium on Sunday, September 1 – 1.10pm (Live on 9Gem)
Head-to-Head: Ipswich 13 Sunshine Coast 6 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SCFvJETS
Tipping % - via QRL Tipping: Falcons 95% Jets 5%
- There are milestones aplenty in this match – with both sides celebrating key achievements.
- Ipswich co-coaches Ben Walker and Shane Walker overtake Wayne Treleaven (Wests / Norths - 218 games) for the most games coached in Cup history. The brothers have 120 wins, seven draws and 91 losses to date.
- Jets skipper Nat Neale will become the fourth at his club to play 150 games, joining Dan Coburn, Tyson Lofipo and Brendon Marshall. He is 72nd player to play this many games in the competition.
- It will also be the 100th game for Ipswich for Richard Pandia (includes his appearance in Ipswich’s win in the National State Championship) and his 99th Intrust Super Cup game.
- The Falcons – who defeated the Jets 62-8 in Round 11 – now have the most wins in a regular season with 21. The previous record of 20 was jointly held by Tweed in 2011 and Pride in 2014.
- They currently have equal least losses in a regular season with one alongside Toowoomba (2001) and Tweed (2011).
- The Falcons currently have the least average points scored against them in a regular season with 12.0. They will retain this record as long as Ipswich score fewer than 32 against them.
- The Jets will be hoping to spring an upset as they have won five of the past six games they have played against them at Sunshine Coast Stadium. However, the Falcons have won 15 of their last 17 games at the venue.
- In a frustrating stat for Jets fans, Ipswich's past nine games have been decided by 10 points or less. They have won three and lost six of them. Five of the losses were by six points or less.
Match: WM Seagulls v Devils
Round 23 -
Venue: BMD Kougari Oval, Brisbane
Wynnum Manly Seagulls v Norths Devils
BMD Kougari Oval on Sunday, September 1 – 2pm
Head-to-Head: Wynnum 25 Norths 19 Drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #WYNvDEVILS
Tipping % - via QRL Tipping: Wynnum 86% Norths 14%
Livestream: Seagulls TV
- Devils flyer Herbie Farnworth is back in the side this weekend and requires two more tries to equal the club’s Cup season try-scoring record of 21 set by Derek Fletcher in 2004.
- In what shapes as a classic matchup, Norths have won their past four away games (excluding their ‘Get in the Game’ Country Week to the Sunshine Coast at Nanango) and have also won their past four games.
- The Wynnum Manly Seagulls have not only won four of their past five games, they have also won the past three, and four of the past five games against Norths.
- They have also won the past eight games against the Devils when played at BMD Kougari Oval and they have been strong in general at home, winning their past four and nine of their past 10 games there.
- Queensland Under 18 representative Reece Hoffman made his Intrust Super Cup debut in last weekend and has again been named for the Gulls in the centres.
Match: Magpies v Hunters
Round 23 -
Venue: Davies Park, Brisbane
Souths Logan Magpies v PNG Hunters
Davies Park on Sunday, September 1 – 3.05pm
Head-to-Head: PNG 10 Souths Logan 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SLMvPNG
Tipping % - via QRL Tipping: Souths 93% PNG 7%
- The Hunters hold a dominant record against the Magpies and will be aiming to add to their win tally of three when they travel to Davis Park on Sunday.
- The Hunters picked up a close 24-22 win in their last encounter bouncing back from their loss at home against the Magpies in 2018 – their only loss so far to the side.
- Currently experiencing their worst ever run without a win, PNG have recorded seven losses and a draw in their past eight games.
- Having won all five games against the Magpies at Davies Park, the Hunters will be hoping to keep their record intact; however, the Magpies have claimed four wins in their past six games and have been in good form to end the season.
- Magpies forward Shaun Fensom has been called into the Broncos squad as part of an extended bench after forward Joe Ofahengaue was ruled out of the game against the Eels with a leg injury.
*Statistics by Brad Tallon
**NOTE: The livestreams linked in this preview are not official QRL productions unless stated