The off-season seemed to go forever, but finally the time has arrived – Round 1 is here and there are some enticing match ups in store to boot!
Round 1 kicks off with rivals Ipswich Jets hosting a Townsville Blackhawks side brimming with talent; while Sunday’s televised match up will see last year’s title holders the Burleigh Bears at home against their grand final opponents Wynnum Manly Seagulls.
Bring on the football!
And don't forget to put in your weekly tips. This season, Intrust Super CEO Brendan O'Farrell has signed up to give his thoughts on who will win each round.
Below are the ‘Stats that Matter’ for each match up in Round 1 – thanks to Brad Tallon.
Match: Jets v Blackhawks
Round 1 -
Venue: North Ipswich Reserve, Ipswich
Head-to-Head: Ipswich 6 Townsville 6
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #JETSvTSVB
Tipping % - via QRL Tipping: Jets 39% v Blackhawks 61%
Bof's tip: Ipswich Jets
- The Blackhawks have won three of the past four games played between these two sides.
- Townsville have also won three of the five games played between these two sides at North Ipswich.
- The Jets have only won one of their past six games at home.
- Townsville Blackhawks have some strong recent away form and have won five of their past six games on the road.
- This is a milestone match for Jet Richard Pandia who will play his 100th Intrust Super Cup game and game 101 for the Jets (including his appearance in the National State Championship final.
- This is also the 50th Cup game for Jet Jayden Connors who has been named at fullback.
Match: Cutters v Devils
Round 1 -
Venue: BB Print Stadium, Mackay
Head-to-Head: Norths 14 Mackay 11
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #CUTTERSvDEVILS
Tipping % - via QRL Tipping: Cutters 29% v Devils 71%
Bof's tip: Mackay Cutters
- The Devils have won the past two games between these two sides.
- Norths have also won three of the past four games between these two sides in Mackay.
- The Cutters have lost their past four game and their past five home games.
- Norths have had strong form on the road and have won four of their past five away games.
- Mackay Cutters coach Mick Crawley returns to the Intrust Super Cup after previously coaching the Young Guns in 2006.
- The Cutters have signed some exciting young talent, including Ata Hingano who has been named to start as halfback.
Match: Dolphins v Falcons
Round 1 -
Venue: Dolphin Stadium, Brisbane
Head-to-Head: Redcliffe 14 Sunshine Coast 9
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PHINSvFALCONS
Tipping % - via QRL Tipping: Dolphins 59% v Falcons 41%
Bof's tip: Redcliffe Dolphins
- Redcliffe have won three of the past four games between these two sides.
- Sunshine Coast have won two of the past three games between these two sides at the home of the Dolphins.
- Redcliffe however are strong at home and have won their past six, and seven of their past eight matches staged at Dolphin Stadium.
- Following on from a dominant regular season last year, the Falcons boast an impressive away record and have won 11 of their past 12 away games.
- A leading try scorer or the Falcons last season, now Redcliffe winger Jon Reuben has 93 Cup tries (from 89 games) to his name and requires two more to move to equal 10th all-time with Shane Perry.
Match: Bears v WM Seagulls
Round 1 -
Venue: Pizzey Park, Gold Coast
Head-to-Head: Burleigh 26 Wynnum 16 Drawn 3
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #BEARSvWYN
Tipping % - via QRL Tipping: Bears 77% v Seagulls 23%
Bof’s tip: Burleigh Bears
- What a great game to launch the broadcast matches for season 2020, with a grand final rematch between title holders Burleigh Bears and Wynnum Manly Seagulls.
- Those who enjoy rugby league trivia will remember, the last time Burleigh and Wynnm Manly opened the season with a TV game, it was a 0-0 draw at Kougari Oval in 2010.
- Overall, Burleigh have won the past six and eight of the past nine games between these two sides.
- The Bears have also won three of the past four games played between these two sides at Pizzey Park.
- Experienced mentor Rick Stone returns to coaching Burleigh having coached them for 209 games from 1997-2005 with a success record of 70.8%. Stone took the club to the finals eight time and to four grand finals, claiming two premierships.
- This is set to be the 50th game for Burleigh for forward Jeff Lynch who represented the side when they played in the National State Championship final in 2016.
Match: Magpies v Hunters
Round 1 -
Venue: Davies Park, Brisbane
Head-to-Head: PNG 11 Souths Logan 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #MAGPIESvPNG
Tipping % - via QRL Tipping: 73% v 27%
Bof's tip: Souths Logan Magpies
- This will be the first game in charge for new PNG Hunters coach Matt Church who was part of the staff at the Sunshine Coast Falcons last season.
- In a lopsided head-to-head tally, Souths Logan's only win over PNG was in 2018 at Port Moresby.
- The Hunters have won all six games played between the two sides at Davies Park, however, two of the past three wins were achieved by a margin of two points or fewer, including the Round 23 game last year which PNG won 25-24.
- The Hunters will be looking to improve their record on the road this year after the side only won two of their 11 away games last season.
- This is set to be the 50th Cup game for Magpies Harrison Muller who previously played with the Sunshine Coast.
Match: Seagulls v Pride
Round 1 -
Venue: Tugun RLFC, Tugun
CHANGE IN VENUE: Tugun RLFC, Boyd Street, Tugun
Head-to-Head: Tweed 12 drawn 1 Pride 12
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #THSvPRIDE
Tipping % - via QRL Tipping: Seagulls 68% v Pride 32%
Bof's tip: Tweed Seagulls
- While the head-to-head tally is neck-and-neck at 12 wins apiece, the past four games played between the two sides have resulted in three wins for the Seagulls and a draw.
- The Seagulls have also won three of their past five home games.
- In contrast, the Northern Pride have lost their past 10 away games.
- A regular performer for the Northern Pride over the past few seasons, outside back Javid Bowen has been named captain of the side for this season.
- Seagulls skipper John Palavi will miss this match after being handed down a two-match suspension for a should charge during the trial matches.
- Tweed’s gains this season included Fetuli Talanoa, who has returned to Australia following at long stint in the Super League.
Match: Tigers v Capras
Round 1 -
Venue: Totally Workwear Stadium, Brisbane
Head-to-Head: Easts 34 Central 10 Drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #
Tipping % - via QRL Tipping: Tigers 93% v Capras 7%
Bof's tip: Easts Tigers
- The Central Queensland endured a tough 2019 season and after winning their opening game of the year, went on to lose 22 games; equalling their worst ever run without a win. They last lost 22 game in a row in 2015.
- The side have also won one of the past 12 games between these two sides, with one with one drawn result.
- Overall, CQ have won one of their past 29 away games, with one draw.
- The last time the Central Queensland side recorded a win over Easts at Langlands Park, now Totally Workwear Stadium, was in 2011.
- The Tigers fell away in form during the back end of the regular season last year and have therefore lost their past four, and five of their past six, home games.
- Some of the new faces at the Tigers this year include Michael Purcell from the Ipswich Jets, with the speedster named at fullback.
- Storm and Maroons gun Christian Welch has been named to make his return from injury via the bench for the Tigers.
*Statistics by Brad Tallon