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Butterfield to start in top of the table clash

All eyes will be on the In Safe Hands Cup this weekend as a top of the table clash headlines Round 3.

As the ladder stands, first plays second, third takes on fourth, fifth faces off against sixth and seventh and eighth do battle.

What adds more intrigue is the undefeated West Brisbane and Wynnum Manly sides are equal with 44 for-and-against points, and the three clubs sitting at the bottom without a win yet are separated by only 10 points in that same column.

The probable semi-finalists, Panthers host Valleys in their first away game of the season.

It's Wests first opportunity to play in front of their home fans this year as they look to stem the flow of points the Diehards have amassed after two fixtures.

Valleys have scored 100 points to sit at the top of the table, but have leaked 36.

Former Queensland and NRL maestro, Scott Prince crossed for his first four-pointer to go with his goal-kicking tally against Brighton last week, punishing the Roosters at Emerson Park but his Diehards will need to step up against their traditional foes.

Coach Nathan Hughes has named an unchanged winning 17 while Panthers coach Craig Ingebrigtsen has named former Easts try-scoring machine Brandon Downey on the wing, Tommy Butterfield to start at hooker and Jack Walters warming the bench.

This will be a ripper of a contest with both sides equally blessed with talent and the red hot desire to score bragging rights.

Wynnum Manly will be at home again this week, this time against the Carina Tigers.

Seagulls half and skipper Aaron Booth was outstanding last week and will need to bring his magic to the stage against a strong Tigers outfit.

Wynnum had a tough final 40 against a committed Bulimba side, where they registered just the one try after leading 14-4 at the break to grind out a win 20-4.

Carina's second half was a different story against Normanby.

Leading 24-6, the Hounds also won their second half 14-10.

Wynnum have named former Raiders utility Luke Bateman in their squad, while Carina have Linc Port returning from suspension.

The match of the round will come down to who puts on the best half-time address from both coaches... neither Darren Ferricks or Jason Di lIzio are renowned for being a rowdy pair, so it will come down to the half-time ‘stink’ eye from the mentors searching for their third straight win.

This match will be broadcast live on the Brisbane Rugby League Facebook page from 3pm.

Normanby Hounds coach Luke Srama has named himself in a squad of 18 as his side search for their first win against the Bulldogs.

Of the four sides without a win, the Hounds have applied the most pressure to their opponents in their opening rounds, testing Carina with a big second half last week.

Bulimba were also strong after drinks last Saturday against the Seagulls and have the experienced Izaac Skyring to add to their menacing pack led by Jared Blanke.

The Hounds welcome their skipper Alehana Mara back after missing the first two rounds due to work commitments.

Mara, a serial pest at dummy-half, will add some razzle-dazzle to the Hounds attack when he comes off the bench.

In the final match of the round, the Northerners will take on each other at Brighton on Saturday night as both the Roosters and Pine Rivers look to improve on a disappointing Round 2 result after a strong start in the opening week.

Both sides still had a pulse at the break with both behind on the scoreboard but were unable to hold on in their second stanzas.

The Roosters have added the dynamic Cameron Cullen to the halves.

Cullen, before a leg injury two years ago, led the Redcliffe Dolphins to an Intrust Super Cup grand final win in 2018 against Easts and has all the tricks, which should prove to be a headache for the Bears.

Pine Rivers have the pack to do some damage and will need inflict some away from home this Saturday.

In Safe Hands Cup Round 3

Time Match Venue
3pm Wynnum Manly Seagulls v Carina Tigers Kitchener Park, Wynnum
3pm Normanby Hounds v Bulimba Bulldogs Bert St Clair Oval, Graceville
4.30pm West Brisbane Panthers v Valleys Diehards Frank Lind Oval, Mitchelton
6pm Brighton Roosters v Pine Rivers Bears Jim Lawrie Oval, Brighton