You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Panthers and Seagulls to battle for In Safe Hands Cup top spot

The scene is set for another round of close encounters in Brisbane's In Safe Hands Cup this weekend.

Three of the four games at the weekend were decided by six points or less and the match ups this weekend could certainly be just as close.

Frank Lind Oval at Mitchelton will host the top-of-the-table clash between the unbeaten West Brisbane Panthers and Wynnum Manly Seagulls. Both sides come off a two-point win and the final score in this delicious offering could well be the same.

One of these sides will go to the top of the ladder undefeated, barring a draw. The Panthers had to come from behind to defeat a talented Valleys 32-30, as they line up at home once again and will look to use their home ground to their advantage.

Last year the Seagulls side were dominant at West Mitchelton in the semi-final and no doubt Panthers coach Craig Ingebrigtsen would like to take the hot chips off the Seagulls.

Seagulls coach Darren Ferricks has named a line up full of muscle up front, with some big units to inject off the bench to give half Aaron Booth plenty of grass to work with. Hayden Crowley moves to the bench to make way for Jay Florimo.

The Panthers have named Tony Tamusa at fullback in another change at the back to replace Harry Freebairn. With more space, Tamusa is likely to exploit any weakness in the Seagulls' defence. The fiery Michael Egan will be replaced by Ewan Coutts and former Redcliffe centre Corban Daniels has been named on the bench.

Valleys will travel to Carina to take on the Tigers after both sides came away with narrow point losses.

Valleys led with six minutes to go against the Panthers and Diehards coach Nathan Hughes put that down to a lack of possession.

"We dropped a lot of ball... we were ill-disciplined and made silly mistakes, which you can not do against a side like Wests’," Hughes said. 

Jack Miers. Photo: Jorja Brinums/QRL
Jack Miers. Photo: Jorja Brinums/QRL

For Carina, they are yet to put a full 80 minutes in; they had a poor second half against Bulimba two weeks ago and were unable to reel in the Seagulls.

Mild-mannered Tigers coach Jason Di Lizio will look to his experienced men to step up to produce the goods, as hell hath not felt the fury of an angry Di Lizio in full flight.

Bulimba will be at home this week at Totally Workwear Stadium as they host Brighton.

Bulimba coach Michael Lambert has got the Puppies mongrel firing; they were strong in the second half against Carina two weeks ago and put the highly fancied Normanby away 32-16 at the weekend. Lambert has a litter of forwards who will challenge throughout 2020, with Jared Blanke leading the way.

The Roosters will dust themselves off and be up to the challenge. New Roosters Cameron Cullen and Sheldon Pitama, who both hail from the Redcliffe Dolphins, with their first outing out of the way, will be better for the run. Coach Dylan Slater will have the Chooks primed to avoid a second straight loss.

The final game is also a tipster’s nightmare.

Pine Rivers registered their first win at the weekend against Brighton, 34-28, but will count for little if they can’t back it up. The Bears posted seven tries; however, their defence will need to step up against a Hounds outfit determined to post their first win.

Normanby coach Luke Srama will pull out his oversized playbook as the wily coach looks for a winning formula.

Pine Rivers coach Adrian Rouse has a squad that can put a win on the board when they play the full 80 as they did last week. While both sides look evenly match, the result will rely heavily on both coaches to out manoeuvre the other as the game unfolds. This will go down to the wire.