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Hostplus Cup Round 4 preview: XXXX Rivalry Round

The stage is set for a blockbuster weekend of football, as the XXXX Rivalry Round returns for season 2023.

The Tweed Seagulls and Burleigh Bears will kick off the action on Saturday in the Gold Coast showdown, with the thrills and rivalries then scheduled to continue across the weekend, culminating in the final clash, a fierce meeting between Redcliffe Dolphins and Wynnum Manly Seagulls on Sunday. 

XXXX Rivalry Round: 'Take no prisoners'

Here is your Round 4 'stats pack' with all of the numbers you need to know for this weekend's games, courtesy of Brad Tallon, as well as your coaches thoughts on the weekend ahead.

Hostplus Cup XXXX Rivalry Round

Tweed Seagulls v Burleigh Bears

Head-to-head: Burleigh 20, Tweed 15, drawn 2

Last meeting: Tweed 26 drew Burleigh 26 in Round 17, 2022


  • Tweed have two wins and a draw from the last four clashes between these two rivals
  • The last two meetings between these teams at Piggabeen resulted in a four-point win to Tweed and a draw
  • Tweed have three wins and a draw from their last four home games while Burleigh have three losses and a draw from their last five away games
  • Sami Saiuluma has surpassed Nick Shaw to become fifth highest Cup scorer for Burleigh on 63 tries

A word from the coaches

Tweed Seagulls coach Dave Penna: Last week for us, I thought Toby (Sexton) and Tom (Weaver) both had great games. Their kicking game was great, and they led the team around really well. But we are still trying to focus on not putting ourselves under pressure at times in the second half. It’s something we just have to keep working on.

Burleigh Bears coach Luke Burt: It was a good solid performance by us last week against Redcliffe. There's a bit of improvement still left in us but the mentality and the way we went about getting the win, keeping them scoreless for 60 minutes, was good. I want to see a similar performance to last Sunday this weekend, but with those improvement areas, like playing for the 80 minutes and tidying up our shape. We don't want to go backwards, but move forward and keep improving. We know there's never an easy Rivalry Round against Tweed. We've had draws and narrow losses... They've had the upper hand recently so it's going to be a tight match - physical and probably with a bit of emotion in it. We're expecting a really tough match. 

Northern Pride v Townsville Blackhawks

Head-to-head: Townsville 10, Pride 4

Last meeting: Pride 22 def Townsville 10 in Round 17, 2022


  • Townsville are a bit of a hoodoo team for the Pride, having won all six games between these two sides at the Pride's home ground, Barlow Park
  • The Pride have won three of their last four games at Barlow Park while Townsville have lost five and drawn one of their last six away games

A word from the coaches

Northern Pride coach Ty Williams: I thought we created more than enough opportunities against the Capras last week but we just didn't execute the skill required to do it. We were very resilient in defence but didn't capitalise. For our rivalry with Townsville this week, this dates back to before the Blackhawks and Pride were even around. This goes back to the Foley Shield days. It's an important piece for us and we'll reflect accordingly but we're pretty focused on what we need to be doing. They're a big team and the majority of their guys are in a fulltime system. We're expecting a very tough battle and knowing that that's coming at us, that's an excitement piece for us. We get to test ourselves against contracted players at a high level. It's going to be tough but we're more than confident.

Townsville Blackhawks coach Aaron Payne: It was a pretty low quality game last week against Mackay because we came up with so many handling errors. That was disappointing but the positive was we won and because of that dropped ball we were asked to do a lot of defence and goal line defence, which we did quite well. Our focus this week will be on the fundamentals and ball handling. Coming up against Pride, form guides can be thrown out the window and both sides really look forward to playing each other. There's a great rivalry there. The Pride will certainly be mentally and physically ready for a contest and we need to be in that same space and make sure we understand how important this game is.

Sunshine Coast Falcons v Western Clydesdales

Head-to-head: First meeting


  • Sunshine Coast have won five of their last six - and 12 of their last 14 - home games
  • Western Clydesdales are still chasing their first win since returning to Cup
  • Sam Burns (77) has overtaken Ryan Hansen to sit fifth on the honour board for most games for the Sunshine Coast

A word from the coaches

Sunshine Coast Falcons coach Brad Henderson: It was an early bye for us last week but it came at a good time with a few bumps and bruises. We're reasonably fit and have a couple players starting to come off suspension too, which is nice. We're looking forward to our first home game. From the two games I've watched the Clydesdales play already, one thing I noticed and Jason Alchin mentioned in the pre-season is they want to be the fittest team in the competition and they're not far off it. They're had two arm wrestles and I think they finished stronger in both games. They're more than capable of being up for the game against us and we're going to have to be really good to get on top and stay on top. There's no rivalry yet but if they beat us, I'll certainly feel that way.

Western Clydesdales coach Jason Alchin: Everyone's really good after that bye week. Darryn Schonig's been suspended for one game and our young hooker Drew Timms has had a head knock so we've decided to rest him but we have two other young men who can come in and do the job against the Falcons this week. Everyone knows how good the Falcons have been over the years and they're tied in with the Storm. We know it's going to be a hard tussle but we're just concentrating on ourselves and to be competitive and we'll see how we go. They're a very good side. 

Souths Logan Magpies v Norths Devils

Head-to-head: Norths 30, Souths Logan 20, drawn 1

Last meeting: Norths 30 def Souths Logan 14 in Round 17, 2022


  • Norths have recorded two losses and a draw to start their 2023 season
  • Norths have won the last four - and seven of the last eight - games between these two sides, including the last four games at a Souths Logan home ground
  • Souths Logan have eight losses and two draws from their last 10 home games while Norths have won their last four away games
  • Norths sensation Jon Reuben now has 111 tries - one behind Ryan Cullen, who is fifth on the all-time Cup try scorer honour board
  • Connor Broadhurst requires one more goal to bring up 150 in Cup

A word from the coaches

Souths Logan Magpies coach Karmichael Hunt: We had a good training week last week for the bye. We just wanted to consolidate some learnings after the first two rounds. We have three out of the four points that were available but haven't played near our best footy, which is understandable this early in the season. But we just wanted to work on those few things. We're excited now to play Norths. They're obviously a quality team. You don't win two premierships in a row without having a really good foundation of footballing nous and playing ability. Norths, from their perspective they're probably not playing their best footy and getting the results they want, but nevertheless they're the defending premiers who present a big challenge. It's a game I'm looking forward to seeing where we're at.

Norths Devils coach Dave Elliott: It was a disappointing first half last week against Tweed and then frustrating to some extent in the second half. It's great that we had a 26-0 scoreline in the second half but in this competition you just can't give teams the start that we gave a good side like Tweed. Every team's goal  each week at every level is to get 60 or 65 minutes of good footy ... it's so elusive the 80 minute performance but that's always the goal. We had a pretty good performance in the first half of our Redcliffe game and then a good second half performance in our Tweed game. We're Norths but really we're a new team and we've been playing some good sides to start the year. We're still coming together as a group. There's no doubt that we will. The more we play together, the better we'll be. Coming up against Souths, it's another tough game. We've played some quality oppositions to start the year and Souths have recruited really well. They've kept Tristan Sailor at the back and they've got Radean Robinson from the Capras, Jack Campagnolo from South Sydney, and of course Blake Mozer is there. They have some talented players. On top of that, being Rivalry Round, Norths v Souths, two proud clubs, I'm sure it will be another good game.

Mackay Cutters v Central Queensland Capras

Head-to-head: Mackay 18, Central Queensland 8

Last meeting: Mackay 34 def Central Queensland 16 in Round 17, 2022


  • Mackay have lost their last five games while Central Queensland have won all three games to start the year
  • As Mackay chase their first win for the season, recent history may be on their side - they have won five of the last six meetings between these two sides
  • Brandon Finnegan (148) has passed Yamba Bowie (146) to be Mackay’s fourth top point scorer – he is six short of Justin Hunt in third place

A word from the coaches

Mackay Cutters coach Michael Comerford: We definitely did enough that we could have won the game last week against Townsville. Every area you kind of measure your success on in a game we were able to be in front on, it was literally the scoreboard that was the difference. Their tries were either from poor decision-making from us or a bounce of the ball. It was a pretty big defensive effort from the Blackhawks to stop us. We were in a position where we were desperate and chasing points. After the game you look at it and say, there was one try in each half - could we have stopped it? We definitely could have and it puts us in a different position. Even though it wasn't two points on the ladder, we were against quality opposition and managed to be in control for large part of games. So, even though we haven't won, there's definitely a lot of confidence in the group which is encouraging. We have seen significant improvement each week but you can't keep saying that for too much longer. We need to turn that into a win on the scoreboard. Coming up against Central Queensland, they're a team that's played together for a few years and have some combinations they've worked on and stuck through tough times and they are reaping the awards now. With the rivalry side of things, it adds a little bit to this week, particularly with the local juniors in both teams. We've spoken about that this week, how the guys who have grown up playing in Mackay and Rocky, it does mean that extra bit more. You'll definitely see both teams rise to that and the home crowd will get behind the rivalry. 

Central Queensland Capras coach Lionel Harbin: Last week, I just thought we had a lot go against us and some of it was our doing with ill discipline... we had two players in the sin bin and spent 20 minutes with only 12 players but still found a way to win and to only concede one try. This week against Mackay, it's a massive rivalry. Even though they're four hours up the road, there's always been a big rivalry between the two towns. It's always a tough battle and they've had the wood over us in recent years. They were a bit unlucky last week against Townsville and fought hard to the end... they weren't far off against the Pride either. They're moving the footy a lot more and we'll have to be on our game. It's always a tough game every time we play them up there. It doesn't matter how many wins you've got or where you sit on the ladder. It's Rivalry Round so they're going to be up for it.

Brisbane Tigers v Ipswich Jets

Head-to-head: Tigers 29, Ipswich 23, drawn 1

Last meeting: Tigers 32 def Ipswich 18 in Round 17, 2022


  • Ipswich are looking for their first win of the season, having lost their past five matches, tracking back into last year
  • Tigers have won three of the last four meetings between these two sides
  • Tigers have lost two of their last three home games against Ipswich, but the Jets have lost three of their last four away games
  • Bennett Leslie played his 50th Cup game for the Tigers last week and his 79th Cup game overall, including his time with Mackay

A word from the coaches

Brisbane Tigers coach Matt Church: The game against PNG last week, it was very end-to-end. Everyone covered a few more kilometres than normal and in quite hot conditions. We were lucky to get a win in the end... it was just really pleasing that we managed to win. I'm not overly happy about how we won but happy we came away with the result. It's important now that we get our game right against Ipswich. They'll be smarting after their loss and Crossy will have them raring and ready to go. We want to continue building on our relationships but continue our style of footy.

Ipswich Jets coach Ben Cross: Hold the ball. That's the biggest takeaway from last week's loss. Pretty much hold the ball. We can't do much without it. We're defending more and getting tired. We need to simplify things. We only had to put a mild amount of fatigue into Wynnum Manly and we got a try, which was frustrating. So this week it's just about completing to give ourselves a chance to compete. If we can do that, I know we'll cause a few issues. It'll be a pretty tough battle against the Tigers. They've had an indifferent start to the year - a game cancelled, a tough loss to Wynnum and a really tough hard fought win to the Hunters up there. I just expect a tough battle this week. The players they have are just hard workers, really hard workers. I've been really impressed with Tristan Hope, their hooker. He's had a strong start to the year.

Redcliffe Dolphins v Wynnum Manly Seagulls

Head-to-head: Redcliffe 33, Wynnum 21, drawn 2

Last meeting: Redcliffe 28 def Wynnum Manly 18 in Round 17, 2022 

Broadcast:, 9Now, Kayo Freebies

  • Redcliffe are still searching for their first win for 2023, with two draws and a loss under their belts, while Wynnum have won all three games to start the year
  • The home team has won the last eight meetings between these two sides
  • Brayden McGrady will celebrate his 50th Cup game this weekend. He has notched up this milestone across three clubs - Tweed, Norths and Redcliffe
  • Wynnum Manly playmaker Josh Rogers require four more goals to bring up 200 in Cup

A word from the coaches

Redcliffe Dolphins coach Ben Te'o: It wasn’t a great performance from us against Burleigh. We hopped on the bus, travelled down and came up against a red hot team. They definitely had a lot more energy than us. They were raring to go and we got taught a lesson. Coming off a really tough game against Norths in  Round 2 in the heat, I just don’t think we were there last week to match them physically with our energy. It’s important to narrow our focus and start the game well this week. Wynnum Manly are a club that’s built on toughness. They’ve had a lot of success and been top of this competition for a while now. Redcliffe seems to have rivalries with everyone but the Wynnum Manly one is a pretty special one and there’s been big battles in the years gone by. I also played with Mat Head and he was a smart footballer. I know he’s doing a great job over there.

Wynnum Manly Seagulls coach Mat Head: The massive positive from last week's win was to keep Ipswich to one try. It was disappointing to let a try in in the last 30 seconds but the big picture showed we defended really well as a group for 79 and a half minutes. But the lesson for us is still ball control. It's not up to the standard we've set ourselves over the off-season so we need to lift the standards there. When it comes to Rivalry Round, everything is new to me and a bit new to our team but we'll put into it and give it as much it deserves. There's a long rivalry there with Redcliffe and it means a lot to a lot of people. We'll go there to start really fast and have our completion rate up and show what we've been learning through pre-season in our defence. You'll see that in the first 30 minutes and we'll give the rivalry the full respect it deserves.

Bye: PNG Hunters

QRL match review results Round 3 - Hostplus Cup

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