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Hostplus Cup Round 5 preview

A 'flockbuster', the 'battle of the West' and a showdown between two frontrunners - Round 5 of the Hostplus Cup has plenty of mouthwatering clashes.

After the Easter break, teams will return to the field this weekend ready to move into the next phase of their season, following the first month of competition.

The Ipswich Jets and Western Clydesdales - both yet to find a win - will kick things off with the local derby before the Sunshine Coast Falcons host the Burleigh Bears in a highly-anticipated showdown between two heavyweights.

Former Brisbane Broncos teammates Karmichael Hunt and Ben Te'o will then face off on Sunday as coaches of Souths Logan and Redcliffe respectively before the 'flockbuster' between Wynnum Manly and Tweed to wrap things up.

Here is your Round 5 'stats pack' with all of the numbers you need to know for this weekend's games, courtesy of Brad Tallon, as well as your coach's thoughts on the matches ahead.

Hostplus Cup Round 5

Ipswich Jets v Western Clydesdales

Head-to-head: Clydesdales 11, Ipswich 10

Last meeting: Clydesdales 70 def Ipswich 10 in Round 14, 2006 


  • It's been a tough start to 2023 for both teams, with neither side yet to notch up a win. The Jets have lost their last six games, going back into 2022
  • The Clydesdales have won five of the last six meetings between these two sides, with one draw
  • Ipswich's last win over the Clydesdales was in Round 22 of 2003 at North Ipswich Reserve

A word from the coaches

Ipswich Jets coach Ben Cross: I've said it before but this week I just want to see us hold onto the ball. Our attack needs to help our defence. We're doing way too much of it. We need to be better with ball retention and completion of our sets. Coming up against the Clydesdales will certainly test our defence as well. They play a fairly straight forward attacking style, really in your face, so we'll have to be really strong in defence. They'll also be fairly emotionally charged - it's the local derby, they have a lot of former Jets in their side as well so it's a bit of a grudge match between some of the players. It's two western corridor teams coming up against each other and we play them again in pretty quick succession so bragging rights won't be held onto for long but hopefully we can get the better of the two matches.

Western Clydesdales coach Jason Alchin: This game is really important to us because both sides are yet to win a game. I have four players in my side that played with the Jets last year as well and I know they're looking forward to the occasion. But to me, I'm more worried about what we're going to do. It doesn't matter who we play at the moment. It could be Ipswich, it could be the Dolphins, it doesn't matter. For us, it's about what we're going to do to get in the winning circle. We just want to worry about us and what we do. We have to take ownership of where we are at the moment and what we're doing on the footy field. We have to move forward now. We can't be the 'new guys' anymore.

Norths Devils v Central Queensland Capras

Head-to-head: Norths 37, Central Queensland 10, drawn 2

Last meeting: Norths 17 def Central Queensland 10 in Round 18, 2022


  • This is the 50th meeting between these two sides
  • Central Queensland are currently undefeated to start season 2023 while Norths have two losses and two draws
  • Norths have won the last 19 meetings between these two sides, including the last seven at Bishop Park
  • Central Queensland's last win over Norths was in Round 14 of 2011, claiming a 40-34 victory at Bishop Park
  • Central Queensland have never won their first five games of the season - their best start was four straight last season
  • Capras interchange rake Aaron Teroi will celebrate his 50th Cup appearance this week, notching up the milestone at both Central Queensland and Sunshine Coast
  • Capras hooker Trey Browne requires just two points to bring up 200 in Cup

A word from the coaches

Norths Devils coach Dave Elliott: Looking back on our first month, we certainly would like to have turned those two draws into two wins but the big picture stuff is that we're certainly improving and our last game against Souths Logan was our most complete performance yet. But heading into this weekend, we are pretty keen to turn things around. We're looking forward to the Capras. They're the form team of the competition, they're number one, and four from four. They're continuing their form from last year and we know they'll be really tough. I know the guys are looking forward to it and there will be no room for complacency. They're probably a little bit stronger than last year with the Dolphins NRL inclusions and having that relationship now. But I'd say our guys are well aware that we're coming up against a good team in the early stages of the competition and they'll continue to roll on.

Central Queensland Capras coach Lionel Harbin: We're happy that we're winning footy games at the moment but like a lot of other teams we're not playing overly well. There's still a lot to work on but it's been very pleasing so far, especially with players coming in and out. We spoke about the feeder system in our first meeting in pre-season, that there's going to be people coming and going and we have to be able to adapt and get on with things, and the players have done a really job of getting on with things and that's showed in our performances. We know this week that Norths will be desperate for a big game. They haven't quite hit their straps yet but they started the season slowly last year as well. They have quality players and we're expecting a tough game at Bishop Park. You don't expect anything less when you play the Devils there anyway.

Sunshine Coast Falcons v Burleigh Bears

Head-to-head: Burleigh 15, Sunshine Coast 9

Last meeting: Burleigh 32 def Sunshine Coast 22 in Round 11, 2022


  • Both teams have had a strong start to 2023. Burleigh remain undefeated with three wins and a bye, while Sunshine Coast have won their last two games
  • Sunshine Coast have won six of their last seven home games
  • Burleigh meanwhile have won their last two away games

A word from the coaches

Sunshine Coast Falcons coach Brad Henderson: It's nice to play a team up the top of the ladder. With all due respect to Ipswich and Toowoomba - who are no doubt going to build throughout the season - it's nice to play one of the frontrunners this week and Burleigh is certainly that. There's a level of excitement about playing these guys. We only played them once last year and we have some strong memories from that game ... we aren't going to get caught short again like last year. Looking at both teams, it's a bit 50/50. We're as much chance of getting a win as they are. It's like an early acid test. We have a really solid four-week block of footy in front of us at the moment. It will be nice to put some games together and get stuck in for a while.

Burleigh Bears coach Luke Burt: We're exactly where we'd like to be after the first month but I still think there's a lot of improvement on both sides of the footy, in defence and attack. We've been working very hard on the finer details. Coming up against the Falcons, and after their last two games, we're expecting a very tough match this weekend. A lot of those boys have done a pre-season with the Melbourne Storm. We know it will be a big, physical match where we have to be on our game or we'll get shocked. This will be a good indicator of where we stand in the competition. Sunshine Coast are a definite benchmark side. With the experience and the class in their team, we'll definitely know where we stand after this week.

Northern Pride v PNG Hunters

Head-to-head: Pride 8, PNG 5

Last meeting: Pride 30 def PNG 6 in Round 12, 2022


  • The Northern Pride have won three of their last four meetings with the Hunters
  • Pride have won four their last five games at Barlow Park
  • Hunters skipper Ila Alu will celebrate his 50th Cup appearance this weekend

A word from the coaches

Northern Pride coach Ty Williams: We’re tracking pretty well at the moment. We’re probably where I expected us to be in regards to our position on the ladder. I think in Round 4, we were under a fair bit of pressure early on but we’ve built our club and squad on resilience and we showed that in that game. To get the result, knowing we trained for those circumstances, that was good to see as well. We have to continue that over the coming weeks, hopefully up the tempo in attack. We know what’s coming at us this week against the Hunters. It’s going to be a big, physical game. They’ve been playing some really good football to start the year and we just need to make sure that we respect the football and play some good footy for us. We know it’s going to be a physical game. They’re coming off a couple of byes and will be fresh and ready to go. They’re also well supported wherever they go and it’s going to be a big night for us.

PNG Hunters coach Stanley Tepend: Having two byes back-to-back so early in the season was a bit tricky but we managed it by giving the boys a few days off from training. It's still early in the season but we feel we have been playing okay. There are still a lot of areas to fix. We know we can score points but we just have some defensive areas that are letting us down so we have worked on fixing them. This weekend I want to see a more disciplined performance, especially in defence, but we know the Pride will be tough at their home ground. They have had a better start than us in the matches they have played so we have just got to be on from the start and for the whole 80 minutes.

Brisbane Tigers v Mackay Cutters

Head-to-head: Brisbane 18, Mackay 10

Last meeting: Mackay 24 def Tigers 12 in Round 6, 2022


  • The Tigers have won their last two games while Mackay have lost their last six games
  • Mackay's win last year over the Tigers was their first in seven games against the Brisbane side
  • The Tigers have won their last eight home games against Mackay
  • Brandon Finnegan has moved to fourth on the all-time points scorer leader board for Mackay. He sits on 148. Justin Hunt is third on 154

A word from the coaches

Brisbane Tigers coach Matt Church: I'm really happy with where we're sitting. We've had a few things that we couldn't control that dictate where we sit but after a narrow loss to Wynnum Manly, a very good win on the road to PNG and another win last round, it's put us in a good position for the next block of footy. Coming up against Mackay, we know they haven't been too far away in their last few games. They certainly have a talented roster and are close to putting it all together. We have to be on our toes so we don't become their first scalp of the season. I just want to see my guys continue building on their relationships and getting to play our brand of footy.

Mackay Cutters coach Michael Comerford: There's a lot of confidence in the group. That might seem to hard to believe from the outside but we've had a pretty detailed review of the first four games of the season and as we've kind of identified each week, certain parts we're doing well enough and creating chances to win but there's some areas in defence that are letting us down at the moment. There's a positive feeling in the group knowing there's a lot of good things happening and each week we've had improved performances. We've come up against quality oppositions each week and the group has taken a lot of confidence out of it and motivation is high off the back of those first four games. The Tigers this week have a fair bit of class out wide in their team ... we're going to have to be really good in our defence to limit their impact. 

Souths Logan Magpies v Redcliffe Dolphins

Head-to-head: Redcliffe 35, Souths Logan 13, drawn 1

Last meeting: Redcliffe 34 def Souths Logan 22 in Round 18, 2022


  • Souths Logan are still undefeated for season 2023, but have two draws and a win from their last three games
  • Redcliffe have won the last two games between these two sides and three of the last four games between these two sides at Davies Park
  • Souths Logan have seven losses and three draws from their last 10 home games - they have not won a home game since 2021 at three different venues (Davies Park, Marsden High and Logan Metro Sports Fields)
  • Souths Logan half Jack Campagnolo will celebrate his 50th Cup appearance this weekend. He has notched up this milestone across the Northern Pride, Wynnum Manly and Souths Logan

A word from the coaches

Souths Logan Magpies coach Karmichael Hunt: Our start to the season has been a little bit indifferent in terms of our form. We have two draws and a win and I couldn't say I would have imagined we'd draw two games in a row. After the PNG game, I was quite disappointed in that result and the effort but fast forward to the draw against Norths, I was a lot more pleased with the effort. Their effort, their intent, it couldn't be faulted. Coming up against Redcliffe, I watched their game against Wynnum and Benny's in his first year as coach as well and they probably started off slower than expected. But this week we're expecting a really tough contest at Davies Park. They have a lot of quality players but I'm looking forward to seeing our boys match it with them. I also look forward to catching up with Benny. It's a little bit surreal that we've played together and now we're head coaches coaching against each other for the first time so I'm excited to see the occasion unfold.

Redcliffe Dolphins coach Ben Te'o: I've learned a lot already this year. We've all learned a few lessons but we've made some real progress as a team over the first month. Starting off, trying to gel a team together, it's taken a little while but we're on track now. To me, I don't focus a lot on results but the performance and I think our first win in Round 4, it was finally a time where we put in a bit of a team performance, which is more what I was happy about. We saw some real good signs of what we did defensively for each other and we're going in the right direction. We all love to win but when we see those signs, we're starting to get it now. We have Souths Logan this week and they're a much-improved side since last year. They have some great up-and-coming Broncos players and some really good Cup players that are very experienced at this level. We will prepare well this week and do what we can. One pleasing thing this year on a personal level is seeing the young coaches coming through and coming through this way. A lot of players finish in the NRL and go straight to fulltime coaching in an NRL system and skip this step. But, for me and Karmichael, through our relationships with Wayne (Bennett), he's a very big advocate for coaches doing their time and coming through the system so that's probably why we are where we're at. It's a great competition and to have two young coaches - two young Polynesian coaches - coming through is great. 

Wynnum Manly Seagulls v Tweed Seagulls

Head-to-head: Wynnum Manly 26, Tweed 16

Last meeting: Wynnum Manly 38 def Tweed 34 in Round 6, 2022


  • Wynnum Manly have won the last six - and 10 of the last 11 - clashes between these two sides
  • Wynnum Manly have won their last two home games while Tweed have lost three of their last four away games
  • Seagulls playmaker Josh Rogers requires one more goal to bring up 200 points in Cup

A word from the coaches

Wynnum Manly Seagulls coach Mat Head: We're pretty happy with our start to the season. We had a good opportunity to finish the first month four from four and we missed that but the Easter break came at a good time for us to reflect on our first month and what we did in pre-season and how it transferred into our games. We're happy with ourselves but know there's a lot of improvement left in us. The timeline of the game against Redcliffe shows where we lost it ... it's not good enough by our standards but we knew they'd be up for the challenge. It was no surprise but we let ourselves down and a good footy team makes you pay for that. Watching Tweed's performances so far this year, it seems they like to move the ball and let their outside backs do the damage and we know that's what will happen on Sunday. If our defence can stand up to where it was, hopefully we can put some pressure on those guys. We think it's going to be a fast type of contest and we're looking forward to that. We have to learn from our last round defeat and put some of things into practice. 

Tweed Seagulls coach Dave Penna: The boys worked really hard on staying in the grind in Round 4 and it was a tough way to lose. Hard to take. We’ve been working hard on playing out the full 80 minutes and although we didn’t get the result against the Bears, I thought we made some good progress in that area. The boys really knuckled down in defence to limit the strike Burleigh have across the park. To lose it by a penalty in the last minute hurt, but that’s rugby league sometimes. There were moments we can still improve on, mainly around our errors and discipline. You can’t be tackling any more than you need to in this comp so that’s something we’re still working on.

Bye: Townsville Blackhawks

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QRL match review results Round 4 - Hostplus Cup

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