You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Hostplus Cup Round 9 preview

Round 9 of the Hostplus Cup brings plenty of thrilling showdowns, including a rare Friday night clash between Townsville Blackhawks and PNG Hunters.

The Blackhawks and Hunters will kick off the Round 9 action on Friday night, before Saturday's line-up brings some enticing head-to-heads, including the Central Queensland Capras versus Redcliffe Dolphins.

On Sunday, the Norths Devils will take on the Brisbane Tigers in the Round 9 feature match.

Here is your Round 9 '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 9

Townsville Blackhawks v PNG Hunters

Head-to-head: PNG 7, Townsville 5, drawn 1

Last meeting: PNG 23 drew Townsville 23 in Round 18, 2022


  • PNG have won their last two games while Townsville have lost their last four games. The Blackhawks have never lost five in a row
  • The last six meetings between these two sides at Jack Manski Oval see results split with three wins each
  • PNG's win last week was their 100th win in the competition in their 188th match. They also have seven draws and 81 losses

A word from the coaches

Townsville Blackhawks coach Aaron Payne: There was obviously a lot of positives to take out of last week's loss to the Brisbane Tigers. We fielded a pretty young side and the Tigers had an experienced side and that showed in the end. But some of the things I wanted the boys to do, we did, particularly with attack. Our goal line defence was a thing we need to be better at, especially this week with the PNG Hunters who play a power game. We need to be ready to use our shoulders and tackle. We've played them the last couple of times on Friday nights  at home and it's really well received. We always get a really good crowd ... it should make for a really entertaining night.

PNG Hunters coach Stanley Tepend: It was good to keep the momentum going with another win. Our starts and attacking has been good but we didn't finish the way we wanted against the Jets. The boys maybe got a little comfortable seeing the scoreboard so we have to fix our finishes. It's happened to us the last two weeks. We have been training with that sort of scenario with a player down (through sin bin) and it happened on weekend. Discipline towards end of game was a huge point of discussion and review over this past week. I feel we are improving each week. Coming up against Townsville, every team for us is a huge task and Blackhawks are no different. They are at home and we have a short turnaround so we have had a week in line with that. We hope to start strong again but finish even stronger. 

Mackay Cutters v Burleigh Bears

Head-to-head: Burleigh 14, Mackay 9, drawn 1

Last meeting: Mackay 38 def Burleigh 34 in Round 18, 2022


  • Mackay have lost their last 10 games. Their equal worst losing run was previously set in 2018
  • Burleigh have won their last two games, including a top-of-the-table clash against Central Queensland in Round 8
  • Mackay's win over Burleigh last year in Round 18 was their first victory in eight meetings against the Bears

A word from the coaches

Mackay Cutters coach Michael Comerford: Last week's loss to the Pride, that one hurt. It was a great contest for the full 80 minutes and although we let in that late try, we also had an opportunity right on the buzzer to get the scores to level. The Pride came up with a pretty big effort there to shut it down. It was a tough one to take and the boys are hurting from it. It probably hurt more than any of the other losses. But that reactions shows how much it meant to them not getting the win. That desire is there from the group. Moving forward, we need to learn that particularly in a tight contest like that was, it's not always about looking for the big play. It's about being patient and letting the opportunities present themselves rather than looking for them. Coming up against Burleigh, they'll be high on confidence after the last few weeks. This game is a great challenge at an individual level for a lot of our players, particularly some of our younger guys who have been playing quite well, like Asher O'Donnell, Flynn Camilleri, Robson (Stevens) up front. Those guys are learning each week and getting better and to really come up against some class in that Burleigh team, it's a challenge for a lot of our guys that they wouldn't have faced before. Those guys have been able to step up each week and do a good job on the individual match ups so it's a chance to really stand up against a strong forward pack and make sure we're supporting each other through it.

Burleigh Bears coach Luke Burt: The boys started really well against the Capras last week and we played really well for the majority of that match. There were a couple of stages where we let the Capras off the hook and let them back in the game. We knew it would be an 80 minute effort to beat them and it definitely took 80 minutes. We made errors at crucial times and compounded those errors by giving them extra six agains or leg ups out of their ends so that's what we have to watch this week against Mackay. We're expecting a desperate side, really keen to compete. They beat us last year on the back of Adam Cook's kicking game and their control of the match so we know it'll be tough. The games they've lost this year, they've just lost them. They took it to the Capras so we're expecting much of the same.

Central Queensland Capras v Redcliffe Dolphins

Head-to-head: Redcliffe 38, Central Queensland 7, drawn 3

Last meeting: Redcliffe 22 drew Central Queensland 22 in Round 12, 2022


  • Central Queensland have won only one of their last 22 meetings against Redcliffe, with three drawn in that time
  • Central Queensland's only win over Redcliffe since 2009 was 24-18 in Roma in 2013 Country Week
  • Redcliffe's only loss in their last 13 games at their home ground was last year's grand final
  • Capras captain Jack Madden will celebrate his 100th Cup match this weekend. He is the ninth player to play 100 Cup games for them

A word from the coaches

Central Queensland Capras coach Lionel Harbin: Comments to come. 

Redcliffe Dolphins coach Ben Te'o: It was nice to get a win before our bye - we've done that twice now. When you don't have a win you just want to get back into it but we've been able to enjoy the time off and freshen up. Now, we're just looking forward to the next nine week block. For us, the team is always changing so it's all about trying to get the combinations as good as we can over a few days of preparation and get them out there with a good attitude. It's all part of the system that we're in. This week we also welcome back Cam Cullen. He retired at the end of last year and wanted to focus on work and stuff but he was also helping coach our (Hastings Deering) Colts and had the itch to go again. He's been training for six weeks now and played a game in the Gold Coast competition and feels pretty good. Coming up against the Capras, we know they're up the top for a reason. They're a very physical side, well-coached side, and they have some real good people in their environment. We know that because we've trained a lot of their guys in the NRL system at the Dolphins and share the feeder system with them, so I know a lot of the people. This is a great opportunity for the club to come up against what is basically our friend.

Souths Logan Magpies v Tweed Seagulls

Head-to-head: Souths Logan 19, Tweed 19

Last meeting: Tweed 42 def Souths Logan 24 in Round 9, 2022


  • Souths Logan have won their last two games while Tweed have won their last three
  • Tweed have won four of the last five games between these two sides
  • Tweed's 50-18 win last week was their biggest ever over the Clydesdales

A word from the coaches

Souths Logan Magpies coach Karmichael Hunt: It was a pleasing effort by the boys getting the Round 8 win over Wynnum Manly. They really continued just to play with good effort and attention to detail, especially in defence. We want to continue that attention to detail and our homework on Tweed, we need to understand what to do. It's reinforcing what we've been saying over the prior months and continue to do it better. Tweed provide a different and new challenge. They're a very different football team.

Tweed Seagulls coach Dave Penna: Last week's win was pleasing. The boys went out there and stuck to what we know and it was a really good win. Most pleasing for me was our game management... staying in the grind, sticking to what our structures are and don’t turn the ball over where we don’t want to turn the ball over. We’re starting to get really good at that as a team. If we can stick to that this week against the Magpies and keep testing them, keep asking the questions that we know we can, it will be interesting to see how we go. If we don’t, we could be in for a long afternoon. They’re a really good footy side. They’ve got a lot of youth, speed and size and they’re playing a good brand of footy. For us as a club, we’re going to need to be at our best and play patient football and work hard in all of those simple areas. It will be a good challenge for us on Saturday afternoon.

Western Clydesdales v Northern Pride

Head-to-head: First meeting


  • Pride have lost their last three - and five of their last six - away games
  • Despite being in the top eight, Pride have scored the least amount of points per game this year at 13
  • The Clydesdales are eighth in points per game, but 13th in points against per game

A word from the coaches

Western Clydesdales coach Jason Alchin: We were disappointed with our efforts against Tweed. They're a very good side and they're structured well and we learnt a big lesson on where we are and where we should be and what we should do. It was a big lesson - we were always going to get one and that was it. The best thing about our game though is there's a next week so we've been training well and we've gone over it all. We play another team in the top eight this week so we're looking forward to it. We'll worry about ourselves and see what we can do on  Saturday night. The Pride have a big, mobile pack. They have quality players like Rashaun Denny and their back five work hard. They're well-coached and it's another hard game for us.

Northern Pride coach Ty Williams: The big thing we took out of our win over Mackay was the back end of the second half, we were persistent with what we were doing and we eventually cracked them. But Mackay were outstanding defensively and held us out four times on the try line. We got it done and scrambled in the back end. Moving forward, the biggest focus for us is capitalising on our opportunities and making sure our attention to detail is more specific. On the weekend we scored in the first five minutes and thought it might be an easy game and Mackay fought right back into it. We have to go after the game. The Western Clydesdales had a tough game against Tweed last week but the week before played really well against the Jets. I like the way they move the football and Darryn Schonig is doing a really good job in the middle. I'm expecting a fairly expansive brand of football from them.

Norths Devils v Brisbane Tigers

Head-to-head: Tigers 25, Norths 24, drawn 3

Last meeting: Tigers 28 def Norths 16 in Round 9, 2022

Broadcast:, Kayo Freebies and 9Now

  • The home side has not won between these two sides since 2011, with the last 15 meetings won by the away team. The only exception was a 14-all draw at the now Totally Workwear Stadium in 2016
  • Norths winger Jon Reuben (114 tries in 114 games) has now overtaken Nick Parfitt to move to into fourth on the all-time leaderboard for Cup try scorers. Only Daniel Ogden (155), Nat Barnes (135) and Donald Malone (119) are ahead of him
  • Devils playmakers Bryce Donovan requires seven points to bring up 300 in Cup

A word from the coaches

Norths Devils coach Dave Elliott: Moving from last week against the Falcons to this week against the Tigers, we're up against two similar sides with the Melbourne feeder system. We have to take the lessons out of the Falcons game and look to put in at least a 60-70 minute performance against the Tigers this week. We're certainly playing some good oppositions that don't go away and are gritty right to the end so it's not just about a good start or a good second half, but bringing that same intensity from the start into our second half. We created a lot of opportunities for ourselves in that game last week so it's about trying to capitalise on those moments. We're expecting another really tight, grinding game this week. They're hitting some form at the moment and are confident in their own game. They don't appear to give you too much in terms of possession. We have to earn everything and play our own game and take our game to them.

Brisbane Tigers coach Matt Church: This week is about maintaining performance. It was one of our better performances as a team last week and some individuals played their best game of the year. Losing Jonah Pezet (broken collarbone) does throw a spanner in the works. We were hoping to get him for a block of time but we'll have to deal without him for a while, plus our back up half Brayden Torpy is also on the injury list (hamstring) and not due back for another two weeks so we have to find a solution there. Jack Miers played a bit of time there last week so at this stage we're looking to get him to fill that spot next to Ryley (Jacks). Coming up against Norths, it's fair to say their ladder position doesn't reflect the team that they are. They are back-to-back premiers and we knew that new coaching combo and playing group would click eventually and we've seen that and they were unlucky against the Falcons. We know it's a fair footy side and we have a bye coming up, so it's a valuable game and a possible four point game if we can get the win on the weekend.

Byes: Ipswich Jets, Sunshine Coast Falcons and Wynnum Manly Seagulls

Catch all the Round 9 Hostplus Cup action live by subscribing to

QRL match review charges and results Round 8 - Hostplus Cup

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Platinum Partners

View All Partners