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Hostplus Cup Round 11 preview

Round 11 of the Hostplus Cup will be headlined by a significant match, as the Sunshine Coast Falcons and Redcliffe Dolphins meet once again for the all-important James Ackerman Cup.

Founded in 2016 following the tragic death of Ackerman in 2015, this Saturday’s showdown will be the seventh time this game has been played in memory of the former Falcons and Dolphins forward, who was with the Sunshine Coast when he sadly passed.

This year will be the Falcons’ turn to host at Sunshine Coast Stadium, as they also look to retain the trophy following last year’s 24-4 victory over the Dolphins.

Sunshine Coast coach Brad Henderson said the James Ackerman Cup was always a special occasion and one the produced plenty of emotion for both teams involved.

“It's really important for the footy community on the Sunshine Coast and, it goes without saying, for James’ family and both clubs,” Henderson said.

“There's a massive amount of emotion attached to it. We have a player in our team – Young Tonumaipea - who was on the field that day when we lost James and there's an emotional tie especially for our CEO (Chris Flannery) and chairman (Ashley Robinson).

“It can be a tough day and it's tough to bottle that emotion sometimes but we try to tap into the spirit of James, who was not just an awesome person, but a real competitor. 

“The spirit was competitiveness, relentlessness, and toughness with that kid. He never took a backwards step and he just loved footy. He was at his best around footy.

“Talking with people that were some of James' best friends, they all echo that sentiment that footy and his young family was what he was all about. Footy made him happy.

“We have a lot of people in our team like that. It resonates with a lot of people.

“Honouring James is the best thing we can do. I thought we did that really well last year with the Ackerman Cup. The boys tapped into it and I hope we can do that again.

“I want us to compete on an emotional day and I hope we do the family proud.”

Elsewhere in Round 11, Tweed and Wynnum Manly will open the weekend with flockbuster 2.0 for 2023 while Western Clydesdales will host competition leaders Burleigh Bears on Sunday for this week's feature match.

Hostplus Cup Round 11

Tweed Seagulls v Wynnum Manly Seagulls

Head-to-head: Wynnum Manly 26, Tweed 17

Last meeting: Tweed 44 def Wynnum Manly 26 in Round 5, 2023


  • There have now been 180,000 points scored in Cup, with Tweed skipper Lindon McGrady hitting the milestone in Round 10 with his 75th minute try against the Ipswich Jets. His conversion of that try also saw him equal his own single game point-scoring record of 22 points set in 2021 with Tweed.
  • Tweed's win earlier this year was their first in seven games against Wynnum Manly
  • Tweed have lost only one of their last six games at home - with one drawn - while Wynnum Manly have lost six of their last seven away games

A word from the coaches

Tweed Seagulls coach Dave Penna: At times last week we played well against the Jets and at others, we were a bit silly. We’re giving teams the ball in the wrong areas and we need to really fix that. But we asked them to do a job and they did that, so it’s great. We just keep moving forward and try to do as much as we can and as little as we can to keep everybody fresh. Coming up against Wynnum Manly this week, we know they’re a quality footy side and well-coached. We came up against them earlier in the year and it was a good game so I’m expecting nothing different to be honest.

Wynnum Manly Seagulls coach Mat Head: Any victory at this level is one that you have to take. Once the dust had settled after last week's win over PNG, we were all excited and thought we played well for half a game of footy. Straight after the match, there was definitely a little bit of disappointment over almost letting it slip. But we'll move on. We do have to make sure we look at that 45-50 minutes  where we played well and try to turn it into 80 minutes this week, but it was as clinical as it could be. This week I just want to see the same style of game - we have to focus on that 50 minutes. Tweed are a good footy team and like a lot of ball movement. We're sort of expecting the same type of game this week as what we had in Round 5 where they'll throw the ball around. The big thing for us is concentrating on us more. We're still trying to find our identity and who we are and what we can do.

Ipswich Jets v Burleigh Bears

Head-to-head: Burleigh 29, Ipswich 15, drawn 2

Last meeting: Burleigh 52 def Ipswich 10 in Round 14, 2022


  • Competition leaders Burleigh have won their last five games while Ipswich are still on the hunt for their first win of the season, having lost the past 11 matches
  • Burleigh have won the last seven, and 12 of the last 13, games between these two sides
  • Bears centre Sami Sauiluma's two tries last weekend has moved him into fourth on the all-time try scoring ladder for Burleigh, surpassing Aseri Laing. Kurtis Rowe with 71 has the most

A word from the coaches

Ipswich Jets coach Ben Cross: We had a really high completion rate last week against Tweed. It was the highest of our season. But we still just shot ourselves in the foot too many times by making wrong decisions at the wrong times and it led to try upon try. Coming up against Burleigh, we know it's going to be another testing week. They're a fairly clinical side and a really good attacking side that shift the ball quite well. They link up quite a bit with their halves and fullback - they're quite potent when those three get together - so we need to keep up the completions. They more we complete, the more we give ourselves an opportunity to compete. If we're not completing sets, we're going to find it even harder. 

Burleigh Bears coach Luke Burt: Last week's win over the Clydesdales was good without being exactly how we wanted it. We didn't feel we played for our whole 80 minutes but we started well. Their tries came off the back of our errors so it was our compounding errors again and it's a bit of discipline that we've been working on this week. For me so far this season, it's the senior players in Pat Politoni, Sami Sauiluma and Sam Coster that have really stood up - their leadership has been fantastic and they've been keeping steady heads to get through the closer games. Our generals in Guy Hamilton and Tom Steadman have also done a fantastic job with managing their jobs. Coming up against Ipswich this week, we know they're going to be dangerous and we've got a few improvements of our own to work on, with our compounding errors and putting in 80 minutes so that's a focus for us. Ben Cross said they'd throw the shackles off a bit against Tweed last week and not be afraid to lose but go after a win, so we know they're going to throw a lot at us this week and be unpredictable.

PNG Hunters v Northern Pride

Head-to-head: Northern Pride 9, PNG 5

Last meeting: Pride 34 def PNG 14 in Round 5, 2023


  • The Northern Pride have won the last two, and four of the last five, meetings between these two sides. However, PNG have won three of the four games between these two sides played in Port Moresby
  • PNG have won their last two, and three of their last four, games in Port Moresby while the Pride have lost three of their last four away games

A word from the coaches

PNG Hunters coach Stanley Tepend: Comments yet to be submitted.

Northern Pride coach Ty Williams: Comments yet to be submitted.

Central Queensland Capras v Norths Devils

Head-to-head: Norths 37, Central Queensland 11, drawn 2

Last meeting: Central Queensland 34 def Norths 0 in Round 5, 2023


  • After going undefeated for the opening seven weeks, Central Queensland have recorded two losses and a draw in their last three games
  • The clash between these two sides earlier this year was the first time Central Queensland have held Norths scoreless and their first win over Norths in 20 games
  • Norths have won the last nine games between these two sides at Rockhampton's Browne Park
  • Central Queensland's draw on the weekend was their 20th draw, which is the equal most in the competition with Burleigh, Brisbane and Norths. Redcliffe and Souths Logan have 19 draws while Ipswich and Wynnum Manly sit on 18

A word from the coaches

Central Queensland Capras assistant coach David Faiumu: Comments yet to be submitted.

Norths Devils coach Dave Elliott: I was just happy for the playing group to get that win over Townsville last week. We spoke about simplifying our game and just looking at different ways to not hurt ourselves as much as we have been in previous weeks. It's amazing what you can do when you stop doing that. We'll certainly look to maintain that style this week and then we'll go into bye. For now, it's about trying to build those foundations and fundamentals of playing footy and building off that. We have the Capras this week, who we last faced in Round 5, and probably the biggest factor that the players won't forget is the first half, when they got out to a 28-0 lead. They know we have to be ready for the Capras, particularly at home, and the way they start. We have to have an intensity about us that matches that.

Sunshine Coast Falcons v Redcliffe Dolphins

Head-to-head: Redcliffe 19, Sunshine Coast 11

Last meeting: Redcliffe 32 def Sunshine Coast 18 in Round 7, 2023


  • Sunshine Coast have one win and draw from their last two games while Redcliffe are moving up the ladder, having won their last four games
  • Redcliffe's 52-10 win last week was the most points they have ever scored against the Cutters
  • Jayden Nikorima's four tries last week equalled Sunshine Coast's single game try scoring record set by Jon Reuben in 2019 against Souths Logan
  • Redcliffe have won the last two meetings between these two sides and have also won four of the last five meetings between these two sides at Sunshine Coast Stadium

A word from the coaches

Sunshine Coast Falcons coach Brad Henderson: The biggest takeaway from our draw last week with the Capras is that we need to defend our errors more than anything. Every error we came up with, they hurt us last week. I'm hoping we can learn from our mistakes. I was really, really happy with our attitude and intensity and I thought for the majority of the game, we were better team. But the errors hurt us. Redcliffe are as good a team as the Capras, if not better. They'll make you pay. This week we're expecting a physical match. That's the one thing Redcliffe have always brought. They really get stuck into you and we learnt that three or four weeks ago. When we played them in Round 7, I felt they wanted to win more than us and hit us harder than we did to them. We have to match them in that area and go past them where we can.

Redcliffe Dolphins coach Ben Te'o: Comments yet to be submitted.

Mackay Cutters v Brisbane Tigers

Head-to-head: Brisbane Tigers 19, Mackay 10

Last meeting: Brisbane Tigers 24 def Mackay 16 in Round 5, 2023


  • Mackay have lost their last 12 games, which is their worst ever losing run. They did go 14 games without a win in 2015/16, but this stretch included one draw
  • The Tigers have won seven of the last eight meetings between these two sides, including two of the last three in Mackay
  • The Cutters have lost their last six home games while the Tigers have won two of their last three away games
  • Mackay halfback Brandon Finnegan (154) is now equal third on the all time Cutters point scorer honour board with Justin Hunt. He is eight points behind Daniel Abraham, who scored 162

A word from the coaches

Mackay Cutters coach Michael Comerford: Last week's game against Redcliffe was definitely not an ideal outcome, especially on a pretty big stage. We were just blown away physically in the middle part of that game. We started quite well and scored in our first set and created another opportunity in the next set. But Redcliffe were a class above us on Saturday night. There's definitely some things we need to address on an individual level to compete with teams like that and there will be a couple changes this week to ensure we match up physically against a pretty solid Tigers team. A few weeks ago everyone was desperate to get the monkey off the back to get our first win of the season but the mentality has shifted. If we focus on that each week, we lose sight of what gets done and improving each individual. We're looking at how to improve as a whole club and team rather than focusing on that one outcome, although it's a pretty important outcome. This week against the Tigers, we know they play into their strengths with their forward pack and are pretty direct pretty close to the try line. We have to aim up in that forwards battle and as a group to do everything we can to help each other. We had a really good contest with them in Round 5, when the game was still on the line coming into the last five minutes. The guys who did play are pretty hungry to make amends.

Brisbane Tigers coach Matt Church: Our bye last week provided a good little reset. We have a run of eight games now and we have some challenging games in that streak. We're taking it as a challenge - it'll be the longest streak of games consecutively for us. There's also a block of three or four games in there where the teams we're playing are all around us on the ladder. It will give us a real indication of where we sit as a whole unit. I like the way we're tracking and I feel like we've gone under the radar, which is how we like to fly in 2023. Mackay will be a challenge for us this week. They'll be changing somethings up and Michael will be embracing the clash. They'll be up for a contest and we can't take them lightly.

Western Clydesdales v Souths Logan Magpies

Head-to-head: Western Clydesdales 18, Souths Logan 1, drawn 1

Last meeting: Western Clydesdales 48 def Souths Logan 22 in Round 21, 2006

Broadcast:, Kayo Freebies and 9Now

  • The Western Clydesdales have lost their last three games while the Souths Logan Magpies have won their last four games
  • The Magpies' only win over the Clydesdales was in their first clash in 1996 at Davies Park. Apart from a draw in 1997, the Clydesdales have won all meetings since
  • The Clydesdales have lost four of their last five home games while Souths Logan have won their last three, and four of their last five, away games

A word from the coaches

Western Clydesdales coach Jason Alchin: The Bears got us at the start of the first half last week and it was enough. They're leading the comp, they're a very good side. You give them an inch, they take a yard. They showed us how good they really are and we had to cop that. In the second half we came out and won that half, which is pleasing within. That's what makes it better - we didn't give in and we had a go. I'm pretty pleased about that one but now we play the other leaders of the competition in Souths Logan. We're getting prepared for that one. The coach, Karmichael, has been around and knows how to get it all going and he's doing a great job over there. We just have to romp up at our home game and get ready for the tussle. We get a couple of players back this week with Melino Fineanganofo and Brock Diment, which is good. 

Souths Logan Magpies coach Karmichael Hunt: It's always pleasing to get a win especially last week travelling up north against the Pride. It was enjoyable to get back to Tully after last year and see the community get around the game. All in all we were pleased but we started off a bit slow. In the first halves of our Tweed and Pride games, we went away from our pre-game focus points and failed to lay a platform. This week, especially in preparation for the game against the Western Clydesdales, we want to understand how to play that first 20 to 30 minutes. We'll also definitely be without Tristan Sailor this week as he steps up to the Broncos, which is fantastic as he deserves his opportunities and was one of our best against the Pride. It also opens the door for Byron Johnson. He's a current Colt for us and he's worked his tail off. I'm looking forward to him getting his opportunity this week against the Western Clydesdales. They are a team that play footy and don't give up. They can score some points and they're sitting where they are but it's not from lack of trying and giving their best effort. I'm sure they'll come out and play some best football.

Bye: Townsville Blackhawks

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QRL match review results Round 10 - Hostplus Cup

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