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Hostplus Cup Round 13 preview

Round 13 of the Hostplus Cup will see another top four battle take place, as the Brisbane Tigers play host to Redcliffe Dolphins.

After the third-placed Tigers took down Central Queensland Capras last week - with the Capras formerly sitting in fourth - they'll now meet the Ben Te'o-coached Dolphins, who leapfrogged the Capras to move into the top four after Round 12.

Elsewhere in Round 13, Tweed Seagulls and Central Queensland will meet in an enticing battle to open the weekend while competition leaders Souths Logan Magpies will host the Ipswich Jets in the feature match.

Here is your Round 13 '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 13

Tweed Seagulls v Central Queensland Capras

Head-to-head: Tweed 27, Central Queensland 8, drawn 1

Last meeting: Central Queensland 23 def Tweed 22 in Round 1, 2023


  • This year's Round 1 clash saw Central Queensland take the win and was decided by an Anthony Milford field goal with a minute remaining
  • Prior to that Round 1 victory, Tweed had won the previous six meetings between these two sides
  • Both clubs are in need of a win, with Tweed having lost their last two, and three of their last four games, while Central Queensland have lost three of their last five games with one draw

A word from the coaches

Tweed Seagulls coach Dave Penna: "The boys struggled with the heat (in Papua New Guinea) but no excuses. We completed at 50 per cent and you can’t win games when you give the opposition that much football. We did all of our talking over there. We come back and had a really good session on Tuesday. The boys’ attitude around training has been really good so we’ve just got to keep going forward. Defence is an attitude thing... when you’ve got 17 boys that have got the attitude that it’s important to them to make their tackles and stick to what our systems and what our processes are, then you put yourself in a really good chance of winning games. We still need to focus on our attack... we’ve been a bit clunky there as well. We’ve got to give ourselves more opportunity to build pressure. That’s something in our last couple of losses that we haven’t done well. We’ve got to learn that even if we are behind in games we’ve got to stick to what we know and be patient.”

Central Queensland Capras coach Lionel Harbin: "We were disappointed with the way we lost to the Tigers last week. We had plenty of opportunities to win the game but the Tigers are a quality side and it was an evenly matched contest and could have gone either way. The Tigers defended really well but we blew a couple of opportunities there and also our discipline - we were giving silly penalties away in front of the posts and putting ourselves under pressure and we were chasing points. We have to turn that around this week. Tweed are a really good side. They like to use the footy and move the footy and they do that well. They have quality players right across the park. It's a tough road trip for us. We know what we're expecting so we have to prepare well and hopefully we can go down there and put in a good performance."

Burleigh Bears v Norths Devils

Head-to-head: Burleigh 29, Norths 24

Last meeting: Burleigh 30 def Norths 24 in Round 1, 2023


  • Burleigh's loss last week to Souths Logan was their first loss in seven games. Norths meanwhile have lost three of their last four games
  • Burleigh have won three of the last four meetings between these two sides
  • Bears skipper Sami Sauiluma now has 69 tries for Burleigh, which is equal second for the club with Reggie Cressbrook and Trent Purdon. The record holder is Kurtis Rowe with 70 tries for Burleigh in Cup, plus another in the NRL State Championship

A word from the coaches

Burleigh Bears coach Luke Burt: "In last week's loss to Souths Logan we were lacking in effort areas, both in attack and defence. That was the big focus in Monday’s review for us. Defensively, it was detail in the tackle and our retreat and line speed. Souths Logan are a very, very good side. They’re a team of guys that play together, very well-coached obviously, but they’re all on the same page and they compete for the 80 minutes and come at you for the whole time, both in attack and defence. There’s a reason why they’re on top. We’ll be working very hard in our training. We’ll be touching on all those effort areas and we’re in for another very tough match against Norths. They’re a high quality side. They’ve been our bogey side in semis in recent years so we know what they can do. They virtually have three halves out there with Jack Ahearn, Kyle Coghill and Bryce Donovan. Then with (Liam) Horne and (Kierran) Moseley combining through the middle, they’re very dangerous. They also have really strong, big bodies that carry the ball very hard."

Norths Devils coach Dave Elliott: Comments to come.

PNG Hunters v Western Clydesdales

Head-to-head: PNG 1, Clydesdales 0

Last meeting: PNG 20 def Clydesdales 10 in Round 1, 2020


  • PNG's win last week was their first in four matches while the Clydesdales have lost their last five games
  • PNG have won three of their last four games in Port Moresby while the Clydesdales have lost their last four away games

A word from the coaches

PNG Hunters coach Stanley Tepend: Comments to come.

Western Clydesdales coach Jason Alchin: "We were in the game for a while last week before Redcliffe ran over the top of us. That's footy. They showed their class and came out with a win, deservingly so. It's just a learning curve for us. We're in for some games. We were in that game for 55 to 60 minutes. We just need to work harder, get stronger and get fitter and keep working as a team together. For us it's all about learning and the PNG trip this week is the same. It's about getting up flying over there, getting used to the climate. It's a tough couple of days and it's good experience for my younger guys - in experience, not age. We know it's a tough game against Papua New Guinea. They're tough men and the crowd will be on their side. It's great experience for my guys and I'm looking forward to them having the experience. We'll just turn up and have a go."

Sunshine Coast Falcons v Townsville Blackhawks

Head-to-head: Townsville 9, Sunshine Coast 6

Last meeting: Townsville 22 def Sunshine Coast 18 in Round 1, 2023


  • Sunshine Coast have two losses and a draw from their last three games while Townsville have lost their last two, and six of their last seven, games
  • Townsville have won two of the last three meetings between these two sides at Sunshine Coast Stadium
  • Sunshine Coast have lost their last two home games 

A word from the coaches

Sunshine Coast Falcons coach Brad Henderson: "No disrespect to the opposition last week - Mackay were better than us - but if you complete at 52 per cent, you deserve to lose. Similar to our match against Redcliffe the week before, in those key moments Mackay just did it a bit better than we did. We didn't deserve to win. We had enough opportunities to win and weren't good enough. We're still chasing that control and consistency and it's alluding us at the moment. Against a team that hadn't won a game yet, we needed to be more respectful of the opposition. We're not learning our lessons fast enough and we need to find a way to defend our errors and penalties because we're not doing that at the moment. This week, we're expecting the Blackhawks to be pretty loaded with the Cowboys having a bye. They're a good, young, fit, skilful team that beat us in Round 1. We can't afford to take anyone lightly and you'd never take the Blackhawks lightly. But our focus is on ourselves."

Townsville Blackhawks coach Aaron Payne: "There were plenty of good things we did last week against Wynnum Manly but we didn't play for 80 minutes. The second half is the common theme for us this season. Second halves are killing us. It's something we've spoken about and addressed. We think it's a mindset. We're getting to the realistic point of the season where we're fully aware we need to start winning. If we don't start winning, we'll get detached from the eight and not give ourselves the opportunity to play finals footy. We're aware of that but also at the moment, more concerned about our process and that's what will get us to where we want to be. We just need to start putting 80 minutes together. We have Sunshine Coast this week and they're a quality side, one of the teams in the competition that I have a lot of time for and they're well-coached. With them coming off the back of a loss, they'll be disappointed and trying to right their wrongs. We're aware of that but despite that we're at a point I'd hoped we wouldn't be at, where we just need to concentrate on our backyard."

Brisbane Tigers v Redcliffe Dolphins

Head-to-head: Redcliffe 35, Tigers 18, drawn 2

Last meeting: Match abandoned and recorded as a draw in Round 1, 2023


  • Tigers have won their last four, and eight of their last nine, games while  Redcliffe have won their last six, and seven of their last eight, games
  • Redcliffe have won the last four matches between these two sides
  • The Tigers have won their last five homes games while the Dolphins have won their last two away games
  • Redcliffe require one point to bring up 17,000 in Cup. They will be the first team to do so. They have 11,897 points against

A word from the coaches

Brisbane Tigers coach Matt Church: "We were very resilient against the Capras. We absorbed a heap of pressure, especially defensively. When the opposition outscores you in the amount of tries, it's not always a sign you defended well but I thought we did defend our way to a win. I was really proud of the performance. They had 54 per cent of possession and 60 per cent of territory so it shows how much pressure we absorbed. That game had a bit of finals intensity about it and finals footy is where you have to be resilient. If you don't have momentum you have to find a way to hold them out. This week it's another big game. The Dolphins have been resurgent and have shot themselves up the ladder. They're a big, physical side and will play that power game through the middle third, not too dissimilar from the Capras. It's a huge contest."

Redcliffe Dolphins coach Ben Te'o: "We respected the Clydesdales had sort of given a lot of teams trouble at the start of the games and as much as we spoke about it, they gave us trouble as well. But I think once we got going and we sort of started to look after the footy a bit more, we sort of got ourselves into the game and found our groove. (Brisbane Tigers) they're sitting in third and we're in fourth, so they're ahead of us on the table for a reason. They've had a pretty steady year. They've got some very experienced players that come back to them through the Melbourne Storm system and some great players already. I think we just always are learning lessons together and, as much as sometimes the coaches try and point them in the right direction, I think a lot of them will have their own ideas first. So they run with that and it’s not working and then they think, ok, maybe we better go with what was the plan. So let's just hope that they take on board all the things we're trying to help them with."

Mackay Cutters v Wynnum Manly Seagulls

Head-to-head: Wynnum Manly 16, Mackay 11

Last meeting: Wynnum 44 def Mackay 6 in Round 1, 2023


A word from the coaches

Mackay Cutters coach Michael Comerford: "The overwhelming feeling from getting our first win was relief. We've done a lot of good things this year and haven't been able to turn it into a win. For the players and staff, that's what we're all judged on so there was a fair bit of satisfaction. The desire to win or putting in the work required to get a win hasn't been the problem so to finally get a reward for that was a good feeling. It definitely doesn't take away from where we're actually at. We're still sitting where we're sitting but the confidence that it gives the group, to know that they have got the ability to get it done against quality opposition, that's important. A couple of guys that have been untested at this level have proved themselves over the past few weeks as well, like Ethan Sweet and Kobe Bone, so we're also riding on the excitement of having those guys in the team and performing. Coming up against Wynnum Manly, their back five have done a big job for them all season so containing them will be crucial this weekend. It's a great test. We've come up against some quality sides over the last few weeks and Wynnum is looking pretty strong. But that's one thing our group does, is stand up to is the challenge of high quality individuals and teams."

Wynnum Manly Seagulls coach Mat Head: "Our win over Townsville last week was really good. After a big day of travel, we started a little slow to what we would like and went into halftime at 12-all but then came out, kept them scoreless and got away with a good victory. It has been an up and down season for us so far. The hardest thing for us is your six (Josh Rogers) and nine (Tyson Smoothy) are at the Broncos, you're only seeing them for captain’s run and games. We always knew the combinations would get better and they’ve bought in really well to our squad. We were always hopeful we’d get better and we’re starting to play some really nice footy. This week against Mackay, it’s going to be a tight tussle. We played them in Round 1 and got a good victory. But when you look at what they’ve done the last two weeks, they’ll be up and about, especially playing at home. I’m sure they’ll remember Round 1 too. They’ll be looking for a tight arm wrestle. We’re going to turn up with the right attitude and try to continue on like the last few weeks. They boys will be up for it."

Souths Logan Magpies v Ipswich Jets

Head-to-head: Ipswich 27, Souths Logan 21, drawn 1

Last meeting: Souths Logan 28 def Ipswich 14 in Round 1, 2023

Broadcast:, Kayo Freebies, 9Now

  • This is the 50th Cup match between these two sides
  • Souths Logan have won their last six games while Ipswich are still on the hunt for their first win of 2023
  • Souths Logan have won three of the last four meetings between these two sides
  • Ipswich have a strong record at Davies Park, having won seven of the last eight, and 14 of the last 16, meetings between these two sides at the ground

A word from the coaches

Souths Logan Magpies coach Karmichael Hunt: "The biggest takeaway for me was the boys' effort, especially defensively against Burleigh last week. It didn't come as a surprise. They've been having each other's back out there defensively all year. Right throughout the game against Burleigh they just showed up defensively and in attack, they were together as one and connected. But, although we're top of the table, we haven't done anything yet. We have our goals and ambitions, which isn't just to be No.1 halfway through the year. There's a lot of work to be done. If anything, what it does say about our group is people are going to take us seriously and that comes with a responsibility to continue to be on top of our game and continue to improve. Teams will start coming after us just like we've been doing for the first half of the year. The boys understand the process right now - to keep turning up, keep getting better. Coming up against Ipswich, we have to be on our game. This group's had a pretty tough lesson or two from similar scenarios where we've had good performances one week and then shown up the next week and not put in a total 80 minute performance and just scraped away with a win. That's the top of my priorities, is to focus on what's important. It's not what was done last week but this week. Ipswich need to be treated with respect.

Ipswich Jets coach Ben Cross: Errors really cost us against the Pride. We gave away three in the first 10 minutes and they got out to an 18-0 lead. But as far as our defensive effort, it was 323 tackles compared to 232 and we only missed 16 and they missed 30-something. We have the ability to break plenty of tackles and we're conditioned to make plenty. At one point, we dropped the ball over the try line which would have taken us to 24-all so there's good signs there and the boys have some belief that they know what they're doing now. Our resolve defensively was a lot stronger. We'll take the good things out of last week. We were running hard and direct and broke tackles. With Souths Logan, they have lots of vulnerable spots in their team so we have to find them and expose them but they're top of the table for a reason. Tristan Sailor is also back this week so we need to be very wary of him. We had some good form in the trials against them and a disappointing loss in Round 1... we have to make sure we're on our game.

Bye: Northern Pride

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