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Hostplus Cup Round 19 preview

After a one week break, the Hostplus Cup returns in Round 19 to celebrate Harvey Norman Women in League Round.

The competition moves into the final four weeks of the season, as teams push to find their place in this year's top eight.

There are plenty of contenders for this year's final series, with teams from one to 12 on the ladder still in the running for the 2023 premiership.

It sets the stage for plenty of thrilling showdowns, starting with the Round 19 opener between the eighth-placed Sunshine Coast Falcons and the Wynnum Manly Seagulls in third.

Elsewhere, the ninth-placed Northern Pride will take on Burleigh Bears, Townsville Blackhawks (10th) will play host to Mackay Cutters, the PNG Hunters (11th) will come to Brisbane to meet the Tigers in Sunday's feature game, and the 12th-placed Norths Devils will look to get an edge when they take on the Ipswich Jets on Saturday.

Here is your Round 19 '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 19

Sunshine Coast Falcons v Wynnum Manly Seagulls

Head-to-head: Wynnum Manly 14, Sunshine Coast 10

Last meeting: Wynnum Manly 20 def Sunshine Coast 12 in Round 12, 2022


  • This is the second Cup match to be played in Maryborough. The first game was between Burleigh and Central Queensland, with the Bears triumphing 24-14 in 2018
  • Wynnum Manly have won the last three games between these two sides
  • Wynnum Manly playmaker Josh Rogers has become the first Seagulls player to score 200 points in a season. This is the 37th occasion this feat has been achieved in Cup and the second time for Rogers after he scored 250 for Burleigh last year

A word from the coaches

Sunshine Coast Falcons coach Brad Henderson: We're pretty refreshed but we still had a couple of tough sessions in the week off because we don't want to lose touch with conditioning. A few boys got away and got footy out of their heads, and now we're back, ready and raring to go. We know if we lose this game, we're relying on results. We want to control our own fate. This is certainly a must-win game for us. If we keep winning, we stay where we are... wins keep us where we need to be. Coming up against Wynnum Manly, I'm expecting power from them. They're similar to Redcliffe where they explode through the middle third. They have Oliver Pascoe playing No.9 for them with Tyson (Smoothy) at the Broncos. Pascoe is particularly sharp out of dummy-half. We're going to be on red alert and working hard to negate those guys pushing through the middle. But again, it's worrying about us, not the opposition. We've been our own worst enemy at times but we know we have to beat Wynnum. That's where our heads need to be.

Wynnum Manly Seagulls coach Mat Head: Country Week was a good weekend for us. While we didn’t get the result on the field, we had four young boys make their debut for our club and three were out of our Colts system. That was really exciting for our club and has brought a good buzz to our training. Obviously we didn’t get the win but the trip and what the club got out of it was bigger and better. We get back into it this week with an exciting game. We haven’t played Sunny Coast this year yet and they’re a strong club with a good affiliation at the Melbourne Storm. We’re excited by the challenge.

Ipswich Jets v Norths Devils 

Head-to-head: Norths 28, Ipswich 22, drawn 2

Last meeting: Norths 52 def Ipswich 12 in Round 19, 2022


  • Ipswich have lost their last 19 games
  • Norths have won three of their last four games as well as the last two meetings with Ipswich
  • Ipswich have lost their last nine home games while Norths have lost three of their last four away games
  • Backrower Sam Elliott will play his 50th Cup game this weekend. He has notched up this milestone for Souths Logan, Brisbane Tigers, Redcliffe and Norths 

A word from the coaches

Ipswich Jets coach Ben Cross: Having last week off was a good refresher after a big weekend of travel away for Country Week. Everyone's rejuvenated after a week off. It's the last game of the season at home for us and Ladies' Day as well, so we want to put on a good show for them. This week I want to see energy from our team. Norths are professional, fairly well-structured, and have a lot of experience. Jack Ahearn and Connor Broadhurst, the amount of games they have played alone almost matches our whole team, so there's a lot of experience there. 

Norths Devils coach Dave Elliott: The squad's looking pretty good. We got an injury out of Country Week in one of our young forwards, Zach Brooks, while Liam Horne is also headed overseas after signing with Castleford, which is great for him. Our mindset's still fairly positive as we head into the last month. We know what the equation is so to speak and we're literally just focusing on each of our opposition teams as they come up. Our game this weekend against the Jets, they haven't won a game yet this year, but being competitive players, they'll want to win their first. They'll be up for it as much as they are every other weekend so we need to be on our game.

Burleigh Bears v Northern Pride

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

Last meeting: Pride 26 def Burleigh 22 in Round 13, 2023


  • Burleigh have lost two of their last three matches while the Pride have lost their last three matches
  • The Bears have won three of the last four games between these two sides
  • Pride coach Ty Williams is aiming for his 50th win as a coach in his 125th game at the Pride - he has five draws and 70 losses
  • Burleigh second rower Hayden Schwass has moved to fifth on the leader board for all-time Cup games for the Bears, sitting on 144

A word from the coaches

Burleigh Bears coach Luke Burt: We really needed a freshen up after Country Week. We had a PNG trip into a Miles trip and they were two tough, physical games. We were a bit ill-disciplined against Redcliffe last round - 17 errors in total which showed we didn't respect the ball enough and we didn't have the energy to defend like we wanted to. We have a good opportunity to bounce back this week. We're under no illusion, the Pride will be desperate to win. They got us last year at their home ground so we know it won't be easy. We're under no illusion it's going to be a very tough gamer and will take 80 minutes to beat them. 

Northern Pride coach Ty Williams: Comments to come.

Townsville Blackhawks v Mackay Cutters

Head-to-head: Townsville 11, Mackay 2, drawn 1

Last meeting: Townsville 28 def Mackay 22 in Round 3, 2023


  • Townsville have two wins and a draw from their last three matches
  • Mackay have lost four of their last five matches
  • Townsville have won four of the last five meetings between these two sides
  • Veteran Townsville forward Patrick Kaufusi will play his 100th Cup game on Saturday. Across his Cup career he has played for the Northern Pride, Brisbane Tigers and the Blackhawks

A word from the coaches

Townsville Blackhawks coach Aaron Payne: Comments to come.

Mackay Cutters coach Michael Comerford: Last week was our second week off in a three week period so we weren't exactly needing it but we made the most of the opportunity to mix things up a bit with training and trained through the weekend to keep the boys focused. Country Week was a great weekend away and it was close on the field, but not good enough in the end against Souths Logan. There were plenty of positives but it was a lesson in how much detail the teams at the top put into their games. We'd be one pass off or our timing wasn't right and that took away our opportunities to win the game. But souths had one chance late and were good enough to take it. It's something we're looking to be a bit better with. Defensively, there's plenty still to work on. We have the opportunity this week to take the same 17 into the Blackhawks game, which is the first time we've been able to do that this season. The Blackhawks are a team that are still in with a finals chance so we're expecting them effort-wise to be at their best. It's not Rivalry Round but this is as close as you can get, so there's a fair bit of feeling in these games. It shapes up as what should be a good match up. Although we're not pushing for finals, there's no shortage of motivation to get the win.

Western Clydesdales v Central Queensland Capras

Head-to-head: Clydesdales 15, Central Queensland 4

Last meeting: Toowoomba 38 def Central Queensland 22 in Round 15, 2006


  • The Clydesdales have lost their last 10 games, which is their worst ever losing run
  • Central Queensland have two wins and a draw from their last four games
  • The Clydesdales have won the last six games between these two sides, including the last three in Toowoomba
  • Winger Brandon Roberts has moved to fifth on the all time try-scoring leader board for Central Queensland try scorers, having recently overtaken Graham White and Dallas Williams (33)
  • Capras workhorse Lachlan Hubner will play his 50th Cup game this weekend, with all matches played for Central Queensland

A word from the coaches

Western Clydesdales coach Jason Alchin: We’re looking at this game this week against the Capras the same as every week. They’ll get a few players back from the Dolphins. We’ll be there competing. We’re looking at rebuilding for next year. I want to see if my players want to be here or not. That’s as blunt and plain as I can say it. It’s on the field at the moment and how much they want to stay as a Western Clydesdale next year and beyond. The Capras are well-coached, they’re in the eight. I’d rather player a side that’s in the eight.

Central Queensland Capras coach Lionel Harbin: It was really good to get away for Country Week and we really enjoyed it. Biloela is in our region and did a fantastic job in hosting both clubs. The performance against the Jets was a step in the right direction. We set our season up with the start we had to our year and the middle of the year was a mixed bag of results but we get to right the ending. We have four games left and it's up to us how we want to play. From us, I want to see improvement from our last performance against Ipswich. We did a lot of things right but I thought we could have executed a lot better in attack. That's something that let us down through the middle period of the season, is our execution. We've defended quite well. The Clydesdales, it's going to be a tough game down there, at their home ground. I think they've been pretty unlucky in a lot of games throughout the year. They compete really hard. We're expecting a really tough game.

Brisbane Tigers v PNG Hunters

Head-to-head: Tigers 7, PNG 4, drawn 2

Last meeting: Tigers 38 def PNG 36 in Round 3, 2023

Broadcast:, 9Now and Kayo Freebies

  • Tigers have won three of their last four games while PNG have won two of their last three games
  • Tigers have three wins and a draw from the last four games played between these two sides at Totally Workwear Stadium
  • The Tigers have lost their last two home games while PNG have lost four of their last five away games

A word from the coaches

Brisbane Tigers coach Matt Church: Country Week is always a really good week but it's also good to have a week off afterwards. We trained strongly on Wednesday night so hopefully we can build into Sunday nicely. We need to be consistent and put our best foot forward. We want to finish in the top four. We're meeting a Hunters side playing for their season so they'll be full tilt, as usual. They haven't taken their bye period lightly and have had players in the Digicel Cup, which shows they wanted to keep momentum to build into our game this weekend.

PNG Hunters coach Stanley Tepend: We've had two weeks off, which has been tricky. We managed them by having the first week off and then allowed boys to play club footy back with their clubs in the Digicel Cup in PNG before coming back to Hunters. We know our season is on the line and we want to win the remaining games. Without putting pressure on ourselves, we know we can play well to win. The Tigers beat us here in Port Moresby when we played them last time and Matt Church knows how our boys are, so he will be using that to his advantage. We will concentrate on us more than anything because we know the Tigers are a good side and they will be tough, especially down in Brisbane. 

Byes: Redcliffe Dolphins, Souths Logan Magpies, Tweed Seagulls

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