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Coaches' call: Hostplus Cup Round 9 preview

Teams of the Hostplus Cup will be chasing redemption in Round 9 after a number of surprise results last weekend that rocked the boat.

The Redcliffe Dolphins are one team looking to bounce back following an upset loss to the Western Clydesdales, while the Clydesdales themselves are on the hunt for back-to-back wins for the first time since re-entering the competition last year.

The Tweed Seagulls and Townsville Blackhawks will meet on Saturday and both are hoping to return to the winner's circle after being on the wrong end of some big scorelines in Round 8 while the Ipswich Jets will also aim to comeback from their loss to the table-topping Northern Pride.

Ahead of Round 9, the coaches of the competition share their thoughts.

Hostplus Cup Round 9

Wynnum Manly Seagulls v Ipswich Jets

Wynnum Manly Seagulls coach Mat Head: It was a very good game of footy last weekend. We trained really well and put a lot of emphasis on energy and enthusiasm. I thought the boys had it in bucket loads. The win over Tweed, it was our most consistent in defence and attack and it was good to see the boys score some tries. But you don't want to look too far ahead in this competition so we're focused on this week and continuing what we did last week. We get a stretch of footy from here so we need to build upon that and keep the positives. There's a few little things to work on and address. Coming up against Jets, we don't take too much from their loss last week. The Titans boys can help their footy team and bring some confidence. You just to try to see what they're very good at and the things that we need to improve on should hopefully nullify their positives. 

Ipswich Jets coach Ben Cross: I want to see them play the whole game the way we started last week against the Pride. We started fast and were aggressive in our line speed. But then we had a little bit of amnesia and forgot what worked and stopped what we were doing. We're a young, inexperienced squad so we take the learnings out of last week and identify what worked well and try to replicate that again. Wynnum Manly this week are a very professional outfit and their back five are a massive threat. Jon Reuben, Sione Hopoate and Matty Milson in particular are consistently getting well over 100 metres each. Cory Paix at the scrum, any quick play-the-ball he's going to jump on. We have to be really smart around our ruck defence and just not let them breathe. We need to be square in our D line and replicate what a couple of teams have done to them this year and then hopefully get a result.


PNG Hunters v Northern Pride

PNG Hunters coach Paul Aiton: Comments to come.

Northern Pride coach Eric Smith: It was nice to not only get a good win last week against Ipswich but a win on the road. Our first two trips to the southeast were not great for us or our best performances. That was the first pleasing thing. The second pleasing thing is I thought Ipswich dominated the first 18 minutes and were really in control and came out hard and fast. We didn't get into our end until the 18th minute. In that period there were a lot of good things from us, especially defensively. Then we were able to put some points on of our own. That first 18 minutes, I thought, really set up the last 60 minutes for us. Now we head into one of the tougher road trips - PNG. We know going over there that no matter where you play the Hunters, it's going to be a real physical contest. But we know over there it increases and the big crowd really helps them grow another leg. Once they get a roll on, they're really hard to pin back. We know it's coming. We've got a few things we've focused on to nullify that as much as we can this weekend. We know we'll have to bite down on our mouthguards and do some tough stuff, both with the football but also getting our bodies in front. When they carry the football, they're coming hard and direct.


Tweed Seagulls v Townsville Blackhawks

Tweed Seagulls coach Dave Penna: There are no excuses for last week's performance. Wynnum turned up to play and they played really, really well and blew us out of the water in the first 10 to 15 minutes and we didn't recover. We didn't play well and all the little effort areas and things we had been doing in earlier games we didn't do. It was very disappointing. It's just energy and accountability for one another. We showed signs of looking at the other person and hoping they'd get them out rather than just being the person to do that. For us it's about playing well as individuals and playing with the intensity needed to be in Cup. That's what we need to do. Townsville this week have have a wealth of experience and a lot of quality players, plus a new coach, who is a good coach. I've watched all their games and on the weekend just gone, the match blew out for them too but they're a quality side. If we think they're going to roll over, it won't happen.

Townsville Blackhawks coach Terry Campese: The feelings in the sheds after our loss to the Hunters, there was disappointment across the board. No one wants to play like that, especially at home. The boys were quite upset and I told them to remember that feeling. We have to learn from that and not be in that situation anymore. It was 16-12 at the 30-minute mark so we weren't too far off to start the game. But then they scored two quick tries to go up at halftime and then in the second half they were more energetic and powerful and we could not keep up. They were very hard to stop. We've watched some video and we need to try in the future to identify when we're in that situation and reverse it or fight back. We have Tweed this week who had a good win a couple weeks ago but then lost in similar fashion to us last week. Both teams will want to make amends for the weekend's performances. 


Mackay Cutters v Burleigh Bears

Mackay Cutters coach Michael Comerford: Comments to come.

Burleigh Bears coach Luke Burt: It was a huge win for us last week and it was more so because of the way the game panned out. It was a real even game, a real tough arm wrestle. It was the toughest game we had all year. It got to the point where it could have gone either way. I felt early on they really had a lot of the running and they scored in the fifth minute. Our boys hung tough and stuck in there and regained even field position and possession. You don't beat the Falcons with anything less than an 80 minute performance and we did just that. I think as well the Falcons were a good prep for what the Cutters will produce this weekend. They're also a big, powerful side that can move the ball really well and with strong carries out of the back field. It was a good warm-up match for the Cutters.


Redcliffe Dolphins v Central Queensland Capras

Redcliffe Dolphins coach Ben Te'o: We're not happy with the way we've performed the last two weeks. It's been quite disappointing. We've made some changes and had some people come into our side and it just hasn't clicked yet. But that's the process at the moment, We just need to be better, that's it. This weekend against the Capras, I just know the way that Lionel (Harbin) coaches a side, they always work hard. They're honest footballers and love their footy up in Rockhampton. We're pretty familiar with a few guys up there. The guys will be getting into each other and I'm sure the chat has already started between our Dolphins NRL affiliates and it will be a good test for everyone to put themselves on show.

Central Queensland Capras coach Lionel Harbin: We just seem to be hurting ourselves at the moment. It's ill-discipline, completions not high and putting a lot of pressure on ourselves. On top of that, Souths Logan did a really good job of defending their line last week. It's a combination of things there. We just want to give ourselves more of an opportunity with the footy. I thought we kicked well on the weekend and we had a really good kick-chase but we let Souths off the hook with silly penalties and invited them down our end. We did do a good job of defending our try line but you can't do that all game. The Dolphins will probably be pretty disappointed too and we're both coming off a couple losses and both going into the bye so it's an important game for both teams. We're both feeder clubs to the Dolphins so it should make for a good game.


Souths Logan Magpies v Western Clydesdales

Souths Logan Magpies coach Karmichael Hunt: Last week, I was really impressed with the preparation from the boys and the way they got through the same day travel. It's not easy jumping on a plane in the morning and playing that night but they were switched on mentally and we couldn't be happier with how they prepared. The last couple of weeks, we've got a couple of wins in a row and that's been pleasing but its been off the back of the boys getting a little bit fitter, stringing some games along and combinations starting to develop as well. We're really pleased but never satisfied. We're looking to keep building and that continues this week against the Clydesdales. They'll be up and about and should get a lot of confidence from that result against Redcliffe last week. They seem to be really physical in D and on the same page in attack. We have to be on our game and looking to get better in each area of our game.

Western Clydesdales coach Jason Alchin: Last week's win - our first of the season - it was the result of a lot of hard work. We knew what we had to do a couple of weeks ago and we changed things around and the boys responded really well. They really deserved that win. They just stuck with what we knew we had to change. There's been a lot of long training nights with ball work. The pleasing part was they stuck with it against Redcliffe and did what we said we should be doing and it's good for the club. But we're not getting carried away with it. It's only one game. All the good sides have won five or six games so we're back to hard work this week. I've watched a lot of Souths Logan's videos and we all know who they should have out there this weekend. We expect Tristan Sailor to be there and we know Jordan Pereira is very strong. They have have a big pack and they're with the Broncos. Karmichael's a good, young coach and he's doing a great job there. We just have to keep working on what we're doing. We'll keep doing what we're doing and also respect them. The boys said they're really looking forward to getting back-to-back wins for the first time since we've been in this comp. We're ready to go. 


Norths Devils v Brisbane Tigers

Norths Devils coach Dave Elliott: We used the bye week last week for a bit of rest and recuperation with a few niggles. We were just concentrating on us. We're still trying to chase some consistency heading into Round 9. We're win-loss-win-loss so to speak. We want to chase some back to back wins and as this period of the comp gets a bit longer, you'll see some separation in the table so we want to be continuing to improve. I'm not expecting anything out of the ordinary from the Tigers this weekend. Every game is a tough game and the Tigers are a tough -team. They'll be chasing their own back-to-back win. I'm sure they're coming over here to beat us at home. Our mentality needs to match that otherwise we won't get what we want. 

Brisbane Tigers coach Matt Church: Last week's win was a really good bounce back from our previous performance. We got back to doing what we do best and defending really well and working hard for each other. That played out in the result. From here, we're just building on what we did well. Our game management at times could have been better - we let the Cutters back in the game and it got to 12-all when we were in control. But it was a pleasing performance after the week before. I'm expecting a few surprises from Norths this week, potentially in their line-up. They've started the year really strongly. They have threats across the park and then they have a really big, tall timber that lays the platform for them.

Broadcast:, Kayo Freebies, 9Now

Bye: Sunshine Coast Falcons

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