ROUND 23 PREVIEW
SUNSHINE COAST SEA EAGLES v WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS
Stockland Stadium on Saturday, August 24 - 2.30pm
Referee: Liam Kennedy
Head to Head: Wynnum 7 Sunshine Coast 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #ISC #SCSEvWYN
Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles prop Martin Cordwell has spoken out and asked for supporters to stick by the club in what has been a trying season. Quoted in the Sunshine Coast Daily, the XXXX People’s Choice Award nominee called on fans to give them more time to turn their fortunes around. “I can assure you we are doing our very best to compete at this level and are building to be a force in the Intrust Super Cup,” he said. The Sunshine Coast put in a good performance against finals hopefuls the Souths Logan Magpies last weekend, going down 16-10 – but face another tough challenge this round. The Sea Eagles will come up against a Wynnum Manly side that needs to win to arrest a recent slip down the ladder. The Seagulls lost 27-12 to Easts Tigers last round and are firmly in the battle for a top five finish. In team news, Ryan Hansen and Jordan Meads return to the Sea Eagles side, with Peter Gallen and Sam Bernstrom the players to make way. The Seagulls have also made two changes, with Junior Tongia and Andrew Clayton coming on to the bench for Jon Grieve and Aaron Rockley. The Wynnum Manly club will hold a testimonial lunch for long-serving skipper Luke Dalziel Don on Sunday and details can be found on the Seagulls website.
QRL Media tips: Wynnum Manly Seagulls by 8. The same margin they won by in round 7; there is too much at stake for the Seagulls to drop their guard here.
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #ISC #THSvMC
Despite having only played each other 11 times; these two clubs have the most draws of any combination in Cup history, with four drawn results. Their latest was back in round 7 where the Seagulls stormed back from a 22-6 halftime deficit to draw the match 22-22. That time, Marmin Barba sparked the comeback for the Tweed side. However, he has not been named to play in this weekend’s match. Tweed seem to have been hit with more injuries and have not named a full complement of players – but skipper Matt King will make a welcome return after serving a two-match suspension. Although their place in the finals is secured, the Cutters will need to keep on winning if they are to ensure second place – and a home semi-final. Captain Jardine Bobongie will reach a major milestone in front of his home fans when he becomes the first Mackay player to chalk up 100 games for the club. Joel Clinton made his return to the field in round 22 after months out with a sternum injury, but has not been named this week, neither has Jason Taumalolo or Tyson Andrews.
QRL Media tips: Mackay Cutters by 6. Mackay have not beaten Tweed since 2008 – but it might turn here as the Seagulls are down on personnel and face a tough road trip north.
NORTHERN PRIDE v EASTS TIGERS
Barlow Park on Saturday, August 24- 6.30pm
Referee: Chris Anderson
Head to Head: Pride 8 Easts 3
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #ISC #PRIDEvTIGES
The Pride wrapped up the minor premiership last weekend, but will need to refocus when they take on the Tigers – a team who seem destined to deliver on their potential this year. While the third-placed Easts have more to play for with a top-two spot within reach – they will have to overcome a poor record against their opponents. Not only have the Pride won six of the past seven games played; Easts have never won a game in Cairns in five attempts. The home side will welcome back prop Alex Starmer following his recovery from a rib injury. He will fill the spot left by Scott Bolton who has been named in the NQ Cowboys team to play the Knights. Ethan Lowe has been named on an extended bench for the Cowboys, while Brent Oosen is the other omission. Forwards Noel Underwood and Aidan Smith are the new additions. The Tigers made two changes to their side ahead of the trip, but will be forced to make another, with back-rower Brett Zgrajewski – named to replace Liam McDonald – taking an early guilty plea for striking. He will sit out the game, while the other change sees Mitch Garbutt in for Lagi Setu, who has fractured his hand. In milestone news, Easts hooker Tommy Butterfield (previously at Redcliffe) will play in his 100th Cup game. The Pride are also kicking goals off the field with their partnership with the Education Queensland achieving great results. Read more here: http://www.qrl.com.au/default.aspx?s=article-display&id=82590&title=new-school-footy-subject-changing-lives
QRL Media tips: Easts Tigers by 8. The Tigers are down a few key troops but they are playing well enough to topple a Pride outfit which now has the luxury of saving its best footy until the finals.
SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES v CENTRAL QUEENSLAND CAPRAS
Marley Brown Oval, Gladstone on Saturday, August 24 - 7pm
Referee: Tim Rutherford
Head to Head: Central 17 Souths-Logan 15 Drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #ISC #SLMvCQC
The Central Queensland Capras will enter this match buoyed by news that Brent Crisp will again wear the club’s colours in 2014. Crisp is expected to re-sign with the Capras tonight in a major boost for the club. The former Bulldog has been a dominant player in this year’s competition, winning consecutive XXXX man of the match awards. He missed last weekend’s tight loss to the Mackay Cutters due to personal reasons but will be back in action on Saturday night in Gladstone against the resurgent Souths Logan Magpies. The Magpies remain an outside chance of qualifying for the Intrust Super Cup finals after posting back-to-back wins against the Mackay Cutters and Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles. The Magpies have won seven of the past eight games between these two sides. However, the Capras will fancy their chances of getting one back following Crisp’s return. Explosive second-rower Simon Gregory is also a chance of returning from a hamstring injury. Former Rabbitoh Jamie Simpson (hamstring) and front-rower John Clayton (foot) are under injury clouds and the club’s medical staff will be working hard to get them on the park for Saturday night.
QRL Media tips: Central Qld Capras by 6. The Capras nearly got the big scalp of the Mackay Cutters last week and they have the ability to win this one.
REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS v IPSWICH JETS
Dolphin Oval on Sunday, August 25 - 2pm* (Live on Channel 9)
Referee: Michael Wise
Head to Head: Redcliffe 24 Ipswich 12
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #ISC #PHINSvJETS
Last year’s grand finalists the Redcliffe Dolphins will fight to keep their season alive when they host the Ipswich Jets in Sunday’s Channel 9 match at Dolphin Oval. The Dolphins must beat Ipswich and follow it up with a final round victory over the Norths Devils to be a chance of qualifying for the Intrust Super Cup semi-finals. The pressure is also on the fourth-placed Jets, who are still not guaranteed a place in the September finals after last weekend’s 32-32 draw with the Devils. Ipswich’s representative centre Donald Malone scored his 100th try Cup try in that match and the man known as the “Duck” will be out to dash the Dolphins’ hopes. Dolphins flyer Liam Georgetown also has a century in his sights, as one more try will give him the honour of being the first player to post 100 tries for a single club. Redcliffe will again be led by warhorse Petero Civoniceva, who is in exceptional form for a Dolphins outfit which thrashed Tweed Heads 40-0 last week. Sunday’s match will be the 100th Cup match for Marty Hatfield, who joined the Dolphins from Central Queensland.
QRL Media tips: Redcliffe Dolphins by 4. With talented halves Cameron Cullen and Zach Strasser warming to the task, the Dolphins look menacing once again.
BURLEIGH BEARS v NORTHS DEVILS
Pizzey Park on Sunday, August 25 - 3pm
Referee: Nick Morel
Head to Head: Burleigh 20 Norths 15
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #ISC #BEARSvDEVILS
Burleigh Bears back-rower Tyron Haynes will play game number 150 in Queensland’s premier competition. The Queensland Residents representative has been a shining light for the Bears over the past two seasons after joining the club from Central Queensland. He deserves to celebrate the milestone with a win but standing in his way is a determined Norths Devils team which has produced two miraculous finishes to keep their finals hopes alive. A week after a final second field goal secured them a one point win over Tweed, the Devils again surged late in their match last week to come from 14 points down and draw 32-32 with the Ipswich Jets. The Devils have named Krys Freeman at hooker as the replacement for injured hooker Kurt Baptiste. But the Devils will start favourites even without their classy Baptiste, who underwent surgery on his injured shoulder this week. The Devils have won three of their past four matches against a Burleigh outfit which will play in front of their home fans for the final time this season. The round 23 match will be Brendon Gibb’s 50th game for Norths and his 85th overall.
QRL Media tips: Norths Devils by 10. The Devils have been walking the finals tightrope with a one point win and a draw in their past two matches. They have got the class to do it more comfortably here but they won’t want to underestimate the Bears.