2018 PREVIEW 🔍 Perennial underachievers? Our fifteenth preview is here. Andrew Ferguson assesses whe...
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ROUND 4 PREVIEW
(Check out www.qrl.com.au for this preview every week)
REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS v SUNSHINE COAST
Saturday, April 9 - 2pm* Live on ABC 1
The Sunshine Coast faces a difficult task to bounce back from their heavy loss against the Ipswich Jets when they take on the red-hot Redcliffe Dolphins this weekend. The Sea Eagles' 44-6 loss to the Jets was their worst defeat in the Queensland Cup, and their current run of four losses equals their longest in the competition.
Redcliffe however, are enjoying a good run of form, having surprisingly made light work of the Burleigh Bears in the previous round. Dolphins coach John Dixon has named an unchanged team, with late round 3 inclusions Dave Hala and Allan Heldsinger retaining their spots on the bench.
In another challenge to overcome for the Sunshine Coast, it will be their fourth-straight away match and they will play another three matches on the road before their first home game at their new stadium. However, they could be boosted by the return of classy halfback Nick Swan. The Sea Eagles received a boost this week with the naming of Hutchinson Builders as the club's new major sponsor.
TWEED HEADS v CENTRAL COMETS
Piggabeen Sports Complex
Saturday, April 9 - 3.30pm
Ben Anderson's Tweed Heads Seagulls have continued on their winning ways and will prove hard to stop this weekend. Tweed fans watched their team win their first home game back at Piggabeen last week, with eight different players running in tries in the victory against the Mackay Cutters.
With the Gulls playing another home game this week, the Central Comets will have their work cut out for them on this away trip - however, they will be boosted by the return of the creative Nat Bowman. Bowman, who only needs to score two more points to reach a total of 500 in the Queensland Cup, replaces the injured Jonathan Tavinor (ankle) at halfback.
Despite missing star player Shannon Walker until round 6, Tweed's backline will be difficult to contain. In the head-to-head stakes, Tweed Heads have won nine and the Comets six. The two teams have drawn twice before.
IPSWICH JETS v MACKAY CUTTERS
North Ipswich Reserve
Sunday, April 10 - 1.30pm (please note venue change)
The Jets received an unexpected boost this week, with their game against the Mackay Cutters switched to the North Ipswich Reserve due to the heavy state of the fields in rain-drenched Mackay. After a record-breaking two straight draws to start their season, Ipswich joined the winners circle last weekend with their victory over the Sunshine Coast.
The Cutters however, endured a tough road trip to Piggabeen, where Tweed Heads scored a 46-20 win. Mackay finished the game with only two players on the bench but both Todd Seymour and Darren Griffiths have been named by coach Anthony Seibold.
For the Jets, Luke Capewell has been called up to the Titans, with Marshall Chalk returning to the fullback role. Two-try star Luke Walker also retains his spot in the Jets line-up but former Cutter Donald Malone is unlikely to play due to a shoulder injury.
This game will also be a milestone match for two Jets players, with Todd Riggs and Ian Lacey playing their 50th Queensland Cup games for Ipswich.
BURLEIGH BEARS v NORTHERN PRIDE
Sunday, April 10 - 2pm
The Northern Pride will be going for a record-equalling 16th win on the trot when they take on the Burleigh Bears this weekend. The Pride's last loss was round 13 last year against Wynnum Manly, and in their current form, they are a chance of getting there to join the NQ Young Guns and Burleigh Bears in the record books.
However, the Bears will be keen to keep the record holders to an exclusive club and are expected to put on an improved showing this weekend. Former Cronulla Shark Lancen Joudo will make his Queensland Cup debut for the Pride, with his good form in the Cairns District Rugby League earning him a spot on the bench as a back-up to hooker Jason Roos.
Rod Jensen has also been elevated from the bench in place of Michael Bani, who underwent surgery on his injured ankle yesterday. For Burleigh, coach Paul Bramley has kept the faith with his side and they will go into this game with an unchanged line-up. Pride forward Ben Laity (Northern Pride and North Queensland Young Guns) will play his 150th Queensland Cup game.
NORTHS DEVILS v WYNNUM MANLY
Sunday, April 10 - 2.30pm* Live on BayFM 100.3
It's a big day at Bishop Park on Sunday, with the two traditional clubs facing off in five games - Intrust Super Cup, FOGS Cup, FOGS Colts, Mal Meninga Cup and the Cyril Connell Cup. Although still early in the Intrust Super Cup season, this is shaping as a must-win game for the Wynnum Manly Seagulls.
The Gulls are currently 0-3 and after going down in narrow circumstances to the Redcliffe Dolphins, they have been outperformed in their last two outings. Paul Green has been prompted to make changes to his team, with a number of top grade regulars, including halfback Matt Seamark, dropped to the FOGS Cup. One player in no danger of losing his spot is Shea Moylan, a standout in the opening weeks of the competition with four tries.
Norths will have a spring in their step following last week's breakthrough win against the Comets. The Devils will also welcome back Shane Perry and skipper Mark Vaiao to the team, with Perry set to play his 200th Queensland Cup game. Perry, who also played for Brothers, Logan and Redcliffe previously, will become only the eighth player to reach the milestone.
SOUTHS LOGAN v EASTS TIGERS
Sunday, April 10 - 3pm
The Magpies host cross-town rivals Easts in this intriguing clash. Souths Logan have now won two games in a row, and while the Tigers are yet to win a game - they have been playing well enough to see their luck change soon.
Including their season-opening draw against the Ipswich Jets, Easts have now gone nine games without a win, however, their head-to-head record (Easts 19 wins; Souths-Logan 10 wins) suggests that maybe this could be their week. Kevin Stephensen made a successful return to the top grade last weekend, scoring two tries in their close loss to the Pride and will again take his place on the wing.
Souths Logan was impressive in their win against Wynnum Manly, scoring eight tries in a fine attacking performance. Both coaches have made a few changes to the teams that were named last week, with Elijah Niko returning for Easts and Corey Thompson, Wes Conlon and Wade Liddell being called into the starting side for the Magpies.