The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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NORTHERN PRIDE v MACKAY CUTTERS
A great day of rugby league is planned for Barlow Park this Saturday, with the northern showdown between the Pride and the Cutters to follow the Meninga and Connell Cup Under 18 and Under 16 grand finals. Last weekend, the Pride held on to win a thrilling match 24-22 over Souths Logan, with Magpies winger Ramon Filipine ruled to have gone into touch as he reached out in an attempt to score the match-winning try. The Cutters too were round 9 winners, claiming a hard-fought 34-28 victory over the Capras at Browne Park. In team news, Pride coach Jason Demetriou has made three changes to his successful side with Brett Anderson and Cowboys Ethan Lowe and Joel Riethmuller coming into the side. Semi Tadulala, Sheldon Powe-Hobbs and Jack Svendsen have dropped out, while the Cutters have one new face with another Cowboy in Anthony Mitchell starting at hooker and Dan Beasley not named. While the Cutters have won the past two games between these sides, including the 2013 preliminary final; the Pride have the upper hand at home, with Mackay having lost all six games against the Pride at Barlow Park.
Ben ‘Dobbo' Dobbin (Triple M) says: The Pride were lucky to get away with last week's win against Souths and this weekend will not be easy. Mackay started the year slowly but are now back on track and building some form. Robert Lui, Kyle Felt, Joel Riethmuller and Cameron King are part of the full-time Cowboys squad and should prove the difference. But I don't think that there is much between these teams. Northern Pride by 6.
The Sunshine Coast played arguably their best match of the season in their last showing at home - forcing the highly-ranked PNG Hunters to earn their 16-4 win in round 8. Having had last weekend off with the bye; the Falcons will be more than ready to take on their next challenge, the CQ Capras. In last year's corresponding XXXX Rivalry Round match, the Capras handed their opponents a 54-0 thrashing, but you get the feeling things won't be quite as easy for them this time around. For starters, the Capras have not won at Stockland Stadium since 2010 - a record the Sunshine Coast will be working hard to protect. They will also be working hard to avoid equalling the competition record for
most consecutive losses, currently held by the Logan Scorpions of 2001-02 with 28. In team news, forward Liam Pickersgill will replace the injured Mitch Zornig in the Capras line-up, while Marlon Doak is expected to play in the halves and Hayden Buckman on the wing after Broncos NYC star Duncan Paia'Aua was suspended for one week for a shoulder charge. Unfortunately for the Falcons, prop Beau Walker is out with a season-ending ACL injury. His place on the bench will be taken by Luke Blumke.
‘Dobbo' says: Although they are yet to win this season, the Sunshine Coast have shown signs of improvement every week. I am predicting a massive upset with the Sunny Coast to win and break the drought in front of their home crowd. Sunshine Coast Falcons by 10.
EASTS TIGERS v NORTHS DEVILS
Langlands Park on Sunday, May 4 - 2pm* (Live on Channel 9)
Referee: Peter Gough
Head to Head: Norths 19 Easts 17 Drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TIGESvDEVILS #XXXXRivalryRound
In last year's XXXX Rivalry Round match between the Tigers and the Devils, Cody Walker cemented his standing as one of the most talented players in the competition; bagging an individual points haul of 34 in Easts' 70-16 win. Unsurprisingly, it was the Tigers biggest ever win over the Devils, and Norths coach Mark Gliddon would quite rightly be using that humiliation to charge up his players for this weekend's match. As two of Brisbane's traditional clubs, this match-up has a lot to offer fans, with both teams coming off losses and desperate to atone in the traditional derby. Shane Neumann comes in at centre in the place of Maeli Seve in the only change to the Tigers team for this weekend while Norths have made three changes. Michael Lucas is set to make his Intrust Super Cup debut for the Devils on the wing, while Brisbane Bronco Todd Lowrie, who will be looking for a big performance to force his way back into the NRL, has been named as a starting prop. Sam Foster has been named at halfback, with Rogan Dean, Brad McKee and Byron Creighton the players omitted. While the head-to-head record for the two clubs is relatively close, Norths have won six of the past eight games between the two sides.
‘Dobbo' says: Channel 9 game and two glamour clubs of the Intrust Super Cup. Cody Walker is a super star and will be the difference in this game. Norths need to try and muscle up in the forwards, but there is a huge hole without Jarrod Wallace (Broncos). Easts Tigers by 10.
Week after week, we're seeing thrilling finishes in the NRL and Intrust Super Cup. Last Saturday's Cup clash between the Northern Pride and Souths Logan was yet another game decided right on the bell. The Magpies came up just short though in search of a second try in the final two minutes and they'll be eager to finish on the right side of the ledger in this important XXXX Rivalry Round match at Davies Park. In contrast to the Magpies near miss, the Jets did it relatively easy last week; leading from start to finish against the Redcliffe Dolphins. Ipswich's smaller men, including Javarn White, Wes Conlon and Marmin Barba, were at their tormenting best. But this weekend the Jets will meet a team that can be equally dangerous around the ruck with Kurt Baptiste and Mitch Cronin capable of tearing any side apart. It all points to a fabulous spectacle between two clubs who continually punch above their weight in the Intrust Super Cup.
‘Dobbo' says: Southswill need to be at their best when they face the might of the Ipswich Jets on Sunday. Keiron Lander and his team are playing an upbeat game plan and it's working. Doubt if you may, but the Jets are the real deal. Ipswich Jets by 10.
Rivalry is the buzz word this weekend and it doesn't get much bigger than this. Spectators will feel the intensity from the very minute the players step foot onto Pizzey Park for this one. Interestingly, all six Intrust Super Cup tippers in our match day programme went with a Burleigh Bears victory. Tweed will have something to say about that, particularly as they have won five of their last six games against their coastal rivals. Burleigh is chasing a fifth-straight win at home this year. Recruit Khan Ahwang requires six more points to bring up 100 for the season. Burleigh v Tweed games are traditionally tight affairs, so it may not be another points scoring spree for the dashing Bears centre. Both of these teams will field an array of Gold Coast Titans contracted players, which adds another element to an already fascinating clash. Tweed's 23-14 win over the Easts Tigers has breathed new life into the Seagulls' campaign. They can continue their climb up the ladder with another win here. Coach Aaron Zimmerle is set to field arguably their strongest team of the year, with the return of Titans debutant Cody Nelson to play alongside the likes of Matt Srama, Sam Irwin, Beau Henry and Kalifa FaiFai Loa.
‘Dobbo' says: Burleigh have started to turn their season around and are now going really well. Won't this be a battle royal to lots of surfing groups … like a dog fighting over a bone. Both clubs think they own the coast. Burleigh Bears by 6.
Head to Head: Redcliffe 25 Wynnum 12 Drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #WYNvPHINS #XXXXRivalryRound
Live call on BayFM 100.3FM http://www.spreaker.com/user/wynnumseagulls2014
The prized Herald Cup will go on the line in Sunday's clash between the fierce bayside rivals. Redcliffe currently holds the Herald Cup after winning both games last year. However, the Dolphins will start as underdogs in this match given their indifferent form in recent weeks. Jon Buchanan's Wynnum outfit is one of the form teams of the competition, having ruthlessly disposed of Norths last Friday 30-10. The Seagulls will also be boosted by the return of classy hooker Jake Granville, who has played the last two games in the NRL with the Brisbane Broncos off the bench. The Queensland Residents star had limited game time in both matches, but certainly did not look out of place. Wynnum have won all five home games this year, much to the delight of local fans who will pack into the Chook Pen on Sunday. After being outplayed by the Jets last weekend, Dolphins coach Troy Lindsay has made the one positional change with Paul Byrnes and Stewart Mills swapping roles. The speedy Byrnes moves from the wing to fullback and should relish the open space. There is one forced change, with Tom Geraghty coming in for the injured Jon Green.
‘Dobbo' says: Jake Granville - the man with the best hair in the Intrust Super Cup - is back and that spells trouble for the Dolphins. Redcliffe aren't firing at the moment and it will be a big ask against a quality Seagulls team. Wynnum Manly Seagulls by 8.
PNG Hunters - bye