Our weekly feature - The Armchair Expert - returns just in time for the finals!
This week we look a...
12 hours ago
It's already Round THREE of the QRL Intrust Super Cup. Here's the official preview with tips from Ben "Dobbo" Dobbin thanks to the Queensland Rugby League.
Check out the TEAMLISTS for Round 3 of the Intrust Super Cup by clicking HERE.
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #JETSvWYN
Without six regulars, the Ipswich Jets face a massive challenge against the in-form Seagulls. Ipswich skipper Keiron Lander and interchange forward Tariki Peneha are unavailable due to personal commitments, while key back-rowers Sam Martin, Kurtis Lingwoodock and Liam Capewell are out injured. Fullback Javarn White will also miss the match due to a one match suspension for striking, further stretching the Jets' playing ranks. Their absence forces a major reshuffle and provides an opportunity for Josh Cleeland, Kaliova Nauqe and Ray Schuster to make their Intrust Super Cup debuts. Tyson Lofipo will captain Ipswich for the first time in Lander's absence. The Seagulls look far more settled and are coming off a stunning victory over premiership favourites the Easts Tigers. Jake Granville, the man who sparked the Seagulls with a devastating first-half burst last week, is back in the No. 9 jumper and again looms as Wynnum's trump card. In milestone news, premiership-winning back-rower John Te Reo plays his 100th match for Wynnum. The former Bronco has also played 35 Cup matches for Toowoomba and Aspley. Saturday's match will be followed by the Army v RAAF clash as part of Ipswich's Defence Force Appreciation Round. Click on the link for more: Defence Take Pride of Place.
Ben ‘Dobbo' Dobbin (Triple M) says: Won't this be a bell ringer. Ipswich had their first win last Saturday and Wynnum have shown they mean business. Granville was outstanding in his XXXX man of the match performance against the Tigers (doesn't he love the camera). This should be a fantastic afternoon at the North Ipswich Reserve, the only footy field that has a jumping castle for the kids right next door to the XXXX can bar for the dads! Wynnum Manly by 12.
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PNGvCQC
After two losses, the Central Queensland Capras face the daunting prospect of having to travel to Papua New Guinea to get their first win of the season. Jason Hetherington's team will start underdogs, but there is an air of confidence within the camp that they can become the first away team to win at Kalabond Oval. Their prospects have been boosted by the addition of exciting fullback Hughie Stanley, who has yet to figure in Central's 2014 campaign. The Capras have already beaten the Hunters this year, but that was a pre-season trial in Rockhampton and Saturday's match will be a much tougher proposition. Capras recruit Smith Samau will play his 100th game in this competition, having previously represented the Norths Devils and the Ipswich Jets. Hunters officials will be hoping for a dry track this Saturday after heavy rain before and during last weekend's historic home clash against Mackay. Inspired by classy fullback Adex Wera and a two-try effort from centre Thompson Teteh, the Hunters finished strongly in the final 10 minutes to record a 24-16 victory.
‘Dobbo' says: Who would have thought after two rounds of Intrust Super Cup that PNG would be undefeated and equal competition leaders? CQ are working hard and are close to a win, but I wonder how the CQ coach will be handle the road trip? Mr T, TT or just Thompson Teteh … either way he's a try scoring machine for the Hunters. PNG Hunters by 10.
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PRIDEvPHINS
Redcliffe might be the most successful club in Cup history with five premierships, but if there is one club that's got their measure, it's the team from the Far North. The Pride have notched 11 wins compared to Redcliffe's one, a remarkable statistic given the Phins' standing in the competition. Redcliffe's only win over the Pride was in June 2008 at Barlow Park - they have lost 10 games against them since then. While the statistics don't make pretty reading for Dolphins fans, the reality is the record won't count for a lot when the two teams take the field, particularly as Redcliffe's line-up is vastly different to previous teams which have played the Pride. Fullback Stewart Mills, five-eighth Zach Strasser and second-rower Sarafu Fatiaki will make their first appearances of the season for the Dolphins, who went down to PNG in the opening week before having a week to cool their heels with the round two bye. Pride coach Jason Demetriou has named speedsters Matthew Wright and Javid Bowen to return from injury, but the northern heavyweights will be without key Cowboys forward Ricky Thorby after he injured his knee in last weekend's win over the Capras.
‘Dobbo' says: The Pride had a great win v CQ last week with the plasterer from Innisfail Shaun Nona kicking goals from everywhere. The Dolphins are still smarting from their round one loss to the Hunters. Look for a better showing this time around. Redcliffe Dolphins by 6.
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SLMvBEARS
Giant winger Ramon Filipine will play in his 100th Cup game this weekend and will be looking to celebrate the milestone with a win against Burleigh. Weighing in at 120kg, Filipine - who previously played for the Ipswich Jets - can cause major damage with the ball in hand. He is part of a mostly unchanged Magpies side this week, with young second rower Darcy Wright the only addition to the team that defeated the Falcons last weekend. Nick Doyle has not been named in the team. The Magpies started poorly in the match against the Sunshine Coast and were trailing at halftime before they were able to click into gear and go on to record their 38-14 win. The Burleigh Bears are set to be unchanged altogether, with coach Carl Briggs happy to let his team attempt to make amends for last weekend's close loss to Norths. Zach Mackay and Titan Brad Takairangi were late additions against the Devils and have been named to start; however fellow Titan Anthony Don may be a late inclusion after he withdrew from the side with calf soreness last weekend. The Bears take some poor away form with them on this trip having lost five of their past six games away from Pizzey Park.
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #THSvDEVILS
Tweed Heads play their first home game of the season this Sunday and will pay tribute to life member and "father of football" Col Hayes. Hayes has filled a number of positions at the club from player to General Manager. On the field, the team have made three changes, with captain Matt King to serve a one match ban for striking. Chris Piper and Ben Ridge have also not been named, with Cory Blair, Tom Kingston and Pele Peletelese to come into the side. Ryan James may also make his return from a shoulder injury, while Blake Anderson will lead the team in King's absence. Norths - who are coming off a hard-fought 18-12 win over Burleigh last week - have also been forced to make changes to their team, with Shaun Carney and Jharal Yow Yeh injured in last week's game. Nathan Lowrie, James Geurtjens and Namila Davui are the new faces in the side. In the corresponding match last year - the Devils won a thrilling match with a field goal after the siren and they will look to continue their good away form which has seen them win their past five games on the road.
‘Dobbo' says: There will be a blitz at the hairdresser over the next couple of days before this Channel 9 game. Tweed haven't had the best of starts to the season, but they're capable of striking form here. Tweed Heads Seagulls by 4.
EASTS TIGERS v SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS
Langlands Park on Sunday, March 16 - 3pm
Referee: Robert Gallacher
Head to Head: Easts 6 Sunshine Coast 4
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TIGESvSCF
The Easts Tigers will be hoping they bring their second half form from last weekend into this match - where they fought back from a poor start to nearly claim a comeback win over Wynnum Manly. The Sunshine Coast however will be want to bring their first half form into the game, after they held a 14-10 lead over Souths Logan. Both sides lost their matches - Easts falling short and the Falcons being blown away in the second - and both will be desperate for a win this week. For the Sunshine Coast, new additions to the team are wingers Karyss Adams and Maa Ruua, along with Matt Gilliman on the bench. Easts were hit hard by injuries last weekend - with their Melbourne Storm contingent of Mitch Garbutt (ribs), Felise Kaufusi (chest) and Hymel Hunt (ankle) all in the casualty ward. Joel Romelo was expected to again be a late addition to the team - but will be forced to sit out to serve a one match ban for striking. Liam McDonald, Liufau Hala, Maeli Seve and Liam Tyson have been named as replacements. Sunshine Coast captain Ryan Hansen will take the field for his 50th Cup game, having previously played with the Norths Devils.
‘Dobbo' says: It will be a tough day at Langlands Park for the men from the Sunny Coast. Ivan Henjak is doing a great job with a young team. The Tigers will be hurting after the Wynnum loss and should show some bite. Easts Tigers by 16.
BYE: Mackay Cutters