GEAR UP FOR THE WEEKEND | Round 21 of the #NRL kicks off tonight with the Roosters hosting the Bronc...
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A full preview of all the Round 8 Intrust Super Cup action thanks to the QRL, together with Ben "Dobbo" Dobson's tips.
Full Round 8 teamlists & match officials - click HERE.
All times are AEST.
Central Queensland Capras coach Jason Hetherington and their fans will be hoping a rare Thursday night match brings about a change in fortunes for the club. The Capras have pushed a number of the Intrust Super Cup's best teams, but only have a draw to show from their opening six matches. Hetherington's team heads into this match boosted by the news that young second-rower Liam Pickersgill has signed a two year contract with the Brisbane Broncos. "The Broncos contract is a great opportunity for Liam to take his footy to the next level by experiencing an NRL club," Capras operations manager Walson Carlos said. "It shows once again that the Capras have a clear pathway for juniors to the NRL which is important." Standing in the Capras' way tonight in Gladstone is a Wynnum Manly team that has won its past five games against the Central Queenslanders. Jon Buchanan's Seagulls are one of the competition's form teams at present, with recent wins over the Burleigh Bears, Souths Logan Magpies and Sunshine Coast Falcons.
Ben ‘Dobbo' Dobbin (Triple M) says: Thursday night footy kicks off round 8. It's amazing the lengths that teams will go to so they can attend the Flinton Races on Easter Saturday! This will be a lot closer than most think. CQ will be without Corey Oates and will have their backs to the wall. Wynnum Manly Seagulls by 6.
IPSWICH JETS v NORTHERN PRIDE
North Ipswich Reserve on Saturday, April 19 - 5pm
Referee: Peter Gough
Head to Head: Pride 8 Ipswich 5 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #JETSvPRIDE
Live on www.phoenixradio.com.au
Having been forced indoors last weekend due to tropical Cyclone Ita, the Northern Pride will look to unleash a storm of their own against the Ipswich Jets on Saturday. Following a round 5 bye and their postponed match against Easts, the Pride have been restricted to the one hit-out in the past three weeks. But Pride coach Jason Demetriou is sure to have his players "up" for this match, particularly as the Norths Devils now hold down top spot on the Intrust Super Cup ladder. The Pride have named Cowboys enforcer Ricky Thorby and young flyer Kyle Feldt for the round 8 clash. Ipswich will be without forward leader Tyson Lofipo, who is set to miss the rest of the season with a knee injury. Kurtis Lingwoodock moves into the front-row in Lofipo's absence, while former Swifts start Josh Cleeland comes into the starting side at five-eighth for Ollie Olds. Ipswich have won their last four home games, and most interestingly, the past 10 games between these two sides have resulted in nine home team wins and one draw (at Ipswich in 2011).
‘Dobbo' says: North Ipswich Reserve Saturday arvo … Easter eggs and a XXXX watching a title fight. How good will this be? The Pride have battled Mother Nature over the last fortnight and are still standing. Our thoughts go to the people of far North NQ and we hope they can get back on their feet. In saying that, the Jets are full off Avgas and are rolling. If you can't make the ground make sure you tune into my call with Jacko Lyons on www.phoenixradio.com.au Ipswich Jets by 12.
Mackay's young forward leader Dan Beasley will sit out this match after receiving a one game suspension for a dangerous throw earlier this week. Jason Schirnack slots into the front-row in Beasley's absence. After yet another tight loss, the Cutters are in danger of losing touch with the top five if they don't secure the two points here. They will have to do it without strike centre Curtis Rona, who scored a slashing try in the 22-14 loss to Burleigh last week. The Queensland Residents centre is set to make his debut for the North Queensland Cowboys in their NRL match against Manly. Skipper Tyson Martin returns from suspension for the Cutters and will slot into the centres. Dolphins coach Troy Lindsay has named an unchanged team following their impressive 34-6 victory over Souths Logan. Key forwards Jake Marketo and James Ackerman remain under injury clouds and have not been named for a Dolphins side which climbed into fifth spot following last week's win at home. After a sluggish start, the Dolphins are looking dangerous, particularly with halfback Adrian Davis in electric form. The Dolphins stretched the Magpies on the flanks last week, with Liam Georgetown and Paul Byrnes netting four tries between them.
‘Dobbo' says: Mackay can't buy a win. In the space of seven weeks, they have gone from the penthouse to the other not so glamorous house. It's a tough comp and nobody is questioning their effort or their talent. They've just had a super tough start and this week will be no different. Redcliffe mean business and they beat the ‘Canberra Magpies' with ease. But if the Cutters stay off the eggs on Friday, we will see a big upset. Mackay Cutters by 6.
EASTS TIGERS v BURLEIGH BEARS
Langlands Park on Sunday, April 20 - 2pm
Referee: Michael Gordon
Head to Head: Burleigh 21 Easts 15 Drawn 2
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TIGESvBEARS
Live stream go to http://www.thetigers.com.
The Easts Tigers have been on the sideline for two weeks now - having sat out round 6 with the bye before their round 7 match against the Northern Pride was postponed due to Cyclone Ita. Changes to their team since they last took the field in round 5 see the inclusion of backs Hymel Hunt and Donald Malone, while Felise Kaufusi returns to start in the front row. Foisa Peni is on the bench, while Dwayne Craft, Maeli Seve, Liufau Hala and Richie Kennar (hip) have been omitted. While the Tigers may be without match time, the Bears should not go into this game lightly, with Easts enjoying a formidable record at home, having won seven of their past eight matches at Langlands Park. The eighth game was their thrilling 20-20 draw against PNG. For the Bears, captain Darren Griffiths is unavailable, so Kyle McConnell will start at lock with Louis Fanene to take over the duties as skipper. Burleigh prop Luke Page has impressed this season and will feature in his 50th Cup match overall, having previously played for Ipswich. In an interesting fact, Bears half Ryley Jacks played a game for Easts earlier in the year before finding a home at the Burleigh club.
‘Dobbo' says: The Tigers are fresh after the extra week off. Burleigh have decided that they can be a force to be reckoned with. Matt Keating has been outstanding with his leadership and has brought a hard edge that we have not seen in some time at Burleigh. The Tigers are still upset following the one that got away against the Hunters. With their fresh legs, Easts Tigers by 10.
SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS v PNG HUNTERS
Stockland Stadium on Sunday, April 20 - 2pm* (Live on Channel 9)
Referee: Robert Gallacher
Head to Head: First game
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #SCFvPNG
This Easter Sunday, it is the turn of the Sunshine Coast to host the PNG Hunters and they have scheduled a full day of entertainment for the fans. As well as three games of football, there will also be a visit from the Easter Bunny for the kids; as well as the staging of the Brisbane Bombers Gift at halftime, with $750 up for grabs for the "quickest man in local league football". On the field, the Sunshine Coast will be looking to spring an upset against the popular PNG side, who returned to the winners' circle with a 36-26 result over Tweed Heads in Kokopo last weekend. In an entertaining game, where the lead changed four times in the second half, the Hunters were able to claim their fourth win of the season. Coach Michael Marum has moved Brady Peter onto the bench, with Adam Korave to drop to an extended bench. Changes for the Falcons see the experienced Brenton Stonier start at lock with James Leavai coming on to the bench. John Filipo and Max Fesolai have been omitted. In support of Autism Awareness Month, the club are also encouraging fans to wear something blue - with money raised on the day going to the Treehouse Initiative.
‘Dobbo' says: A big crowd will be on hand for the Sunny Coast's first TV game. Who knows what will happen here? My mind says the Hunters will win but the sea and TV cameras always make for good viewing. Sunny Coast are searching for that win. PNG Hunters 16.
Norths returned to their winning ways last weekend while the Magpies again faltered, going down 34-6 to an impressive Redcliffe after being blown away in the first half. The Devils notched a 38-8 victory in Rockhampton over the CQ Capras, with half Todd Murphy impressing with his all round performance. Despite their differing results, both coaches have chosen to remain largely faithful to their teams, with minimal changes to either line-up. For Norths, Sam Foster comes into the halves with Zach Koitka dropping onto an extended bench. Brisbane Broncos Jarrod Wallace, Lachlan Maranta and Francis Molo have not been named for the Devils but they may yet still have a role to play when coach Mark Gliddon confirms the line-up. Josh Hannay has moved Rez Phillips onto an extended Magpies bench which also features Johnny Vuetibau; with Luke Archer (who played on the wing last weekend) moving to fullback for Ono So'Oialo. In a cosmetic change, Kurt Baptiste will start the match, with Mitch Cronin coming on from the bench. The Devils have not been beaten in their past five games at Bishop Park - however, they have only picked up the three wins, with the remaining two games dating back to 2013 ending in draws.
‘Dobbo' says: Max Dudley makes his run on debut. We have been calling for it for a month. You will hear from him at 11.30am on Saturday on Dead Set Legends. Jarrod Wallace is the new wrecking ball for Norths. I'm tipping him to have a massive game this Sunday if he plays. Souths are struggling a little and need to start games better. Sorry Max (AKA Love Rat) - you won't be the difference. Norths Devils by 12.
Tweed Heads Seagulls - bye