Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
3 days ago
A full preview of all the Round 9 Intrust Super Cup action thanks to the QRL, together with Ben "Dobbo" Dobson's tips.
Full Round 9 teamlists & match officials - click HERE.
All times are AEST.
BURLEIGH BEARS v PNG HUNTERS
Pizzey Park on Friday, April 25 - 3.30pm
Referee: Chris Anderson
Head to Head: First game
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #BEARSvPNG
Live stream: http://www.qrl.com.au/
The Burleigh Bears were humbled last weekend in their 48-20 loss to Easts Tigers and will be keen to put on a much-improved show against the crowd-pleasing Hunterstomorrow. Their defence was unable to shut down the attacking prowess of noted point-scoring weapons Cody Walker and Donald Malone. Against a similarly talented and unpredictable PNG Hunters line-up this weekend, coach Carl Briggs will be counting on his experienced players like Matt Keating, Matt Bell and returning skipper Darren Griffiths to step up. His return is one of a number of changes this week, with the 20-man squad including new faces Kailem Perkins, Dane Clark and Zac Mackay. Mark Ioane's strong performances in this competition have earned him a call-up to the Titans team, while Siuatonga Likiliki has dropped to the extended bench. Louis Fanene is also out with a calf injury. For the Hunters, coach Michael Marum had originally named an unchanged team from the one that defeated the Sunshine Coast last Sunday - but he will have to replace forward Timothy Lomai who has accepted a two-match ban for a dangerous throw.
Ben ‘Dobbo' Dobbin (Triple M) says:The Hunters have shown everybody they are here to play. Last week they ground out a solid win against a resilient Sunny Coast team. Burleigh were two points short of a half century being put on them last week and if they don't muscle up in defence, this could be a massacre. No love for Burleigh this week! PNG Hunters by 18.
CQ CAPRAS v MACKAY CUTTERS
Browne Park on Friday, April 25 - 4pm
Referee: Tyson Brough
Head to Head: Mackay 8 Central 4
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #CQCvMC
Live stream: http://www.capras.com.au/
Understandably, the Capras have named an unchanged side for tomorrow's ANZAC Day match against the Cutters; with coach Jason Hetherington justifiably pleased with the performance of his players in their upset 26-18 win over the Wynnum Manly Seagulls last Thursday night. However, the Capras have hinted on social media that experienced five-eighth Brent Crisp could make a comeback from an ankle injury. The Capras claimed their first win of the season in the game at Gladstone's Marley Brown Oval. The CQ side have historically enjoyed the Good Friday eve matches, having won three in a row. Mackay too put their best foot forward last weekend in their 22-12 win over the Dolphins, giving them their second win for the year. For the visitors, Liam Taylor returns to the backline for this match, while Josh Benjamin has also been included at centre, with Chris Ulugia and Justin Tavae not named. Forward Jason Schirnack has been named at lock and will hope for a good outcome from the QRL Judiciary tonight as he seeks to downgrade his Reckless High Tackle charge. The Cutters have won the past seven games played between the two sides; with Central's last win coming at Browne Park in March, 2010.
‘Dobbo' says: The Capras have the whole of the competition talking after their demolition job on Wynnum. Funny that the minute Jake "The Hair Bear" Granville does not play, Wynnum goes to the pack! Mackay as predicted stayed away from the Easter eggs and did the job on Redcliffe. The Capras are on a roll and are starting to play for each other. Central Queensland Capras by 6.
Brisbane Bronco Jordan Kahu has been named to make his long-awaited return from a knee injury when he turns out at centre for the Seagulls against Norths tomorrow. Other changes for Wynnum Manly will see fellow Bronco David Stagg back in the side in the back-row, with Mitchell Krause and Saia Makisi the players to make way. The Seagulls are coming off a surprise loss against the Capras and will look to bounce back against a Devils side who also went down in their round 8 match. Norths weren't given a chance to assert any dominance against the Magpies last round, and will be keen to start this game a lot better. Sam Foster returns at halfback, but the side will be without forward Francis Molo who has been suspended for one match for a shoulder charge. Zach Koitka will play FOGS Cup, while Todd Lowrie is on an extended bench for the Broncos. Despite the head-to-head results being even - Wynnum have won the past six games straight between the sides, with the Devils last recording a win at Kougari Oval in June, 2009. Adding to the task facing the Devils, Wynnum have not lost at home this year and will be keen to maintain that record.
‘Dobbo' says: What a game this will be. Rivals on and off the field, both suffered big losses in round 8 and have done some soul searching this week. Norths are a premiership force, so look for them to get back on track this week and give Wynnum a big pain in the guts. Norths Devils by 12.
NORTHERN PRIDE v SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES
Barlow Park on Saturday, April 26 - 5.30pm
Referee: Robert Gallacher
Head to Head: Pride 11 Souths Logan 4
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PRIDEvSLM
The Souths Logan Magpies will step into a potential firestorm on Saturday when they venture north to play the Pride at Barlow Park. After surrendering an 18 point first-half lead against Ipswich last week, the Pride will be eager to strike back immediately on home soil in this intriguing round 9 match. It looms as a tough assignment for the Magpies, but it's one they are well equipped to handle after outplaying the ladder-leading Norths Devils last weekend. Much to coach Josh Hannay's delight, the Magpies never took their foot off the Devils' throat in the 26-10 victory. Pride coach Jason Demetriou has recalled exciting Mount Isa youngster Jordan Biondi-Ono who will get the chance to impress from fullback. Javid Bowen shifts from fullback to the wing and there may yet be further changes with speculation that Kyle Feldt could return to the Pride line-up from the North Queensland Cowboys. On the numbers front, this will be the Pride's 150th Cup game - they have won 97, drawn three and lost 49.
‘Dobbo' says: The Pride will still be hurting from their loss to the mighty Ipswich Jets (I did predict this). On the other side, the Magpies are starting to play some good football. Interestingly, the Love Rat sent his highlights package around on Easter Monday to the coach and all his fans - ME! This should be a great game. Cameron King to shine. Northern Pride by 10.
The attacking brilliance of Easts up against the determination and resilience of the Seagulls. What a contest this will be. The Tigers were at their lethal best last weekend, springing 48 points on the Burleigh Bears in their 10 tries to four victory. Easts five-eighth Cody Walker ran in four tries, while fullback Eddie Tautali and Donald Malone posted doubles as the Tigers put on a show for their home fans. But Walker and his teammates are unlikely to be given the same latitude in Sunday's clash at Tweed's Piggabeen fortress. The last three games between Sunday's opponents have been decided by a converted try or less. The Tweed have won six of the past seven games between these sides, with the Tigers' last win at Piggabeen coming in 2006. Somewhat surprisingly though, Tweed have lost their last four matches at Piggabeen. Another loss could hurt a Seagulls team which is already four competition points adrift of fifth-placed Wynnum Manly.
‘Dobbo' says: The Tigers thought they were on the cricket field last week with their attacking brilliance ticking the scoreboard over. Can they back it up this week against the Tweed? ‘Bloody oath' in the words of their No. 1 ticket holder Peter Psaltis, who claims the Tigers are the best league team in Australia. That alone will get them across the line. Easts Tigers by 20.
With key forwards Jon Green, Jake Marketo and James Ackerman unavailable due to injury, Redcliffe will field another youthful team this weekend in their clash against the Ipswich Jets. The Dolphins were kept quiet by the Mackay Cutters last Saturday, but will look to break the shackles in front of their home fans on Sunday. Troy Lindsay's Redcliffe team produced their best performance of the season in their last Dolphin Oval appearance, a 34-6 thumping of Souths Logan. Young gun Tyson Cleal and David Hala will power the Dolphins' front row, with Martin Cordwell dropping back to the bench. Ipswich has named hooker Troy O'Sullivan to return from injury after missing last week's stunning comeback win against the Northern Pride. Ipswich was blown off the park in the first half, trailing 18-0 at one stage before coming back to clinch an impressive 24-18 victory. Ipswich centre Brendon Marshall crossed for two tries in his 136 match, passing Brendon Lindsay as the club's second most capped player behind Danny Coburn (258).
‘Dobbo' says: Despite comments that the Jets are not the real deal, they continue to turn up every week. At 18-0 down last week, many wrote them off. Well everybody did except their coaches and the team themselves. Sam Martin was outstanding and is killing it. This should be a good game of footy. Ipswich Jets by 8 in a tough one.
Sunshine Coast Falcons - bye