Our weekly feature - The Armchair Expert - returns just in time for the finals!
This week we look a...
7 hours ago
A full look at Round 21 of the Intrust Super Cup with the QRL.com.au preview of this weekend's games including tips from Triple M's Ben "Dobbo" Dobbin.
TEAMLISTS: click here to check out the Round 21 ISC Teamlists & officials
The Hunters were given a huge scare by the Sunshine Coast Falcons last weekend before escaping with a 25-24 victory at Kalabond Oval. It took a last-gasp field goal for the Hunters to see off a gallant Falcons outfit and PNG coach Michael Marum will be hoping for a much smoother ride on Saturday when they shape up against the Burleigh Bears. The outcome of the Round 21 match is crucial to the semi-final prospects of both clubs who must finish with a flurry of wins to force their way into the top five. PNG sits in sixth place on 23 competition points (three behind fifth-placed Ipswich) with the Bears two points adrift of the Hunters following last weekend's 28-10 loss to the Wynnum Manly Seagulls. Marum has retained the same starting side that snuck over the line against the Falcons courtesy of Israel Eliab's late field goal. Burleigh coach Jim Lehihan has named Henare Wells, Kyle McConnell and Chris Kitching to return, but back-rower James Dunley (shoulder charge) and halfback Tyler Chadburn (offensive language) won't be on the flight to PNG after being suspended for one match each by the QRL judiciary.
Ben ‘Dobbo' Dobbin (Triple M) says: Well, the Hunters were very lucky their captain Israel Eliab stepped up last weekend. He was the difference against a very spirited Sunny Coast team. This weekend is another clutch game for the Hunters. Burleigh were outplayed by Wynnum last week and if they are to have any chance of being a premiership threat they need to win this weekend. PNG Hunters by 2.
The CQ Capras face a tough road trip this weekend when they travel to Piggabeen to take on the high-flying Tweed Heads. The Seagulls have gone 11 games without a loss and in their most recent game before last weekend's bye - they went on an early attacking spree against the PNG Hunters in their 60-28 win. The Capras however are coming off a 34-14 loss against the Jets, where they let an early 4-0 lead slip with some poor handling. There are many factors stacked against the Capras this weekend, with Tweed having won the past seven games between these two sides. Adding to this, the Capras' only win at Piggabeen came back in 2003. In team news for the visitors, the Capras have made a number of late changes to the team named on Tuesday due to injury concerns. Three players - Rajan Opetaia-Halls, Mitch Hallinan and Garrett Field - are set to make their debuts for the club on Sunday. Named at prop, this will be the 50th Cup game for Peter Gallen, who has previously played for the Sunshine Coast. For the Seagulls, Sam Irwin returns from injury into the halves, while Cody Nelson is back from suspension and has been named in the back row.
‘Dobbo' says: CQ really played tough at home against the Jets last weekend. It is super important for them to really turn up against Tweed this weekend or it could be a half century. The Tweed are fresh from a bye and ready to rumble, while the end of the season can't come quick enough for the Capras. Effort has never been an issue from the men of CQ but the travel and injuries have played a huge toll on their 2014 campaign. Tweed Heads Seagulls by 20.
The Magpies and Devils will admit to having underperformed so far this season - and both will look at this as a make or break game for their season. Last weekend, the Magpies got out to an early 16-0 lead, but were eventually overtaken to lose to the Cutters, while the Devils were comprehensively outplayed by the Pride. Both sides also must win all their remaining games this season if they are to be in contention for finals football - and even then it will be extremely difficult given the tightness at the top of the ladder. In team news, half Todd Murphy returns for the Devils and will skipper the team in the absence of Brendon Gibb, who injured his leg in the loss to the Pride. Patrick McPherson has been named to take his place in the front row. Jack Reed may return to the Broncos line-up, while Kainga Turner has been named at centre. For Souths, forward Rez Phillips will sit out the next two matches after pleading guilty to a Grade 2 shoulder charge. This match at Davies Park will also be the 100th Cup game for Magpies prop Andrew Edwards, who has played all his games for the West End club.
‘Dobbo' says: Norths season has gone from bad to worse in the last month and having 50 put on them last week won't be helping their mindset. Souths were disappointing last week but Luke Bateman, who had his first run on with the Magpies, was fantastic. Two tries and a super star in the making! The Magpies are a good footy team and will look to get back in the winners' circle this week. Souths Logan Magpies by 8.
REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS v MACKAY CUTTERS
Dolphin Oval on Sunday, July 27 - 2pm
Referee: Robert Gallacher
Head to Head: Redcliffe 6 Mackay 6 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PHINSvMC
Redcliffe Dolphins winger Liam Georgetown will run out for this 150th Cup match for the club at Dolphin Oval on Sunday, joining an esteemed group of Redcliffe greats to have reached the milestone. Current coach Troy Lindsay, Michael Roberts, Danny Burke and Grant Flugge all surpassed 150 games for the club. Georgetown has already scored more tries and points than any other Redcliffe player in Cup history, and he would dearly love to add to his tally this weekend. Now out of finals contention, the Dolphins will be playing for pride after a sixth loss in a row last weekend. The heavy 52-16 defeat came at the hands of the Easts Tigers, who ran in nine tries to demolish the Dolphins. Mackay will look to inflict more pain on the Phins and the recent form of the defending premiers suggests another win is likely for the rejuvenated Cutters. With four wins from their past five matches, the Cutters remain an outside chance of forcing their way into the semi-finals. Coach Kim Williams is calling for a more intense start from the Cutters, who conceded the opening 16 points against Souths Logan last weekend before hitting back to win 24-22.
‘Dobbo' says: Mackay had a great win last weekend which still gives them a faint hope. Redcliffe were thumped by Easts in what would have to be their worst loss of the season. Hard one to pick, but with Redcliffe looking for redemption in front of their home crowd, it might be enough to get the Dolphins back on track. Will Anthony Griffin be brought back to get the Dolphins firing in 2015? Only time will tell. Redcliffe Dolphins by 6.
EASTS TIGERS v IPSWICH JETS
Langlands Park on Sunday, July 27 - 2pm
Referee: Tim Rutherford
Head to Head: Easts 19 Ipswich 17 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #TIGESvJETS
Live stream: TigerTV - http://tigertv.net/tigertv-
After his electric performance for Easts last weekend, Ipswich Jets fans will be relieved that boom Melbourne Storm fullback Cameron Munster won't be lining up against their side at Langlands Park on Sunday. Munster has been named to play for the Storm's NYC Under 20s team instead of the Tigers, who thrashed Redcliffe 52-16. Munster scored two tries, ran the ball 23 times for a total of 185m, made two line breaks and 15 tackle busts to claim the XXXX man of match honours. Easts have named Eddie Tautali as the replacement for Munster at fullback. Easts coach Craig Ingebrigtsen is sweating on a final fitness report on 2013 Courier Mail medallist Cody Walker, who hopes to make his long-awaited comeback from a hamstring injury against the Jets. The Tigers have had the wood on the Jets in recent times, having only lost once to Ipswich in their past seven matches. In their first encounter earlier this year, big prop Mitch Garbutt inspired Easts to a 22-12 victory at the North Ipswich Reserve.
‘Dobbo' says: Match of the round! The fact that the Tigers have a number of ex-Jets on board this year does give this game plenty of spice. The Jets were also comprehensively beaten by the Tigers when they met earlier in the year. This will be a great game to watch as the Tigers are one of the competition favourites and have flexed their muscle in the last month. Daniel Vidot and Martin Kennedy will really help the Jets. Ipswich Jets by 6.
WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS v NORTHERN PRIDE
BMD Kougari Oval on Sunday, July 27 - 3pm
Referee: Clayton Sharpe
Head to Head: Pride 8 Wynnum 7
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #WYNvPRIDE
What a cracking game this should be! The top-of-the-table Pride will travel to BMD Kougari Oval to face a Wynnum Manly side who have been quietly going about their business to hold a strong footing in the top five. They have won their past five matches in a row - including last weekend's fiery 28-10 win over Burleigh. The Pride were big 52-18 winners over Norths in round 20 - with Blake Leary and Tyrone McCarthy both scoring doubles. Despite the result, coach Jason Demetriou has called for more from his interchange players and this week has added Tom Hancock to an extended bench. For Wynnum, forward Chris McLean comes onto the bench, while Tanu Wulf will start in place of David Stagg. This will also be the 100th match for Seagulls second rower Jon Grieve, who has also played with the Sunshine Coast in the past, winning the premiership with them in 2009. The Seagulls have a strong home record this year and have won nine of their 10 games at BMD Kougari Oval. This weekend the club are also offering a special deal to their junior club affiliates. For every junior player that wears their club colours, parents will receive half-price admission ($5).
‘Dobbo' says: The Pride are taking the comp by storm at the moment, but Wynnum are the quiet achievers. Having Jake Granville back this week will help and playing at home will make a difference - but how do you stop the Pride? They have strengths all around the paddock. Hard to pick, but I can't see them losing this weekend. Northern Pride by 12.