SUNSHINE COAST (3) v MACKAY CUTTERS (6)
Saturday, September 4 @ Stockland Park, 2pm * Live on ABC TV
The Sea Eagles and Cutters collide for the second time in the space of a week at the same venue. In last week's encounter, an under-strength Sunshine Coast team recorded a strong 40-12 win over the Cutters. But it was hard to know what to make of the Cutters' performance after their spot in the top six was already sealed following Burleigh's loss to the Pride the day before. The general consensus is that Mackay will be a much tougher proposition this time around. That theory is supported by the likely return of Cowboys pair Shannon Gallant and Isaak Ah Mau for the Cutters' maiden appearance in the Queensland Cup finals. Another ace the Cutters have up their sleeves is their coach Paul Bramley, who knows what it takes to succeed at this time of the year. The Sea Eagles have an established coach in their corner as well, with Brandon Costin on the hunt for back-to-back premierships. Costin's outfit will be installed as favourites for this clash, despite the likely absence of several of the Manly-contracted stars who have helped the Sunshine Coast get this far. The Sea Eagles have won an incredible eight straight games to soar into the September play-offs and another victory over Mackay would leave them just one win away from a second grand final appearance.
SOUTHS LOGAN (1) v NORTHS DEVILS (2)
Sunday, September 5 @ Davies Park, 3pm
The two Brisbane big guns cross paths in what could be a dress rehearsal for the September 19 grand final at Suncorp Stadium. Although both teams are assured of a passage through to the second week of the finals, the losing side could find it difficult to regain its momentum in a cut-throat preliminary final. On paper, this game shapes as a very evenly matched affair. If the opposing packs cancel each other out, then the spotlight will fall on the playmakers. The Norths halves pairing of Shane Perry and Matt Smith has a formidable look to it, while there is also a lot to like about Magpies duo Phil Dennis and Mick Picker. Both camps have speed and class outwide, but it is the Devils who have the Like