Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
3 days ago
SUNSHINE COAST SEA EAGLES v EASTS TIGERS
Stockland Stadium on Saturday, May 11 – 2.30pm
Referee: Peter Gough
Head to Head: Sunshine Coast 4 Easts 4
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #ISC #SCSEvTIGES
They are the youngest of the Intrust Super Cup clubs and this weekend, the Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles will play in their 100th Cup match. Former NRL player Nick Paterson has been named to play his first Cup game in nine years – moving across from his role as an assistant coach with the club. The Sunshine Coast Daily reports that the former Cronulla Shark and North Queensland Cowboy will come off the bench in Saturday's home match against the Tigers to provide some stability and structure in the back end of each half. As well as the inclusion of Paterson – the Sea Eagles have shuffled their line-up with Jordan Meads starting at five-eighth and skipper Callum Klein moving into the centres. Troy Mendham is the other inclusion for the Sea Eagles. Their opposition this weekend, the Easts Tigers, have made just the one change, with Dane Hogan set to return after a two-week absence with a mild facial fracture. The Tigers have won the past four games between these two teams, squaring the ledger at four apiece. To help celebrate the Mother’s Day weekend, the Sea Eagles are offering free entry to mothers to Stockland Stadium and the chance to win a $300 voucher at Elegant Affair.
QRL Media tips: Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles by 4. We’ll run with an upset, as the Sea Eagles are fresh from a bye and did put in a spirited second-half performance against Wynnum Manly last start.
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #ISC #MCvWYN
Mackay Cutters coach Kim Williams has officially retired the number 14 jersey worn by Alex Elisala for the rest of the season to honour the player who died suddenly late last month. It will be an emotional test for the Cutters as well as a physical one when they return to the field for the first time since round 7 – with the Wynnum Manly Seagulls again proving their worth as a leading team in the competition. Wynnum Manly will take a five-game winning streak over the Cutters into the game and with the teams sitting in second (Wynnum) and third (Mackay) place on the table – this should be a high quality encounter. The Seagulls proved too good for the Cutters in their round 3 match, winning 36-10, but since then, the Cutters have been able to form some solid combinations. Wynnum Manly have named both Shea Moylan and Jon Grieve – however both are expected not to play after suffering injuries in last weekend’s win over the Norths Devils. The Cutters have named both Matt Minto (halfback) and Kalifa Faifai Loa (wing) to make their returns – and they loom as key inclusions for the host team. Going into his 139th Cup game, Seagulls flyer Nat Barnes sits on 112 tries, equal second with Ryan Cullen (154 games) and one behind Nick Parfitt (173 games) as the competition’s all-time top try scorer. After kicking four goals last weekend, halfback Matt Seamark needs just three more to bring up 300 in the Cup.
QRL Media tips: Mackay Cutters by 6. The Cutters let a big lead slip in their last-start draw against Tweed Heads and will look to go on with it against an under-strength Wynnum team.
CQ CAPRAS v NORTHERN PRIDE
Marley Browne Oval, Gladstone on Saturday, May 11 – 6pm
Referee: Tim Rutherford
Head to Head: Pride 7 Central 4
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #ISC #CQCvPRIDE
Gladstone’s Marley Browne Oval will host this intriguing round 9 match between two of the Intrust Super Cup’s best supported regional teams. Although it pitches the competition front-runners against the 11th ranked team, punters keen on having a flutter only need to look at recent history to see that premiership favourites the Northern Pride are not invincible. The Capras have won two of their past three matches against the Pride and furthermore, the Central Queensland team’s performance against the Easts Tigers last weekend wasn’t as bad as the 38-14 scoreline indicated. The Capras didn’t have a lot go their way and conceded a couple of freakish tries. With a big crowd expected to roll in for the Gladstone match, the Capras will be hoping to turn on some magic of their own. But they will have to be at their very best against a Pride outfit which recorded a 19-0 victory over Redcliffe in wet conditions last weekend. Pride skipper Ty Williams (quad injury) is in doubt for the inaugural ‘Sea Swift Challenge’ match, which is part of a bumper program of rugby league featuring the 47th Battalion Carnival.
QRL Media tips: Northern Pride by 6. The Capras have troubled the Pride in recent times and they may well do so here again. But the Pride might just have a little too much firepower.
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #ISC #JETSvTHS
After stringing together three-straight wins, the Ipswich Jets get to showcase their skills in front of the Channel 9 cameras. The in-form Jets will go up against a Tweed Heads outfit that should still be hurting after a disappointing performance at home last weekend. The Seagulls were outplayed by the Souths Logan Magpies and the loss saw them slip out of the top five. But the Jets will need to be on their guard as the Seagulls have already proven that they can turn their form around quickly. In round 3, the Tweed suffered a 24-0 loss to Redcliffe but they responded in style the following weekend with a great 24-14 result over the Northern Pride. The Tweed Heads team includes exciting youngster Marmin Barba, who is beginning to find his feet in his first year in the Intrust Super Cup. For the Jets, centre Donald Malone and halfback Ian Lacey have been in great form and they will again spearhead their team’s victory push. Malone (61 tries) is edging closer to the club try-scoring record of 64 held by Ricky Bird. Tweed have won three of the past four games between these two sides, although Ipswich won their last clash 24-10 in Ipswich last year. At half-time of Sunday’s game, the Jets will officially announce their community partnership with the Australian Drug Foundation to promote Good Sports Healthy Eating throughout Ipswich.
QRL Media tips: Ipswich Jets by 6. With the bye coming up in round 10, this game is potentially a ‘four-point’ result for the Jets and they should be willing to throw everything into it.
REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS v NORTHS DEVILS
Dolphin Oval on Sunday, May 12 – 3pm
Referee: Robert Gallacher
Head to Head: Redcliffe 24 Norths 10 Drawn 1
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #ISC #PHINSvDEVILS
Norths Devils hooker Kurt Baptiste is expected to be sidelined for a number of weeks after dislocating his shoulder in last weekend’s tight loss to the Wynnum Manly Seagulls. Baptiste was earlier this week named in the Devils team but coach Andrew Wynyard today confirmed he would not be playing against the Dolphins. Wynyard is set to move the versatile Angus Cameron from halfback to hooker, but he is yet to decide who the new halfback will be. Ben Sullivan and Gary Riccardi are the two likely candidates. Wynyard, a former Redcliffe player and assistant coach, will come up against his old club for the first time on Sunday. The Dolphins didn’t have a happy time of it in Cairns last weekend after being kept scoreless by a dominant Pride team. But the Dolphins will relish the opportunity to make amends at home and their record against the Devils is stacked in their favour following four straight wins over the Nundah club. Redcliffe five-eighth Zach Strasser is in danger of missing the match after being charged with a Grade 3 dangerous throw. He is contesting the charge at tonight’s judiciary hearing and will need to receive a significant downgrade to be any chance of avoiding suspension.
QRL Media tips: Norths Devils by 4. Backing against Redcliffe at Dolphin Oval is always fraught with danger. It is even more risky when the away team is without its best player. But the Devils last weekend showed they can still score points without Baptiste.