The 2018 #NRL Pre-Season is just about locked in.
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REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS v EASTS TIGERS
Saturday, March 26 - 2pm* Live on ABC 1
The Dolphins will be eager to build on their impressive round one result and will prove a difficult proposition at home for the Tigers. Redcliffe's new recruits made an immediate impression in their first showing in red and white colours with Nick Slyney, Joe Bond and Justin Hunt all showing their class in the victory over the Wynnum Manly Seagulls. Dolphins coach John Dixon has been forced to make one change, with Nick Read poised to get a start on the bench as a replacement for injured utility Chris Fox. Redcliffe will start favourites but the Tigers should not be written off in the wake of their gritty performance last weekend to fight back and snare a share of the competition points against the Ipswich Jets. Easts coach Troy McCarthy has gone with an unchanged line-up from the side that was named to take the field against the Jets, showing he has faith in the players to push on for their first win of the season. In the head to head stakes, Redcliffe has won 19 games and Easts 12. One match has been drawn.
SOUTHS LOGAN v CENTRAL COMETS
Webb Oval, Yeppoon
Saturday, March 26 - 4pm
With both teams coming off a round one loss, the winner of this game will receive an important kick-start to their season. The Magpies have shifted their home game to Yeppoon's Webb Oval but the Comets are bound to get the majority of support in the Central Queensland town. Both teams were disappointing last weekend and will be looking for a quick reversal of form. Brisbane Broncos prop Nick Kenny will once again turn out for the Comets, while the Magpies are set to be boosted by the inclusion of their Canberra Raiders contingent. Souths Logan will however be without the services of centre Wade Liddell, who will miss two games after taking an early guilty plea for striking. Magpies coach Mark Beaumont has promoted Gatton Hawks recruit Jamie Dodt to the top grade after just one match in the FOGS Cup. Dodt, the Toowoomba Rugby League player of the Year in 2010, scored two tries in the Magpies' big FOGS Cup win over the Sunshine Coast last weekend. In milestone news, Comets fullback Nat Bowman requires another six points to reach 500 in the Queensland Cup.
BURLEIGH BEARS v IPSWICH JETS
Saturday, March 26 - 5pm (please note the new kick off time of 5pm)
The Bears started life under new coach Paul Bramley with a win last weekend over the Sunshine Coast, but he will be looking for more from his team this Saturday when they take on the Ipswich Jets. The Sea Eagles took the fight up to the Bears for most of the game, with Bramley conceding his team needs to improve significantly against Ipswich. The Jets might consider themselves unlucky to have only come away with a draw against the Tigers last week - given the fact they were in front on the scoreboard for a large part of the game. Ipswich has been strengthened this season with a number of their former key players returning and the availability of several Titans stars. Titans winger Joseph Tomane is set to play his second straight match for the Jets, while Luke Capewell is also poised to make his debut with Ipswich. In judiciary news, the Bears' Marty Mitchell will seek a downgrade to his striking (grade three) charge at his hearing tonight.
NORTHERN PRIDE v WYNNUM MANLY
Saturday, March 26 - 5.30pm * Live call on Bay FM (100.3)
Last year's premiers went straight back to business last weekend, making light work of the Central Comets. In their first home game of the season, the Pride will host the Wynnum Manly Seagulls who will have a point to prove following their opening round loss to Redcliffe. While it is a tough away trip for the Bayside team, the Seagulls have the superior head to head record, with a 4-3 advantage over the Cairns side. Wynnum Manly will again field an experienced team, bolstered by the inclusion of Brisbane Broncos Mitchell Dodds and Dane Carlaw in the forwards and Denan Kemp in the backs. The Pride have lost round one stars James Segeyaro and Kalifa Faifai Loa to the North Queensland Cowboys, but will welcome back grand final winger Michael Bani to the fold. Bay FM Radio (100.3) duo Mike Higgison and Troy Robbins will call the match live from Cairns.
MACKAY CUTTERS v SUNSHINE COAST
Shark Park, Mackay
Sunday, March 27 - 2pm
The final scoreline in their match against the Burleigh Bears did not reflect how well the Sea Eagles played, with the Bears only running away with the game in the final 15 minutes. The Sunshine Coast will have a formidable task ahead of them this week however when they take on the Mackay Cutters, who surprised many punters last weekend with the ease in which they overpowered the highly-fancied Norths Devils. Despite some indifferent pre-season form, under the guidance of skipper Grant Rovelli, the Cutters were too good for the Devils in the wet conditions. With Cowboys utility Ben Jones added to the Mackay squad, Cutters coach Anthony Seibold has an embarrassment of riches at his disposal. Sea Eagles coach Adam Mogg has made just one change from the side that took the field against the Bears, with Joel McCrea coming into the 17 for Jye Ballinger.
NORTHS DEVILS v TWEED HEADS
Sunday, March 27 - 3pm
Last year's grand finalists Norths will be hoping to bounce back quickly from last weekend's defeat, but it will not be an easy task. Their round two opponents the Tweed Heads Seagulls did it easy in their season-opening victory over the Souths Logan Magpies, despite being a man down for the majority of the match. Shannon Walker, who was sent off early in the first half, will tonight contest a grade four high tackle charge, and he will be joined by Norths duo Mark Vaiao (dangerous tackle grade three) and veteran five-eighth Shane Perry (reckless high tackle grade three). The key Devils players were placed on report following separate incidents in their round one match. Norths did not handle the conditions well in last weekend's loss to the Cutters, but the Devils should put in an improved showing under new coach Trevor Bailey. Matt King is set to play his 100th Queensland Cup match for Tweed Heads (and his 141st overall).