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QRL Round 11 Preview
TWEED HEADS v NORTHERN PRIDE
Piggabeen Sports Complex
Saturday, June 4 - 2pm* Live on ABC 1
This weekend's top of the table clash is a game not to be missed. The undefeated Tweed Heads Seagulls will face their toughest challenge yet when they take on a Northern Pride team which has only lost the one game so far. Will the Pride be the first team this year to take the two points away from the competition pacesetters? Last weekend, the Seagulls equalled the record of Toowoomba for most wins in a row to start a season with 10 and will be looking to hold that honour outright. Tweed have named an unchanged side for the clash and will have the services of Kayne Lawton after the Titans contracted hooker took an early plea to a dangerous throw charge. The Pride will also field an unchanged team following its 24-18 victory over the Norths Devils at Barlow Park last weekend. Alex Starmer will play his 50th Queensland Cup game (all for Pride) while Seagulls five-eighth Matt King (Tweed Heads/Souths Logan) will take to the field for his 150th Cup game. Head-to-head this is also shaping as a close one, with the Tweed holding a 4-3 record over the visitors.
SUNSHINE COAST v EASTS TIGERS
Saturday, June 4 - 2pm
They now have the new venue - but they must bring the application if they are to win their first game of the season. The Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles newly-revamped address - the Sunshine Coast Stadium - will see the home side host the Easts Tigers who are also desperate for a win. In what had become an all too familiar story, the Sea Eagles played well last week against the Wynnum Manly Seagulls - but not well enough - bombing several try-scoring opportunities of their own before failing to defuse the chances of their opposition. Many of those who are involved with the team feel that a win is not far away. Their opponents this weekend may be down in confidence following their 32-0 loss against the Burleigh Bears - but while the Sea Eagles may fancy their chances, the Tigers have the players to turn things around quickly. Consistency has been an issue for Easts, who put in a stellar performance only a fortnight ago to beat the Mackay Cutters for their second win. In team changes - Lance Morris comes into the Tigers' outfit for Melbourne Storm Under 20s player John Leiataua, while the Sunshine Coast will be boosted by the return of skipper Wiremu Ratana for the home side's big game.
CENTRAL COMETS v REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS
Saturday, June 4 - 6pm
It's another tough game for the Central Comets who have to face another high-quality team this weekend. After being soundly beaten by the Ipswich Jets in their round 10 game, the Rockhampton side faces one of the competition's top teams in the Redcliffe Dolphins. Despite being without a number of their stars last weekend, the young Dolphins fought well against the Tweed Heads Seagulls to go down 22-12 after trailing 18-0 at halftime. Halfback Dan Cross provided the side with some vital attacking spark in the second half and has once again been entrusted to guide the team alongside Todd Murphy. Redcliffe's forwards also stood up to the task - especially Nick Slyney who was in everything for the home side. The Comets were in the contest early against the Jets, but errors in their game prevented them from mounting a charge and they were soon overrun by the Ipswich side. The Comets have made two changes, with BJ Munns and Brent Williams back in the 17. Tom Butterfield plays his 50th Queensland Cup game on the weekend, with the hooker having played all his games for the Redcliffe Dolphins.
MACKAY CUTTERS v BURLEIGH BEARS
Sunday, June 5 - 2pm
Following their flat-footed performance against the Souths Logan Magpies last weekend, the Mackay Cutters will have a tough time to turn things around against this week's opponents the Burleigh Bears. The Cutters managed to show how dangerous they can be in attack for a short period of that match - but for the most part, were shut out of the game by the physical Magpies defence. Mackay face a difficult two weeks that could very well set the tone for the second half of their season. Facing his old team, Burleigh coach Paul Bramley would be looking for the Bears to repeat their strong showing from last weekend where they held their opposition scoreless to record a 32-0 win. Easts Tigers could not break the defensive line of the Bears which saw Burleigh notch up their 200th win in the Queensland Cup in their 323rd game. Only Redcliffe have secured more wins. Riley Brown has again been named in the number nine jersey in a position that seems to be under some kind of curse, with the Bears having used eight different players at hooker already this season. There have been minimal changes to both teams with Grant Moore coming into the Mackay side and Marty Mitchell making his return from injury for Burleigh via the bench.
WYNNUM MANLY v IPSWICH JETS
BMD Kougari Oval
Sunday, June 5 - 3pm
After a poor opening to their season, the Wynnum Manly Seagulls continue to gain momentum following their 32-14 win over the Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles last weekend. Following a 0-6 start, they have now won their past four games in a row and are threatening to charge further up the ladder. They are now one win away from equalling their best winning run of five on the trot - a figure they have achieved four times previously. They face a true test of character however this weekend, when they host the Ipswich Jets - who are building some momentum of their own. The Jets were 40-12 victors over the Central Comets but it may have come at a price. Hard-working prop Trevor Exton injured his ankle and has not been named, while fellow prop Tyson Lofipo has been suspended for two matches for a dangerous throw. Ian Lacey is also carrying an injury and may not feature in the match. Ipswich favourite Brendon Lindsay plays his 100th Queensland Cup game for the Jets and his 189th overall. Head-to-head, Wynnum Manly have the better of their opponents, with the Seagulls having won 16 games previously to the Jets' 12. There has been one drawn result.
NORTHS DEVILS v SOUTHS LOGAN
Sunday, June 5 - 3pm
The importance of this game for both sides cannot be overstated, given how crowded things have become in the middle of the Intrust Super Cup ladder. A win here would see the Souths Logan Magpies move to 12 points - within touching distance of the top four, and perhaps more importantly, would give them some breathing space between them and their nearest rivals - who at this stage are the Devils. Norths performed well last weekend to nearly draw level with the Pride in the closing stages of the match - with a double movement denying them a share of the spoils. The Devils inconsistency has caused them major concern this season with the side letting their guard down at crucial times to hand the game to their opposition. The Devils have rearranged their line-up with Troyden Watene moving from the second-row to the centres, while Simona Vavega is set to play his second Cup game of the year. Souths Logan welcome James Stuart into the fold in the centres. Norths hooker Jay Aston plays his 50th Queensland Cup game in the light blue of the Devils and his 61st Cup game overall.