TOOWOOMBA CLYDESDALES v TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS Clive Berghofer Stadium, 2pm Saturday, June 11.
Home ground advantage will be about the only factor stacked in Toowoomba?s favour when it takes on ?hoodoo? team Tweed Heads.
The Clydesdales have never won against the Seagulls since the southerners entered the competition in 2003. Added to this, Toowoomba is missing a host of players through injuries and NRL commitments, while also boasting one of the worst records in televised matches.
Tom Learoyd-Lahrs (pictured) was cleared of a high tackle from last week?s win against Ipswich, but has been called up to play for the Brisbane Broncos. Steve Michaels, Stu Kelly, Berrick Barnes, Darren Mapp and Sam Thaiday are others unavailable for the same reason.
Conversely, Tweed Heads is coming off the back of the bye and is close to full strength. Only one win separates fourth-placed Toowoomba from eighth-placed Tweed.
The afternoon will be a huge one for the rugby league community of Toowoomba and surrounding districts, with the Madsen Rasmussen finals being held. Following the Clydesdales v Seagulls TV game, Warwick will play Brothers in the Under 18s final at 3.45pm. Wattles faces Goondiwindi at 5.25pm in Reserve Grade, prior to the big clash between Brothers and Wattles in A Grade at 7.15pm.
Johnathan Thurston is a past junior of Brothers (All Whites), while Shane Webcke comes from the Wattles club. The Madsen Rasmussen Trophy is presented to the winning team at the midway point in the TRL season.
Referee for the State League match will be Justin Eastwood.
TOOWOOMBA: Nick Parfitt, Tame Tupou, Greg Eastwood, Michael Bond, Gideon Mzembe, Ian Lacey, Tony Duggan, Isaak Ah Mau, Michael Ryan, Anthony Seibold ?, Nick Kenny, Joe Clarke, Neale Wyatt. Interchange: Ben Vaeau, Aaron Barba, Fletcher Holmes, Keiron Lander.
TWEED HEADS: Ryan O?Connell, Nat Barnes, David Strachan, James Wood, Nathan Small, Brad Davis, Tim Maccan, Tom Prichard, Matt King, Eddie Harrison, Ben Quinlan, Andrew Moroney, Ben Hill. Interchange: Jeff Moate, Selasi Berdie, Jay Hampson, Cory Bond, Josh Vaughan, Daniel Evans (two to be omitted) ____________________________________________
IPSWICH JETS v NORTHS DEVILS QLD Group Stadium, Saturday 6pm, June 11.
Experienced Ipswich prop Grant Young will be rested this round after suffering persistent hand and ankle injuries.
Jets chief executive Brendan Hurst said Young ?shouldn?t have? played in last weekend?s 40-16 loss to Toowoomba, but the former Kiwi international asked to be included.
In other Jets injury news, talented young centre Chris Scanlan attempted to make a comeback through Colts (Under 19s) last weekend, but pulled up lame again.
Off the back of three losses in succession, Norths is undermanned as well, with the Melbourne Storm requiring additional players to cover representative selections.
Luke Millwood is given another chance at halfback, while recent ball-players Col Wilkie and Jeremiah Pai find themselves in the backrow. One positive for Norths is news that Ryan Shortland will not be charged for a lifting tackle against the Young Guns. Shortland scored his team?s only points in a 46-8 defeat.
Devils leader Aaron Bulow is a former Ipswich boy and brother of Queensland Fire captain Melissa Bulow. Similarly Jets coach Trevor Gillmeister is an ex-Norths junior.
Popular opinion over the past few seasons has been that Ipswich lift more than any other team when playing at home, as compared to away. Statistics show that of the 51 premiership points the Jets have gathered in the last three years, 35pts have been from home games, accounting for almost 70 per cent of their tally.
Clayton Sharpe will have refereeing duties at QLD Group Stadium.
IPSWICH: Andy Poynter, Steven West, Geoff Chalk, Jonathon Muir, Luke Walker, Brendon Lindsay, Ricky Bird, Walter Mackie, Adam Boettcher, Mat Cameron, Steele Retchless, Matt McPhee, Danny Coburn ?. Interchange: Bevan Heuir, Aaron Davey, Shannon Cameron, Michael Jack.
NORTHS: Quentin Laulu-Togagae, Josh Tatupu, Aaron Morgan, Ryan Shortland, Chad Leach, Marc Brentnall, Luke Millwood, Pat Gardner, Brenton Stonier, Scott Anderson, Aaron Bulow ?, Jeremiah Pai, Col Wilkie. Interchange: Sika Manu, Rob Tanielu, Adam Blair, Peter Robinson. ____________________________________________
NORTH QUEENSLAND v EASTS TIGERS Les Stagg Oval (Proserpine), Saturday 7.30pm, June 11.
The return of linchpins Brent McConnell and Leigh McWilliams couldn?t come at a better time for the Young Guns, decimated this week by State of Origin commitments.
Halfback McConnell (pictured) is welcomed back from knee injury, while hooker McWilliams has overcome a calf tear.
With the North Queensland club losing six players to Queensland duties and forward Gavin Cooper suffering a dislocated patella, a number of inexperienced players have been called upon.
Two up-and-comers who slot in for the Young Guns are Michael Fairweather and Kam Wilkinson. Along with Broncos-contracted Jamie Simpson, the pair formed part of the St Brendan?s Yeppoon schoolboys team which won the 2004 Confraternity Shield.
Meanwhile, Easts will be without captain Darren Smith, set to play for the Brisbane Broncos against Canberra. Smith had an eventful 28-22 win over Redcliffe in Round 12, noted three times in the referee?s report but avoiding suspension for all incidents.
Ex-Townsville resident Mark Cantoni takes Smith?s place at the back of the scrum this week, while last week?s match-winner Brandon Costin is the new skipper.
Credited with laying the foundations for Costin?s game-breaking try, Trevor Exton has been demoted to the bench. Former Burdekin junior Phil Dennis remains on the interchange for Easts, despite scoring a double last week.
Referee Michael Inman will make the trek to Proserpine, home of Paul Bowman.
NORTH QUEENSLAND: Michael Fairweather, Rory Bromley, Dean Payne, Wallace Solomona, Charles Vis, Shane Muspratt, Brent McConnell, Ben Lowe, Leigh McWilliams, James Andersen, Daniel Strickland ?, Mark Dalle Cort, Scott Bolton. Interchange: Clint Amos, Tyler Smith, Sema Mataora, Simon Boyes, Kam Wilkinson (one to be omitted).
EASTS: Matt Lockyer, Steve Beattie, Nigel Roy, Rob Maller, Walter Imo, Brandon Costin ?, Jason Connors, Dallas Hood, Steve Goodhew, Leigh Coghill, Scott Sipple, Marty Allen, Mark Cantoni. Interchange: Scott Young, Ben Bourke, Trevor Exton, Phil Dennis ____________________________________________
WYNNUM SEAGULLS v SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES Kougari Oval, Sunday 3pm, June 12.
Wynnum has announced this weekend?s home fixture will be known as the Ricky Parker Memorial Day, with all raffle proceeds going to the Queensland Cancer Fund.
Ricky Parker, son of ardent Seagulls supporter Jim Parker, passed away in 2004 after a long fight with illness.
Fittingly, the last time Wynnum hosted Souths Logan at Kougari Oval, the match was also hard fought, won 26-22 by the Gulls.
The game finished in controversy, with Souths Logan claiming a try off a grubber kick at the death, only to be penalised for offside. Ironically the man who placed the kick for Souths Logan, Jace Van Dijk (pictured), will this week steer Wynnum around the park.
Another Magpie-turned-Seagull is John Bruce, named to return from suspension at lock for the home side. Nick Bowman makes way by dropping out of the squad, with fellow backrowers Gareth Turton and Gary Winter among the club?s best against Central last week.
Meanwhile, Souths Logan has named 17-year-old forward Graham Levu in its starting side after several strong showings off the bench.
Beaten 64-4 by Burleigh last week, the Magpies have centre Grant Lewis on report for a high tackle, just a week after he brought the club its first win of the season with an intercept try.
Referee for Sunday?s match will be Brett Suttor.
WYNNUM: Daniel Sorbello, Simon Phillips, Jimmy Ahmat, Damien Quinn, Michael Rose, Nathan Murphy, Jace Van Dijk ?, Danny McAllister, Royce Simms, Craig Greenhill, Gary Winter, Gareth Turton, John Bruce. Interchange: Peter Penaia, Clayton Maher, Darren Bain, Brett McPherson.
SOUTHS LOGAN: Craig Chapman, Eddie Dodd, Bob Blair, Grant Lewis, Matt Templeman, Nathaniel Bowman, Cameron Joyce, Stan Fau, Scott Smith, Ashley Lanfranchi, Darren Glase ?, Matt Bell, Graham Levu. Interchange: Marvin Alo, Andrew Anderson, Tanu Wulf, Adrian Maloney ____________________________________________
REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS v BURLEIGH BEARS Dolphin Oval, Sunday 3pm, June 12.
Redcliffe remains the only club in the history of the Queensland Wizard Cup to secure back-to-back premierships. Burleigh would dearly love to match the feat.
Sunday?s big match on the peninsula sees the two most successful State League clubs of the last decade go head-to-head.
Only one grand final since the inception of the competition has been played without the presence of the Dolphins or Bears (1998 ? Norths v Wests). Redcliffe boasts 161 wins in the last 10 seasons, while reigning premier Burleigh stands on 137 wins, albeit with one less season in the league.
Until last weekend the Dolphins and Bears were also the top-ranked teams on the 2005 ladder. A 28-22 defeat by Easts has dropped Redcliffe to third, while Burleigh has opened a five-point lead in first place.
Anthony Griffin has seen fit to reshuffle his bench after the loss to the Tigers, replacing Luke Tonion and Gerard Parle with Matt Anderton and Danny Green (pictured). Former Irish World Cup player Liam Tallon fractured his ribs in lower grades last week and could be out for a month.
Burleigh has made no changes to its team which flogged Souths Logan 64-4 in Round 12, with the Bears remarkably boasting three of the top four tryscorers in the competition.
Rob Alexander will officiate the big clash at Dolphin Oval.
REDCLIFFE: Ryan Cullen, Phil Shilvock, Greg Bourke, Jamie Russo, Chris Giumelli, Shane Perry ?, Michael Roberts, Adam Starr, Shannon Fish, Nick Walker, Matt Mapes, Danny Burke, Grant Flugge. Interchange: Matt Anderton, Danny Green, Duane O?Grady, Damien Jentz.
BURLEIGH: Reggie Cressbrook, Trent Purdon, Balin Cupples, Trent Leis, Aseri Laing, Adam Hayden, David Hicks, Ali Brown ?, Ryan Gundry, Shane O?Flanagan, Martin Griese, Adam Hutchinson, Adrian Vowles. Interchange: James Griffiths, Scott Cooke, Nick Shaw, Robert Apanui ____________________________________________
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