ICYMI, on Thursday the @NRL - National Rugby League released the 2018 #NRLDraw.
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SOUTHS LOGAN v NORTH QLD, Davies Park, 3pm Saturday, April 9
AS much as Wynnum are long-suffering at Dolphin Oval, Souths Logan must also detest the sight of the North Queensland Young Guns.
In each of the past three matches between the two clubs North Queensland has scored more than 60 points. Last year the Young Guns beat the Magpies 66-8 and 64-28, while in 2003 the northerners got up 68-6.
Indeed, North Queensland has never lost nor scored less than 42 points against the Magpies, including the Townsville Stingers period of 1998.
However, one thing which Souths Logan has achieved that North Queensland has not is a berth in the Queensland Cup finals, with the Magpies running third in 1996.
Responsible for a whopping 58 points (5 tries, 19 goals) in two games against Souths Logan last year, Brenton Bowen will miss the match. After incurring a hamstring injury last week, Bowen has been named in the Cowboys squad to travel to Sydney.
North Queensland will play youngsters Dean Payne and Charles Vis in the centres. Payne only recently played Under 19s in the Foley Shield, while 20-year-old utility Vis is on the road to recovery after an unlucky run with injury.
Souths Logan coach Phil Economidis has made one minor change to his squad from last week?s loss to Redcliffe.
Bob Blair moves from five-eighth to centre, swapping with Mehau Phillip. Blair has escaped suspension for a grade one dangerous throw, as has hooker Scott Smith. Referee for the match is Justin Eastwood.
SOUTHS LOGAN: Eddie Dodd, Scott McLennan, Grant Lewis, Bob Blair, Matt Templeman, Mehau Phillip, Cameron Joyce, Stan Fau, Scott Smith, Zeb Dewson, Darren Glase ?, Ashley Lanfranchi, Marvin Alo. Interchange: Daniel Joyce, Matt Bell, Peter Woods, Josh Stowers.
NORTH QUEENSLAND: Jason Barsley, Rory Bromley, Dean Payne, Charles Vis, Drew Campbell, Shane Muspratt, Brent McConnell, Jaiman Lowe, David Faiumu, Matthew Scott, Wallace Solomona, Daniel Strickland ?, Scott Bolton. Interchange: Clint Amos, James Anderson, Gavin Cooper, Ben Lowe.
EASTS v TWEED HEADS, Langlands Park, 3pm Saturday, April 9
EASTS backrower Aaron Kuskey has added to a big week for his family, named to return from shoulder injury in the Tigers starting pack.
A star performer before being struck down against the North Queensland Young Guns, crazy-haired Kuskey will play on the same day his brother and father appear at the Kingaroy Tri-Series.
Aaron?s brother Brent will press his claims for Queensland Under 17s selection, playing at hooker for Wide Bay against teams from Southern and South West divisions. Their father Tracy, a Level III ARL coach, will be in control of the Wide Bay team.
At Langlands Park, Easts have made another significant change by switching Jason Connors to starting halfback, with Phil Dennis on the bench. The Tigers are current co-leaders of the competition along with Burleigh, the team they faced in last year?s grand final.
Tweed Heads will be without forward Jeff Moat (sternum), but will welcome back Josh Vaughan from injury. The Seagulls have named a 19-man squad, with Mykel Hema and Daniel Evans also on the bench.
Forward Hema comes from a recent stint with the highly successful Thirroul Butchers in the Illawarra competition, having played with Cronulla beforehand.
Due to a bye, a win and two draws, Tweed Heads is the only undefeated team left in the Cup. Rob Alexander is the referee for Saturday?s match.
EASTS: Matt Lockyer, Steve Beattie, Nigel Roy, Rob Maller, Walter Imo, Brandon Costin, Jason Connors, Dallas Hood, Steve Goodhew, Leigh Coghill, Aaron Kuskey, Marty Allen, Darren Smith ?. Interchange: Mark Cantoni, Scott Sipple, Trevor Exton, Phil Dennis.
TWEED HEADS: James Wood, Jeremy Walters, David Strachan, Jay McDermott, Nathan Smll, Brad Davis, Tim Maccan, Matt Ross, Matt King, Eddie Harrison, Tom Prichard, Andrew Moroney, Ben Hill. Interchange: Paul Rolls, Ben Quinlan, Josh Vaughan, Luke Kelly, Mykel Hema, Daniel Evans.
BURLEIGH v IPSWICH, Pizzey Park, 3pm Sunday, April 10
BURLEIGH coach Rick Stone has resisted the temptation to make vast changes after his club?s 26-8 loss against North Queensland ? the Bears? first defeat since July 2004.
The only new faces are Jeremy Lateo and Scott Cooke on the bench, replacing Travis Simpson and Wayne Phillis. Lateo was a try-scorer in last week?s tough Mixwell Cup match against Tugun and is rated by the Bears as the ?best attacking backrower in the club when fit?.
Several important milestones are set to be passed by Burleigh players in coming weeks. Shane O?Flanagan plays his 148th game versus Ipswich, while Reggie Cressbrook is 19 points away from 800 career points.
Bears captain Ali Brown has avoided suspension for a grade one dangerous throw. Ipswich backrower Steele Retchless has done likewise, not accruing enough points on a careless high tackle charge to be suspended.
In recent seasons Burleigh has earned renown as the best defensive team in the competition. In order to win, Ipswich will look to increase its current attacking record, which stands at just 50 points from three games.
Last year the Jets went through their first six games with a draw and five losses. This year they have a draw, a bye and two losses from their first four games.
Tony Long is the referee for Sunday?s game.
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, Robert Apanui. Interchange: James Griffiths, Scott Cooke, Jeremy Lateo, Kris Flint.
IPSWICH: Andy Poynter, Luke Walker, Chris Scanlan, Jonathon Muir, Corey Saltner, Brendon Lindsay, Ricky Bird, Grant Young, Adam Boettcher, Mat Cameron, Steele Retchless, Matt McPhee, Danny Coburn ?. Interchange: Shannon Cameron, Marcus Jensen, Paul Cohen, Geoff Chalk.
NORTHS v CENTRAL, Bishop Park, 3pm Sunday, April 10
PROP Rob Tanielu will be a welcome starter for Norths after entering an early guilty plea for striking in last week?s televised game against Tweed Heads.
The Devils forward attracted 75 demerit points in taking an early plea, with 100 points needed for a mandatory one-game suspension.
Fellow Kiwi and Central Comets prop Fili Sofa will also be free to play after not accruing enough points on a careless high tackle charge.
While Norths has made just one change, bringing in Jeremy Smith for Nathan Turner, Central has made a host of alterations.
Having conceded 48 points in the second half against Toowoomba after leading at halftime, coach Neale Crow has reintroduced Wade Rothery, Tui McKenzie, Chris Flemming and Guy Williams to his team.
Skipper Mark Henry moves from fullback to five-eighth, while Herewini Rangi shifts from hooker to second row.
Bishop Park has been a graveyard for Central. The Comets have never won there and last year the score was 42-16 in Norths? favour.
Referee for the weekend?s match is Shane Spicer.
NORTHS: Greg Inglis, Ryan Shortland, Josh Graham, Steve Irwin, Aaron Morgan, Brent Mulholland, Marc Brentnall, Rob Tanielu, Nathan Friend, Pat Gardner, Jeremy Smith, Aaron Bulow, Anthony Boyd ?. Interchange: Col Wilkie, Scott Anderson, Quentin Laulu-Togagae, Peter Robinson.
CENTRAL: Wade Rothery, Clint Rothery, Matt Hill, Dallas Williams, Tui McKenzie, Mark Henry, Aoterangi Herangi, Kurt Cawdron, Chris Fleming, Fili Sofa, David Nixon, Herewini Rangi, Guy Williams. Interchange: Toby Wallace, Kane Hardy, Andrew Dale, TBA.
Nb: Toowoomba bye.
Thanks to the guys at http://www.qrl.com.au for another top article.