TRANS-TASMAN PREVIEWS | We've got a look over and made our picks for the opening night of the rep ro...
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REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS v TWEED HEADS
Saturday, May 28 - 2pm* Live on ABC 1
Another week and another blockbuster game for the Tweed Heads Seagulls and Redcliffe Dolphins. Aiming to win their 10th straight match this season, the Seagulls have named an unchanged side following last week's tough 18-8 victory over the Ipswich Jets. The Tweed side have built a solid foundation to start the season and will prove difficult to beat.
The Dolphins have been dealt another cruel injury blow with Justin Hunt and Joe Bond ruled out. Both players look like they will be out of action for a month after sustaining injuries in last weekend's win over Norths Devils. Hunt has a collapsed lung and Bond is battling an AC injury. The Dolphins are also missing other attacking players, including classy halfback Ryan Carr (hamstring).
However, they still have a number of aces in their pack - and their recent winning form against the Seagulls points to this being a fascinating game. In team changes, Adam Jeffery has been named as a new face in the backline for his first Intrust Super Cup game of the year, and Todd Murphy moves into the five-eighth position for Bond.
IPSWICH JETS v CENTRAL COMETS
North Ipswich Reserve
Saturday, May 28 - 5pm
The Ipswich Jets will look to bounce back following their close loss to Tweed Heads last weekend when they take on the Comets at home. While the form guide may suggest that this is a match for the taking, the Jets know all too well that this is a danger game, particularly given the recent outstanding form of Central hooker Tevita Latu.
Comets coach Wayne Barnett will know his team can ill afford to give the Jets the same head start they gave the Sunshine Coast last weekend, as Ipswich have the skill and experience to make them pay dearly for a poor showing early. The Jets are likely to make several late changes, with captain Keiron Lander one of several players carrying niggling injuries.
The Comets have named an unchanged side, with new recruit Mathew Templeman again set to line up in the centres. Templeman - who travels up from Bundaberg to play - scored a try in his first game in Comets colours last weekend. In off-field news, the Comets today announced the appointment of David Seabrook as the club's new CEO.
NORTHERN PRIDE v NORTHS DEVILS
Saturday, May 28 - 5.30pm
It's grand final rematch time. The 2010 premiers, the Northern Pride, host the Norths Devils in what is set to be a physical and highly-entertaining encounter at Barlow Park this weekend. The Pride have continued their good form from last season and are sitting only behind the Tweed Heads Seagulls on the ladder, while Norths' form so far has been patchy.
However, they are tipped to lift their game against the side which beat them in the final. Despite being named at five-eighth, the Pride are likely to be without captain Ty Williams, who injured his bicep in his side's victory over the Souths Logan Magpies last weekend.
If he doesn't take to the field, either Michael Wilson or Shaun Nona are in contention to pair with Ryan Ghietti in the halves. Norths have named Zach Koitka to make his first appearance in the Intrust Super Cup this year. The rookie centre has scored nine tries for the Devils in the Colts competition this season.
SOUTHS LOGAN v MACKAY CUTTERS
Sunday, May 29 - 2.30pm
The Magpies and Cutters are neck and neck on the ladder, so there is plenty riding on the result. Both sides will be keen to get back on track following disappointing results last weekend, with the Magpies going down to the Pride and the Cutters suffering a surprise loss against Easts Tigers. The Cutters had a disrupted preparation going into the game, with a flight delay causing their game to be pushed back.
When they finally got on to the field, they were overpowered by their opposition early - something they will be keen not to repeat this weekend. Despite getting off to a good start and leading 6-0 at halftime against the Pride, the injury-hit Souths Logan outfit then let their game slide away to let in 36 unanswered points.
Sam Gardel returns this weekend for the Magpies, while David Milne has again been named at fullback after he had to pull out of the game last weekend with a stomach bug. The Cutters too have shuffled their line-up with the injured Shannon Gallant replaced at fullback by Liam Taylor and the versatile Clint Amos switching to five-eighth.
BURLEIGH BEARS v EASTS TIGERS
Sunday, May 29 - 3pm
The experienced Shane Neumann is set to return in the centres and Dane Chisholm will move from the wing to the five-eighth role in two key changes for the Tigers. Burleigh coach Paul Bramley doesn't have the luxury of being able to make many positional changes as his first priority is to find 17 fit players.
This year, the Bears have been hammered, with the club hit by its worst injury crisis in 12 seasons. The Bears have 10 established players not available for selection this week, and collectively these players have played more than 600 Queensland Cup games. The players include Brad Cross (out for the season), Martin Griese (1 week), Marty Mitchell (2 weeks), Scott Smith (10 weeks), Kurt Sorensen (6 weeks) and Richie Williams (indefinite).