With March just around the corner it means rugby league is back, and so we offer up our 2017 Queensland Cup Season Preview.
About this time every year we wax lyrical about how great the Intrust Super Cup or Queensland Cup, and we mean it.
Given a choice of attending an NRL game or head down to a local ground for the Queensland Cup, it would be local every time. Ok, maybe that’s because we prefer our rugby league on a Sunday in Brisbane, and the Broncos won’t play on a Sunday afternoon as long as Channel Nein have their say, but we’d still go to Queensland Cup over NRL.
Maybe it’s the laid back atmosphere, and reasonable food and drink. Maybe it’s the tenner to get in. Maybe it’s that the quality isn’t as far away from the NRL as they’d like to think. Maybe it’s the chance to see the up and coming players coming through (which will increase from next year when Under 20’s is scrapped for State based comps). Maybe it’s the chance to see something different like the Ipswich Jets or PNG Hunters. Whatever, it’s different. And it’s better.
The 2017 Queensland Cup season have some big names joining the fun too. Former biggest name in the competition Benji Marshall looks likely to spend some time at Dolphin Oval in 2017 after signing for the Broncos instead of an early retirement. He alone will probably bump crowds by a double figure percent when he plays.
He’s not the only big name either with Chris Sandow on the verge of joining Norths Devils for the season ahead, after his boxing career stalled after failing to follow up his reasonable performance against Todd Carney with a less than successful bout on the streets of Cherbourg. Whatever about that and his exit from Super League, it will be great to have the livewire halfback.
Elsewhere there will be new names and returning names all over the competition, some just on the fringe of NRL full time.
Townsville and Redcliffe look strong again, and the PNG Hunters have really strengthened their squad for the 2017 Queensland Cup season. Sunshine Coast who surprised many in the 2016 Final Series, look even stronger too, with the help of Melbourne Storm recruiting.
That feeder system program helps the Queensland Cup clubs attract some great talent, and after the Central Capras hooked up with Gold Coast in the off season, that leaves just the PNG Hunters without an official NRL tie up. Although their best do get cherry picked. For the record the feeder system is Brisbane Broncos – Redcliffe Dolphins, Norths Devils, Wynnum Seagulls, Souths Logan Magpies, Ipswich Jets. North Queensland Cowboys – Northern Pride, Townsville Blackhawks, Mackay Cutters. Gold Coast Titans – Central Capras, Burleigh Bears, Tweed Heads Seagulls. Melbourne Storm – Sunshine Coast Falcons, Easts Tigers.
Will 2017 though be like 2016 where a lot of the finalists from the previous completely misses the finals. Like Premiers Ipswich, Wynnum and Northern Pride in 2016. Our season’s predictions mean we think just the premiers Burleigh will miss out, but what would we know.
But we think excitement machines Ipswich won’t make the finals either, and we are happy to be proven wrong on that one.
That’s the beauty of the 2017 Queensland Cup season, there’s something for everyone. So stay tuned or head along to a game if you get the chance.
2017 Queensland Cup Season Preview – Our Bold Season Predictions
1st – Townsville Blackhawks
2nd – Redcliffe Dolphins – beaten Grand Finalists
3rd – PNG Hunters – Premiers
4th – Sunshine Coast Falcons
5th – Mackay Cutters
6th – Easts Tigers
7th – Wynnum Seagulls
8th – Souths Logan Magpies
9th – Burleigh Bears
10th – Northern Pride
11th – Ipswich Jets
12th – Central Capras
13th – Norths Devils
14th – Tweed Heads Seagulls
2017 Queensland Cup Season Preview – The Games We’d like to Attend
Here’s the games we’d like to go to in 2017 if we had time and money, and in a few cases the ability to clone ourselves.
R1 – REDCLIFFE v BURLEIGH – Grand Final Replay
R1 – MACKAY v NORTHERN PRIDE – Return of Foley Shield – Match 1
R3 – TWEED HEADS v WYNNUM – on Stradbroke Island
R3 – TOWNSVILLE v MACKAY – Foley Shield Match 2
R6 – WYNNUM v REDCLIFFE – Bayside Derby
R6 – NORTHERN PRIDE v TOWNSVILLE – Foley Shield Match 3
R6 – BURLEIGH v TWEED HEADS – GC Derby
R6 – CENTRAL v MACKAY – CQ Derby
R6 – SUNSHINE COAST v PNG HUNTERS – Falcons only team to win in PNG in years
R7 – EASTS v WYNNUM – Eastside derby
R8 – BURLEIGH v PNG HUNTERS – now traditional Anzac Day clash never fails to please
R11 – REDCLIFFE v NORTHS – Northside Derby
R11 – IPSWICH v PNG HUNTERS – Entertainment Plus
R12 – PNG HUNTERS v TOWNSVILLE – New boys already creating great rivalry
R14 – WYNNUM v TWEED HEADS – Flockbuster
R14 – MACKAY v TOWNSVILLE – Foley Shield Match 4
R17 – NORTHERN PRIDE v MACKAY – Foley Shield Match 5
R19 – TOWNSVILLE v NORTHERN PRIDE – Foley Shield Match 6
R19 – REDCLIFFE v WYNNUM – Dolphins turn to host
R21 – WYNNUM v EASTS – Ditto for Wynnum
R22 – NORTHS v REDCLIFFE – Ditto for Devils
R23 – TOWNSVILLE v PNG HUNTERS – could shape Minor Premiership?
2017 Queensland Cup Season Preview – What we are looking forward to in general
- How the big names like Benji Marshall, Chris Sandow and Travis Burns handle the step down.
- Kids on the field at halftime
- Cheap beer, in a can, on a hill.
- Decent food cooked by decent people at a decent price.
- A standard of rugby league that isn’t too far behind the NRL, and at times played in a more watchable style.
- The chance to watch Sunday afternoon in Brisbane/SEQ
- Get In The Game Country week, where all teams play in far flung places and or places that would never get a look in otherwise.
- Round 6 Rivalry Round
2017 Queensland Cup Season Preview – What we would still like to see.
Last year we floated the idea of the Queensland Cup holding a UK Super League style Magic Weekend. We think still it will be a great idea.
A Match of the Day style review/highlights program. With the QRL already supplying an excellent 2 – 3 minute highlight via their website, why not turn it into a quick 30 minute review program, with a quick intro and look ahead to the next round of fixtures. Although it would have to be played on Channel 9, they have a nice slot ready after the Friday night game or before the Sunday game. Or Fox League could grab it, as they’ll be looking for filler.
PNG Hunters at the Grand Final.
2017 Queensland Cup Season Preview – Other important links.
Here’s some other stuff we’ve already done that may interest, or be useful for the season ahead from elsewhere.
Sunday Afternoon Fixture List for the Queensland. No NRL? No problem!
Where to catch the PNG Hunters in SEQ in 2017 + Bonus full Hunters Draw.
Our love affair with Hunters continues with our Hunters only preview.
During the season visit the Nothing But League Queensland Cup Match Centre. They’ll have the teams, scores, ladder and weekly pieces from us.
2017 Queensland Cup Season Preview – The Odds
Sunshine Coast Falcons
Souths Logan Magpies
Wynnum Manly Seagulls