Local rugby league is back as the Intrust Super Cup Round 1 kicks off with a minute fraction of the fanfare of the NRL and their fancy new Fox League channel.
So onto our weekly preview of all the action from Mackay down to the Tweed, and of course a little bit of PNG Hunters.
Intrust Super Cup Round 1 Preview of Games in 25 words or less.
Sunshine Coast Falcons v Easts Tigers at Sunshine Coast Stadium on Saturday, March 4 – 4.30pm
2017 kicks off with two strong candidates for finals, and players hunting for a berth at Melbourne. Fullback battle particularly interesting – Kevin Locke v Linc Port.
Mackay Cutters v Northern Pride at BB Print Stadium, Mackay on Saturday, March 4 – 6pm
Foley Shield as part of 2017 for Mackay, Townsville and Cairns. Game 1 is Mackay v Northern Pride.
CQ Capras v PNG Hunters at Browne Park on Saturday, March 4 – 6.05pm
Capras surprised the Hunters last year who weren’t great away from home. Hunters have strengthened, Capras lost arguably their best from 2017 in Matt Minto.
Redcliffe Dolphins v Burleigh Bears at Dolphin Oval on Sunday, March 4 – 12.40pm
Grand Final replay and Dolphins looking for revenge on the two straight losses in the finals series.
Tweed Heads Seagulls v Ipswich Jets at Piggabeen Sports Complex on Sunday, March 5 – 2pm
Many asked where the Ipswich Jets went in 2016 after the premiership. Will their winning ways return in 2017.
Souths Logan Magpies v Wynnum Manly Seagulls at Davies Park on Sunday, March 4 – 2pm
Battle of the birds at Davies Park. Travis Burns plays his first game for Wynnum.
Norths Devils v Townsville Blackhawks at Bishop Park on Sunday, March 4 – 3.30pm
No Chris Sandow named for Norths yet, and Townsville look strong as ever despite some key off season losses.
Redcliffe v Burleigh – Channel 9 – Sunday 12:30pm
Sunshine Coast v Easts – TigerTV Live Stream – Saturday 4:30pm
?? Central Capras v PNG Hunters – Hunters away games are often streamed via the QRL website. No news yet but check out qrl.com.au over the weekend.
BETTING / TIPPING
This weekends Odds
Sunshine Coast $1.60 Easts Tigers $2.30 – Points Start Easts +4
Central $2.75 PNG Hunters $1.45 – Points Start Central +6.5
Mackay $2.75 Northern Pride $1.45 – Points Start Mackay +6.5
Redcliffe $1.22 Burleigh $4.25 – Points Start Burleigh +12.5
Souths Logan $1.73 Wynnum $2.10 – Points Start Wynnum +2.5
Tweed Heads $2.10 Ipswich $1.72 – Points Start Tweed Heads +2.5
Norths $2.75 Townsville $1.45 – Points Start Norths +6.5
Our “expert” selections.
Sunshine Coast to win
PNG -6.5 start
Mackay to win
Redcliffe to win
Wynnum to win
Ipswich to win
Townsville to win
$1 multi “pays” $53
PNG HUNTERS CORNER
The Hunters are back, bigger and better. Especially since two of their very best are back for 2017 – Israel Eliab and the infamous Willie Minoga. We think these two and other recruiting is good enough to take the title this year as we wrote earlier.
Although we must admit to almost cracking the sads when Gurgler favourite and former 2015 Person of the Year winner Willie Minoga didn’t appear in the run on forwards and bench. We then peered further up the list and saw the big man’s name beside the number 4 jersey.
As much as it appears, it is not all about Willie Minoga with a very strong squad named for the clash in Rockhampton on Saturday night. The Hunters need to improve their away form in 2017 and have a great opportunity to start on a positive result. But the Capras are no pushover and upset the PNG side in 2016 at Browne Park.
Here’s this week’s team. More can be found at the QRL website.
1. Bland Abavu 2. Butler Morris 3. Adex Wera 4. Willie Minoga 5. William Aquila 6. Israel Eliab 7. Ase Boas (c) 8. Henry Noki 9. Gahuna Silas 10. Esau Siune 11. Nixon Put 12. David Loko 13. Stanton Albert 14. Lawrence Tuú 15. Ishmael Balkawa 16. Enoch Maki 17. Moses Meninga 18. Radley Brawa 19. Karo Kauna 20. Noel Joel
NOTHING BUT LEAGUE MATCH CENTRE
We contribute to Nothing But League and they have an excellent Intrust Super Cup Match Centre which has full previews and reviews, and a ladder.
If you need to know more, head to the Nothing But League Intrust Super Cup Match Centre.