Intrust Super Cup: Round 4 preview
PNG HUNTERS v NORTHERN PRIDE
2.30pm, Saturday 22 March, Kalabond Oval, Kokopo
Referee: Tim Rutherford
Head-to-head: First match
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PNGvPRIDE
The Intrust Super Cup’s top two teams meet in a heavyweight showdown to open round 4.
This match is sure to have a bit of everything as the competition newcomers test themselves against the ultra-consistent Northern Pride.
Chasing a third straight win at home and their fourth win in succession, the Hunters will throw everything at the Pride in this one.
The home team will roll out a new halves combination, with Noel Zemming coming in at halfback for Roger Laka.
Zemming is in sparkling touch, having crossed for a double off the bench in last weekend’s 46-14 win over the Central Queensland Capras.
The Pride are aware of the enormity of the challenge that awaits them, but if there is one team that is equipped to handle the humid PNG conditions, it’s the Far North Queenslanders.
Jason Demetriou’s team has also won six of their past seven away matches dating back to late last year.
Pride front-rower Alex Starmer will play his 100th game for the Pride and co-captain Jason Roos becomes the most capped player in the club’s history, passing Ben Laity’s previous record of 117 matches in the blue, white and orange.
Their Cowboys contingent will include Matthew Wright, Joel Riethmuller, Javid Bowen and Ethan Lowe.
MACKAY CUTTERS v WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS
7pm, Saturday 22 March, Stadium Mackay
Referee: Clayton Sharpe
Head-to-head: Wynnum 7 Mackay 5
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #MCvWYN
Defending Intrust Super Cup premiers the Mackay Cutters will go in search of their first win of the season on Saturday night.
Their chances have been boosted by the inclusion of talented North Queensland Cowboys outside backs Curtis Rona and Zac Santo.
Rona was an integral part of the Mackay team last season, with his form catching the eye of Queensland Residents selectors.
A noted flyer with outstanding footwork, Santo adds further class to a Cutters’ backline which has been well contained so far this season.
Wynnum Manly coach Jon Buchanan has made one change, with Jeriah Goodrich coming in for the injured Mitchell Moore.
The Seagulls suffered a surprise 32-22 loss to the understrength Ipswich Jets last weekend and sit just outside the top five.
Wynnum have won five of the past six games against Mackay, although the Cutters won their last clash in 2013.
Mackay have not lost two games at home in succession since round 15 last year (18 games) – they lost their last game there against Easts in Round 1.