Intrust Super Cup: Rd 18 preview
MACKAY CUTTERS v NORTHS DEVILS
6pm, Saturday 28 June, Stadium Mackay
Referee: Michael Gordon
Head to head: Norths 8 Mackay 6
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #MCvDEVILS
The Mackay Cutters have made several forced changes for Saturday’s must-win clash against the Devils, with Cowboys contracted trio Anthony Mitchell, Curtis Rona and John Asiata remaining in Townsville to take on the Rabbitohs on Saturday night.
But in positive news, the Cutters will welcome back former Devil Dan Beasley after a long injury lay-off.
Kelvin Nielsen has been named to fill the key hooking role in the absence of Mitchell.
For Norths, Troyden Watene gets the chance to start up front following an injury to big prop Jared Blanke in the Devils’ 36-10 loss to the Ipswich Jets.
Norths have lost their last four games to slip from third to eighth, but with nine rounds still to play, there is enough time for Mark Gliddon’s team to turn it around.
It will be another huge day of rugby league at Stadium Mackay with Norths Mackay playing the Magpies in an annual Cultural Heritage round match.
The annual event for Norths sees the club celebrate the cultural diversity within the region.
This includes players and match officials wearing specially designed jerseys to mark the occasion.
These will be raffled off at the after-match function.
NORTHERN PRIDE v PNG HUNTERS
2.10pm, Sunday 29 June, Barlow Park (live on Channel 9/NBN/WIN)
Referee: Michael Wise
Head to head: Pride 1 PNG 0
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PRIDEvPNG
Northern Pride are expecting a massive crowd this weekend when they host the PNG Hunters.
There's a large PNG community in Cairns leading the Pride to believe their record home crowd of 3,200 (against Mackay two years ago) could be broken.
On the field it’s shaping as a key game for the Hunters who have slipped out of the top five following back-to-back losses.
The Pride, however, have won six games in a row and also have an imposing home record, winning all seven of their matches at “the Jungle” this year.
In team news, Pride co-captain Brett Anderson (shoulder) will be given every opportunity to prove his fitness, while Ricky Thorby has been named to play his 50th Cup game, coming in for fellow Cowboy Joel Riethmuller (hamstring).
For the Hunters, coach Michael Marum has reshuffled his backline, with Dion Aiye to start at five-eighth and captain Israel Eliab shifting to centre for the injured Thompson Teteh.
New signing Jason Tali has been drafted in on the bench.
Timothy Lomai has not been named, with Lawrence Tu’u and Garry Lo the new additions.