Intrust Super Cup: Rd 22 preview

IPSWICH JETS v MACKAY CUTTERS
5pm, Saturday 2 August, North Ipswich Reserve
Referee: Peter Gough
Head to head: Ipswich 9 Mackay 5
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #JETSvMC
Live call: phoenixradio.com.au

The Mackay Cutters will return to the North Ipswich Reserve for the first time since they hoisted the Intrust Super Cup premiership trophy at the ground in September last year.

But this time around, the Cutters are fighting to stay in the finals hunt with the defending premiers having to win all five remaining matches to be a chance.

Despite sitting in eighth spot, the Cutters are one of the form teams of the competition in recent weeks.

This week they may have to play this match without centre Chris Ulugia, who is in doubt with an ongoing calf injury.

The versatile Josh Osborne, who scored two tries in last week’s 30-20 win over Redcliffe, is on standby to switch from the back-row to centre should Ulugia be ruled out.

Ipswich have lost their past three home games, mainly due to flimsy defence.

They will need to tighten up that aspect of their game against a dangerous Cutters team featuring three Cowboys attacking weapons – Zac Santo, Curtis Rona and Anthony Mitchell.

NORTHERN PRIDE v TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS
12.30pm, Sunday 3 August, Barlow Park (delayed on Channel 9/WIN/NBN from 2pm)
Referee: Clayton Sharpe
Head to head: Tweed 9 Pride 5        
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PRIDEvTHS

It’s the battle of the big guns with the top-of-the-table Northern Pride hosting the second-placed Tweed Heads in what could be an early indicator of finals football.

The Seagulls have gone 12 games without a loss and interestingly, are the only side with a “winning” record over the Pride.

They have also won five of their past six games against the northerners, but the Pride’s record at home is formidable.

The Cairns-based side have won their past nine games at this venue, and overall have lost only 13 of 76 Cup games played there.

In team news, despite suffering injuries in their win over Wynnum Manly last weekend, Hezron Murgha, Kyle Feldt and Latu Fifita were all named for the Pride on Tuesday.

Jack Svendsen has also been included in the only change to the squad.

For the Seagulls, Caleb Binge is the only new addition and has been named on an extended bench.