MACKAY CUTTERS v BURLEIGH BEARS
6pm, Saturday 18 July, Stadium Mackay
Referee: Michael Gordon
The sixth-placed Cutters had the bye last weekend, and their match a week prior resulted in a big win over the Sunshine Coast Falcons.
That said, the Mackay-based team are still anchored at the bottom of the all-important top six of the Intrust Super Cup ladder with nine wins and sevens losses, and with no more automatic points to come courtesy of byes.
Cutters’ coaching staff will be looking for a consistent 80-minute performance in front of their home fans against the eighth-placed Burleigh Bears (eight wins, nine losses), who will still be smarting from a last-start 64-6 thrashing by Redcliffe.
The Cutters have named a strong side for the Saturday night match, including Cowboys-contracted hooker Josh Chudleigh at hooker.
Cowboys under-20s prop Braden Uele has this weekend been promoted to the ISC following brilliant recent form in the National Youth Competition, and will come off the bench for coach Kim Williams.
Uele’s promotion comes after recent successful ISC outings for the Cutters from Cowboys’ under-20s man mountain Coen Hess, who returns to NYC duties against the Manly Sea Eagles this weekend.
EASTS TIGERS v TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS
1.40pm, Sunday 19 July, Tapout Energy Stadium
Referee: Chris Anderson
The table-topping Blackhawks (15 wins, two losses) face their toughest test in recent weeks when they are hosted by the fifth-placed East Tigers (10 win, six losses, one draw), last year’s losing grand finalists.
The Tigers scored a dramatic late win against third-placed Ipswich last weekend and will be keen to gather some momentum as finals rapidly approach.
For the Blackhawks, another big win last weekend – 50-6 over Norths Devils – means potential complacency looms as the biggest enemy during the last third of their inaugural ISC campaign.
From a Cowboys’ perspective, winger Zac Santo, centre Kyle Feldt and second-rower Kelepi Tanginoa have been named in the team for the Sunday arvo showdown between two of the competition’s heavyweights.
TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS v NORTHERN PRIDE
2pm, Sunday 19 July, Piggabeen Sports Complex
Referee: Liam Kennedy
The Pride have had an inconsistent year as they attempt to defend their ISC premiership, a trend highlighted by last week’s shock 17-8 loss to the 11th-paced Souths Logan Magpies in Tully.
That loss saw the Pride (nine wins, eight losses) slip out of the top six, and this Sunday they will play away to another lower-ranked team, the 10th-placed Tweed Heads Seagulls (five wins, 10 losses, one draw).
The Seagulls were heavy last-start losers to the Sunshine Coast Falcons, but return to their home ground this weekend intent on righting recent wrongs, a siege mentality for which Joe O’Callaghan’s men will have to be prepared.
O’Callaghan has named four contracted Cowboys in his 17: fullback Hezron Murgha, winger Javid Bowen, prop Ben Spina and hooker Cameron King, who will come off the bench in rotation with starting rake and Pride captain Jason Roos.