Intrust Super Cup: Rd 20 preview
Redcliffe Dolphins v Mackay Cutters
1.40pm, Sunday 26 July, Dolphin Oval
Referee: Michael Gordon
Buoyed by a big home win last round and a visit from Cowboys players and officials at a 20-year anniversary function the night before, the Cutters are riding high but need to be on their game against the dangerous Dolphins on Sunday.
The Cutters currently occupy sixth spot on the Intrust Super Cup ladder with a 10-win, seven-loss record, and last weekend defeated the Burleigh Bears 46-4 in a dominant, 80-minute display.
The Dolphins, though, will be steeling themselves for victory at home, and currently sit in eighth spot (seven wins, nine losses and a draw), and will be backing up from a 28-4 win over the CQ Capras in round 19.
Cutters coach Kim Williams has again named Cowboys-contracted hooker Josh Chudleigh – who was man of the match in a two-try effort against Burleigh – in the team to travel to Redcliffe, while under-20s player Braden Uele will back up from his impressive Cutters effort last week, where he scored on debut.
PNG Hunters v Townsville Blackhawks
2.30pm, Sunday 26 July, Kalabond Oval
Referee: Chris Anderson
It’s one of the most daunting and arduous road trips in Australian sport, and despite sitting atop the Intrust Super Cup ladder, the Townsville Blackhawks arguably go into Sunday's match against the Hunters in PNG as underdogs.
The Hunters were the last team to beat the Blackhawks (15 wins, two losses and a draw), who are backing up from a disappointing last-start draw against losing 2014 grand finalists Easts Tigers.
The Blackhawks left for their long journey on Friday, overnighting in Cairns before flying into Port Moresby, then on to Kokopo.
They're sure to be met by a vocal home crowd for the Sunday afternoon match, which pits team one against team two, the Hunters holding a 13-win, three-loss, one-draw record.
For the Blackhawks, they'll be without centre Mosese Pangai, who was hit with a five-game suspension following last weekend’s fiery draw with the Tigers, while current Cowboys Zac Santo, Kyle Feldt and Kelepi Tanginoa have been named in the side.
Also expected to play are halves Robert Lui and Ray Thompson, while veteran forward Glenn Hall will also make the trek north.
For Thompson, this game will be extra special, given he has played Test match football for PNG.
The Northern Pride have the bye this weekend.