• Townsville Blackhawks v Tweed Heads Seagulls
4pm, Saturday 8 August at Jack Manski Oval
Referee: Jarrod Cole
THE all-conquering Blackhawks (15 wins, three losses, one draw) still occupy top sport on the NYC ladder despite having not won a match in nearly a month. The team’s recent form-line reads a last-round bye, a two-point loss to the Hunters and a spiteful 40-all draw with Easts Tigers. To that end, the Blackhawks will be keen to return to the winner’s circle at home against the 10th-placed Tweed side (seven wins, 11 losses, one draw), who were impressive last weekend in downing the higher-ranked Mackay Cutters 24-20 at their home ground. But it will be a tough ask for the Blackhawks who will have a near-full-strength side, with Cowboys-contracted players Ray Thompson, Robert Lui, Zac Santo, Kyle Feldt, Kelepi Tanginoa and Glenn Hall all named in the team. With only four round left in the regular season, the race for finals sports is heating up and although a long shot to qualify for the post-season, the Seagulls would still love to cause a massive upset away from home.
• Mackay Cutters v Northern Pride
6pm, Saturday 8 August at Stadium Mackay
Referee: Peter Gough
THE Northern Pride (sixth place, 11 wins, eight losses) leapfrogged the Mackay Cutters (seventh place, 10 wins, nine losses) last round following a win for the Cairns-based side and a loss for the Central Queenslanders. In what is shaping as the most important regular season match for both sides, no quarter will be given nor asked for in this battle of Cowboys feeders clubs. The Pride have a greater Cowboys-contracted contingent available, with Javid Bowen, Patrick Kaufusi and Ben Spina all named to play, while Josh Chudleigh was in the Cutters’ line-up announced this week.