SUNSHINE COAST v NORTHERN PRIDE
Sunshine Coast Stadium
Friday, July 15 - 7.30pm
The Northern Pride will play their third Friday night game of the season when they make the long trip down to face the Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles. Last week, the Pride were able to snatch a late 25-25 draw with the Burleigh Bears thanks to a field goal from Hezron Murgha in the dying seconds. It was a good effort from the defending premiers to fight back after they were trailing by seven points with only a few minutes remaining in the match. They will be looking to build on that momentum when they take on the ever-improving Sea Eagles at the impressive Sunshine Coast Stadium. Under the guidance of Adam Mogg, the Sea Eagles have taken their game to a new level over the last month. In the first four games of the year, the Sunshine Coast scored an average of 31 points less than their opposition. However, in the corresponding four games in the second round of the competition, they have scored an average of only four less. There have been a few team changes for the Pride, with the biggest being the loss of representative centre Brett Anderson, who is set to miss up to six weeks with a shoulder cartilage injury. Chey Bird moves to centre, with Ben Fitzpatrick receiving a call up from Brothers in the Cairns District Rugby League to play fullback.
BURLEIGH BEARS v SOUTHS LOGAN
Saturday, July 16 - 2pm* Live on ABC 1
This match-up between the Bears and the Magpies at Pizzey Park is set to be a cracker, with both teams fairly evenly placed on the ladder and looking to improve their standing. Last weekend, both sides welcomed back their captains (Scott Smith - Burleigh; Phil Dennis - Souths Logan) after long stints on the sideline with injuries and they are focused on the two points this crucial round 16 game offers. While Burleigh have been able to name an unchanged side from the one that drew with the Northern Pride in Cairns last weekend, the Magpies have had to make a number of changes to their team. Their 24-14 win over Easts proved to be a costly one, with injuries striking down outside backs Wade Liddell and Jamie Dodt. Gatton product Dodt has been named but is unlikely to play. In major milestone news, Burleigh fullback Nick Parfitt's first try in 14 games last week moved him to 111 tries in total, only one behind all-time leader Ryan Cullen. Head-to-head between these two sides, the Bears have won 17 past games, with Souths Logan winning eight. There have also been two drawn results in their history.
MACKAY CUTTERS v CENTRAL COMETS
Shark Park, Mackay
Sunday, July 17 - 2pm
Unfortunately for the Mackay Cutters, last week's 56-10 result against the Ipswich Jets was their biggest ever loss and it will take some effort to bounce back strongly from that defeat. This weekend's derby match will see them host the Central Comets - who fought gamely but were no match for the ladder-leading Tweed Heads Seagulls in the closing stages last weekend. After trailing 22-4 at halftime, the Comets played their way into a winning position but lost their way at the back end of the game to go down 34-20. While they were hit hard by the late withdrawal of a number key players including Clint Amos, Ben Jones and Dane Hogan, the Cutters were simply out-played by the determined Jets side. However, Jones and Amos have both been named to make their return this week for the home team and Tyson Martin is back from a one match suspension. For the Comets, coach Wayne Barnett has made a few changes, with Nat Bowman returning to the side at fullback and Tevita Latu and Jonathon Tavinor named in the halves. Brisbane Bronco Nick Kenny has also been named in a huge boost to a Comets side that would have to win all of its remaining matches to be a chance of making the play-offs.
NORTHS DEVILS v EASTS TIGERS
Sunday, July 17 - 3pm
It was a disappointing trip to BMD Kougari Oval for the Norths Devils, who were overpowered 54-10 by Wynnum Manly last weekend. The Devils have now lost eight games in a row, having last won with a 30-6 result against the Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles in round 7. Easts too have had a lean trot, but played better against the Souths Logan Magpies last week in a much closer 24-14 loss. This game will see the return of Troyden Watene for the Devils, while the Tigers will have the same 17 as last week for this game. Norths will be hoping to replicate their recent success against the Tigers in recent times, with the Devils having won the past three matches between the two teams. Overall however, things are much closer, with Norths winning 16, the Tigers 15 and one drawn result. A number of players from both sides will be reaching important milestones in their playing careers, with both Eddy Purcell (Norths) and Shane Neumann (Easts and Sunshine Coast) taking part in their 50th Queensland Cup games. Gideon Mzembe will play his 50th Cup game for the Devils (and his 95th overall thanks to his previous stints will Ipswich, Toowoomba and Aspley). Kevin Stephensen is set to make his 100th top grade appearance for Easts.
REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS v IPSWICH JETS
Sunday, July 17 - 3pm
Ipswich faces a huge test when it meets the second-placed Redcliffe at Dolphin Oval. The assignment of beating the Dolphins on their home patch got a little bit tougher earlier this week with news that star fullback Luke Capewell had received an NRL recall for the Titans. Capewell scored a hat-trick of tries in the big win over Mackay last weekend to take his season tally to 15 from just 11 games. The former Rabbitoh also had a hand in several other tries against the Cutters last weekend and there must be doubts about Ipswich's ability to match motors without the try-scoring sensation. One saving grace for the Jets is the likely return of Marshall Chalk from injury. Donald Malone has not been named after serving a one-match suspension but the former Cowboy is tipped to play against Redcliffe. However, the Jets will still enter the round 16 match as outsiders with the Dolphins (23-9) holding a superior head to head winning record. Redcliffe is also in good shape personnel wise with key trio Justin Hunt, Joe Bond and Ryan Carr all finding some match fitness after returning from injury in recent weeks. It took a 72nd minute try from Bond for the Dolphins to get over the bottom-placed Sunshine Coast last weekend in a tight match.
TWEED HEADS v WYNNUM MANLY
Sunday, July 17 - 3pm
Wynnum Manly's 54-10 pounding of Norths was the first time the side had beaten the Devils under coach Paul Green. Buoyed by that result, they will be filled with confidence going into the Like