Intrust Super Cup Grand Final – Burleigh Bears v Redcliffe Dolphins
Sunday, September 25 – 3.55pm – Suncorp Stadium
The Redcliffe Dolphins and Burleigh Bears meet in the Intrust Super Cup Grand Final after finishing first and second respectively during the regular season and have a score to settle after winning one game apiece against each other this season. The Dolphins ran out comfortable 32-14 winners back in Round 12, while the Bears turned the tables by 40-24 in Week 2 of the finals to book their place in the grand final. The Dolphins join them in the big dance on the back of a 38-16 victory over the giant-killing Sunshine Coast Falcons.
The Dolphins have been dealt a massive blow to the make-up of their side with influential halfback Darren Nichols ruled out through injury, with the elusive Christian Hazard responsible for filling the void in the No.7 jersey. Meanwhile, the Bears have named an almost identical side that accounted for the Dolphins in Week 2 of the finals and go into this contest as narrow favourites. On that occasion, the Bears raced out to a 28-0 halftime lead, before the Dolphins made the scoreline look respectable as the Bears were down to one reserve on their bench.
There’s plenty of battles across the field that will decide this contest, but the Bears halves pairing of Cameron Cullen and Jamal Fogarty hold the key. They’ve both earned NRL contracts for next season with Fogarty off to Parramatta and Cullen making the move from the Gold Coast Titans to Manly and will want to end their Burleigh careers on a positive note. For the halves to shine, it will come down to the forwards to provide the platform and there’s no better forwards in the competition at doing that than the Bears Luke Page and Dolphins Sam Anderson.
The Wolf can’t see the Dolphins being shell-shocked like they were at Dolphin Park in Week 2, but there’s no denying the loss of Nicholls could be a hurdle too tough to overcome. The Bears have had the week to put their feet up and will be high on confidence after their 40-24 win and it was also just their second win in 12 outings at Dolphin Park. The Bears have the more settled line-up and it’s hard to see a weakened Dolphins side turning the tables.