It’s finals time and we’re down to the final six teams in the Intrust Super Cup. Redcliffe and Burleigh have earned the week off, while Townsville host Easts and PNG take on the Sunshine Coast in a rematch of last week’s clash in Port Moresby.
|Match (Time AEST)||Tips|
|Townsville v Easts
|Best Bet: Townsville -10.5|
|PNG v Sunshine Coast
|Best Bet: PNG -12.5|
Townsville Blackhawks v Easts Tigers
It’s a battle of 3rd v 6th when the Blackhawks host the Tigers at Jack Manski Oval. The Blackhawks have been dominant at home this season, winning 9 of their 11 games and go into this clash as heavy favourites. Four Blackhawks players scored a double in last week’s 48-22 win over the Devils including winger Jonathon Reuben who took his season tally to 18 to become the competition’s leading try-scorer. The Tigers broke a five-game losing streak by defeating the last-placed Cutters 48-20 last week and also got the cash when they defeated the Blackhawks 29-20 at Langlands Park in Round 12. The Blackhawks look superior to the Tigers across the part with the likes of Ray Thompson and Matt Bowen potentially coming off the bench and their halves in Kyle Laybutt and Michael Parker-Walshe both crossing for doubles last week. The return of five-eighth and goal-kicker Billy Waters has been a big boost for the Tigers, but it has been nullified by the loss of Matt White and Christian Welch who have both been named on the bench for the Melbourne Storm. Welch was one of the Tigers’ best last week, running for 173 metres from his 21 hit-ups and played the 80 minutes. It’s hard to go past the Blackhawks at home and the omissions of White and Welch really hurts the Tigers chances of an upset.
PNG Hunters v Sunshine Coast Falcons
Put a line through last week’s 34-4 win by the Hunters over the Falcons as the team that will run out this week for the Falcons is completely different to the side that was thrashed last week. Eddie Tautali, Richie Kennar, Curtis Scott, Mark Nicholls and Joe Stimsons are all big inclusions for the Falcons, but unfortunately the loss of halfback Ryley Jacks could have the biggest impact on the Falcons’ chances of an upset. The Hunters are undefeated at home this season and despite the big names returning for the Falcons, the hostile environment of the National Football Stadium, especially in a finals match, will be too much for Craig Ingebrigtsen’s men to overcome. Keep an eye out for Hunters fullback Bland Abavu to have another big match after he ran for 193 metres against the Falcons last week and busted through 9 tackles to go along with his try. Hunters to progress to Week 2 of the finals.