Intrust Super Cup Round 4 preview
Something has to give in Round 4 of the Intrust Super Cup with nine teams equal on four competition points heading into this weekend's fixtures.
To kick-off Round 4, the Burleigh Bears will play at their Pizzey Park base for the second week running when they host defending premiers Northern Pride on Saturday afternoon.
The Bears will be on the hunt for back-to-back victories when they play the Pride who are winless after three rounds this season and are coming off a 42-point hiding against newcomers Townsville Blackhawks last weekend.
Up north at Jack Manski Oval, the table-topping Blackhawks will be keen to keep flying above a squadron of eight sides equal with them on four points when they battle the CQ Capras.
The home side are again able to call upon the services of Cowboys half Robert Lui and while the Capras may not have many star names in their side, they still have former Newcastle Knights half Matt Minto and Peter Gallen – younger brother to Paul – in their ranks.
Saturday night's match sees the Mackay Cutters take on Easts Tigers with the winner likely to entrench themselves inside the top six.
The Tigers will have Melbourne Storm winger Matt Duffie lining up at fullback with the 24-year-old making his return from consecutive ACLs injuries that have kept him from playing in the NRL since Round 4, 2013.
There are four games on Sunday afternoon and it all starts with the televised match between Norths Devils and Redcliffe Dolphins at Nundah's Bishop Park.
Norths have won two from three this season, although they currently sit in eighth spot due to an inferior for-and-against while the Dolphins are coming off a Round 3 bye and are yet to record a win.
The Devils will be without veteran back-rower Todd Lowrie who will travel to New Zealand as the Brisbane Broncos' 18th man. The match will be shown live on Gem in Queensland from 1.40pm.
Souths Logan Magpies make the trek to the Brisbane's bayside when they take on Wynnum Manly Seagulls at Kougari Oval with the winner also likely to move into the top six.
Currently in fifth spot, the Magpies enjoyed a bye last weekend and will be tested by the Seagulls who won their first two games of the season but lost 28-10 at home to the Cutters in Round 3.
Entertainment ensues on the Sunshine Coast when the high-flying Ipswich Jets take on the Falcons with a host of fringe NRL talent on display.
Storm-contracted half Ben Hampton, prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona, back-rower Kenny Bromwich and hookers Slade Griffin and Billy Brittain will line up for the Falcons with the likes of Marmin Barba, Chris Walker and Matt Parcell on show for the Jets.
Daniel Vidot was named at prop for the visitors but has withdrawn from the squad on compassionate grounds as he weighs up his immediate playing future after falling out of favour at the Broncos.
The third-placed Tweed Heads Seagulls will travel to Kokopo to battle the second-placed PNG Hunters to conclude Round 4 of the Intrust Super Cup.
The Seagulls will have to make do without halfback Kane Elgey who has been called up to the Gold Coast Titans to replace the injured Daniel Mortimer.
The 21-year-old scored two tries for Tweed against Norths last Sunday and was the Holden Cup under-20s player of the year last season.
Elgey's exclusion is a blow for the Seagulls although they still boast Titans Matt Srama, Davin Crampton and Kalifa Faifai Loa in their line-up.
Click here for full previews of all seven Round 4 fixtures.