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globalrugbyleague - Fri, 16 Mar 2007 17:24:00 GMT
ASPLEY v NORTH QLD
Suncorp Stadium, Friday March 16, 5.00pm
Referee: Clayton Sharpe
(Please note for anyone heading out to the game tonight
between Aspley and the Young Guns, kick off has been brought
forward 15 minutes to 5.00pm)

THE STORY: Brisbane Broncos feeder team Aspley may be making its debut, but already this game is being billed as a grudge match, with the best youngsters from the Broncos and Cowboys on display. Adding their weight of experience to the contest are Queensland State of Origin stalwart Paul Bowman and New Zealand Test stars Tame Tupou and David Faiumu, along with Michael Ennis.

THE STAT: Brent McConnell will play his first game against the Young Guns since leaving Townsville last year. The dual premiership winner has more Wizard Cup tries than anyone in this game – notching 55 from 93 games. To put that in perspective, NQ winger Scott Minto has 37 tries from 97 games. Watch for Broncos fullback Denan Kemp though; he has 27 tries in 27 games.

THE STAR: There’s no doubt Paul Bowman will be the big talking point if he takes the field as listed. At 31 years of age this will be his Wizard Cup debut. Although Bowman played trial games with Brisbane Brothers in the mid 90s, he has never played in an official statewide match.

CHANGES: N/A

CHARGES: Chris Muckert (Toowoomba) currently suspended.

Aspley Broncos
Players:
1. Denan KEMP
2. Rodney DAVIES
3. Jason MOON
4. John TE REO
5. Tame TUPOU
6. Ben GREEN
7. Brent McCONNELL
13. Derricke WATKINS
12. Luke BROSNAN
11. Lachlan MORGAN
10. David TAYLOR
9. Michael ENNIS
8. Nick KENNY

Interchange:
14. Clifford MANUA
15. Brynjar RAGNARSSON
16. Ian LACEY
17. Fletcher HOLMES

Coach: Mark GEE

North Qld Young Guns
Players:
1. Michael ROSE
2. Karl JOHNSON
3. Paul BOWMAN
4. Ben FARRAR
5. Scott MINTO
6. Jackson NICOLAU
7. Shane MUSPRATT
13. Ben LOWE
12. Jimmy ANDERSEN
11. Joe CLARKE
10. John FRITH
9. David FAIUMU
8. Ray CASHMERE

Interchange:
14. Scott SMITH
15. Keiron LANDER
16. Ben VAEAU
17. Sam FAUST

Coach: Matt PARISH


EASTS v WYNNUM MANLY
Langlands Park, Saturday March 17, 2.00pm (Live ABC TV & Bay FM)
Referee: Michael Wise

THE STORY: What a way to start the first Saturday of the season, with interminable enemies Easts and Wynnum Manly drawing a line in the sand at arguably the best local league venue in Queensland. Big movers in offseason recruiting, the Tigers and Seagulls should both be in the hunt for the top five if their sides gel. Former Easts title winner Shane McNally debuts as Wynnum coach, while ex-Wynnum premiership coach Des Morris is now Easts’ chief executive.

THE STAT: Easts has effectively four players returning from its side that contested the 2004 extra time grand final. Dane Campbell and Trent Young arrive back from NRL stints, Isaac Kaufmann returns from playing with Norths and flyer Steve Beattie is back after missing all but two games last year through injury.

THE STAR: Wynnum centre Paoa Faamita played Queensland Under 19s just last year, featuring alongside Israel Folau, Joel Moon and David Taylor amongst others. A strong runner with a kamikaze style, he’ll want to make an impression in his official Seagulls debut.

CHANGES: N/A.

CHARGES: Jim Ahmat, Bill Wyatt (Wynnum Manly) currently suspended.

Easts Tigers
Players:
1. Kev STEPHENSEN
2. John TAMANIKA
3. Matt LOCKYER
4. Justin MACKAY
5. David TYRRELL
6. Isaac KAUFMANN
7. Dane CAMPBELL
13. Damian DURNFORD
12. Mark CANTONI
11. Anthony BOYD
10. Troy HANSEN
9. Trent YOUNG
8. Cameron DURNFORD

Interchange:
14. Steve BEATTIE
15. Ben LAITY
16. SINAVE FAITALA
17. Scott SIPPLE

Coach: Michael BOOTH

Wynnum Manly Seagulls
Players:
1. Simon PHILLIPS
2. Chris PARKER
3. Chris CURRIE
4. Paoa FAAMITA
5. Chris McQUEEN
6. Luke DALZIEL-DON
7. Matt SMITH
13. Herewini RANGI
12. Darren BAIN
11. Daniel FRAME
10. Ben CZISLOWSKI
9. Albert TALIPEAU
8. Mafili SOFA

Interchange:
14. Angus MARTIN
15. Gary WINTER
16. Luke SMITH
17. Chris BIRCH

Coach: Shane McNALLY


SOUTHS LOGAN v CENTRAL
Brandon Park, Saturday March 17, 2.30pm
Referee: Justin Davis

THE STORY: There’s talk both of these clubs could be the big improvers of 2007 after promising preparation under new head coaches. A win in the first round would provide valuable momentum and belief. Souths Logan has made a key addition in former NRL player Daniel Sorbello, while the Central side is completely different from that seen in 2006.

THE STAT: Zero is the number of Wizard Cup matches played by Central teenagers Yoren Major and James Munns. The two indigenous talents have created quite a stir as hometown heroes in Central of late and it will be interesting to see how they handle the transition. Major plays predominantly in the halves and Munns in the outside backs.

THE STAR: It would be easy to say Brandon Costin, the pivotal player in most games contested by the Magpies. However City and Country selectors will have some interest in hookers Cameron Joyce and Mick Esdale, who boast almost 100 games between them now. With youth on their side, can they step up this year and push the likes of Ryan Gundry and Michael Roberts?

CHANGES: N/A

CHARGES: Steve Farrelly (Central) currently suspended.

Souths Logan Magpies
Players:
1. Quentin LAULU-TOGAGAE
2. Daniel SORBELLO
3. Kyle LODGE
4. Scott MARKS
5. Matt TEMPLEMAN
6. Brandon COSTIN
7. Phil DENNIS
13. Brogan GIBSON
12. Tanu WULF
11. Darren GLASE
10. Adrian MALONEY
9. Cameron JOYCE
8. Josh GRIFFITH

Interchange:
14. Josh PEACOCK
15. Mananui TE-HEU-HEU
16. Tim CANNARD
17. Paul ROLLS

Coach: Jason BURNHAM / Brandon COSTIN

Central Comets
Players:
1. Junior AURU
2. Brendan GIBB
3. Guy WILLIAMS
4. Nat BOWMAN
5. Marty HATFIELD
6. Darren KINGI
7. Pat DALL
13. Tyron HAYNES
12. Todd TITMUS
11. Wayne BARNETT
10. Geoff BLACK
9. Mick ESDALE
8. Pete PENAIA

Interchange:
14. Yoren MAJOR
15. George TUAKURA
16. James MUNNS
17. Luke FATNOWNA

Coach: Steve ANDERSON


BURLEIGH v IPSWICH
Pizzey Park, Saturday March 17, 3.00pm
Referee: Justin Eastwood

THE STORY: Injury has struck at an inopportune time for both clubs, with Burleigh backrower Adam Hutchinson gone for the season and award-winning Ipswich half Ricky Bird set to miss at least the first game. What this does however is provide opportunities for others to show their skills and there is particular interest in Bird’s replacement Josh Costello, just turned 18 and with all the attributes to become a star.

THE STAT: This is the 10th season of playing at Burleigh for monster prop Shane O’Flanagan, a man who has featured in some of the competition’s most memorable moments, including scoring the try which won the 2004 extra time grand final. He needs just seven games to reach 200 games in the Wizard Cup and 16 to reach the double century for Burleigh.

THE STAR: Just as much as Ipswich supporters will be watching Costello, Burleigh fans will set their eyes on debutant half Ben Black. A former North Sydney Bears and Halifax Blue Sox player, Black features prominently for Burleigh in the new ‘Weekend Wizards’ promotional campaign. Titan Josh Graham is a late addition for Burleigh.

CHANGES: N/A

CHARGES: Aaron Sweeny (Ipswich) currently suspended.

Burleigh Bears
Players:
1. Nick PARFITT
2. Trent PURDON
3. Alex GLEN
4. Jordan ATKINS
5. Aseri LAING
6. Adam HAYDEN
7. Ben BLACK
13. John FLINT
12. Leigh COGHILL
11. Martin GRIESE
10. Shane O'FLANAGAN
9. Ryan GUNDRY
8. James GRIFFITHS

Interchange:
14. Travis SIMPSON
15. Wayne PHILLIS
16. Josh BLATCH
17. Josh GRAHAM

Coach: Jimmy LENIHAN

Ipswich Jets
Players:
1. Luke WALKER
2. Geoff CHALK
3. Ricky DODD
4. Tyson LOFIPO
5. Jarrod BIGGS
6. Alex FATA
7. Josh COSTELLO
13. Danny COBURN
12. Trevor EXTON
11. Joel REITHMULLER
10. Matthew CAMERON
9. Geoff HOLCOLME
8. Isaak AH MAU

Interchange:
14. Brendon MARSHALL
15. Steven WEST
16. Scott ALO
17. Matthew McPHEE

Coach: Kevin WALTERS


TWEED HEADS v NORTHS
Suncorp Stadium, Sunday March 18, 12.30pm
Referee: Gavin Morris

THE STORY: Ushering in the Gold Coast Titans’ historic NRL debut at Suncorp Stadium will be two sides packed with talent. A vast number of players from both Tweed and Norths featured in NRL pre-season trials, either for the Titans or the Melbourne Storm. Once voted the hardest hitter in the NRL, former Kiwi Test star Matt Rua returns to Norths, a team he won the title with back in 1998.

THE STAT: Norths winger Luke Samoa is eligible for four nations – Australia, New Zealand, Tonga and Samoa. A local junior, he amassed a mountain of points playing Colts (under19s) in 2006 and shared in a premiership success. He has played one Wizard Cup game previously.

THE STAR: Named on the wing for Tweed Heads is Australian Schoolboys sensation, the ‘Kyogle Flash’ Shannon Walker. A genuine speedster, he will make his Wizard Cup debut alongside teammate and fellow winger Nathanael Barnes, last year’s leadi - Read More, Here