The Romano Group Seagulls will field potentially its strongest team of the season in Cairns today as it attempts to recover from the disappointing thrashing by Sunshine Coast a fortnight ago against Northern Pride at Barlow Park.
Coach Aaron Zimmerle will have the services of four Titans-contracted players for the first time this season with experienced forward Eddy Pettybourne (ankle) and young winger John Olive (pectoral tear) back from injury to join props Kurt Bernard and Ben Nakabuwai.
Pettybourne and Olive have both been out long-term with Pettybourne only playing one NRL and one ISC game this season while Olive has been out since being hurt in the Auckland Nines but both will add experience and impact to the side.
The Gulls will field two international from last weekend’s NRL rep round in Nakabuwai, who scored a try and played strongly for Fiji in their thrilling loss to Tonga, while Carne Doyle debuted for Cook Islands against Papua New Guinea.
Today’s clash will be captain Sam Meskell’s 50th for the Seagulls after the previous round chalking up his 100th Queensland Cup match, after playing in 51 for local rivals Burleigh Bears.
The Pride, one of North Queensland Cowboys’ three feeder teams, have also struggled for form this season and stand three positions and four competition points above the Seagulls with three wins.
There will be some interesting match-ups.
Strong-running winger Tevita Folau will be up against the fastest man in the competition, last year’s Cowboys under-20s sensation Gideon Gela-Mosby, while former Seagull William Bugden faces his former teammates in the front row.
Northern Pride v Tweed Heads Seagulls – 5.30pm
Barlow Park on Saturday, May 13 – 5.30pm
Referee: Tyson Brough
Head-to-Head: Pride 10 Tweed 9
Twitter: #intrustsupercup #PRIDEvTHS
Sam Meskell (capt)
Sam Carson (18th)