The VB NSW Cup Representative Team has been announced today for the annual interstate clash against the Queensland Residents team at Tapout Energy Stadium on Sunday 3 May.
The VB NSW Cup Representative Team, featuring the best up-and-coming players from the VB NSW Cup, enter camp on Wednesday night before flying to Brisbane on Thursday.
There will be a variety of media opportunities throughout the week on a daily basis.
VB NSW Cup Representative side:
1. Nathan Gardner (Newtown/Cronulla)
2. Mitch Brown (Newtown/Cronulla)
3. Levi Dodd (Canterbury)
4. Peter Mata’utia (Illawarra/St George Illawarra)
5. Chanel Mata’utia (Newcastle)
6. Darren Nicholls (North Sydney/South Sydney)
7. Mitch Cornish (Mounties/Canberra)
8. Sam Anderson (Penrith)
9. Mitch Williams (C) (Wyong/Sydney Roosters)
10. Danny Fualalo (Canterbury)
11. Will Matthews (Illawarra/St George Illawarra)
12. Mitch Barnett (Mounties/Canberra)
13. Adam Elliott (Canterbury)
14. Matt Hyland (North Sydney/South Sydney)
15. Leilani Latu (Penrith)
16. Mark Nicholls (Mounties/Canberra)
17. Nathan Green (Illawarra/St George Illawarra)
18. Daniel Alvaro (Wentworthville/Parramatta)
19. Nathan Ross (Newcastle)
Coach: Garth Brennan (Penrith)
Assistant Coach: Brett Cook (Wentworthville)
Manager: Brett McKenna (Wests Tigers)
Current and former premiership-winning Northern Pride players dominate the Queensland Residents team to face the NSW Cup rep team at Tap Out Energy Stadium in Brisbane on Sunday.
Normally played as a State of Origin curtain-raiser, the Residents clash has been moved to the Representative Round with Queensland selectors opting to stick with the players who took the Pride to the Intrust Super Cup and State Championship titles last year.
Davin Crampton (Titans) and Shaun Nona (Storm) earned NRL contracts on the back of their performances with the Pride in 2014 and will be joined in the Residents team by current Pride players Hezron Murgha, Javid Bowen, Ben Spina and Patrick Kaufusi.
A hat-trick for Tweed Heads on Sunday didn't hurt the representative claims of Titans winger Kalifa Faifai Loa who has earned his second consecutive selection for the Residents team while runaway competition leaders the Townsville Blackhawks had two players chosen – captain Dan Beasley and centre Kyle Feldt. Melbourne Storm pair Ben Hampton and Kenny Bromwich have also been rewarded for helping to turn around the fortunes of the Sunshine Coast Falcons.
There were plenty of points scored in Round 8 of the Intrust Super Cup with the Blackhawks' easily disposing of fellow competition front-runners Easts Tigers 40-12, a Mosese Pangai double taking them to their seventh win from eight games.
The PNG Hunters revived their finals hopes with an astonishing win over Burleigh at Pizzey Park. Trailing 30-10 midway through the second half, the Hunters stormed back to take the lead 32-30 before Burleigh levelled with a penalty goal. But the Hunters weren't done with yet and scored again in the closing stages for a thrilling 38-32 win on Anzac Day.
Daniel Ogden scored four tries and Mitchell Buckett, Greg Eden and Patrick Templeman each grabbed doubles in Wynnum Manly's 66-4 thumping of Norths, Tweed earned a tough away win against the Capras 32-24, the Pride scored their second straight win with a 36-18 defeat of Souths Logan and another double to Marmin Barba saw Ipswich record a 42-28 win over Redcliffe that keeps them within reach of the Blackhawks.
Queensland Residents team: 1 Hezron Murgha (Northern Pride), 2 Kalifa Faifai Loa (Tweed Heads Seagulls), 3 Aaron Whitchurch, (Redcliffe Dolphins), 4 Kyle Feldt (Townsville Blackhawks), 5 Javid Bowen (Northern Pride), 6 Ben Hampton (Sunshine Coast Falcons), 7 Shaun Nona (Easts Tigers), 8 Daniel Beasley (Townsville Blackhawks), 9 Tom Butterfield (Easts Tigers), 10 Mitchell Garbutt (Souths Logan Magpies), 11 Mitchell Frei (Wynnum Manly Seagulls), 12 Kenny Bromwich (Sunshine Coast Falcons), 13 Ben Spina (Northern Pride). Interchange: 14 Matt Parcell (Ipswich Jets), 15 Davin Crampton (Tweed Heads Seagulls), 16 Patrick Kaufusi (Northern Pride), 17 Rod Griffin (Ipswich Jets), 18 Cameron Cullen (Mackay Cutters). Coach: Aaron Zimmerle (Tweed Heads Seagulls).