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The Queensland Cup is the top level of rugby league football in Queensland, Australia. Run by the QRL, the competition is known as the Intrust Super Cup due to sponsorship and is contested by fourteen teams, twelve of which are based in Queensland, with one based in New South Wales and one in Papua New Guinea.

Queensland Cup
Current season or competition:
2019 Intrust Super Cup QLD
2018 ISC logo.png
SportRugby league
Instituted1996; 23 years ago (1996)
Inaugural season1996
ChairmanBruce Hatcher
Number of teams14
Countries Australia (13 teams; 12 Queensland, 1 New South Wales)
 Papua New Guinea (1 team)
PremiersManly Sea Eagles colours.svg Burleigh Bears (4th title) (2019)
Most titlesRedcliffe colours.svg Redcliffe Dolphins (6 titles)
Broadcast partner
Related competitionNational Rugby League
NRL State Championship
Canterbury Cup NSW
Hastings Deering Colts

The competition is the present-day embodiment of Queensland's top-level club competition. It replaced the Winfield State League in 1996 and accompanied the Brisbane Rugby League, before becoming the premier competition in 1998, following the disbanding of the Brisbane Rugby League.


The logo for the Channel Nine Cup
The logo for the Bundy Gold Cup

Origin and establishmentEdit

Since its inaugural season in 1922, the Brisbane Rugby League was the premier competition in the state of Queensland. Like its counterpart, the Sydney Rugby Football League, the Brisbane Rugby League was thriving, boasting big crowds and large, loyal supporter bases with their respective clubs. The clubs were constant, with new teams rarely entering the competition. However, in 1956, when poker machines ("pokies") were introduced in New South Wales but not in Queensland, Sydney's clubs were able to recruit the best players from Brisbane, Rugby Union and overseas. Within the space of several years, the Sydney Rugby League had come to dominate the code within Australia.

In the 1980s, the NSWRFL began to further expand and supersede the Brisbane competition in popularity and media coverage. In 1982, the first clubs based outside of Sydney, the Canberra Raiders and Illawarra Steelers, were admitted. In 1988, two Queensland-based sides, the Brisbane Broncos and Gold Coast Giants, were formed and gained entry into the competition. The Broncos would sign Brisbane Rugby League stars like Wally Lewis, Gene Miles and Allan Langer. In the space of one season, media coverage and match attendance for the Brisbane Rugby League dropped significantly.

1996–1997: The beginningEdit

In 1996, the Queensland Cup was formed, replacing the Winfield State League, as new federal government laws banned cigarette companies from sponsoring sport. Originally branded the Channel Nine Cup, the 15 round regular season competition featured sixteen teams, fifteen from Queensland and one from Papua New Guinea. At this time it was still considered as the second highest competition in the state, under the Brisbane Rugby League. The Toowoomba Clydesdales were crowned the inaugural premiers, defeating the Redcliffe Dolphins in the Grand Final. In 1997, three teams withdrew from the competition and the Burleigh Bears joined, becoming the first Gold Coast-based side.

1998–2002: Premier competitionEdit

In 1998, the competition became the top level of rugby league in the state, following the end of the Brisbane Rugby League. Channel Nine also ended their sponsorship for the 1998 season, with competition going under name, the Queensland Cup. A sixteen-team competition returned in 1998, with the Bundaberg Grizzlies rejoining and the Gold Coast Vikings being formed.

In 1999, the Grizzlies and Vikings both left the competition, as well as inaugural club Brisbane Brothers and the Townsville Stingers, who played just one season.

In 2000, Bundaberg Rum began a two-year sponsorship of the competition and it was known as the Bundy Gold Cup. The 2000 season was also the first in which all twelve teams remained from the season prior. It would not last long though, as the Cairns Cyclones folded after the 2000 season, leaving no north Queensland representation in the competition. In 2002, the North Queensland Young Guns, a Townsville-based North Queensland Cowboys feeder club, were admitted into the competition. At the end of the 2002 season, the Logan Scorpions, an inaugural club, left the competition.

2003–2006: Interstate expansionEdit

Logo of the Queensland Wizard Cup

In 2003, the Tweed Heads Seagulls joined the competition, becoming the first New South Wales-based side. The club had originally applied for the 2002 season but were unsuccessful. However, following a merger of the Logan Scorpions and Souths Magpies to form the Souths Logan Magpies, a spot was opened up and Tweed Heads were admitted.[1] Another inaugural club would leave the competition in 2004, with the Wests Panthers exiting, and Brothers-Valleys, a merger of Past Brothers and the Fortitude Valley Diehards, joining for a single season.

In 2005, the competition became known as the Queensland Wizard Cup, after Wizard Home Loans became the major sponsor.

2007: Loss of the ClydesdalesEdit

Although the QRL had anticipated that the same teams from 2006 would participate in the 2007 competition, it was announced on 5 December 2006 that inaugural club, the Toowoomba Clydesdales, who were the reigning minor premiers, would be withdrawing from the competition for financial reasons. Brisbane Broncos chairman Bruno Cullen said that "It didn't make sense to have this club up there running at what was looking like a $250,000 loss for the year."[2] The following day it was announced that the Aspley Broncos would be replacing the Clydesdales, and acting as the Brisbane Broncos feeder club.[3] The Aspley Broncos would play just a single season in the competition.

The 2007 season marked the first time a team outside of Queensland would win the competition, with the Tweed Heads Seagulls defeating the Redcliffe Dolphins in the Grand Final.[4]

2008–2013: Further expansionEdit

Intrust Super Cup Logo 2013-2017

2008 saw the Queensland Cup once again have teams based in the northern cities of Cairns and Mackay after absences of seven and twelve years, respectively. These new teams replaced Aspley and North Queensland as part of the rationalisation of rugby league below the NRL level caused by the introduction of the NRL under 20s competition.

In 2009, the Sunshine Coast Falcons rejoined the competition after thirteen-year absence, after signing a partnership with the Manly Sea Eagles to develop rugby league on the Sunshine Coast.[5][6] The side played as the Sea Eagles and won the premiership in their first year.

In 2010, Intrust Super was announced as the new major sponsor, with the competition becoming known as the Intrust Super Cup.[7] From 2009 to 2013, the competition featured the same twelve teams for five straight seasons.

2014–present: Papua New Guinea and Townsville returnEdit

In 2014, the PNG Hunters entered the competition, becoming the first Papua New Guinea based side in the competition since the Port Moresby Vipers in 1997. In their inaugural season, the side was based out of the East New Britain town of Kokopo. On 10 September 2014, QRL chairman Peter Betros announced that the Brothers Townsville-led Townsville Blackhawks bid had been successful and the side would compete in the 2015 season.

On 5 October 2014, the Northern Pride became the first Queensland Cup side to win the NRL State Championship, defeating the heavily favoured Penrith Panthers New South Wales Cup side in the inaugural final.[8]

In 2017, the Hunters won their first Queensland Cup premiership, defeating the Sunshine Coast Falcons in the Grand Final and becoming the first team outside of Australia, and the second from outside of Queensland to win the competition.[9]


The Queensland Cup consists of 14 teams, eight in South East Queensland, three from North Queensland, and one each from Central Queensland, Northern New South Wales and Papua New Guinea. The league operates on a single group system, with no divisions or conferences and no relegation and promotion from other leagues.

Every club in the Queensland Cup, except for the PNG Hunters, has an affiliation with a team in the Australian national competition, the National Rugby League. This leads to many young Queensland players being signed into the NRL.

Queensland Cup
Club Est. City Stadium Premierships Last NRL affiliate
  Burleigh Heads Bears 1934 Gold Coast Pizzey Park 4 2019   Gold Coast Titans
  Central Queensland Capras 1996 Rockhampton Browne Park 0 -   Brisbane Broncos
  Easts Tigers 1917 Brisbane Suzuki Stadium 0 -   Melbourne Storm
  Ipswich Jets 1982 Ipswich North Ipswich Reserve 1 2015   Brisbane Broncos
  Mackay Cutters 2007 Mackay BB Print Stadium Mackay 1 2013   North Queensland Cowboys
  Northern Pride 2007 Cairns Barlow Park 2 2014   North Queensland Cowboys
  Norths Devils 1933 Brisbane Bishop Park 1 1998   Brisbane Broncos
  Papua New Guinea Hunters 2014 Port Moresby National Football Stadium 1 2017 None
  Redcliffe Dolphins 1947 Redcliffe Dolphin Oval 6 2018   Brisbane Broncos
  Souths Logan Magpies 1918 Brisbane Davies Park 1 2008   Brisbane Broncos
  Sunshine Coast Falcons 1996 Sunshine Coast Sunshine Coast Stadium 1 2009   Melbourne Storm
  Townsville Blackhawks 2015 Townsville Jack Manski Oval 0 -   North Queensland Cowboys
  Tweed Heads Seagulls 1909 Tweed Heads Piggabeen Sports Complex 1 2007   Gold Coast Titans
  Wynnum Manly Seagulls 1951 Brisbane BMD Kougari Oval 2 2012   Brisbane Broncos
Queensland Cup Teams located outside South East Queensland

Previous teamsEdit

As the Queensland Cup initially began as a representative competition that took over the old Winfield State League before becoming a proper club competition, many of the following clubs were "representative" sides that either withdrew (in the case of Mackay and Bundaberg) or folded (Cairns Cyclones and Port Moresby Vipers).

Queensland Cup
Club Est. City Stadium Premierships Last First Season Last Season
  Aspley Broncos 1967 Brisbane Bishop Park 0 - 2007 2007
  Brothers-Valleys 2002 Brisbane O'Callaghan Park 0 - 2004 2004
  Bundaberg Grizzlies 1996 Bundaberg Salter Oval 0 - 1996 1998
  Cairns Cyclones 1996 Cairns Barlow Park 0 - 1996 2000
  Gold Coast Vikings 1982 Gold Coast Carrara Stadium 0 - 1998 1998
  Logan Scorpions 1987 Logan Meakin Park 0 - 1996 2002
  Mackay Sea Eagles 1996 Mackay Mackay JRL Ground 0 - 1996 1996
  North Queensland Young Guns 2002 Townsville Dairy Farmers Stadium 1 2005 2002 2007
  Past Brothers 1929 Brisbane Corbett Park 0 - 1996 1998
  Port Moresby Vipers 1986 Port Moresby Lloyd Robson Oval 0 - 1996 1997
  Souths Magpies 1918 Brisbane Davis Park 0 - 1918 2002
  Townsville Stingers 1998 Townsville Townsville Sports Reserve 0 - 1998 1998
  Toowoomba Clydesdales 1996 Toowoomba Clive Berghofer Stadium 2 2001 1996 2006
  Wests Panthers 1915 Brisbane Purtell Park 0 - 1996 2003

Season structureEdit

An Easts Tigers player tackled by the Redcliffe Dolphins at Langlands Park


The Queensland Cup pre-season typically begins in February and ends in early March. Clubs generally use this time to organise trial matches to test playing combinations. Usually, Queensland Cup teams will play each other in trials, while some face National Rugby League (NRL) sides. For example, in 2018, the Brisbane Broncos played trial matches against the Central Queensland Capras and PNG Hunters.[10][11]

Regular seasonEdit

The Queensland Cup regular season usually begins in early March and runs until late August. A round of regular season games is played every weekend for twenty-four weeks. In most rounds, matches are played on Saturday nights/afternoons and Sunday afternoons. Each team receives one bye during the regular season.

The regular season also features a number of themed rounds, where proceeds from the games go to various charities. In 2018, these rounds included ANZAC Round, Indigenous Round, Men of League Round, Women in League Round, "Turn to Me" Round and the annual Country Week.[12]

Country WeekEdit

The Queensland Cup has the largest regional footprint of any professional sporting code in Queensland, hosting regular season and trial matches over a large geographical footprint.

It is also unique amongst professional sporting competitions in Australia, since 2012 in partnership with the Queensland Government the Queensland Cup has taken matches to regional Queensland, country towns and cities, to engage fans at a grassroots level. This round usually takes place in July.

Locations which have hosted Queensland Cup Country Week games include:

2019: Pittsworth, Thursday Island, Ingham, Nanango and Illfracombe

2018: Goondiwindi, Maryborough, Cooktown, Normanton, Bowen, Hughenden and Lae (Papua New Guinea)

2017: Bamaga, Clermont, Winton, Mundubbera, St George, Julia Creek

2016: Barcaldine, Charleville, Gympie, Ravenshoe, Mount Isa, Moranbah

2015: Dalby, Blackall, Bundaberg, Charters Towers, Innisfail, Stanthorpe

2014: Longreach, Emerald, Moranbah, Mareeba, Kingaroy, Kokopo (Papua New Guinea)

2013: Roma, Whitsundays, Woodford, Toowoomba, Yarrabah

2012: Moranbah, Blackwater, Mount Isa, Kilcoy

In addition to this round games have also been played in regional locations during regular rounds in: Bamaga, Biloelia, Atherton, Hervey Bay, Gladstone, Bundaberg, Barcaldine, Emerald, Woorabinda, Lae (Papua New Guinea) and Stradbroke Island.

Finals SeriesEdit

The eight highest placed teams at the end of the regular season compete in the finals series. The system consists of a number of games between the top eight teams over four weeks in September, until only two teams remain. These two teams then contest the Grand Final, which is usually played in late September. Over the years, the Queensland Cup has used a number of different finals series systems, usually involving five to six[13] and now eight teams. In 2019, the current eight team final series system will be adopted.

Grand FinalEdit

The Queensland Cup Grand Final, which determines the season's premiers, is one of the state's major sporting events. It is usually contested at Suncorp Stadium, having been held there annually since 2014, although other venues have been used, such as Dolphin Stadium, North Ipswich Reserve and Sunshine Coast Stadium.

The Grand Final had traditionally been played on Saturday afternoons, until moving to Sunday afternoons beginning in 2010.

Since 2007, the player judged to be the man-of-the-match is awarded the prestigious Duncan Hall Medal.[14]

NRL State Championship MatchEdit

Since 2014, The QLD Cup Grand Final Match has been played on the same day as the NSW Cup Grand Final, the weekend prior to the NRL Grand Final, allowing for the creation of the NRL State Championship which saw the QLD Cup premiers face off against the NSW Cup Premiers as a curtain raiser to the NRL Grand Final, originally following the National Youth Competition Grand Final from 2014 to 2017 [15][16] and following the NRL Women's Grand Final since 2018.[17][18]

Premiership winnersEdit

Season Grand Finals Minor Premiers
Premiers Score Runners-up Venue
1996   Toowoomba Clydesdales (1st title) 8 – 6   Redcliffe Dolphins Suncorp Stadium   Toowoomba Clydesdales (23 pts)
1997   Redcliffe Dolphins (1st) 18 – 16   Eastern Suburbs Tigers Suncorp Stadium   Wynnum Manly Seagulls (29 pts)
1998   Norths Devils (1st) 35 – 16   Wests Panthers Suncorp Stadium   Norths Devils (33 pts)
1999   Burleigh Bears (1st) 12 – 10   Redcliffe Dolphins Suncorp Stadium   Redcliffe Dolphins (35 pts)
2000   Redcliffe Dolphins (2nd) 14 – 6   Toowoomba Clydesdales Suncorp Stadium   Redcliffe Dolphins (38 pts)
2001   Toowoomba Clydesdales (2nd) 28 – 26   Redcliffe Dolphins Dolphin Oval   Toowoomba Clydesdales (41 pts)
2002   Redcliffe Dolphins (3rd) 34 – 10   Ipswich Jets Dolphin Oval   Redcliffe Dolphins (36 pts)
2003   Redcliffe Dolphins (4th) 31 – 18   Burleigh Bears Dolphin Oval   Burleigh Bears (33 pts)
2004   Burleigh Bears (2nd) 22 – 18   Easts Tigers Suncorp Stadium   Burleigh Bears (34 pts)
2005   North Queensland Young Guns (1st) 36 – 6   Burleigh Bears Suncorp Stadium   North Queensland Young Guns (33 pts)
2006   Redcliffe Dolphins (5th) 27 – 6   Toowoomba Clydesdales Suncorp Stadium   Toowoomba Clydesdales (32 pts)
2007   Tweed Heads Seagulls (1st) 28 – 18   Redcliffe Dolphins Suncorp Stadium   North Queensland Young Guns (34 pts)
2008   Souths Logan Magpies (1st) 24 – 18   Ipswich Jets North Ipswich Reserve   Ipswich Jets (36 pts)
2009   Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles (1st) 32 – 18   Northern Pride Stockland Park   Souths Logan Magpies (32 pts)
2010   Northern Pride (1st) 30 – 20   Norths Devils Suncorp Stadium   Souths Logan Magpies (34 pts)
2011   Wynnum Manly Seagulls (1st) 16 – 10   Tweed Heads Seagulls Suncorp Stadium   Tweed Heads Seagulls (41 pts)
2012   Wynnum Manly Seagulls (2nd) 20 – 10   Redcliffe Dolphins Suncorp Stadium   Redcliffe Dolphins (34 pts)
2013   Mackay Cutters (1st) 27 – 20   Easts Tigers North Ipswich Reserve   Northern Pride (38 pts)
2014   Northern Pride (2nd) 36 – 4   Easts Tigers Suncorp Stadium   Northern Pride (44 pts)
2015   Ipswich Jets (1st) 32 – 20   Townsville Blackhawks Suncorp Stadium   Townsville Blackhawks (43 pts)
2016   Burleigh Bears (3rd) 26 – 16   Redcliffe Dolphins Suncorp Stadium   Redcliffe Dolphins (40 pts)
2017   PNG Hunters (1st) 12 – 10   Sunshine Coast Falcons Suncorp Stadium   PNG Hunters (39 pts)
2018   Redcliffe Dolphins (6th) 36 – 22   Easts Tigers Suncorp Stadium   Redcliffe Dolphins (35 pts)
2019   Burleigh Bears (4th) 28 – 10   Wynnum Manly Seagulls Dolphin Stadium   Sunshine Coast Falcons (43 pts)

NRL State Championship winnersEdit

Season NRL State Championship Man of the Match
NRL State Championship Premiers Score NRL State Championship Runners-up Venue
2014   Northern Pride 32 – 28   Penrith Panthers ANZ Stadium   Javid Bowen
2015   Ipswich Jets 26 – 12   Newcastle Knights ANZ Stadium   Matt Parcell
2016   Illawarra Cutters 54 – 12   Burleigh Bears ANZ Stadium   Drew Hutchison
2017   Penrith Panthers 42 – 18   PNG Hunters ANZ Stadium   Kaide Ellis
2018   Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs 42 – 18   Redcliffe Dolphins ANZ Stadium   Josh Cleeland
2019   Newtown Jets 20 – 16   Burleigh Bears ANZ Stadium   Toby Rudolf


At the end of each season at the QRL presentation night, the Petero Civoniceva Medal is awarded to the Queensland Cup player voted as the best and fairest over the entire season. Formerly known as The Courier Mail Medal, in 2018, the medal was renamed after former Australian and Queensland representative Petero Civoniceva.[19] After each game, the referees award three votes to the best player, two votes to the second-best player, and one vote to the third-best player.[20] Previous winners include Australia and Queensland representatives Greg Inglis and Daly Cherry-Evans.

Since 2007, the man of the match in the Grand Final has been awarded the Duncan Hall Medal. The medal is named in honour of ARL Team of the Century member Duncan Hall, who played 24 games for Queensland and 22 games for Australia between 1948 and 1955. Past recipients include Tony Williams and Jake Granville, who would go onto win NRL premierships shortly after their Queensland Cup success.

20th Year Anniversary TeamEdit

On 21 September 2015, the QRL announced their Queensland Cup 20th Year Anniversary team. The 17-man team was chosen by a selection panel consisting of Brad Tallon (Queensland Rugby League statistician), Steve Ricketts (rugby league journalist), David Wright (former ABC commentator) and Mike Higgison (rugby league historian). To be eligible for selection, a player must've played a minimum of 75 games in the competition. Rick Stone, who coached the Burleigh Bears from 1997 to 2005 (winning two premierships), was named coach of the side, while longtime referee Tony Maksoud was included as referee of the team.[21]

No. Name Club/s Years Games Tries Goals Points
1. Ryan Cullen Central Queensland, Redcliffe, Easts 2003–10 154 112 0 449
2. Nathanael Barnes Tweed Heads, Wynnum Manly 2003–07, 2011–13, 2015–17 186 135 41 622
3. Reggie Cressbrook Townsville, Burleigh, Ipswich 1998–06 143 89 366 1,089
4. Donald Malone Toowoomba, Easts, Ipswich, Mackay 2004–present 179 117 137 742
5. Heath Egglestone Central Queensland 1996–04 150 99 1 398
6. Brad Davis (captain) Tweed Heads 2005–12 154 23 483 1,066
7. Shane Perry Brothers, Logan, Redcliffe, Norths 1996–98, 2002–11 218 95 6 409
8. Troy Lindsay Redcliffe 1996–09 270 17 6 80
9. Michael Roberts Redcliffe, Norths 1998–11 253 71 134 555
10. Shane O'Flanagan Wests, Burleigh 1997–08 210 33 0 132
11. Danny Burke Brothers, Redcliffe 1998, 2000–09 219 26 0 104
12. Sime Busby Central Queensland, Easts 1997–03 118 15 1 62
13. Danny Coburn Ipswich 1998–10 258 32 0 128
14. Luke Scott Souths, Townsville, Redcliffe 1996, 1998–03 129 36 0 144
15. Luke Dalziel-Don Wynnum Manly 2004, 2006–13 173 82 0 329
16. Nick Parfitt Toowoomba, Burleigh 2003–11 173 113 483 1,421
17. Phil Dennis Wests, Easts, Souths Logan 2003–present 271 29 7 130


The following records are taken from the QRL's official website and are correct as of the end of the 2019 season.[22]



  • Leading tryscorer – Daniel Ogden, 155 tries
  • Most games played – Phil Dennis, 271 games
  • Leading pointscorer – Nick Parfitt 1,421 points (113 tries, 483 goals)
  • Most points in a season 318, Liam Georgetown (2013)
  • Most tries in a season 34, Daniel Kennedy 2004
  • Most points in a game 40, Damien Richter 2002/Greg Bourke 2002
  • Most tries in a game 7, Chris Walker 2000/Anthony Zipf 2004

Media coverage & SponsorshipEdit

Although the Queensland Cup has never had the same amount of media coverage that the pre-Brisbane Broncos Brisbane Rugby League did, in recent years it has experienced a resurgence in interest from both the Queensland media and from casual fans alike.


In 2018, the match of the round was televised live on the Nine Network in Queensland at 1:00pm (AEST) on Saturdays. Previously, the match of the round had been broadcast by Nine on Sunday afternoons and before that, on ABC Television on Saturday afternoons. The match is later replayed during the week on Foxtel's Fox League channel. The match of the round will return to Sunday afternoons for the 2019 season.

The non-broadcast games are recorded for highlights and judiciary and coaching purposes.


From 2006 to 2013, community broadcaster Bay FM began broadcasting Wynnum Manly matches with commentators Mike Higgison and Troy Robbins.

In 2015, a group of community broadcasters including Switch 1197, Valley FM Esk and Phoenix Radio Ipswich began broadcasting matches featuring Ipswich Jets.


The competition has previously been named the Channel Nine Cup, Bundy Gold Cup and Queensland Wizard Cup, and is now known as the Intrust Super Cup.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Broncos lose stablemate Clydesdales". AAP. 6 December 2006.
  3. ^ "Aspley new Brisbane Broncos feeder club :".
  4. ^
  5. ^ Manly to invest $1m in Coast league | Archived 11 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ Livermore, Ross (2007). "Australian Rugby Football League Annual Report 2007" (PDF). Australian Rugby League Limited. p. 9. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-15.
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ [2]
  17. ^ "State Championship preview: Panthers v Pride". 21 September 2017.
  18. ^ "The greatest game never played". 21 September 2017.
  19. ^
  20. ^ "The official site of the QRL -". Queensland Rugby League.
  21. ^
  22. ^ "About Us". Queensland Rugby League.

External linksEdit