The Queensland Cup is the top level of rugby league football in Queensland, Australia. The competition is also called the Intrust Super Cup (due to sponsorship from Intrust Super) is contested by fourteen teams, twelve of which are located in Queensland, one in New South Wales and one in Papua New Guinea.
|Current season or competition::
2018 Intrust Super Cup season
|Number of teams||14|
|Countries|| Australia (13 teams)
Papua New Guinea (1 team)
|Premiers||PNG Hunters (1st Title) (2017)|
|Most titles||Redcliffe Dolphins (5 titles)|
|Related competition||NRL State Championship
Intrust Super Premiership NSW
National Rugby League
The Intrust Super Cup is the present-day embodiment of Queensland's top-level club competition. This 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.
History of the Queensland CupEdit
The Brisbane Rugby LeagueEdit
From the early 1920s to the 1970s, the Brisbane Rugby League premiership was the premier competition in the state, and was a thriving success boasting big crowds and large, loyal supporter bases with the respective clubs. Like its NSW counterpart, the clubs were constant, with new teams rarely entering the competition. Traditionally, the clubs were Valleys, Brothers, Norths, Souths, Wests, Easts, Redcliffe and Wynnum-Manly. However, when poker machines were introduced in New South Wales, but not in the Bjelke-Peterson Queensland, the New South Wales Rugby League's clubs were able to entice Queensland players south of the Tweed with the lure of more money.
This, combined with the admission of non-Sydney teams like the Canberra Raiders and Illawarra Steelers, saw the New South Wales Rugby League competition during the 1980s begin to supersede the Brisbane competition in popularity and media coverage. Also, other sports were establishing national competitions, and by 1986 the admission of a Brisbane team into the New South Wales Rugby League had become inevitable. Finally, in 1988 both the Brisbane Broncos and Gold Coast Giants gained entry.
Effect of the Brisbane Broncos on Rugby League in QueenslandEdit
Although the Broncos' signings of many great Brisbane Rugby League players like Wally Lewis and Gene Miles got many Brisbanites behind the new team, there were severe ramifications on the local club scene. In the space of one season, the amount of coverage given to the competition in the three media forms dropped significantly, as did attendances at matches.
This had a severe flow on effect to the finances of many clubs, especially those in the inner-city whose demographics had changed significantly since the heydey of the Brisbane Rugby League. Between 1988 and 1995 Valleys moved home 3 times, from Albion to the Tweed, back to Albion and finally to Caboolture, before eventually folding at the end of 1995. Other teams that suffered financial trouble and no longer play in the Queensland Cup include Valleys and Wests, while Souths and Logan merged in 2002 to form Souths-Logan.
The Beginning of the Queensland CupEdit
In 1996 the Queensland Cup began, replacing the Winfield State League, as new Federal Government Laws banned Cigarette companies from sponsoring the sport. The Cup was initially branded the Channel Nine Cup, and to date, season 1996 was the most statewide competition in the Cup's history, with teams based in Cairns, Mackay, Bundaberg, Toowoomba, Ipswich and Sunshine Coast. In 1998 Channel Nine did not continue their sponsorship, and the competition became known as the Queensland Cup. In 2000, Bundaberg Rum began a two-year sponsorship of the competition and it was known as the Bundy Gold Cup.
2005 saw the announcement of Wizard Home Loans becoming naming-rights sponsor for the competition. It was known as the Queensland Wizard Cup until 2008. In 2010, Intrust Super was announced as the new major sponsor.
2007: Loss of the ClydesdalesEdit
Although the Queensland Rugby League had anticipated that the same teams from 2006 would participate in the 2007 Wizard Cup, it was announced on 5 December 2006 that the Toowoomba Clydesdales 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." The following day it was announced that the Aspley Broncos would be replacing the Clydesdales, and acting as the Brisbane Broncos feeder club. There is a possibility that an NRL team (possibly the Storm) may be based out of the Darling Downs (most likely Toowoomba) in the future but this has not been confirmed at this stage.
2008: Northern ExpansionEdit
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 the Aspley Broncos and North Queensland Young Guns as part of the rationalisation of rugby league below the NRL level caused by the introduction of the NRL under 20's competition.
2009: Sunshine Coast enter the frayEdit
Shortly after signing a partnership with National Rugby League team the Manly Sea Eagles to develop rugby league on the Sunshine Coast, the Sunshine Coast Falcons received approval for entry into the 2009 Queensland Cup from the Queensland Rugby League, ultimately winning the premiership as the Sea Eagles in their first year. After Manly cut ties with the Sunshine Coast they reverted to the Falcon colours and logo and signed an agreement with the Melbourne Storm in 2014. In 2016 this relationship will include a Rugby League academy on the Sunshine Coast.
2014-2015: PNG Hunters and Townsville Blackhawks enter the competitionEdit
In 2014, the PNG Hunters entered the competition, mixing an exciting combination of ball movement with raw power to finishing sixth in their inaugural season based out of the East New Britain town of Kokopo. Following the success of the Hunters, the Townsville Blackhawks were given entry in 2015, winning the minor premiership in their first year.
In 2017, the Hunters won their first Queensland Cup premiership, becoming the first team outside of Australia to win the competition.
The twelve teams play each other twice in a rotating roster running typically from the middle of March to the middle of August. This is known as the regular season. Unlike the National Rugby League, the Queensland Cup regular season is a true home-and-away format, in that each team plays every other team twice, once at home and once away.
Normally, there is a round each weekend, which involves seven games. However, there are two split rounds in the season, where the round takes place over two weekends. This allows for representative games such as the City vs. Country fixture, as well as allowing more games to be shown on free-to-air television, The match of the round is televised live on Nine Network at 1:30pm (AEST) Sundays. Previously, the match of the round had been broadcast on ABC Television each Saturday at 2 pm.
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 around the 20-24 July.
Locations which have hosted Queensland Cup Country Week games:
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: Burleigh, 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 rounds in: Bamaga, Hervey Bay, Gladstone, Bundaberg, Emerald and Stradbroke Island.
Points and LadderEdit
The winner of each game per round is awarded two points on the League Ladder. If a game is drawn between the two teams, each team is awarded one point.
At the end of the regular season, the five teams with the highest point totals on the ladder qualify for the finals. In the event of two or more teams sharing the same competition points, the finishing order is decided by points differential i.e. points scored minus points conceded.
In 2009 the Queensland Cup introduced a six-team finals series (compared to five in previous years). Prior to the 2012 season the format was changed back to a 5-team finals series, using the McIntyre System. The Grand Final is typically played in mid-September at its traditional home, Suncorp Stadium. Since 2007 the man-of-the-match in the grand final has received the Duncan Hall Medal.
The Queensland Cup consists of 14 teams, eight in South East Queensland, three from North Queensland, and one each from Central Queensland, Tweed Heads 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.
The level of club rugby league in Queensland is of such a high standard that almost every club in the Queensland Cup has an affiliation with a team in the Australian national competition, the National Rugby League. This gives many young Queensland players the opportunity to be signed into the NRL.
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 are "representative" sides that either withdrew (in the case of the Central Capras, Mackay, Bundaberg, Gold Coast Vikings, etc.) or folded (Cairns Cyclones, Port Moresby Vipers, etc.).
At the end of each season at the Queensland Rugby League presentation night, The Courier Mail Medal is awarded to the Queensland Cup player voted as the best and fairest over the entire season. 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. 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 Queensland Rugby League 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 Burleigh 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.
|1.||Ryan Cullen||Central Qld, Redcliffe, Easts||2003–10||154||112||0||449|
|2.||Nathanael Barnes||Tweed Heads, Wynnum Manly||2003–07, 2011–13, 2015–present||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 Qld||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|
|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 Qld, Easts||1997–03||118||15||1||62|
|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||230||29||7||130|
NRL State Championship MatchEdit
From 2014 New South Wales Cup Premiers will play against the Queensland Cup Premiers as a Curtain-raiser match on NRL Grand Final day, with the winner to be crowned the NRL State Champions. The match is played after the NRL National Youth Competition Grand Final and before the NRL Grand Final.
Queensland Cup championsEdit
The following records are taken from Queensland Rugby League's official website and are correct as of the end of the 2016 season.
- Most premierships – 5 Redcliffe Dolphins
- Most minor premierships – 5 Redcliffe Dolphins
- Most wooden spoons – 4 Central Queensland Capras
- Highest score in a game – 98, Toowoomba against Wests Panthers (2003)
- Longest winning streak – 17 matches, Northern Pride (2010-2011)
- Longest undefeated streak – 22 matches, Tweed Heads Seagulls (2010-2011)
- Longest losing streak- 36 matches, Sunshine Coast Falcons (2013-2014)
- Most games played – Troy Lindsay 270 games
- Leading pointscorer – Nick Parfitt 1,421 points (113 tries, 483 goals)
- Leading tryscorer – Daniel Ogden, 136 tries
- 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.
The match of the round is televised live on Nine Network at 2 pm (AEST) Sundays. Previously, the match of the round had been broadcast on ABC Television each Saturday at 2 pm., and hosted by David Wright and Warren Boland.
The non-broadcast games are recorded for judiciary and coaching purposes. They are available from Red Corner Promotions www.redcorner.com.au In 2007, community television station Briz-31 ran a weekly local rugby league program "Rugby League Wrap Up" during the finals series. The show's anchors were John McCoy and Renee Gartner, with Bay-FM's Mike Higgison and Troy Robbins regular panel members. Since 2012, the Easts Tigers have livestreamed matches via their Tiger-TV branch, with commentary provided by Mike Higgison, Warren Boland, Gavin Payne and previously, Troy Robbins. Since 2015, Seagulls-TV hosted by John Devine has also been livestreaming most Wynnum Manly Seagulls matches.
From 2006 to 2013, community broadcaster Bay FM began broadcasting Wynnum Manly matches with commentators Mike Higgison and Troy Robbins. The Wynnum Manly club also won radio station Nova 106.9's "Club that Brisbane really really loves" award.
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.
- "Broncos lose stablemate Clydesdales". AAP. 6 December 2006.
- Aspley new Brisbane Broncos feeder club : thewest.com.au
- Manly to invest $1m in Coast league | thedaily.com.au Archived 11 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-27.
- 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.
- Official Site of the Queensland Rugby League - QRL
- State Championship preview: Panthers v Pride - NRL.com
- The greatest game never played - NRL.com