Before Round 10 kicked off there was talk from opposition coaches that the non-Townsville teams were playing for second place in this year’s competition as the competition’s newcomers had lost only one game and were winning games by 30+, 40+ and even 72.
They well end up being correct but the battles for second should be entertaining one, even if it remains the closest battle at the top of the ladder.
It is not the only close battle as the group of teams just outside the top 5 comprises of four teams on 10 points. At the bottom too, the closeness remains, but the order has changed after one of the sides returned to the winner’s circle for the first time in months.
Follow our brief descriptions below. Worth a view on the QRL website is their excellent mini highlight packages.
HOW THEY STAND AFTER 10 ROUNDS
Wynnum Manly Seagulls,10,8,2,0,281,166,115,16
Tweed Heads Seagulls,10,4,5,1,196,212,-16,10
Souths Logan Magpies,10,2,7,1,187,286,-99,6
Sunshine Coast Falcons,10,2,7,1,144,264,-120,6
REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS 19 def EASTS TIGERS 12 @ Tapout Energy Stadium (H/T 6-6)
Round 10 kicked off with an upset at Tapout Energy Stadium as the Redcliffe Dolphins won their third game for the season and in the process handed Easts Tigers a third straight loss and first loss at home.
In a tight affair Redcliffe scored the first two tries after a 6-6 half time deadlock to get far enough in front to hold on for a surprising win.
A much better detailed report can be found by Nothing But League’s and Tiger TV’s Matt Crowhurst here – http://www.qrl.com.au/news/2015/05/17/phins_dig_deep_to_ov.html
Redcliffe will now try and break their winless streak at home which threatens to go into double figures, and they have the perfect opportunity next game at home to last placed Central. Easts meanwhile will be looking to end a smaller winless streak against the Sunshine Coast Falcons at home.
SOUTHS LOGAN MAPGIES 35 def SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS 4 @ Sunshine Coast Stadium (H/T 12-0)
The second game of the weekend provided an upset of sorts as the Souths Logan Magpies won their first game in over two months since Round 2 and gave the Sunshine Coast a third loss in a row and overtook them on the Intrust Super Cup ladder.
The Magpies ran into a big breeze in the first half, but it was the away side who took a lead of 12-0 into the break. Sunshine Coast made it three tries against the win in the second half as they scored first to reduce the gap to 8, but it was the closest the home side got as Souths Logan scored all the remaining points, and the final score of 35-4 was as comprehensive as they could have dreamed of to break their winless run.
Worth noting was the first hat trick for Magpies winger Samisoni Vaioleti, and the form of Broncos Under 20 and Junior Kangaroo halfback Ashley Taylor who was playing in his second game. Providing an argument on the benefit of playing in the Intrust Super Cup against hardened players than an Under 20’s competition.
Souths Logan will hope it won’t be another 2 months for their next win and take on Norths at Davies Park in an attempt to win their first game there this season. Sunshine Coast go to Easts in a game where both sides are attempting to avoid a fourth straight loss.
IPSWICH JETS 36 def MACKY CUTTERS 20 @ Stadium Mackay (H/T 22-8)
Three games in for Round 10 and three wins to the away sides as the now all-important battle for second heated up as Ipswich got the better of the home side Mackay in a game that started with both team in equal second before the weekend.
Ipswich could lay claim as one of the Intrust Super Cup’s best attacking teams, with an ability to score tries from anywhere, and so that was the case on Saturday in Mackay as they bolted out to the 4-0 on the first play of the game. Their second try was another 100 metre special for which they are becoming quite famed for this year, a movement that involved a Mackay bred players on the away side Marmin Barba.
Another Ipswich try was on the board before the home side scored their first in the 30th minute leaving the score 16-4 just before the break. There was another try to each side before the break, leaving the half time score of 22-8 in favour of the Jets.
The first try of the second half went to the away side in the 50th minute and the two sides went try for try until full time, by which time the margin was 16 points in favour of the Jets and they maintained their perfect record away from home.
Ipswich remain equal second, now with just one other team and welcome the Tweed Heads Seagulls in their battle for second place. Mackay will be looking to bounce back quickly, but have the tricky prospect of a trip to Burleigh next weekend.
WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS 34 def CENTRAL CAPRAS 16 @ Marley Brown Oval, Gladstone (H/T 22-0)
Saturday’s fourth game made it a 100% record to the away side as the Wynnum Manly Seagulls spoiled the annual party of the Capras in Gladstone with a solid win that sees them maintain their position in second on points difference to Ipswich, and remain just the one win shy of Townsville.
Wynnum never let the home side in the game as they choked the life out of the Capras to lead 22-0 at half time, and were also first to score in the second half to lead 28-0 after 55 minutes.
But Central have been hard to beat in Rockhampton this year, and they took some of that inspiration to score some tries and reduce the score to 28-16 with enough time left to record a very unlikely comeback win. Unfortunately for the Capras the only try left in the game went to the away to complete a strong 34-16 win.
Worth noting amongst the action in Gladstone was the 1000th point for Wynnum’s Matthew Seamark.
Wynnum’s hold on second will be severely tested next round as they welcome premiers Northern Pride who are coming off a bye to BMD Kougari Oval. The Capras, who have yet to win for new coach Lionel Harbin or in fact for anyone since Round One, will take their quest to Dolphin Oval next round at a venue that has served the away teams very well so far in 2015.
TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS 28 def TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 0 @ Piggabeen (H/T 16-0)
The TV cameras returned to Piggabeen for a clash between the runaway leaders of the competition and premiers-elect (if opposition coaches are to be believed) – Townsville Blackhawks and the Tweed Heads Seagulls. A fifth win from five away teams in Round 10 gave another group of home fans not much to cheer for.
Fresh off the back of their 78-6 win against Burleigh the week before, Tweed Heads could be forgiven to wonder what punishment was in store for them in this clash. Or would the Townsville foot come off the pedal after the previous week’s big win.
Signs that Tweed might be in luck were on show from the kick off as Townsville’s Robert Lui dropped the ball from the kick off leading to a drop out in the first minute of the game. That sign was to be only temporary as the Townsville side showed why they are the leaders of the Intrust Super Cup through first minute villain Robert Lui who scored Townsville first try with only 5 minutes on the board. It was doubled not long after that, and a third try came in the first half amongst plenty of chances and incomplete sets.
Given the massive win last weekend, and the Blackhawks average of well over 40 points scored per game, it probably came as a surprise that only two more tries were scored in the match and the final score was only 28-0. Tweed Heads had Townsville’s measure for passages throughout the game, but the star power of the competitions leaders proved too much.
For Townville the exclamation mark for the others from this week’s round of games was the restriction of Tweed Heads to zero points, showing a defensive resilience that may get lost amongst the points that they score each week. The question is who can beat them, a travelling PNG Hunters side will be the next to attempt to answer that in Townsville in next round. Tweed Heads head to Ipswich to attempt to stay in touch with top 5.
PNG HUNTERS 34 def NORTHS DEVILS at Bishop Park (H/T 28-6)
The last game of the weekend made it six from six for the away teams in Round 10, as the PNG Hunters notched their fourth straight win to cement themselves with the Top 5, and importantly a continuation of their growing tally of away wins. Norths were unable to continue on from the drought breaking third win of the year at Bishop Park on Sunday.
The game was all but over at half time as the Hunters went at a point per minute at 28-0 at the 28th minute mark with their usual dazzling array of attacking and defensive flair. That flair could have had the home crowd pondering how big the end result could given their 60+ loss to Wynnum earlier in the year.
Norths did score the next three tries – one before half time to make it 28-6 at the break, and two more after half time to reduce the gap to 28-16 and with 30 minutes to play, it was game on if Norths could keep the scoring momentum going. They didn’t unfortunately for the Devils, as the PNG Hunters put the results beyond doubt with the final try of the match in the 77th minutes.
PNG Hunters have their toughest test of the season with a trip to play the unstoppable Townsville Blackhawks, but there were enough good signs in the Hunters game that they can take their unpredictable brand of football and trouble Townsville next weekend. Norths meanwhile have to travel to Ipswich in their search for another win.
REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS 19 (Tristan Lumley 2, Shane Pumipi tries; Luke Capewell 3 goals; John Brady field goal) def EASTS TIGERS 12 (Richie Kennar, Jake Foster tries; Shaun Nona 2 goals) at Tapout Energy Stadium, Langlands Park.
SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES 35 (Samisoni Vaioleti 3, Josh Damen, Matt Trnka, Joe Boyce tries; Scott Doyle 5 goals; Ashley Taylor field goal) def SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS 4 (Tony Tumusa try) at Sunshine Coast Stadium.
IPSWICH JETS 36 (Matt Parcell 3, Carlin Anderson, Nemani Valekapa, Josh Cleeland, Sam Martin; Carlin Anderson 4 goals) def MACKAY CUTTERS 20 (Cameron Cullen 2, Jordan Pereira, Justin Tavae tries; Liam Taylor 2 goals) at Stadium Mackay.
WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS 34 (Greg Eden 2, Matthew Grieve, Mitchell Buckett, Patrick Templeman, Tanu Wulf tries; Matthew Seamark 5 goals) def CQ CAPRAS 16 (Ian Webster, Josh Mitchell, Guy Williams tries; Ian Webster 2 goals) at Marley Brown Oval, Gladstone.
TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS 28 (Zac Santo, Mosese Pangai, Robert Lui, Anthony Mitchell, Kelepi Tanginoa tries; Kyle Feldt 4 goals) def TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 0 at Piggabeen Sports.
PNG HUNTERS 34 (Oti Bland Tony, Thompson Teteh, Adex Wera, Israel Eliab, Ase Boas, Brandy Peter tries; Noel Zeming 5 goals) def NORTHS DEVILS 16 (Ryan Millard 2, Dane Copley tries; Luke Pollock 2 goals) at Bishop Park.