Monday, March 14, 2016

 

Blackhawks v Jets. Credit: Vanessa Hafner
Blackhawks v Jets. Credit: Vanessa Hafner

It was a wet, scrappy affair riddled with handling errors at the North Ipswich Reserve that saw the Townsville & Districts Mendi Blackhawks come away with the NAB Defence Force Shield and two Intrust Super Cup competition points on Sunday.

The visitors clawed back a ten point half time deficit to win the match 30-18 against the reigning Intrust Super Cup Premiers, the Ipswich Jets.

The Blackhawks looked good early as Delouise Hoeter dived on a bouncing ball following a Kyle Laybutt chip kick to score the first points of the match however the visitors did not score another point in a first half dominated by the Ipswich Jets typical off the cuff style of rugby league.

Jets Dane Phillips evened the score with a deft chip and chase in the 23rd minute. The wet conditions did little to deter the home side from playing high risk football as Carlin Anderson followed suite minutes later putting his own name on the scorecard and extending the Jets lead to 12-6 just prior to half time.

At this point the Mendi Blackhawks showed signs of fatigue and their tired defensive effort led to another try for the Jets as five-eighth Haydan Lipp made the most of a penalty on the Blackhawks try line to put his side 10 points in front at the break.

However those fans who were expecting the Jets to run away with the match in the second half were surely disappointed as the Mendi Blackhawks kept the home side scoreless, bar a single penalty goal, during the second stanza and ran in four tries of their own.

It was a welcome return for classy halfback Michael Parker-Walshe as he took control of the match scoring three tries himself and directing his troops with ease in a man of the match performance for the Blackhawks. The rest of the Blackhawks spine made significant contributions with Jahrome Hughes, Kyle Laybutt and Anthony Mitchell standouts in attack.

Blackhawks back rowers Noel Underwood and Rhyse Martin along with bench player Willie Minoga, were both solid in defense and dangerous in attack, especially through the middle of the field.

The Blackhawk’s right edge proved a handful for the Jets. This side produced two of the four second half tries with a rampaging Moses Pangai making his first appearance for the Mendi Blackhawks since the pre-season trial against the Cowboys.

The visitors had two tries disallowed during the second half, one to Kyle Laybutt due to an obstruction ruling and the second to Jahrome Hughes due to a double movement following an outstanding break from powerhouse Rhyse Martin.

It may not have been pretty but it was certainly convincing which is something that pleases coach Kristian Woolf, “It’s encouraging to get the win when we still have a lot to improve on.”

“Ipswich are a hard team to play and it’s a tough place to win so I am very happy with the result and the resilience we showed as a team, particularly in the second half.”

“I thought we controlled the game well for 60-65 minutes apart from a drop off just before half time where they hurt us on the scoreboard.”

“The real positive is that we have shown good signs in both games early while still having a lot of improvement in us.” he said.