Another interesting weekend of Intrust Super Cup played out over Round 17 as top of the table Burleigh extended their lead despite having a bye with two of their nearest challengers slipping to unexpected losses.
The first of the unexpected results came on Saturday night at Dolphin Oval as a late field goal saw the Seagulls snatch the game, but not the overall Bayside Herald Cup. The second was at Davies Park on Sunday as the Magpies underlined their 2016 improvement with a victory over Townsville that would have seemed unlikely at any stage since the Blackhawks entrance to the Intrust Super Cup.
Further down the table the unexpected results continued as the Cutters grabbed a second win of the season as they beat the Sunshine Coast Falcons with an 80th minutes try sealing it.
Other results around the competition that were not as surprising, but no less important were the Hunters breaking a run of away losses at Piggabeen, Easts defeating Norths in the TV game, and the Ipswich Jets continuing a late season revival against Central.
Whilst the Bears have skipped out to a three point lead over the next bunch, just one point separates the next four teams, and the battle for sixth place, and the last of the finals spots is covered by three points from 6th to 11th.
Find out more with the match by match review of Round 17 in the Intrust Super Cup.
RESULTS AT A GLANCE
IPSWICH JETS 34 Central Capras 20
MACKAY CUTTERS 28 Sunshine Coast 18
Redcliffe Dolphins 10 WYNNUM SEAGULLS 11
Norths Devils 16 EASTS TIGERS 40
SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES 30 Townsville Blackhawks 12
Tweed Heads Seagulls 10 PNG HUNTERS 40
JETS RUNNING INTO FORM AT RIGHT END OF SEASON
by Dan White
A tough match for the Capras after some indifferent form in recent weeks, with only one win in recent weeks, facing up to the Jets who seem to be timing their run perfectly was always going to be a challenge. The Jets have spluttered along and seem to have reached a point where all the changes, forced by the departure of a number of strong contributors in last year’s successful season, are now singing from the same song-sheet (you thought I was going to make a flying joke).
The Capras have been flogged by the Brisbane based teams and heading out to Ipswich may have hoped that the brutality was restricted to the suburbs. It was not to be. A strong first half which saw the host head into the sheds 18-10 up after the Capras scored late hid the truth. The Jets were in control. Two tries a piece in the second half, did not reflect the score-line but it was clear that the Jets have found some of their mojo and their recent form should be encouraging for their fans.
Are the Jets back? Well they are only one win (and a heap of margin) outside the final six as we get to the business end of the season. Some slight tinkering in defence and they will be right in amongst it. They head north to the Pride in Cairns this weekend and the Capras will face up to the Tigers, who may have also rediscovered how to win again.
CUTTERS PUT DENT IN FALCONS FINALS HOPES
by Dan White
With a single victory so far this season, it would not be difficult for the Falcons to have believed that this would be a walk in the park. However, whilst the margins of some of the earlier games this season have blown out the Cutters for and against, their recent form with a ridiculous loss streak with small margins that cost the coach his position. They have been very close and led a number of matches in recent weeks without being able to close the game out.
The Falcons had been inconsistent in recent weeks, but a win would have kept them in the finals race and so they should have been ready for whatever they were going to face in this contest. Knowing that they faced a fast starting side, it was an imperative that they were both ready for anything in the opening stanza and ready to run down the target as the Cutters began to tire.
Did not happen. In a first half which saw the Cutters run in three tries to one we saw the gaps open up after some excellent passing and it was obvious that this was the reasoning behind the Cowboys pinching hooker Josh Chudleigh, to make up for the vacancies caused due to Origin, this coming Monday when they face Canberra. The first try was as slick as you would see in any grade as Kepa sent Mago over with a short flat pass for the purists of the game.
The Falcons fought back in the second half and it would have had the locals fearing yet another close loss when they got to within two points with less than five minutes remaining. The Cutters stood tall though, and it was Chudleigh who slammed down the winner on the bell, to give the fans some solace for the season.
The Cutters head into their bye with a well fought victory and the Falcons will host a fired up Dolphins who were downed by a late field goal.
SEAGULLS SPOIL THE DOLPHINS BIG NIGHT
by Shannon Meyer
A rare Saturday night game at Dolphin Oval went down to the wire and the Wynnum Seagulls spoiled the Redcliffe side’s attempt at a double over their bayside rivals, although they were unable to stop Redcliffe claiming the Bayside Herald Cup for the series between the first two sides after Redcliffe’s bigger win at Wynnum earlier in the year.
In a low scoring game it came down to a field goal slotted by Wynnum halfback Matthew Seamark, which went over in the 75th minute after landing on the cross bar, just to add to the tension. Tense it was throughout, as game with just two tries each would be, but it was the home side who took the lead on two occasions before the last minute heartbreak, once in first half when they scored the only points in the first half after 28 minutes.
The Dolphins took the lead again in the 57th minute after the Seagulls levelled the score just after half time. In the hard fought finale, which including a player from each side being sent to the sin bin, it looked like the home side might hang on until Wynnum scored with eight minutes to go, and compounded that disappointment with the winning field goal.
An opportunity missed for Redcliffe who saw the table topping Bears skip out to a three point win courtesy of their bye. Wynnum will be glad to stop the season’s second consecutive loss run.
MAGPIES SHOCK BLACKHAWKS
by Dan White
The Magpies were in excellent form as they hosted and roasted the former ladder leader in the Blackhawks. After pushing the Hunters in PNG, it was not surprising to see them hold their own against one of the top sides, but many would not have expected their explosive second half that not only blew away the much vaunted opponent but sent a warning to all their rivals that they are ready for the business end of the season.
Sam Scarlett showed exactly why he was snapped up by the Broncos from the Panthers, with runs, kicks and a couple of tries that made the difference between the sides who were closely matched up to the last ten minutes. The two late tries were very handy for the margin and they now sit outside the final six equal on points and trailing by only 11 in the margin.
Coming into this game, there were some rumblings regarding the team harmony within the Blackhawks camp. Throw in the injury to Jahrome Hughes, the use of Hooker Nathan Norford as fullback and a number of other shuffles and the line-up was definitely not as stable as Coach Wolfe would have liked. The lack of cohesion was obvious with the defence displaying unusual holes in what was one of their keys to victory. It has been rare for teams to put 20 points on the Blackhawks and so questions may be asked on how they let 30 through.
The Magpies were rewarded for their efforts and the victory was well earned and well done, they will face up to Wynnum Manly for their second home game in a row while the Blackhawks finally get their first bye for the season.
PNG HUNTERS RETURN TO STYLE AND TO WINNING WAYS
by Shannon Meyer
The PNG Hunters turned halted a potentially title damaging run of away form in some style against the Tweed Heads Seagulls, with a second half onslaught of tries to run out convincing 40-10 winners at Piggabeen.
One criticism of the Hunters this season has been that they had at times lost some of the style that PNG is well known for, and had drawn in so many admirers since their welcome into the Intrust Super Cup in 2014. Whilst they had improved their defensive record, they currently hold the third best defence, it seemed to have come at the expense of the attack.
After going to the break 10-4 to the good, and allowing Tweed Heads to equalise in the 54th, the Hunters turned on the style with the high intensity, bullocking runs that had worried oppositions defences in the past, and the more ad lib play in attack that led to five tries in the final 20 minutes, one including an outrageous flick pass that was thrown in the complete faith that a fellow Hunter would charge onto it and score. And tries scored from anywhere on the field, just the way the punters like it.
More than the victory, it was the return of the Hunters style that leaves one enthused for the tough run of fixtures against the top clubs coming up. Kudos again to the QRL for continued Live Streaming of the Hunters away games.
|Souths Logan Magpies||16||7||2||7||1||415||398||17||18|
|Sunshine Coast Falcons||16||7||1||8||1||305||318||-13||17|
|Wynnum Manly Seagulls||15||6||0||9||2||327||371||-44||16|
|Tweed Heads Seagulls||16||5||0||11||1||297||482||-185||12|