Norths Devils stormed to the top of the Intrust Super Cup after the completion of Round 5 with a fourth straight win, underlining their improvement in 2017 and premiership potential.
It was a bad weekend for the Townsville Blackhawks who proved how close the competition is at this early stage by dropping from first place to 6th after their second consecutive loss.
The two Storm feeder sides are on the move too, after third straight wins for both the Sunshine Coast Falcons and Easts Tigers. Sadly for two other teams who share a feeder club – Tweed Heads and Burleigh, they both registered a fifth straight loss. They meet next weekend for Rivalry Round, so at least one them will have a win by the end of next weekend.
A small rundown of all the games are below, with links to each specific game for more detail. All the results and ladder are also available at our Intrust Super Cup Match Centre.
The weekend started off at Bishop Park as the Norths Devils showed they are some threat to the title this year with a 7 tries to 2 victory over the Central Capras. The Devils did it the hard way, after they trailed at half time to the Capras, but a 5 tries to nil second half sealed a win and a perch at the top of the table.
Delouise Hoeter continued his great scoring run of scoring at least once in every game this season. Kodi Nikorima scored two tries and Chris Sandow his first in the Devils colours. Norths are building very nicely for a charge at the title, and are unlikely to lose their stars to the Broncos anytime soon.
A slightly surprising result, but not to those in the know like Tigers TV Matt Crowhurst, was the Easts Tigers win in Townsville, handing the Blackhawks their second straight loss.
After scoring early, the Tigers were down at half time and still down 22-16 with the final quarter to be played. But they scored three times in the final 13 minutes with no reply to register a third straight win, defeating no less than the two competition favourites in the process – Townsville and Redcliffe. Three tries to speed machine Jonathon Reuben could help the Blackhawks drop from first to 6th on the ladder.
The Sunshine Coast Falcons won a tight, low scoring affair against the Wynnum Seagulls at the Sunshine Coast Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Two tries were scored by both sides, but the one conversion and penalty goal to Guy Hamilton made to difference, as Wynnum failed to land any conversions. Two promising Falcons – fullback Jahrome Hughes and PNG’s Justin Olam crossed for the Sunshine Coast.
Khan Ahwang scored 14 of the Northern Pride’s 18 points on Saturday evening as they beat Burleigh Bears 18-6. The three tries to one victory put the Pride back on track for 2017, and all but one of the tries came in the first half.
For the Bears it was a fifth straight loss, no way to start a title defence season. Northern Pride now have a 2-3 record, and stay in touch with the top sides.
There was real entertainment in Mackay on Saturday night as the Hunters turned it on in the second half to run out 36-16 victors over the Cutters.
The move to have both of the Boas brothers in the halves and move Bland Abavu back to fullback paid dividends against Mackay as the Hunters responded in style to their shock home loss to the Devils. Fan favourite Willie Minoga was on fire having a hand in many of the tries, include the final one to Watson Boas, who showed some real speed to burn the Mackay defenders and chase to wrap up the game in the 71st minute.
Thanks to the QRL for the live stream of the Hunters v Cutters, as it was the best game I saw on Saturday night despite a Super Saturday NRL line up on Fox League. The Hunters are getting back to their best, and Mackay weren’t too bad themselves.
The Redcliffe Dolphins sit second on the Intrust Super Cup ladder after defeating the Ipswich Jets in the Sunday afternoon TV game.
Redcliffe led 24-12 at the break after scoring five tries to two, and a sixth after the break threatened to take the game away from the Jets. Ipswich held on and scored two tries to get within 8 points with enough to play to make it interesting, but in ultimately wasn’t enough.
A potential broken wrist to Benji Marshall soured a Man of the Match performance.
Redcliffe now have four wins from their first five games, whereas Ipswich have lost their last four and sit third last.
The final game of the weekend saw Souths Logan pile more misery on the Tweed Heads Seagulls with a resounding 44-12 win at Piggabeen.
Three tries to halfback Sam Scarlett were the highlight for the Magpies, and by the time he had scored his third just after half time it was 32-0. Tweed Heads responded with two converted tries in the 60th and 65th minute, but a comeback was never likely and Souths Logan added a little extra salt with two late converted tries to extend the margin.
The Intrust Super Cup moves to Rivalry Round next weekend, with no shortage of quality clashes up and down the coast. The TV says Tweed Heads v Burleigh is the pick, but you could argue for most. The Bayside Derby between Redcliffe and Wynnum or the Falcons v Hunters are my picks.
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