As if more proof that anything can happen in the Intrust Super Cup was needed, Round 12 saw the season’s biggest upset as the all conquering Redcliffe Dolphins were completely outplayed by the last placed Tweed Heads Seagulls at Piggabeen. As a result they lost the competition lead and fell to third behind the PNG Hunters and Sunshine Coast Falcons who recorded good wins.
Elsewhere at the top Souths Logan proved they are more than just a feeder club for the Broncos with a good win over Easts Tigers.
Burleigh made it a great weekend for Gold Coast sides with a super come from behind win in Mackay. And Central and Ipswich notched wins that keep them in touch with the top teams.
We have a short run down of all the games for this weekend, with a more detailed report available if you follow the links to each specific match. Or visit our Intrust Super Cup Match Centre for all the games, scores and ladder.
A 13 minute second half hat trick to Ipswich speed machine Michael Purcell blew the Wynnum Seagulls away after a tight first half which saw two converted tries a piece and just a 6th minute penalty goal to Ipswich separated the sides at the break.
Wynnum scored the first try of the match in the 13th minute through Mitch Cronin, which was followed up by two from the home side. Former NRL star Travis Burns crossed minutes before half time to make it 14-12 to Ipswich at half time.
That lead blew out to 30-12 after the last try of the Purcell hat trick in the 66th minute, and the only response after that from the visitors came in the 72nd min ute with the final try of the match.
The win makes it five in six for the Jets and keeps them with touching distance of the top 6. Wynnum meanwhile won their first game since Round 3 last weekend, and will be hoping that the same distance doesn’t greet the next win.
It looked all doom and gloom for the Burleigh Bears, down by 18 points with 30 minutes to go, and staring down the barrel of another loss. But they proceeded with the comeback of the year to stun the home crowd and Cutters with their third win of the season.
The Mackay Cutters looked like they had taken all the good form from tight losses against the competition leaders into this match as they led 20-0 after Aaron Booth scored the Cutters’ third try in the 28th minute. Paterika Vaivai scored the first of an unlikely double just before the break to give the Bears hope at 20-6 down at half time.
It still looked bleak after the break when Mackay scored in the 50th minute and led 24-6, but a sensational burst of three tries in six minutes got Burleigh within two points, and even another Mackay try and eight point deficit didn’t stop them.
Burleigh drew level with a 69th minute converted try and completed the comeback and hit the front for the first time of the evening when Troy Leo crossed in the 72nd minute. It was just the Bears’ third of the win, but they have now beaten Townsville and Mackay on the road. If only they could improve the home form, they may still be a factor in 2017. For Mackay it was another home loss (2 wins 4 losses) and they are third last on the ladder.
All the action happened early in the game at Browne Park in Rockhampton, and the home side built on their draw in Townsville with a tight home win over the Northern Pride.
The Capras’ second try in the 18th minute to Justin Tavae was the last score of the match, as the remaining 62 minutes were scoreless and the arm wrestle was won by Central. They scored first in the fifth minute through Ken Tofilau, and a response from the Pride andtheir only points came seven minutes later.
Central’s win gives them every chance to feature in Finals Football, but this good run of results need to continue throughout the remainder of the season. The Pride scored just 6 points two rounds ago and won, by this time the 4 points were only just not enough. The Pride drop to fourth last and were leapfrogged by the Capras.
Even the most die hard fan of Tweed Heads Seagulls would have thought the visit of the competition leaders Redcliffe would not have ended in a win to the home side with such dominance.
Even when the Seagulls got out to an early 10-0 lead after 16 minutes, they may have still been a little tentative given they let a number of early leads go in 2017. And they were playing Redcliffe, a side that have recently been able put two or three tries together quickly. They needn’t have worried as they had it under control throughout as Redcliffe looked decided flat and nowhere near the standard that had seen them lose just twice in 2017 so far.
A gulp may have gone around Piggabeen when one Curtis Johnson scored on his return to the Dolphins line up, using all the grit and determination that makes him appear one of the angriest men on a rugby league field. Unfortunately the same kind of determination didn’t continue for Redcliffe, and Tweed Heads sealed the game when Lindon McGrady regathered a nice grubber kick on the fly from winger Peter Lee with a few minutes remaining. It was a good day out for the McGradys, related to former Dally M Winner and Canterbury Bulldogs Ewan McGrady, as Lindon McGrady added two goals to his try and Brayden McGrady scored a double.
The win was timely for the Seagulls as some of the ladder neighbours Burleigh and Central both won. If they play to the same standard they may not be last for long. Redcliffe dropped to third after PNG Hunters and Sunshine Coast both won.
The Sunshine Coast Falcons took advantage of the Redcliffe Dolphin’s slip up at Piggabeen with a good win over the Norths Devils on Sunday afternoon.
It wasn’t all the Falcons though, with the home side Norths scoring the first two tries, and holding a handy 14-0 lead with 25 minutes on the clock. It was to be as good as it got for the Devils, as the Falcons scored twice before the break to reduce the half time deficit to 2 points, and a penalty not long after half time made it all square.
Then came a three try burst in seven minutes from the 60th minute, including two to Donald Malone, which took the game away from the Devils. Delouise Hoeter continued his outstanding try scoring form for Norths three minutes later, but the Falcons still had the final say, with a salt rubbing field goal and try seconds before the final siren to ensure the two points would head back up the Bruce Highway.
The Falcons are now in second place, and look a good bet for the title. Norths stay in touch with the top teams, but may have to settle for the lower regions of the Top 6 in 2017.
Despite seemingly being a production line for the Brisbane Broncos in 2017, and supplying more players for their Round 12 fixture, the Souths Logan Magpies continue to impress in 2017 and did again on Sunday with a good away win over the Easts Tigers.
It took until just before half time to see any points at Suzuki Stadium, and those went to the Tigers who scored in the 38th minute through Shane Neumann. The Magpies responded eight minutes after the break to draw level, but the Tigers retook the lead in the 52nd minute, although it proved to be their last score of the afternoon.
Magpies fullback Jamayne Isaako continues to impress and he scored in the 61st minute to draw the away side level, and his excellent goal kicking makes him a worthwhile prospect for the Broncos, and accordingly he has been named on an extended Broncos bench over the past few weeks. He had one more shot at goal when Joe Boyce scored the final try of the afternoon in the 68th minute, which saw the Souths Logan side take the lead for the first time of the afternoon. A field goal from Matt Minto sealed a good win over great competition. And it sees them leapfrog their Sunday opponents on the ladder too.
Exciting times for the PNG Hunters as they head the Intrust Super Cup outright for a rare occasion if not the first time after a big 42-4 win over the Townsville Blackhawks in Port Moresby.
The seven tries to one win lays down a big marker for the rest of the competition, or it could equally be argued that it highlight the downfall of Townsville in 2017.
The Blackhawks peaked early with a try to Carlin Anderson in the 2nd minute, but the four pointer for the competition’s leading point scorer was all the joy they were to get as the Hunters replied just 4 minutes later, and never looked back.
PNG Hunters fullback, who was one of the Kumuls best in the recent test match against the Cook Islands, continued his outstanding form with three tries, two of which were in the first half and saw the Hunters take the lead. He may well be in enough form to have the Kumuls selectors thinking twice ahead of the World Cup before installing an NRL star like David Mead in the number 1.
Fans of Willie Minoga, of which I am one, will rejoice as he scored before half time to ensure the home side had a 26-4 lead at the break.
No further joy for Townsville as the Hunters scored three more after the break unanswered, to run out winners with a big 42-4 score line. A result that would have been hard to imagine at the beginning of the season with Townsville’s playing roster. Townsville remain in the top 6 despite the loss, but will need to reverse the form quickly.
You can follow the action, results and ladder from Round 12 and all the rounds via our Intrust Super Cup Match Centre.