Round 13 of the Intrust Super Cup was lucky for some like the PNG Hunters and Sunshine Coast who withstood great challenges to record victories to keep them 1st and 2nd on the Intrust Super Cup ladder.
Some were unlucky, like Redcliffe who were the side in Townsville for the weekend the Blackhawks got their winning groove and premiership contention back.
Elsewhere in the top 6, Souths Logan and Easts consolidated their positions as the fringe sides lost ground and a small gap has opened up.
The mini review of all the games are below, but click on the header for the full results. Or visit the Intrust Super Cup Match Centre to see the overall picture of this year’s competition.
The Sunshine Coast remain second and just one point from the top after overcoming a resilient Ipswich Jets challenge on Saturday afternoon.
It took a second half burst of four tries in 13 minutes from the 62nd minute to swing the game in the home side’s favour, but prior to that Ipswich were right in the game.
A low scoring first half saw just one try a piece, but in a second half that saw 7 tries Ipswich were first out of the blocks with a try straight after half time. The Falcons responded but so too did Ipswich, with Michael Purcell continuing his fine try scoring. Unfortunately unlike last week where Purcell wrapped up a hat trick in 13 second half minutes, it was their last score of the game as the Sunshine Coast went on their try scoring spree.
For the Sunshine Coast there were tries to Melbourne Storm hopefuls Ryley Jacks and Jahrome Hughes, and winger Matthew Soper-Lawler got a double. And they look a strong chance for the premiership. The loss sees Ipswich remain 8th, with an increasing gap to sixth.
Easts Tigers got a good win in Cairns on Saturday night, but they almost blew it as they let the Pride back into the game despite having a comfortable half time lead. Indeed the Tigers needed a 77th minute try to Jarrod McInally to seal the game after the Northern Pride drew level at 28-28 with 9 minutes to play.
It looked unlikely the Tigers would have to work so hard for their victory as they led 18-0 after just 23 minutes. And still held a reasonably comfortable 10 point lead halfway through the second half.
But once the home side got on the board just before the half time break, the teams traded tries, and the Pride chipped away at the Tigers responding to their scores and more until eventually drawing level after two tries in two minutes by the 71st minute. Easts stole the game back in the 77th minute, but not before being given a big scare by the Pride.
The 60 points in total was a mere 50 more points than was scored on the Pride’s last home game when they defeated the Tweed Heads Seagulls three weeks ago. It was their last win and with last placed Tweed Heads moving to three wins with Burleigh, they are in danger of heading to dead last unless the wins start coming. Easts consolidate their top 6 position, taking advantage of Redcliffe’s loss in Townsville.
Inaccurate goal kicking almost cost the Mackay Cutters a much needed win against the Wynnum Seagulls on Saturday night in Mackay. In fact the only conversion Mackay’s Nicho Hynes converted was the one in the last minute of the game. Although to be fair he did kick a penalty as well.
The Cutters scored four tries to two but still needed a last minute try to grab the two competition points at the expense of the Seagulls. Wynnum never let the Cutters get further than 8 in front, and they kept themselves in the game with converting their two tries and slotting a 70th minute penalty which saw the game locked at 14-14.
The last minute try brought a first win for Mackay in five matches, and draws them level with their opponents from Saturday on the Intrust Super Cup ladder.
Tweed Heads Seagulls proved last weekend’s upset of Redcliffe was no fluke or a one off as they defeated the Central Capras in a high scoring affair in Rockhampton.
Unlike last weekend where they led from start to finish, this weekend they had to overcome an early onslaught from the Capras who raced out to a 16-0 by the 33rd minute.
Two tries in four minutes just before half time saw that 16-0 erode to 16-8 at the break, and they continued the scoring after the break with two converted tries and a penalty goal to take the lead of the game for the first time at the 52nd minute by which time the Seagulls had scored 22 unanswered points in under 20 minutes.
The home side responded ten minutes later with a second try to Guy Williams, but the Seagulls went on another scoring spree with two more converted tries and a penalty goal to open up a 14 point lead, which was only reduced to eight with a last minute Capras try.
Tweed Heads are looking up the ladder now with their third win of the season, as they are only one win shy of the teams directly above them now. Central will disappointed they couldn’t maintain the positive results after beat the Pride and drawing with Townsville in the last two rounds.
Souths Logan Magpies 25 Burleigh Bears 12
Souths Logan Magpies registered another good win after defeating the 2016 premiers Burleigh on Sunday afternoon at Davies Park. The Magpies secured the two competition point courtesy of their four tries to the Bears’ three, but it could have been closer and more stressful had the Bears kicked any of their conversions.
The first half was all Souths Logan as they scored three tries to none, the first of them in the eighth minute to hooker Travis Waddell back from representing the Broncos the previous weekend. They led 18-0 at the break.
Burleigh scored just after half time to reduce the gap, but the Magpies extended the gap further still with a try to five eighth Matt Minto five minutes later. Minto was to score one more time, but it was a pressure relieving 74th minute field goal, after Burleigh had scored twice in five minutes to get within 12 points. That could have been a 6 point gap with more than 15 minutes to play if the conversions went over, so the Magpies were lucky they weren’t under more pressure.
A shame for Burleigh as they couldn’t back up last weekend’s drought breaking win, unlike the Magpies who have now won four in a row.
The Townsville Blackhawks are back in the winner’s circle after Round 13 of the Intrust Super Cup, as they inflicted a second straight loss for the ex competition leaders Redcliffe Dolphin.
The Dolphins got to the best start to increase the pressure on the Blackhawks by opening the scoring in the 24th minute through Curtis Johnston, but it to be the only time they were in front for the rest of the afternoon because Townsville took over proceedings from there.
Townsville scored three tries in ten minutes either side of the half time break to lead 14-6 and a Redcliffe reply five minutes later was a small bump in their afternoon as they stamped their authority with another two tries in five minutes. With more than 20 minutes to play, Townsville now led by 26-12.
There was another try for the visitors in the 75th minute, but by then it too late and Townsville had got the win to get their season back on track. Redcliffe now are the team in the top 6 in a mini form slump, having lost two in a row after looking ordinary against the last placed Tweed Heads Seagulls last weekend. They won’t want to lose too many more or they may find themselves behind Sunday’s opponent soon enough.
The PNG Hunters continued their impressive recent form registering a sixth straight win against the Norths Devils on Sunday afternoon, and in the process retained the competition lead for another week.
They were made to work hard for it, as there was nothing in the first half after the returning Chris Sandow inspired the Devils with his involvement including the first try of the game with a pinpoint cross field kick in the 5th minute. Stargroth Amean continued his brilliant form, which included a best on field in the Pacific Test by scoring the opening try for the Hunters in the 21st minute. However it was probably his try saving tackle just before half time to stop what looked a certain Devils try that was more impressive and it allowed the Hunters to not fall behind going into the break.
Willie Minoga took advantage of some great ball movement and his return to the centres in the 21st minute to score and grab the lead for the Hunters, which was pegged back by Norths with Javarn first of two tries for the afternoon and a penalty goal.
But boy did the Hunters did kick on after the break scoring five tries to one to blow the home side away and prove they are not only worthy competition leaders. PNG’s first four tries of the second half came at regular intervals, and added a little salt with a consolation try two minutes from time. Norths to their credit never gave up, and although Javarn White’s second try in the 49th was their only points to show for their effort, some of the ball movement late in the game showed so a side that plays to the end. A healthy attitude if they can sneak into the top 6 for finals.
However, it was another tremendous win for the Hunters, and it is looking more likely with each passing week that this could be the year they break through, as their weak point last year – away from – has been fixed as they have lost just once on the road in 2017. That was to the second placed Sunshine Coast who they haven’t beaten away for three seasons. Expectations will have risen in PNG just that little bit.
You can follow the action, results and ladder from Round 13 and all the rounds via our Intrust Super Cup Match Centre.