There may have been only five games for the Intrust Super Cup this weekend, but they provided enough interest for a full round of fixtures with every game having a say in the chase for top spot, top two and top six.
Ipswich and Wynnum kept their slim finals hopes alive for another week with good home wins. Burleigh helped them out by defeating the Townsville Blackhawks to leave the northern Queensland side sixth and just two points ahead of Ipswich.
The Sunshine Coast easily accounted for the Capras in Rockhampton, and Redcliffe proved their title claims with a strong 28-12 win over the PNG Hunters.
The PNG Hunters still hang onto top spot, but they can’t afford to lose again if they want that top prize come the end of the regular season.
Full results and team lists are available via specific match links below or via our Intrust Super Cup Match Centre.
IPSWICH JETS 32 NORTHERN PRIDE 22
The Ipswich Jets kept their final hopes alive with a 32-22 win over the Northern Pride, and were handed a bonus later on Saturday evening when the Blackhawks lost at Burleigh closing the gap to sixth place to just two points.
The Jets had to weather a late storm from the Pride, as they saw their 26-6 from early in the second half slowly whittled away by the visiting Pride. Only a 79th try to Nemani Valekapa eased the concern of the locals.
The first 45 minutes was mostly all about the Jets, they did concede first as the Pride ran in a try in the 7th minute, but a burst of four tries in ten minutes swung the game firmly in favour of the Jets, and a try just after half time made it look at Jets.
That run of tries saw doubles to Michael Purcell and Jayden Connors. A double is nothing new for Michael Purcell who is a try scoring machine, but the two to Jayden Connors certainly is new as it was the Ipswich player’s debut game. That try scoring form bodes well for that run at the finals.
The Pride did try and make it interesting in the second half as they chipped away at the Jets with regular tries. The first two were to a pair of Bowens – the Cowboys Javid, and recent new addition Shawn. By the time Bradley Stephen scored it was 26-22 with ten minutes to go.
The late try to Ipswich sealed the game and kept them in the race for finals spot.
Find out more here.
BURLEIGH BEARS 28 TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS 22
Burleigh took down a second top 6 side in as many weeks with a 28-22 defeat of the Townsville Blackhawks on Saturday evening on the Gold Coast.
The Bears have waited until too late to show their full strength, as their five wins in seven games has seen them become one of the competition’s form sides, but a slow start to the season of five straight losses has hurt them from playing finals. Whether it is coincidental, but the arrival of former headline act Jamal Fogarty has seen the turnaround in form, as has Pat Politoni and a reducing injury toll at the Titans.
The Bears were actually behind early and at half time as the first half saw two tries a piece and goal kicking was the difference. The second half belonged to the Bears who scored with regularity, and it was only two very late tries by the Blackhawks that the score line ended up as close as it did.
Townsville’s loss has opened the door for Ipswich to sneak into the top 6 and they will have to stop their two game losing streak to stop them missing out on the finals for the first time since joining the competition.
See more here.
CENTRAL CAPRAS 26 SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS 44
Sunshine Coast kept their chances of finishing the season on top of the Intrust Super Cup ladder no harm with a comfortable victory over the Central Capras in Rockhampton.
After losing last weekend to the Burleigh Bears, the Falcons couldn’t afford a slip up against the second last placed Capras this weekend, and they may have started to worry when the home side raced out to an early 12-0 lead after 11 minutes.
A burst of four tries in ten minutes gave the visitors the advantage of 22-12 by the 25th minute, and a try right on half time and just after extended that advantage to a match winning 32-12.
The Capras kept themselves in the game with two tries in the 50th and 58th minutes, and were only trailing by 12 points with over 20 minutes to play. Unfortunately for the home side the Falcons weren’t done and two tries in five minutes by the 72nd minute meant that the Capras suffered an eighth straight loss and find themselves last on the ladder temporarily until the byes are evened up.
At the other end of the ladder the Falcons remain second and keep the Hunters honest up top.
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REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS 28 PNG HUNTERS 12
Redcliffe Dolphins kept themselves in the hunt for a top two finish with an impressive win over the current competition leaders PNG Hunters who are just holding onto the top spot after the weekend results panned out.
Redcliffe proved why they are the Intrust super Cup’s best home side as they were in control early and never looked seriously likely to be headed for the afternoon. There was a period after the PNG Hunters finally got on the board in the second half, but Redcliffe weathered the storm and took a deserved victory.
The Dolphins were on early and scored through Joseph Bradley in just the fifth minute. The Hunters had their chances to match Redcliffe with four straight sets on the Dolphins line, but as so often happens in rugby league their raids were unsuccessful and were punished not long after when Curtis Johnston tapped back a cross field kick to the waiting hands of Troy Giess.
Off topic slightly it is always good to attend a match and see the things you may miss on TV. One of those favourite things is watching the Redcliffe winger Curtis Johnston in action. His enthusiasm and intensity is hard to match and great to watch. He seems so angry, a la Dallas Johnson back in the day, but it seems to help Redcliffe.
Not long after Redcliffe had crossed again through Daniel Bridge, and a penalty goal a few minutes later had the home side 20-0 in front at half time, and the Hunters looked very unlikely to turn that around on the second half.
Very unlikely looked near impossible not long after the break as Redcliffe crossed for their fourth try of the game through Myles Taueli, and at 26-0 only the most positive PNG Hunters fan could still see a victory on the horizon. The author being one.
But after some sustained pressure the Hunters finally crossed in the 56th through fullback Stargroth Amean, a man in form who proved that by doubling up five minutes later, and all of a sudden Redcliffe looked out of sorts and the Hunters were firing.
Not long after that fan favourite Willie Minoga looked to have scored again for the Hunters, and with a potential score line of 26-18 the Dolphins looked vulnerable. The try was disallowed, and that seemed to take some of the wind out of the Hunters sails, although they continued to throw the ball and try their hardest. Redcliffe sealed the game with a late penalty goal.
The win sees Redcliffe jump to outright third, and just one point behind second placed Sunshine Coast. PNG Hunters still hold the competition lead but the Falcons still have a bye up their sleeve, and with the Hunters having an inferior for and against they can’t afford one more than the Falcons if they want that minor premiership.
Finally, the crowd at Dolphin Oval was a credit to the Intrust Super Cup, with a 50m+ line up to get in still waiting after the game had already kicked off. It proves that the people of Brisbane do love their Sunday Football after all, and it is the Intrust Super Cup’s gain as the NRL continue to ignore the timeslot in Brisbane.
Read more here.
WYNNUM SEAGULLS 22 EASTS TIGERS 6
Wynnum Seagulls took out the local rivalry with the Easts Tigers on Sunday afternoon and dealt their rivals a blow in their chase for a top two spot.
The game was in the balance until a two try burst in three minutes from the 74th minute sealed the game for the home side.
The Seagulls went into the half time break 14-0 up on the back of a try to the returning PNG International speedstar David Mead, and one to Mitch Frei either side of a Shaun Nona penalty goal.
Easts scored just after half time to reduce the gap to 14-6, a score line that remained until the late burst of Wynnum tries.
Easts came into the game on a run of five straight wins which had seen them rise to equal second with the Falcons, they drop to fourth behind Redcliffe. Wynnum are 9th and are still a mathematical chance of a finals spot, and their positive for and against gives them an advantage over the chasing pack.
Read more here.