The Intrust Super Cup Round 1 has been completed, and with so much action to get through, we’ve condensed it all into our best of Intrust Super Cup Round 1 Review to give you the quickest way to follow the best of what happened over the weekend.
It was the usual action packed opening weekend of the season, which saw plenty of away wins, a few early upsets, and some wet weather rugby league.
At the end of it the favourites for 2018 and defending premiers got off to winning starts, but one of the dark horses for the title also kicked off the season in impressive style.
Plus there were the debuts of former NRL stars Todd Carney and Dave Taylor, with mixed results.
So enjoy the Intrust Super Cup Round 1 Review.
BURLEIGH START SEASON OFF IN STYLE
Forty minutes into the season, and the Burleigh could hardly have looked better. Leading 2017 beaten Grand Finalists 24-0 at half time after a five tries to nil opening half. Sure, two of those were intercepts, but few could argue with Bears being the better side, or their defence when called upon in the first 40 minutes when the Falcons had them under pressure.
The Falcons to their credit fought back and got within six points in the second half, and that started with a try just three minutes after the break to Lachlan Roe, who has on the ISC’s better hairtcuts. Sunshine Coast then got within 6 points with just over 10 minutes to play through superior goal kicking, but a late try to Burleigh’s Josh Ailaomai on the back off a fine 40-20 from the Burleigh hooker Pat Politoni wrapped it up 34-22.
Burleigh were actually one of the form teams at the back-end of 2017, and with the Bears having Jamal Fogarty, Politoni and Ailaomai all on board from the start of the season, and the excellent Blake Leary recruited, they look to be real dark horses.
BLACKHAWKS SEND A MESSAGE WITH HUGE WIN
Despite being unbeaten in Mackay in their first three seasons, they have drawn once, and their two wins have only been by 2 points, so this weekend’s Cutters vs Blackhawks clash had history of being a close one on paper.
But Townsville, who have always had a strong side since their 2015 ISC arrival, strengthened again in the off-season, and their 10 tries to 2 victory showed that they will be not only strong again, but capable of doing some real damage in the for and against of other teams.
New recruits Jaelen Feeney, Zach Docker-Clay, Krys freeman, and Kalifa Faifai-Loa were amongst the try scorers, as was incumbent speed machine Jonathon Rueben, who grabbed an early season double, of what will no doubt be many more in 2018. One wonders too, if this is the year the promising talents of Carlin Anderson get the full NRL recognition they deserve. He scored once and kicked eight goals.
The Cutters peaked early with a try in the first two minutes of the clash, but by half time they were down 30-6, and come the 80th minute had seen another five second half tries for the eventual 56-12 win. Another big number for Townsville, but can they cash in with a Premiership?
TAYLOR AND CARNEY START THEIR ISC LIFE WITH DIFFERENT FORTUNES
There has been much interest in the former NRL players Todd Carney and Dave Taylor playing in the Intrust Super Cup in 2018 with the Northern Pride and Central Capras respectively, and if you forget about the various reasons for these former superstars to be playing in the Intrust Super Cup, it is genuinely exciting to have such talents playing week in and week out.
Both of these players made their ISC debut on Saturday evening, Carney for the Northern Pride, who ended up playing in Brisbane at the Tigers home ground due to the weather in FNQ. Dave Taylor coincidentally against the Easts Tigers at home in Rockhampton.
The Coal Train aka Dave Taylor, was the only one of the two redemption seeking former NRL stars to start the season off with a win. In fact, the Capras win over the Tigers was probably the upset of the weekend, giving the Capras the best possible start to avoiding another wooden spoon in 2018. They led 12-0 early, but were overtaken by the Tigers in the 67th minute after the speedy Linc Port’s second try, however a comfortably slotted penalty, followed by a cool late field goal gave the Capras a rare Round 1 success.
Todd Carney was involved in the backline movements that led to the two Northern Pride tries, and kicked a penalty goal to give the Pride an 8-6 lead at half time. But Wynnum responded to the second of the Pride’s tries after half time with three unanswered efforts, the last of which providing the sugar on top of a good opening round win in the surrounds of their main rivals ground at Suzuki Stadium. So Carney starts his new life off on the losing side, but no doubt his class will lift the Pride as the season grows.
HUNTERS KICK OFF TITLE DEFENCE WITH A WIN
With the recent reigning premiers all struggling to kick on in the season after their big Grand Final win, not many would have been surprised if the Hunters did not start 2018 with a win, but win they certainly did, and with the familiar names of Boas all over the scoring sheet.
The Boas brothers scored all but four points for the Hunters, Watson scoring two tries, and Ase Boas crossing for the important and match wining try in the 79th, amongst his three goals. Stand in fullback Adex Wera was the other PNG Hunters try scorer.
Ipswich got within 4 points with just a few minutes to go, but as they do, the Hunters were able to hold out the Jets, and scored that late Ase Boas try to see off the game.
A promising start for the Hunters for their 2018 title defence anyway.
A late field goal for Redcliffe was not enough to beat the Magpies after they slotted an even later penalty goal to continue their excellent away form from 2017 with a 16-15 win.
Norths Devils superior goal kicking and additional try saw them open their 2018 account by beating the Tweed Heads Seagulls 24-12. New signings Sam Tagataese and Alex Bishop were amongst the scorers for the Devils. They will be hoping to match or better last season’s 4/5 start to the season.