In an almost perfect tune-up for the finals for the Townsville Blackhawks, they headed down to face up to a side that were not playing for much but were at home, in front of a parochial crowd, knowing that they had the rest of the year off after the whistle. Boasting a close to full strength side, the Blackhawks hit the ground full of running and were dominant from the whistle.
Five tries in the first half and only one conversion missed gave them a 28-0 lead at the oranges and Coach Woolf would have liked what he was watching. They kept the locals scoreless until after the hour and after they had scored seven all up and a professional display. Four players scored doubles and Kyle Laybutt was 6-9 in conversions as they ran out comfortable victors in what was essentially a dead rubber of a match.
Norths season had some highs, they did defeat the Hunters at the same ground and were only four wins and margin outside the finals. They will be looking to muscle up on defence rather than worry on how to score as they are not far off when it comes to how they get across the line.
Final Score: Townsville Blackhawks 48 defeated Norths Devils 22.
Tries: Reuben (2), Hughes (2), Laybutt (2), Parker-Walshe (2), Thompson.
Conversions: Laybutt (6/9)
Tries: Kerr (2), Carney, Murphy.
Conversions: Murphy (3/4).
Norths Devils meet up with the other team that enjoyed the round 23 bye in the Townsville Blackhawks. The previous weekend, they had hosted the Mackay Cutters and had a very comfortable victory, and they will be facing a team that will know at half time whether or not second position on the ladder is up for grabs. In a delicious twist in the draw, the most important score will be coming through with the players on the field. The Souths Logan Magpies are facing a must win game with the Bears, they lose and the Tigers defeat the Cutters, then the Magpies will miss out on the finals. However, should the Magpies win, then a victory for the Blackhawks in this game will give them second on the ladder. This half time break will reveal many fates and may signal a step up in efforts should the results fall the Blackhawks way. Love a tight table at the end of a season.
The Devils will finish eleventh this season, regardless of the result. They have had some good wins including a memorable victory at home over the PNG Hunters, but the inconsistent form kept them pegged to the lower end of the table and they will be facing a team that took care of them back in June by 20 points. Will they be up for this final match of the season? will they look to put the spoiler in to the Blackhawks post-season by sending them in with a loss?
The Blackhawks will finish second or third, no worse. They had led for much of the season until Ray Thompson was taken by the Cowboys and injuries led to the mid-season recruiting of former Cowboys legend Matty Bowen. The return from injury of Jahrome Hughes has seen Matty edge back from the stage, and this has also seen the Blackhawks resume their previous form as a dominant force in the competition.
For this game, it may well be determined by the outcomes on the other fields mentioned earlier. Should the Bears have sealed second spot, it may be hard for the Blackhawks to be willing to push hard if the game is close. Why risk an injury before the finals if the result is not going to matter may play into the coach’s mind? Repeated injury scares to Michael Parker-Walshe in recent weeks may see him taken off the park if the result is not at risk or worth it.
Prediction: If the result matters, Blackhawks by 10, if the result does not matter, Devils by 12.
1. Jack Mackin 2. Michael Lucas 3. Kennedy Pettyborne 4. Luke Pollock 5. Rogan Dean 6. Danny Kerr 7. Todd Murphy 8. Tristan Lumley 9. Billy Brittain (c) 20. Dylan Smith 11. Jarryd Dodd
12. David Faamita 13. Sean Yorston 14. Liam Tyson 15. Sam Carson 16. Billy Solah 17. Paul Steele
Coach: Mark Gliddon
1. Jahrome Hughes 2. Jonathon Reuben 3. Moses Pangai 4. Delouise Hoeter 5. Conor Carey
6. Kyle Laybutt 7. Michael Parker-Walshe 8. Brenden Santi 9. Anthony Mitchell (c) 10. Corey Jensen 11. Andrew Niemoeller 12. Rhyse Martin 13. Willie Minoga 14. Hezron Murgha 15. David Munro
16. Davin Crampton 17. Kieran Quabba
Coach: Kristian Woolf
|574 Nudgee Rd, Nundah QLD 4012, Australia|