Round 5 of the Intrust Super Cup has been decided. Some Easter joy was brought to several places around Queensland, nowhere more than the Sunshine Coast who nabbed their first win of this campaign to equal their total of wins last year.
The people of Townsville, Burleigh, and Ipswich will also be happy with their team’s fourth victory of the season and an equal share of the competition lead.
Elsewhere, last year’s premiers are still waiting for this year’s first win.
Below is our brief catch ups of the games, a brief video review of each game is usually available on the QRL website.
Tweed Heads Seagulls,5,2,2,1,-6,6
Wynnum Manly Seagulls,5,3,2,0,-6,6
Souths Logan Magpies,5,1,3,1,-56,4
Sunshine Coast Falcons,4,1,3,0,-22,2
Northern Pride,4,0,4,0,-62,0 [/table]
TOWNSVILLE 28 def WYNNUM 16 @ Jack Manksi Oval (H/T 12-12)
TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS 28 (Zac Santo, Tom Humble, Kyle Feldt, Michael Parker-Walshe, Noel Underwood tries; Kyle Feldt 4 goals) def WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS 16 (Matthew Grieve 2, Daniel Ogden tries; Matthew Seamark 2 goals)
The Townsville Blackhawks continued their dream run in their debut Queensland Cup campaign with another win, against a quality Wynnum Seagulls line up. This further underlines their claims as favourites to win the title. They are top of the ladder with two other teams with four wins and a loss, but are top of the tree thanks to some big wins in their last two matches.
They found it much harder to score against the Seagulls, and went behind as Daniel Ogden posted the first try of the match early to give Wynnum a 6-0 lead. They increased their lead a few minutes later as the visitors crossed for their second try to lead 12-0 after just 7 minutes.
It took until the 20th minute for Townsville to register their first try of the afternoon, but it was still advantage Wynnum until two minutes before the break when newcomer Noel Underwood scored to make it all square at half time.
With the game in the balance the first try of the second half was vital. When it arrived in the 56th minute it went to Townsville courtesy of Michael Parker-Walshe. It wasn’t long until Townsville after some razzle dazzle increased their lead to 22-12. Given their excellent second half record this season they looked hard to beat with 19 minutes to go. There was a try apiece for either side in the last 10 minutes including Matthew Grieve’s second for the day, but it was too late for the Seagulls.
Townsville next game is a trip to Brisbane for a clash against the Magpies, whilst Wynnum will host the PNG Hunters. Both of their opponents coming off big losses.
IPSWICH 26 def NORTHERN PRIDE 22 @ North Ipswich Reserve (H/T 26-8)
IPSWICH JETS 26 (Marmin Barba 2, Nemani Valekapa, Brandon McGrady, Josh Seage tries; Marmin Barba 3 goals) def NORTHERN PRIDE 22 (Javid Bowen 2, Hezron Murgha, Linc Port, Luke George tries; Cameron King goal)
Northern Pride remain the only side in the Queensland Cup without a win after six rounds after they suffered their fifth loss of the season against the Ipswich Jets. A stirring second half comeback wasn’t enough for the reigning premiers against a team that look capable of taking that crown off them had just enough to hang on for their fourth win of the season, cementing their spot in the top 5.
Last week’s hat trick hero Marmin Barba opened up the scoring in the 13th minute and it wasn’t too long for the lead to be extended to 10-0 courtesy of a try to Nemani Valekapa. The Jets’ third try was typical of their attacking brilliance as they covered a Pride grubber kick on their line and turned it straight into a length of the field special and a handy 16-0 lead.
The Pride fought back and scored the next two tries and reduced the gap to just eight points. With Chris Walker off the field injured, momentum swung towards the north Queensland side. That sparked the Jets again as they ran in another two tries before half time, one completing a first half double for Marmin Barba for five tries in two games. The 26-8 half time lead looked solid enough, and like Tweed a few weeks previous, the wet conditions didn’t seem to blunt Ipswich’s attack. Especially Carlin Anderson who was terrorising the Pride.
The Pride needed to score first in the second half but the Jets almost scored from the restart. A try scored there would have tore the heart out of the Pride. They fought on, and seven minutes into the second half they scored their third try via Javid Bowen’s second for the day. This was followed up with Linc Port and Hezron Murgha crossing to leave the score line 26-22 and set up a nervous finish for the home side, who had seen their leads at home decrease rapidly twice already this season. Like against the Blackhawks in their last home game, they had enough to hold on despite not much ball in the second half.
Ipswich will be looking to move further up the table with another win against the Devils at Bishop Park next weekend, where the Pride will be taking on a Dolphins side in Cairns.
MACKAY 13 def NORTHS 12 @ Stadium Mackay (H/T Norths 12-8)
MACKAY CUTTERS 13 (Sam Clune 2, Justin Tavae tries; Liam Taylor field goal) def NORTHS DEVILS 12 (Luke Pollock, Todd Lowrie tries; Darren Nicholls 2 goals)
The Cutters notched their fourth win of the year with an exciting one point win against the Norths Devils on Saturday evening.
It looked an unlikely close finish after the first 20 minutes as the Norths Devils scored two tries to lead 12-0 in Mackay. For the Devils it was to be the last of their points for the game as the locals showed why they have won four in a row. They got into the game off the back of two tries to fullback Sam Clune which narrowed the gap to 12-8 at half time.
It took until the 55th minute of the game until the next try was scored to level scores at twelve all that meant field goals looked to predict the outcome of the game. Both sides had their chances to add the extra point, but it was Mackay and the returning Liam Taylor who was successful with less than two minutes to go to give the Mackay side the narrowest of wins and join Townsville and Ipswich with a 4-1 record on top of the ladder.
Norths have now lost three in a row and a visit of Ipswich next round won’t make it easier to break the streak. Mackay are on the long road to Rockhampton to play the Capras.
EASTS 52 def SOUTHS LOGAN 0 @ Tapout Energy Stadium (H/T 22-0)
EASTS TIGERS 52 (Cameron Munster 3, Shaun Nona 2, Matt Duffie, Richie Kennar, Shane Neumann, Donald Malone, Tommy Butterfield tries; Shaun Nona 6 goals) def SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES 0
Easts Tigers handed the Souths Logan Magpies are real lesson in Rugby League on Sunday afternoon, and for all the viewers on Channel 9 to see.
With so much action, it’s best to leave it to the people that were there, so enjoy the report from Matt Crowhurst here.
BURLEIGH 32 def REDCLIFFE 18 @ Dolphin Oval (H/T 22-0)
BURLEIGH BEARS 32 (Kevin Gordon 2, Tyler Chadburn, Jason Chan, Josh Ailaomai tries; Tyler Chadburn 6 goals) def REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS 18 (Joe Bond, Josh Beehag, Evander Cummins, Josh Benjamin tries; Oliver Regan goal)
Before the game on a rare dry Easter weekend day in Brisbane the home side hadn’t won in 5 home games and Burleigh hadn’t won at Redcliffe in ten seasons. It was the home side whose hoodoo continued after a dominant first half from Burleigh to all but put the game to bed after 40 minutes.
Burleigh made it three wins in a row and couldn’t have been more impressive as they disappointed the local fans with the only away win of the round. A half time 22-0 lead was a masterclass as they scored three tries to nil with Titans contracted Kevin Gordon among the scorers, with a long range special courtesy of Nafe Seluini and Tyler Chadburn the best of the other two tries.
The Bears picked up where they left off in the first half with a length of the field try to Gordon giving him his second of the day. Redcliffe very little chance of coming back from such a large deficit. They did attempt a comeback and after forty-six minutes they crossed the line for the first time giving the home crowd finally something to cheer about. Last week’s best Evander Cummins scored not long after and the ever exciting Joe Bond added a third. By the time Josh Beehag scored a fourth the home side were on a roll that they and the crowd thought would take them all the way to a very unlikely victory.
It wasn’t to be as the only other try in the match went to the Bears despite Redcliffe’s best efforts, the Bears deserved their win and will need to be as good next round as they take on a Tigers side fresh from a huge win against the Magpies. Redcliffe meanwhile will head to Cairns and play the Pride who between them only have 1 win and a further loss will just about rule the loser out of realistic finals contention early.
SUNSHINE COAST 36 def PNG HUNTERS 10 @ Sunshine Coast Stadium (H/T 16-6)
SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS 36 (Ben Hampton 3, Suli Vunivalu 2, Callum Klein, Mitch Ebdon tries; Brett Doherty 3, Travis Robinson goals) def PNG HUNTERS 10 (Edward Goma, Willie Minoga tries; Roger Laka goal)
Sunshine Coast opened their 2015 Queensland Cup account with the biggest upset win of the round against PNG Hunters who were previously flying high in second spot on the table. The improvement in 2015 has been marked for the Falcons who have turned around many a flogging last season into some good performances, if not wins before taking on the Hunters.
Their new alliance with the Melbourne Storm can explain a lot of the improvement and it was Storm contracted players Ben Hampton and Tom Learoyd-Lahrs who were the main architects of the Hunters downfall on Sunday afternoon.
It seemed business as usual for the Hunters as they scored the first try of the game to lead 6-0, but it was to be their only lead of the game as the Ben Hampton show begun in earnest. His first try came in the 19th minutes, and he added another 5 minutes later to help the Falcons to a precious lead. With 6 minutes to half time the Sunshine Coast crossed again to give them a rare half time lead.
The Falcons didn’t stop there as just 5 minutes into the second half Hampton secured a hat trick and continued the home side’s first half momentum into the second. By the time the Sunshine Coast put on their fifth try for the afternoon it was 26-6 and a realisation that with 28 minutes to go an upset looked very likely.
A try to the Hunters to reduce the score to 26-10 with 16 minutes was merely annoyance value as the Falcons put on another two tries to put the game out of reach and underline their improvement with their first win of the year against a dangerous opponent.
The Falcons will travel to northern NSW to extend their run to two wins against the Tweed, whilst the Hunter will be in SEQ again for a trip to Wynnum for their next clash.