With the sadness still lingering over the rugby league community, there were tributes galore to James Ackerman across the Intrust Super Cup and rugby league in general this weekend. A visit to twitter using the hashtag #takeakneeforackers wil show some of the best. A minutes silence was also held across the weekend, being observed in perfect silence unlike Origin II.
Anyone wishing to donate to a trust set up in James Ackerman’s name can find out more at the QRL website here. http://www.qrl.com.au/news/2015/06/25/ackerman_family_help.html
Hopefully, there will be a few more happier stories to come out of the Queensland competition in the remainder of the season than the last month.
One of those could be the PNG Hunters who have now won nine games straight and sit in outright second. Their devil may care attack and at time ferocious defence has won over a lot of neutrals since their inception last year, and the possibility of their appearance in this year’s finals may win over a few more.
NORTHERN PRIDE 20 def IPSWICH JETS 14 @ Barlow Park (H/T 18-0)
Last year’s premiers continue their run to this year’s finals as they saw off the high flying Ipswich Jets in Cairns to kick off Round 16 in Cairns.
The win was mainly thanks to their impressive first half in which three tries to nil gave them an 18-0 lead. It was just enough of a lead as Ipswich scored two tries to nil in the second half, but the Pride have been involved in some tight scraps of late and this proved vital as they held on for a big win against another finals bound side.
The Pride welcome another finals aspirant at home next round with the visit of the Easts Tigers. Ipswich are back at home against Souths Logan.
WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS 26 def MACKAY CUTTERS 16 @ Stadium Mackay (H/T 20-10)
Two more finals hopefuls played in north Queensland on Saturday night as the the Mackay Cutters welcomed Wynnum Manly.
It was the visiting Wynnum Manly who took the points, as they turned around the disappointment of the late one point loss against Burleigh last weekend. Mackay loss their second game in a row to Eastern Brisbane sides and have now dropped to sixth on the ladder.
Most of the action happened in the first half as 6 of the 8 tries for the game came in the first 40 minutes, and Wynnum held a handy 20-10 lead at their break. Determined not to let their half time advantage slip, Wynnum Manly and Mackay scored six points a piece in the second half to hand the Seagulls the two points.
It looks like another two points on paper next weekend for Wynnum as they travel to Bishop Park to play Norths. Mackay will travel to the Sunshine Coast to try and break a two game losing streak.
SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES 24 def TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 22 @ Davies Park (H/T 18-10)
The Magpies proved their turnaround in form is not temporary and doesn’t rely on Ashley Taylor as they beat the Tweed Heads Seagulls at Davies Park on Sunday.
In a quality clash viewed by the viewers at home on Channel 9 and Wayne Bennett who was shown to be at the ground, the Magpies held the upper hand for large parts of the game. The Magpies’ 18-10 half time lead evaporated, and at 24-22 late in the game, it looked like the points could go either way.
Thankfully for Souths Logan fans they held on to draw within one point of their opponents to sit 11th and hold onto the faintest of finals hopes. They’ll need to keep winning to do that, but a trip to Ipswich next round won’t be easy. Tweed Heads get the weekend off.
REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS 32 def NORTHS DEVILS 20 @ Dolphin Oval (H/T 16-10)
The Redcliffe Dolphins took the Brisbane north side bragging rights for the 2015 as they beat the Devils for the third time this year in their second home win of the year.
In a game that perfectly symmetrical in each half, the Dolphins held several double figure points leads throughout the game, but Norths were always fighting as you’d expect in this fixture and with the score at 22-20 with enough time left, the home fans could be forgiven if they thought the worst given Redcliffe’s poor home form.
Redcliffe didn’t disappoint with two late tries to seal the win, and also remain in mathematical contention for finals. They’ll need to beat the all conquering PNG Hunters next weekend to keep that up. It’s not much easier for Norths who welcome Wynnum Manly.
EASTS TIGERS 24 def BURLEIGH BEARS 22 @ Tapout Energy Stadium (H/T 14-2)
The Eats Tigers are starting to show their finals credentials with a commanding win against one of their rivals for the lower reaches of the finals spots. They kept a side tryless for the second time this season in a warning for all the other sides about how hard they will be to beat in the remaining games.
Their five tries to nil victory sets them up nicely in fifth spot with a three point gap above and below.
A comprehensive match report can be found thanks to Matt Crowhurst from the Eats Tigers.
The Tigers fly to Cairns next round to continue their unbeaten run of five game, where Burliegh will look to score more points next weekend, and they’ll need them against Townsville.
PNG HUNTERS 68 def CQ CAPRAS 4 @ Kalabond Oval (H/T 34-0)
The Capras are up to game three of playing the top four in consecutive games, hardly a fixture list that eases the burden of finding a first win since round 1. Unfortunately for the last placed side they suffered their worse loss of the season thus far, as the red hot PNG Hunters beat the Capras by 68-4.
In all there 14 tries scored – 13 to the Hunters, and one to the Capras, scored by a PNG local, as reported in the Courier Mail the Capras could only bring 15 players due to Visa issues.
Their attack was an equally ominous warning for the rest of the competition as the Tigers defence was from this weekend, and if they make the finals which is looking increasingly likely with each week, they will be hard to stop if they maintain this form. They also remain only one of two teams to beat Townsville this season.
They travel down to Redcliffe this weekend, in a game where the TV cameras and myself will be in attendance. Central have a bye, which will be much needed rest before the last in their Top 4 run against Wynnum the next round.