Revenge was sought for and received this weekend as the Townsville Blackhawks avenged their Grand Final loss against Ipswich with a performance that makes another Grand Final look a real possibility this year at a minimum.
Revenge was also taken by Burleigh over their Gold Coast rivals Tweed Heads after they turned a 50-4 loss last year to win their second game in a row. Rounding out the unbeaten teams were the PNG Hunters, who broke a hoodoo of playing at BMD Kougari Oval.
Elsewhere, Norths continued their dominance over Central, Northern Pride asserted their North Queensland authority over Mackay, and Souths Logan and Easts Tigers opened their 2016 account with wins over their fellow feeder clubs.
RESULTS AT A GLANCE
EASTS TIGERS 24 Sunshine Coast 6
Central 24 NORTHS 32
Ipswich 18 TOWNSVILLE 30
BURLEIGH 36 Tweed Heads 26
SOUTHS LOGAN 24 Redcliffe 18
NORTHERN PRIDE 44 Mackay 24
Wynnum 10 PNG HUNTERS 24
Easts celebrate Hogan’s Hundreth with win
Easts Tigers celebrate Hogan’s Hundreth with win by Matt Crowhurst
CENTRAL v NORTHS REPORT
After a strong win over rivals the Cutters last week the Capras came home confident that they could keep the momentum going facing the Norths Devils who were licking their wounds after being towelled up by the young Jets side.
So the half time lead of 30 -10 in the Devils favour was a definite surprise. A double by Todd Murphy got the ball rolling and further tries to Clark and Love-Henry pushed the lead even further out. Whilst the Capras had pulled the line back with tries to Delapena and Brandon Manase there was no stopping Murphy who sealed the hat-trick with 2 minutes left in the first half and with a perfect conversion rate he had contributed 22 points in a dominating first half.
William Cullen and Manase both completed doubles but it was not enough to overcome the deficit. Whilst both teams planted down five tries a piece, the exceptional kicking by Murphy was the difference.
The Capras will be facing a bruised unit in the Jets and Norths get to host the Northern Pride who are riding high after a strong win over the Cutters.
Final Score: CQ Capras 24 defeated by Norths Devils 32.
Tries: Delapena, Manase(2), Cullen(2)
Conversions: Minto 2/5
Tries: Murphy (3), Clark, Love-Henry
Conversions: Murphy 5/5
Penalties: Murphy 1/1.
Blackhawks Grand Final revenge
Official Townsville Blackhawks review
Burleigh Bears top of the Gold Coast and Intrust Super Cup
Burleigh put the 50-4 thrashing at the hands of Tweed in last year’s Gold Coast clash behind them with a win that gives them bragging rights on the coast, and the early lead of the Intrust Super Cup ladder.
The Bears remain one of just three teams left on 2/2 (the others PNG and Townsville), and look good in that company given their finishing positions last year.
It was another dominant win for Burleigh, following up a resounding win at Wynnum last weekend, with Tweed scoring two tries late in the game to give themselves respectability, but the contest was well and truly over with the Bears last try of the day in the 68th minute. Can the run of good wins continue? The Sunshine Coast Falcons will visit next weekend and find out.
Magpies swoop to victory
Talk of improvement for the Souths Logan in 2016 appears to be on the money so far, as the Magpies swooped late to topple their fellow Broncos feeder team Redcliffe for a first win of the season, after a very creditable performance against PNG last week.
In a contest that was close throughout, it ended up being goal kicking the difference as both the Dolphins and the home side scored four tries a piece. A lot of those tries scored by some of the fringe Broncos players like Redcliffe’s Aaron Whitchurch, Tom Opacic, and Souths Logan’s Caleb Timu. All but four points were scored in the second half.
A converted try in the 76th minute was enough to seal the needed early victory, and sit with a lot of teams on just 2 points so far in 2016. 2 points and 2 ladder positions further back is Redcliffe, who despite the closeness of their losses, are not quite justifying the pre-season buzz of improvement. Yet.
NORTHERN PRIDE v MACKAY CUTTERS
The Pride launched their home season after a tough one point loss to the Falcons, whilst the Cutters headed north after a home loss to neighbours the Capras.
The Pride were out of the gates with a bang and had 22 points on the board before the Cutters woke up. Even with two quick tries in response it was the Pride that headed to the sheds for a half time orange at 28 -12. Javid Bowen’s triumphant return from injury crossed three times in an effort matched by team mate Linc Port and the result was just what the Pride needed after their tragic capitulation the week before. The Pride travel down to the Devils, they would like to take the points as it will be a long flight home and that would make the journey a lot easier.
Mackay will need to improve; they have given up 68 point in the first two games and they will need to muscle up in defence or the season will be a long journey to August 28. Treston, Chudleigh and Taylor provide some quality and they will need to lift their teammates for their home game against the Tigers who righted their ship with a round two victory.
Final Score: Northern Pride 44 Mackay Cutters 24
Tries: Bowen (3), Port (3), Ahwang, Torpy
Conversions: Ahwang (5/8)
Tries: Wright, Chudleigh, Uele, Faletagoa’i
Conversions: Taylor (4/4)
PNG Hunters banish Kougari hoodoo.
The Hunters headed into their clash at Wynnum with a record of 3 losses from 3 games, and the prospect of wet weather looked to be an advantage for the home side also, but the side from PNG banished their Kougari demons and took a first away win against the Seagulls since their 2014 inception. It may also help erase the memory of last year’s finals defeat which eliminated them from the series.
For the second week in a row Wynnum have been beaten at home, and in reasonably convincing style again as the Hunters took a 16-0 lead to the break. Although Wynnum outscored PNG 10-8 in the second half it wasn’t enough to avoid an 0-2 record and occupy last spot on the ladder for the second consecutive week.
Given PNG’s weak link last year was a slow start to the season after the first 6 rounds, the 2-0 record keeps them on track to improve on that in 2016.
ROUND 2 LADDER
|Tweed Heads Seagulls||1||1||-6||2|
|Souths Logan Magpies||1||1||-12||2|
|Sunshine Coast Falcons||1||1||-17||2|
|Wynnum Manly Seagulls||0||2||-36||0|