The Easter Bunny brought a basket full of treats for the first bye affected 5 game round of the season.
The season’s first draw of the year kicked off Round 4 between Easts and Norths, Burleigh won the battle of maroon with a good win over Mackay, and last year’s premiers got home against the Magpies at a wet Davies Park.
There were two unbeaten sides coming into Round 4, and just one remains at its completion and the teams performances couldn’t be more contrasting. Whilst the Blackhawks were clinical and tremendous in their 40 win over Wynnum, the Hunters were off their game and lost to the bogey team for the second year running.
RESULTS AT A GLANCE
Easts 14 Norths 14
TOWNSVILLE 50 Wynnum 10
BURLEIGH 36 Mackay 18
Souths Logan 20 IPSWICH 28
SUNSHINE COAST 28 PNG Hunters 20
TIGERS, DEVILS PLAY OUT EXCITING DRAW
BLACKHAWKS DOMINANT OVER WYNNUM
The Blackhawks players went on to the field knowing of openings due to some injuries to the Cowboys in the previous nights loss, and they played like they were all in line for promotion. Across the park, the players stepped up and showed their class. Whilst Wynnum Manly had yet to win, it was important for them to try and get back on track, but it was not to be.
The game was as good as over at half time after when the Blackhawks went into the sheds at 28 – 6 up, and they did not give the Seagulls any solace until the last 2 minutes when they finally let them score their second try. It was an across the park effort and with Michael Parker Walshe and Ant Mitchell directing traffic, we saw the team that led the table for most of last year compete and complete at a very high standard.
The Blackhawks now sit alone on top of the table before they head down to Brisbane for a game against Tweed Heads Seagulls who are coming in off the bye. The Wynnum Manly Seagulls are now rooted to the bottom of the ladder and will face the Souths Logan Magpies who are one win above them.
BURLEIGH TOO GOOD FOR CUTTERS
The Burleigh Bears were looking to bounce back whilst the Cutters were searching for answers as they headed onto Pizzey Park on Saturday afternoon, and it was the team with the better form that secured their third win of the season.
A two try burst at the end of the first half was the difference as the Bears headed into halftime with an 18 – 0 lead. Whilst the second half was a try for try affair, it was the early effort that sealed this result. Both teams will be actually happy with this result, the Bears needed a solid win over a team like the Cutters to maintain their claims for being in the top five and the Cutters showed in the second half that their season is not over already as they fought it out for the eighty minutes and scored against a side that has been performing well so far this season.
Lachlan Burr scored a double and Jamal Fogarty was perfect with the boot but this was a team win and they will need to fire again as they face the Norths Devils who tied with the Tigers. The Cutters tough start to the season will be made harder as they face up to the PNG Hunters who are going to be revved up after falling short for the first time this season.
EARLY TRIPLE BARBA TREAT THE DIFFERENCE AT DAVIES PARK
On a wet afternoon in West End, and early Marmin Barba hat trick eventually proved the difference between the Ipswich Jets and Souths Logan Magpies.
Rugby Sevens loss is the intrust Super Cup’s gain after Marmin Barba returned after departing for a chance at Rio with the Australian rugby sevens, and he showed all the skills and pace that Ipswich thought they would miss in 2016 as he completed a hat trick after just 15 minutes with the first three tries of the match. One wonders with the Broncos link up why Brisbane don’t throw Barba in ahead of the likes of Lachlan Maranta.
Despite the early Barba magic, usually involving assistance from Broncos fringe player Carlin Anderson, there were no further tries in the first half, and Souths Logan outscored and equalled if not bettered the premiers in the second half. The four tries to three second half got the Magpies close, but not quite enough after the whirlwind start from Barba in the first half. Souths Logan looked good though, and once again have Phil Dennis’ skills mixing well with young forwards like Herman Ese’ese and Caleb Timu. They are not far off being a top 6 side, which means these teams could be battling each other for a finals spot later in the season.
FALCONS RISING AS THEY STRIKE AGAIN AGAINST HUNTERS
As the preview pointed out, the Sunshine Coast were the team that the Hunters performed worst against in 2015, and the Falcons underlined their 2016 improvement by doubling the dose of wins over the Hunters at the Sunshine Coast stadium.
The game was even in the first half, except on the penalty count which the ill-discipline of the Hunters was not punished in full with some excellent goal line defence. However despite the half time lead, the Hunters were put to the sword after half time as the Sunshine Coast went on a scoring spree with four unanswered second half tries by the 64th minute. With the game out of reach, PNG put some respectability back on the score line, but not enough to fall to their first defeat of the season, and have the long flight back to Port Moresby to curse the Falcons again.
A few last thoughts, Ryley Jacks is looking every bit the smart piece of recruitment it appeared at the start of the season, and kudos to the QRL for the Live Stream, a feature for the Hunters away games.