There’s real northern theme about the top half of the Intrust Super Cup as of Round 7, as the competition’s most northerly teams sit in 1st, 2nd and 3rd with Townsville heading the pile from PNG Hunters on for and against, both on 12 points. Northern Pride are third on points difference and share the 10 point tally with the most northerly of the two Gold Coast sides – Burleigh, and Redcliffe – who are the most northerly of the Brisbane sides.
Performance of the weekend came from the Blackhawks in the second half against the Sunshine Coast as they showed why they are the premiership front runners and favourites for the 2016 title.
Upset of the weekend came on the Gold Coast as the Central Capras beat the Burleigh Bears and they got within 2 points of third place. A welcome if rare occurrence for the Capras.
Two winless sides became one as Wynnum got their first win of the season against the Ipswich Jets. Mackay were competitive but not quite good enough to beat Redcliffe and remain with 0 wins.
Elsewhere, Souths Logan defeated the Tweed, PNG got the better of Norths, and the Pride defeated the Tigers in Cairns.
RESULTS AT A GLANCE
Burleigh 32 CENTRAL 38
Mackay 20 REDCLIFFE 26
PNG 38 Norths 22
Sunshine Coast 10 TOWNSVILLE 40
PRIDE 30 Easts 16
SOUTHS LOGAN 28 Tweed Heads 10
Ipswich 22 WYNNUM 30
Capras provide upset of the season
In the upset of the round we saw the Capras turn up and put on a strong start (always required) at Pizzey Park as they ran in four tries to two in the opening stanza. Combined with a good conversion rate the Capras went into the sheds with a handy 22 -10. The effort was across the park, with tries from the backline, the forwards and the five eighth Maipele Morseau put the highly fancied Bears well on the back foot.
After halftime the Bears came out firing and scored two quick tries and the conversions put them on level pegging before the Capras regained their first half form and responded with two of their own. The Bears did not give up the fight but the sealer came with a little over 10 to go that put them 12 out and in for some solid defence for the final minutes. Curtis Rowe crossed for the final try for the Bears but it was not enough as the Capras held out everything including the kitchen sink and walked off with two important points.
Next week the Bears face the PNG Hunters who are now sitting in their spot as second on the table and the Capras face up away to the Souths Logan Magpies.
Redcliffe continue winning form in the north
Two tries in the opening six minutes made the game interesting but the quality of the Dolphins shined through as they patiently clawed back the margin and with a 39th minute try grabbed the lead with the successful conversion. Mackay is improving but unfortunately for them it is not yet enough. So after a fast start the Cutters headed into the sheds at half time trailing by 2 points.
Their second half was honest and they are showing the signs that Coach David Simpson is after but after a number of heartbreaks and capitulations he would have hoped for more after hitting the lead in the 62nd minute. It was not to be and the Dolphins scored twice to seal the deal as they left Mackay with the points after a scare.
Next week the Dolphins host the inconsistent and bruised Easts Tigers, the Cutters head down to Piggabeen and the Tweed Heads Seagulls.
PNG Hunters overcome early Devils onslaught.
Norths came into Saturday night’s game in Port Moresby in good form, and a great record against some of the competition’s northern side. They underlined their good start to 2016 with a first half burst that the home side and their fans didn’t see coming, doing what very few teams will likely do at the National Football Stadium.
Norths, who led 16-0 by the 15th minute, will ultimately be disappointed that the 23rd minute try to the PNG Hunters led to fightback that saw their good lead evaporate by half time, but by scoring the first try in the second half they gave themselves every chance of a big upset in PNG.
The class of the Hunters showed though, as three subsequent tries gave them another home win, and they haven’t lost at any of their home ground since Round 17 in 2014. Their reward is sharing top spot with the Blackhawks.
Blackhawks dominant victory over Falcons
The first half certainly put a scare through the Blackhawks as they faced a very determined Falcons who were fearless with the ball in attack and taking advantage of a tailwind kept turning the Blackhawks around and put in two tries to one at the change. The heaped the pressure on and had earned their 10-6 lead by the whistle and headed to the sheds happy with their performance.
They may well have wished they stayed on the field.
The second half began with a bang and by the 42nd minute the lead was gone after a quality finish from Man of the Match Jahrome Hughes, then a couple of minutes later they were suddenly eight points adrift. They kept the pressure on the now shattered Falcons and the last ten minutes saw the final score pushed out as they completed three quick tries including a double to Rhyse Martin. Is it the abundance of NRL experience that lets the Blackhawks finish strong as the players bulldozed their way back to the top of the table?
The Blackhawks finally touchdown in Townsville after their three away game tour of Brisbane and PNG to face the Northern Pride who have found some form of their own. The Falcons face the Jets who went down to Wynnum Manly.
Magpies second half burst sees off Seagulls
Sunday afternoon at Davies Park looked like a tight affair between two sides in a similar position on the ladder, as the first 40 minutes saw a try a piece and a 6-4 lead to the visiting Seagulls.
A try just two minutes after half time to Tweed Heads looked like it would be another disappointing Sunday after for Magpies fans, however 10 minutes later saw a flurry of home tries that saw them overtake the Seagulls, and head for a much needed win.
The 15 minute four try blitz began in the 52nd minute, and once Broncos outside back prospect Marion Seve scored in the 67th minute, Souths Logan had done enough to earn their third win of the year and stay in touch with the top 6.
Pride too good for depleted Tigers
Barlow Park in Cairns is a tough place to win, a full strength Tigers side could not manage it in 2015 and a severely weakened side was always going to struggle in Round 7, eventually going down 30-16.
It only took four minutes for the Pride to open their account as dynamic young halfback Braydon Torpy, Linc Port and Khan Ahwang combined. It was to a regular theme throughout the game, Ahwang accounted for two of the Prides five tries and Torpy was at the heart of much of their attack.
The Pride smothered the Tigers in the opening 30 minutes, denying them position or possession and repeatedly forcing them to drop out from their own line. They scored again in the 16th minute through Javid Bowen to extend their lead to 10-0.
The Tigers responded with tries in the 22nd minute (Ayden Lee) and Whetu Austin in the 38th minute to pull the halftime score to 10-10 but the score did not reflect a half of football that the Pride dominated.
In the second half the Pride returned to the grinding style of play they are famous for and took the game away from the Tigers with tries to Javid Bowen, Ahwang and Tom Hancock. Ahwang chipped in with another 3 conversions and they had amassed 30 points. Their solid defence and a litany of Tigers errors ensured that they would not threaten a comeback like the one they had mounted in the first half.
Brentt Warr got one back for the Tigers in the 73rd minute and Billy Walters landed the conversion to round out the Tigers 16 points but was all a little too late as the Pride, who were clearly the better side on the day ran out 30-16 winners.
Wynnum Seagulls break duck and keep Jets grounded
It was seventh time lucky for Wynnum as the Seagulls won at North Ipswich Reserve for the second year running at the final game of the weekend on Sunday afternoon.
The away side had it under control for most of the game, and they led for most of the game after a 5th minute try, except for a short period 10 minutes from half time when the Jets put back to back tries on the board. The Seagulls try right on half time gave them the advantage back, which they weren’t to lose for the rest of the afternoon.
The win lifts Wynnum off the bottom, but along with the reigning Premiers Ipswich who sit in 11th with just one more win than Wynnum, finals football looks a long way off. But it is still early enough for a long winning run.
|Sunshine Coast Falcons||7||4||0||3||0||-5||8|
|Souths Logan Magpies||7||3||0||4||0||-27||6|
|Tweed Heads Seagulls||6||1||0||5||1||-108||4|
|Wynnum Manly Seagulls||7||1||0||6||0||-113||2|