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Intrust Super Cup: Round 9 review

INTRUST SUPER CUP REVIEW ROUND 8

This weekend’s promised plenty with all the top 4 sides playing each other, and it delivered on that promise with nothing separating Burleigh and Townsville on the Gold Coast and just 4 points the difference in Port Moresby as the Hunters saw off Redcliffe.

Commentators suggested the game at Pizzey Park could be a Grands Final preview, and although it is hard to argue based on Sunday’s game, Redcliffe, Hunters and Easts Tigers amongst many would be keen to prove that wrong.

The Tigers looked to be on the wrong end of an upset against Souths Logan, but prevailed to stay in touch with the top 4 sides.

Around the rest of the competition a first win for Mackay on Friday night relieved some pressure, and Wynnum doubled up on their only win of the season last round by beating the Pride in Cairns. Finally the Sunshine Coast and Tweed Heads both scored large home wins, both keeping their opposition to just four points.

RESULTS AT A GLANCE

MACKAY CUTTERS 38 Ipswich Jets 36
TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 38 Central Capras 4
BURLEIGH BEARS 28 TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS 28
Northern Pride 6 WYNNUM SEAGULLS 34
SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS 28 Norths Devils 4
EASTS TIGERS 38 Souths Logan 32
PNG HUNTERS 22 Redcliffe Dolphins 18

CUTTERS OFF THE MARK AGAINST DEFENDING CHAMPS

Mackay headed into the game, winless at the base of the table and facing last year’s Premiers. The Jets, a shadow of last seasons’ team had won three but have yet to convince anyone with their form so far this year.

The longest name in League crossed for the Cutters after only three minutes as Leonati Feiloakitau-Fetuani, gave the locals the start that they needed. In a well-balanced first half it was 3 tries to the locals and four to the Jets with the boot of Haydan Lipp proving the difference as the visitors headed into the sheds leading 24-16 at the half.

The Cutters have been showing signs of improvement as the season progresses and this improvement was on display as they took the game to the Jets in the second half. Four tries in twenty minutes put them in front and it took a try in the 70th minute to level up the scores at 36 apiece. A penalty was the difference as Liam Taylor calmly slotted what was to be the 77th minute winner that gave the Cutters their first win of the season.

 

TWEED SMASH DISAPPOINTING CAPRAS

The Capras up and down start to the season saw them head into this match as slight favourites over the Seagulls but it was like they were still on the plane as the first two tries were run in before they had landed at Piggabeen. A morale booster was run in late in the first half and the teams headed to the sheds with the Seagulls up 12-4 at the half.

The half time break must have included a snooze for the Capras as they came out sluggish and were unable to mount a defence let alone some offence as the Seagulls ran rampant. Five tries including a double to David Sheridan gave the Seagulls their third win of the season as they dominated the lacklustre Capras who were held scoreless in the second half.

 

BEARS AND BLACKHAWKS SPLIT THE POINTS 

 

In a tough game both teams took the lead on a number of occasions only to have the kissing your sister result of a draw. Both sides had the opportunity to put the game away but with every tight game, there are god reasons why both these teams are at the top section of the table as we headed into the Representative Weekend.

The Blackhawks had put two tries on the board before the bears arose from their slumber and they then put two of their own on and were looking quite good to head into the sheds with that lead, when some a kick through was pounced on by the Blackhawks defence and seven seconds later Jonathon Reuben placed the ball down the other end of the field to give the visitors a half time lead of 16-12.

The second half opened with Reuben finishing off one of the nicest tries seen on the field for a long time. Off a break the ball changed hands a number of times as the Blackhawks rolled it up the field with a great finish. Bears tries to Lynch and Wanahi tied up the game and we were set for a dynamite finish with 20 to go and the Bears up by 2 points thanks to the boot of Fogarty.

The Blackhawks silenced the local crowd with a converted try with 12 to go only to have them back roaring with a quick but unconverted response with just 8 left on the clock. Tied scores sent the match into a tough to-and fro as both sides looked to get the separator but it was to no avail as the game ended as it began, with nothing separating the two teams.

 

SEAGULLS OUTCLASS PRIDE

Wynnum Manly came in fresh off the bye against the Pride who had returned after a tough game in Townsville, but it was the locals who scored first through Cowboys player Javid Bowen. But that was the end of the good news for the local lads.

Wynnum Manly put on a display of solid controlling defence and strong attack that took advantage of some poor tackling with the ball being able to be offloaded with relative ease by the Seagulls as they put on 16 straight points to head into the shed ten up at the half.

The second half was a nightmare for the listless locals who failed to trouble the defence or the scorers whilst they continued their poor form from earlier in the season. Three converted tries from the visitors put the game to bed as the Seagulls made easy pickings of the disappointing Pride.

 

DEVILS PEAK EARLY AS FALCONS REDISCOVER HOME FORM

When the Devils scored in the first minute of the game on the Sunshine Coast it looked like the Falcons poor consecutive run of home games would continue, and Norths excellent record on the road to northern Queensland sides would continue. Although the Sunshine Coast’s home losses have been against top sides Townsville and Redcliffe, and their last home match was in Hervey Bay.

The Sunshine Coast managed to score before the half ended, and never looked back as they turned a 6 – 4 half time lead into a comfortable 28-4 win in the end with four second half tries, featuring a double to fullback Eddie Tautali.

For a side that won just once in 2014, the current position in 2016 of 5 wins and 4 losses shows real progress as the relationship with Melbourne is starting to bear fruit, and a potential finals series looks a real possibility.

 

REPORT: EASTS TIGERS 38 Souths Logan 32

 

ANOTHER CLOSE ONE BUT HUNTERS CONTINUE HOLD OVER DOLPHINS

The other top 4 clash of the weekend was between the Hunters and Dolphins in Port Moresby, and like all the clashes between these two sides it was a fought affair in which there was not much between the two sides.

Redcliffe were the Hunters’ first opponents on their debut in 2014 and have yet to lose the Dolphins, but with Redcliffe looking stronger than at any point since 2014 it loomed as a big game for the top of the Intrust Super Cup.

The PNG side, possibly riding on a high of filling 10 of the PNG Kumuls squad spots for the upcoming Pacific Tests, were in control for most of the game taking the lead in the 4th minute and not going behind in the remaining minutes. Redcliffe did draw level after 20 minutes and the game was deadlocked until the Hunters scored two quick tries in the 50th and 54th minute, but Redcliffe could not break their Hunters hoodoo despite getting within 4 points with a late 77th minute try.

 

 

The Ladder

Townsville Blackhawks 9 7 1 1 0 150 15
PNG Hunters 9 7 0 2 0 59 14
Burleigh Bears 9 6 1 2 0 50 13
Redcliffe Dolphins 8 5 0 3 1 58 12
Easts Tigers 9 5 1 3 0 40 11
Northern Pride 8 4 0 4 1 34 10
Sunshine Coast Falcons 9 5 0 4 0 5 10
CQ Capras 8 4 0 4 1 -37 10
Norths Devils 8 3 1 4 1 -42 9
Tweed Heads Seagulls 8 3 0 5 1 -61 8
Ipswich Jets 9 3 0 6 0 -23 6
Souths Logan Magpies 9 3 0 6 0 -45 6
Wynnum Manly Seagulls 8 2 0 6 1 -85 6
Mackay Cutters 9 1 0 8 0 -103 2

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