Normal transmission resumed for most of the top sides in this season’s competition, as only the Easts Tigers were beaten of the top 5 that started Round 13, and the Tigers drop from second to fifth in one week highlight just how close it is at the top.
The battle isn’t bad just below these top sides with 5 sides on 12 points from 7th to 11th, and in between the top 5 and the 12 point gang are the Sunshine Coast Falcons who had skipped ahead slightly in the battle for the last finals spot after breaking Wynnum’s run of five straight wins.
The competition saw its fourth draw of the season already, and for one of those sides – Souths Logan Magpies – it was their second draw of the year. Not that there’s anything wrong with a draw.
On then to the match by match review of Round 12 in the Intrust Super Cup.
RESULTS AT A GLANCE
Wynnum Seagulls 10 SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS 16
PNG HUNTERS 22 Northern Pride 6
TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS 32 Norths Devils 12
REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS 40 Central Capras 4
BURLEIGH BEARS 20 Easts Tigers 12
Souths Logan Magpies 18 drew Mackay Cutters 18
Ipswich Jets 12 TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 22
NO SIX PACK FOR WYNNUM AS SUNSHINE COAST TAKE CONTROL OF TOP 6 SPOT
by Shannon Meyer
Given the amount of rain thrown down in South East Queensland on Saturday it was some effort and credit to the staff at BMD Kougari that this games even went ahead.
The home side were looking to continue a great winning sequence by adding a sixth win, this was after they had lost six games in a row to start the year. But it wasn’t to be for the Seagulls as the Sunshine Coast Falcons ground out a low scoring 16-10 win.
Just the one try in the first half went to the Falcons’ halfback Ryley Jacks after 23 minutes after Wynnum took the lead initially with a penalty goal. The home side also drew level just five minutes after half time to give themselves every chance of maintaining the golden run, but the visiting Falcons scored the next two tries, and by the time Wynnum scored in the 79th minute it was too late.
Wynnum could have overtaken the Sunshine Coast with a win, however they are now three points behind them as Falcons enjoy the last of the finals berths in sixth.
HUNTERS WIN ARM WRESTLE WITH PRIDE
by Dan White
The toughest road trip in Australian sports got off to a surprise start as Sheldon Powe-Hobbs crossed after on seven minutes to stun the strong local crowd in Port Moresby. Whilst the Pride had not been showing much form or luck on the previous two games, they certainly surprised the locals with a great (and very close) try right near the posts.
They then let in a strong run after falling of Adam Korave twice in 5 metres to even up the scores with both kickers on target. After a frantic opening 10 minutes, it settled down to an arm wrestle for the rest of the first half as neither side bothered the scorers.
The second half has let the Pride down several times this season and it did once again as the Hunters played some sublime football to ultimately secure the points. The first try in the half came from a great cut out pass that put Kimisive over in the corner, and the second scored by Teteh came of a pass that would have split most defences. The sealer came in the 74th minute from Puara and one of the few teams with success in PNG would leave without the points.
Next week the Hunters remain at home against Souths Logan and the Pride host the SC Falcons who come in off their win over Wynnum Manly.
BOWEN BRILLIANCE GUIDES BLACKHAWKS TO VICTORY
by Dan White
Matty Bowen’s second outing for the Blackhawks brought the success expected that one of the cleverest football players who has played at the highest level will bring. The skills on display, his ability to take it to the line and will bring this in every game in which he is played. Kicking a couple of conversions also did not harm his cause.
The Devils were on a hiding to nothing when they came north to face the Blackhawks, even with Ray Thompson staying up with the Cowboys, they were facing up to a side that could probably give the Knights a run for their money in the NRL. However, they did not leave Jack Manski oval without putting in a couple of tries and holding out the Blackhawks for the last 20 minutes of the match.
The Blackhawks are a very consistent side. Three tries in each half and a low error count secured the win and whilst Bowen is an advantage, it will be interesting to see the shuffle when Thompson returns. He is a bit slower but his experience more than compensates for the lack of speed. The team may lose a few more players over the Origin period, and some of the teams down south may be looking to rotate their rosters as they give up on 2016 and look to their future.
Scorers in this match were Reuben, Santi and brand new father Ant Mitchell in the first half for the Blackhawks with Brittain scoring for the Devils. Bowen, Maafu and Jensen crossed for Townsville in the second half whilst Faamita got a late try for the tourists.
Norths head home to face the Ipswich Jets who have still not found what they need this year. The Blackhawks head down to the Redcliffe Dolphins who smashed the Capras. It would have been hard to decide which game between this clash and the Bears against Wynnum Manly who have also shown some nice form for the TV slot as both clashes should be excellent.
‘PHINS PROVE TOO STRONG FOR CAPRAS
by Dan White
A three try to none opening half all but sealed this game as the Dolphins tuned up their excellent offence against the Capras. The Capras had 50 points put on them the week before and it was not looking good for their defence as the Dolphins continually placed them under pressure. Ahearn and Bridge were both in within ten minutes and whilst the Capras muscled up to stop the avalanche it was not enough as Strasser crossed with 6 to go.
The second half opened up well with the visitors scoring in the first set after the kick-off, but it was definitely not their day as the Dolphins proceeded to run in four more tries in the second stanza. Strasser completed his double and Pearson, Opacic, and Johnston all troubled the scores in what the Dolphins will hope was a nice tune up before they take on the top of the table Blackhawks next week. The Capras head home to face the Cutters and will be welcoming the home game after two on the road.
BURLEIGH HOLD OFF EASTS IN FINALS QUALITY FOOTY
by Matt Crowhurst
Round 13 could have been an audition for finals football as top three (going into the round) teams the Burleigh Bears and the Easts Tigers squared off on a beautiful Sunday afternoon at Pizzey Park.
In the end both sides will be glad it was not finals football as neither produced the type of football you want to be playing in September. The Tigers were horrible, the Bears were better and that’s why they got the win 20-12.
The Bears opened the scoring in the 7th minute when Sami Sauiluma pushed past a couple of defenders to score the opening try. Easts hit back with some razzle dazzle shortly after as Dane Chang brought down a cross-field kick and got a nice offload away to Shane Neumann to level the scores in the 12th minute. Burleigh then hit back in the 24th minute when Cameron Cullen busted several attempted tackles before getting the ball to Sauiluma who crossed for his second.
A penalty goal in front then allowed Burleigh to extend their lead to 14-6 at the break.
Defence was to the fore in the opening 20 minutes of the second half as both teams worked hard, but neither side could find a way through the other’s defence.
It took a skilful kick from Billy Walters to break things open, as the ball hit the post and bounced back for the chasing Brodie Croft, cutting the margin down to just two. That try gave Easts a big lift in confidence, but the Bears shut it down shortly after when Luke Page came up with the play of the game. The big front rower lined up for another charge, but stepped his way through the front line, accelerated through the gap into the backfield, then ran over the fullback to score next to the posts.
That try was ultimately the winning play as the Bears defence muscled up superbly in the final 15-minutes, giving Easts no chance to make a late play for victory.
For the Bears Jamal Fogerty and Luke Page were superb while for the Tigers Billy Walters and Shane Neumann never stopped trying. The best thing the Tigers can take out of the game is that they will not play that badly again in 2016 and now they have that performance out of their system.
Next weekend Burleigh return to Pizzey Park on Sunday at 1.40pm to take on the Wynnum Manly Seagulls in the TV game, while Easts will host Tweed Heads at Suzuki Stadium at 5pm on Saturday.
MAGPIES AND CUTTERS SHARE SPOILS
by Dan White
The hosts came in off a six-point win over the Pride in Cairns whilst the inconsistent Cutters faced up after the bye secured their second points of the season. And the Cutters would have not expected to give away a try within minutes of the kick-off as Scarlett scooted through a hole that should not have been there to open up the scoring. The Cutters hit back with a try of their own also through a hole that was not expected as Liam Taylor scored. They then extended their lead as Uele crossed with six to go. Taylor converted this one and the lead was 8.
The second half opened up as most Cutters games have gone so far this year, Edwards and Scarlett both crossed for the Magpies and it was only poor kicking that gave the Magpies a 2-point lead despite having the extra try on the board. It was important as Kepa posted the Cutters third try which was again converted by Taylor that gave the Cutters a 4-point lead with less than 8 on the clock and put the pressure back on the Flacons as time ticked away. Dan Tamou levelled the scores as he went in off a disjointed play and as the clock wound down the conversion was missed with nothing between the two teams.
With Souths second draw of the season they will head up to PNG to face the Hunters and the Cutters face their local opponent when they travel down to face the Capras and their old coach at Browne Park. The first time they faced up this season, the Capras took the points in Mackay, will the Cutters return the favour.
HOME GROUND SWITHCEROO NO ISSUE FOR SEAGULLS
by Shannon Meyer
The big wet on Saturday forced a late change of venue as the Seagull’s home game was switched to North Ipswich Reserve, but it did no harm to the Tweed Heads side and the finals hope as they defeated the reigning premiers reasonably comfortably.
The Jets came into the weekend on a high after turning around some below par results against the PNG Hunters last weekend, but their 15th minute try was their only highlight for the first 40 minutes as the Seagulls compiled four tries to one to lead 22-6 at half time after taking the early lead in the 5th minute.
A try with just over ten minutes to go to Jet’s flyer Carlin Anderson gave enough time for Ipswich to mount a comeback, but it was ultimately just a consolation. A thought on Carlin Anderson given Lachlan Maranta’s underwhelming performance for the Broncos in New Zealand, Wayne Bennett could do a lot worse than reach down to another Intrust Super Cup side for help at Origin time.
Tweed Heads have a hard task to double up next weekend as they travel to the Easts Tigers. Ipswich have a trip to Bishop Park to get their season back on track or give it CPR.
|Sunshine Coast Falcons||12||6||1||5||1||237||232||5||15|
|Wynnum Manly Seagulls||12||5||0||7||1||302||311||-9||12|
|Souths Logan Magpies||13||5||2||6||0||317||334||-17||12|
|Tweed Heads Seagulls||12||5||0||7||1||243||330||-87||12|