The already tight battle at the top of the Intrust Super Cup became even tighter after the completion of Round 14 as the Redcliffe Dolphins win over Townsville leaves the top 5 sides separated by just 2 points.
Burleigh joined the Blackhawks on 21 points after they took care of Wynnum in the TV game. 1 point further back are Redcliffe and the PNG Hunters who just overcame the Magpies in Port Moresby. Another point back are the Easts Tigers who reversed the Round 1 defeat by the Tweed Seagulls at Suzuki Stadium. Townsville and Burleigh are in the box seat though with a bye still to come.
Further down and the race for what seems at the moment as the final finals position is even more open, with sixth place currently belonging to the Sunshine Coast Falcons on six wins, and even the second last placed Ipswich Jets on five wins could be considered still a chance as they are yet to get their two bonus points from a bye.
Find out more with the match by match review of Round 14 in the Intrust Super Cup.
RESULTS AT A GLANCE
Norths Devils 14 IPSWICH JETS 16
EASTS TIGERS 28 Tweed Heads Seagulls 10
CENTRAL CAPRAS 24 Mackay Cutters 20
PNG HUNTERS 22 Souths Logan Magpies 20
BURLEIGH BEARS 32 Wynnum Seagulls 16
REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS 18 Townsville Blackhawks 16
NORTHERN PRIDE 32 Sunshine Coast Falcons 12
VITAL WIN COMES AT COST FOR THE JETS
Ipswich were the only team in Round 14 to buck the trend of home wins, and it was a vital win for the premiers who remained in second last, but caught up to the teams above to keep their finals hopes alive.
But the win came at a cost as their speedster, and fringe Broncos player, Carlin Anderson was taken to hospital with a jaw injury just before half time. A real shame for the Ipswich side, but the silver lining is that Michael Purcell, who has featured for Ipswich at times in 2016, scored his second bag of five tries in two games in the BRL competition this weekend. Pretty handy try scoring form to have as a back up.
Ipswich overturned a 8-2 half time deficit, and kicked ahead from the deadlocked 14-14 score line with a penalty goal with 12 minutes to go. It was enough to gain the two points and provide some reward at losing one of their big names.
TIGERS OWN TWEED
In the opening round of the 2016 Intrust Super Cup the Tweed Head Seagulls scored a come from behind 28-24 win over the Easts Tigers after they trailed for much of the game. In the run up to the Round 14 rematch coach Scott Sipple made sure his charges remembered round one and knew they ‘owed Tweed’.
The Tigers opened the game on the attack spinning the kick return wide and putting the Tweed defence under early pressure. The Tweed defence spilled the Brodie Croft kick, the Tigers swooped on the loose ball, spun it wide again and scored in the opposite corner. The pattern was repeated 17 minute later for Dean Britt to score. Guy Hamilton converted and the Tigers had raced to a 10-0 lead after 20 minutes.
The Tigers scored two more first half tries to Young Tonumaipea (in 19th minute) from a Tom Butterfield grubber and Dane Chang (in the 26th minute) which was the result of some more lovely ball movement.
Tweed coach Aaron Zimmerles half time message to his team was that they needed to stand up together and not be pushed around by a top six side and they responded is style. Leva Li grabbed a 41st minute intercept and scooted 55m to score and Doug Hewitt converted to give Tweed early hope.
They were certainly a different team in the second spell with their forward pack, led by Matt Robinson and Matt Hundy making big inroads. The line speed in defence was also markedly better than in the first half and it appeared another comeback might be on the cards. Unfortunately it was to be another twenty minutes before they would score again. When they did, with Shannon Walker pouncing on a kick the defence completely missed, it would be the last time they were to trouble the scorer for the night.
The Tigers were not done though with returning fullback Javarn White showing exactly what the Tigers have been missing is his absence. A big run from Matt Zgrajewski got the defence rolling back and a snappy Tom Butterfield grubber in goal caught them napping. White showed plenty of experience to be awake to the kick. He was at it again six minutes later when Leon Ellia-Niukore made a scything break down the grandstand touchline and cleverly kicked for the corner, the ball somehow rolled parallel to the touchline long enough for White to fall on it and score. Brentt Warr added the conversion and the final score was 28-10.
Tom Butterfield and Jake Butterfield were amongst on the night, both were prominent in attack and constantly asked questions of the Tweed defence.
The Tigers head to the Sunshine Coast stadium next Saturday for a clash with the Falcons while the Seagulls head home but for an even tougher assignment, the high flying Burleigh Bears.
CAPRAS BOUNCE BACK TO BEAT NORTHERN RIVALS
Coming off back to back Brisbane based losses, the Capras were finally home and facing up to their local opponents and the team they vanquished on the first round the Cutters. The Cutters have been on the wrong side of some score-lines this season, but their efforts are not to be questioned and their former coach would not have been looking at this game as one already penciled into the books.
The Cutters opened up the scoring with a relatively soft defensive effort from the Capras that seemed to provide a required spark. Liam Taylor’s stroll in after only two minutes was not what the locals wanted, but they did get the reply seven minutes later as Adam Henry grabbed a long cut put ball and touched down in the corner to open up the Capras books.
It was a task he repeated three more times as he clocked up four for the game including the late match winner, but it was not the one sided result expected. Patrick Mago crossed before half time for the Cutters and a late penalty had the score at 16-14 on the whistle for oranges. Joshua Mitchell had posted his own Capras contribution but it was the Henry show with two before and two after the break.
The second half was level pegging at the 49th minute after Liam Taylor remained perfect with the boot for the Cutters, but like most games so far this season it was their opponent that laughed last with Henry’s fourth of the match. Joshua Mitchell will need to gets some extra practice in if they are to continue to score out wide after missing three of five attempts.
Next week see the Capras back down to Brisbane to face the Norths Devils and the Cutters host the Northern Pride in a game that they make surprisingly take the points in.
PNG HUNTERS BREAK MAGPIES HEARTS
The PNG Hunters home record stayed intact after Round 14, but they did it in the most dramatic of styles against the Souths Logan Magpies in Port Moresby on Saturday night.
Souths Logan may well have thought the win was theirs with 5 minutes to go, as they led by eight points, but the Hunters don’t have an unbeaten record in PNG for almost 2 years for no reason, but they left it as late as possible to snatch the win away on Saturday night. Tries in the 75th minute and right on full time to captain Noel Zeming were the match winning plays, but it was a lucky escape as the Magpies were ahead for the majority of the game.
Better goal kicking may have seen the Magpies hold on, as they kicked just 1 from their four conversions in addition to a penalty goal, but will take some heart from being the almost unbeatable Hunters at home. They had scored three tries to one in the first half and led 12-6 at the break.
The Hunters continue to be in the race for top spot, being just one point behind Townsville and Burleigh, but it is arguable if they are playing better than last year.
BURLEIGH DRAW LEVEL WITH TOWNSVILLE AT THE TOP
The Burleigh Bears took advantage of Townsville’s loss at Redcliffe to draw level with the Blackhawks on top of the intrust Super Cup ladder and continued on the great run of form which saw them beat all but one of the other top 6 sides over the last two months.
Whilst the first round win at BMD Kougari may have come as some surprise, the Bears have since transformed into genuine front runners of the Intrust Super Cup, and the 16 point win over Wynnum does that no harm.
There wasn’t a great deal in the game until the Bears scored in the 64th minute, as Burleigh and Wynnum exchanged tries after the Bears opened the scoring in the 13th minute and led 14-6 at half time. Two late tries extended the score line in Burleigh’s favour and moved them into a share of the competition lead.
Wynnum’s season has been about runs, they started the season with 6 straight losses and then followed that with 5 straight wins. Their current run is now 2 losses and the momentum they built after the horror start is starting to slip away.
‘PHINS EDGE OUT BLACKHAWKS
The Blackhawks headed into Redcliffe with Matty Bowen now a permanent fixture as fullback. But three games in and it is clear that the responsibilities and connections are not quite there. Facing up to the Dolphins, who have been improving since the bye in round 4. The score-line when they faced up for round one was an 18-16 victory to the Blackhawks at home after the Dolphins led at half time. Just some interesting number to consider as this game developed.
The Blackhawks have been a team that scores inside the first 15 minutes of a game in all but one contest so far this season and Kaifoto maintained this when he crossed at the 14-minute mark. Hughes and Murgha also entered the books as the Blackhawks opened up a 16 – 0 half time score. With what happened next, they would regret the whistle blowing, that’s for sure.
Jack Ahearn opened up the second half with a Dolphins try, and 16 minutes into the half the scores were tied up at 16 all after Opacic and Randall also crossed for the locals. Whilst the Blackhawks had a lot of possession, they were missing calls and struggling to combine in attack or defence. An accidental offside from a spilled bomb gave Nicholls a chance to take the lead and the Dolphins Halfback was on the money as he took it out to an 18-16 lead for the home side. The Blackhawks had a mountain of possession for the final 10 minutes but the hands and combinations were not there as the Dolphins held out for an important victory. They now sit just one behind on the table and have earned their weekend off with their upcoming bye. The Blackhawks will be hosting the Jets, who come in with a win over the Devils.
PRIDE BREAK LOSING STREAK AGAINST FALCONS
The Pride came in with four losses in a row and returned home from PNG after a tough game against the Hunters. The Falcons took care of Wynnum Manly and headed north with confidence. In the round 1 clash, the Falcons scraped home one-point victors and were three points above the Pride on the table before the game started.
Justin Castellaro decided to start the game with a bang as the Pride winger crossed twice before the 10 minute marks and set the Falcons on the back foot early. The second was off an error from a midfield kick that was swooped on and spun left to gift him with a stroll in score. Ahwang then showed some muscle and forced himself over to extend the Prides lead to 18 nil after 24 minutes and that is where we stayed until half time.
Falcons halfback forced himself over five minutes after the break but the Falcons struggled to penetrate a solid defensive effort from the Pride and when Colin Wilkie crossed for the home side, it was all over. Garbage time tries apiece for Nicholls (Falcons) and Hudson (Pride) did nothing for the margins as the Pride finished out as 32 – 12 victors for a very important home victory after two recent local losses.
The Pride head south to Mackay to face the Cutter in a tough game and the Falcons will also have a tough match facing up to the Tigers.
|6||Sunshine Coast Falcons||13||6||1||6||1||249||264||-15||15|
|9||Souths Logan Magpies||14||5||2||7||0||337||356||-19||12|
|10||Wynnum Manly Seagulls||13||5||0||8||1||312||343||-31||12|
|11||Tweed Heads Seagulls||13||5||0||8||1||253||358||-105||12|