Burleigh Bears retook the lead of the competition after Intrust Super Cup 7 with a hard-fought win over Wynnum, as last weekend’s leaders dropped to fourth as the Dolphins and Magpies circle around the top of the ladder.
Saturday was a great day for the visitors as the Burleigh Bears, Ipswich Jets and Redcliffe Dolphins all plundered away wins at Wynnum, Sunshine Coast and Mackay respectively.
The remaining game was also technically an away win too, as it featured the Central Capras and the Northern Pride in Emerald. The Capras won, which would be classed as a minor upset, and the game was sealed by Dave Taylor who grew up not far down the road in Blackwater.
Sunday’s action saw Tweed Heads record a second straight win, taking their tally to two for the season and sending Mackay to the bottom of the Intrust Super Cup ladder. Townsville knocked Norths off the top of the table, and got themselves into the Top 6 as a result. Finally, more woes for the PNG Hunters as the Souths Logan Magpies came away from Port Moresby with a win.
Onwards then to the Best of the Weekend with the Intrust Super Round 7 review.’
BURLEIGH BEARS BACK AT THE TOP
The Burleigh Bears are back on top of the Intrust Super Cup ladder after a hard-fought win over a Wynnum Seagulls side that made them work hard for the two competition points.
Wynnum were the only scorers in the first half, scoring two tries and leading 12-0 at the break, but there was the feeling that there was more to come from the Bears in the second half, despite missing their star halfback Jamal Fogarty, and Kurtis Rowe and Brenko Lee. Wynnum on the other hand had experienced Intrust competition campaigner Shaun Nona return to the side at five eighth.
Despite missing their star half, what Burleigh did still have, was a bustling forward pack, and the Bears powered on in the second on the back of their big men and the scheming Man of the Match hooker Pat Politoni. The forward pack featuring a returning Ben Hannant, making his second appearance since a making a surprise return to rugby league a few weeks ago with Burleigh.
In all, Burleigh scored five unanswered second half tries, the first just three minutes after the break, and the last to Sami Sauiluma in the 73rd minute after some fine work from big man Josh Ailaomai. Wynnum did score again in the 77th minute, but it was too late by then as the home side had let a good winning position go begging. The loss now sees them in the bottom four. The TV game did provide a great opportunity to see one of the Broncos next big things in Payne Haas run around, the youngster shows plenty of potential, and will surely get a crack at the NRL during Origin.
DAVE TAYLOR SEALS WIN FOR CAPRAS IN EMERALD
Dave “Coal Train” Taylor scored his second try in two weeks for the Capras, but this weekend’s four pointer was the more significant, as it sealed a great win for the Capras over the Northern Pride in the game played at Emerald. Emerald being not far away from where Taylor grew up in Blackwater.
His 78th minute try was only the third in the game in a low scoring affair which saw the Capras score the only points of the first half and lead 6-0.
It took until the 58th minute for the Pride to even up the scoreboard, and as a tense final part of the match played out the sides traded a penalty goal each, and that deadlock was broken by the Capras in the 74th minute by a field goal to fullback Zeik Foster. The Dave Taylor try sealing the result a few minutes later.
Both teams are now on 6 points from 3 wins and 4 losses after Intrust Super Cup Round7. That could be seen as good progress for the Capras, who are unlucky not to have a few more wins from 2018. For the Pride the result added to a losing run that has now reached 3, a same after a strong start to the season with 3 wins in 4.
FALCONS HOME TROUBLES CONTINUE AS JETS STEAL WIN
Not for the first time in 2018, the Sunshine Coast Falcons have suffered a close loss after their visitors stole the game with a late score. Last weekend it was the Blackhawks with a late try after the Falcons gave away a penalty in attack in the dying stages, and Saturday’s pain was caused by a 77th minute field goal.
The 2017 runners-up have only beaten their Grand Final conquerors PNG Hunters at home so far in 2018, with a pair of away wins keeping them in the gaggle of teams on 6 points, but outside the Top 6.
They did lead early on in the match courtesy of a try and penalty goal, but were overhauled by Ipswich, who scored twice with two converted tries and an added penalty goal. The Jets led 14-8 at the break.
The Falcon’s second try of the game came not long after the half-time break, but the Falcons failed to convert, as they did when they scored again in the 57th minute to take the lead 16-14, and in the end that was one of the major differences between the sides, as the Jets managed to convert both of their tries, where the Falcons Matt Soper-Lawler only converted 1/3. Penalties also help, and the Jets got a second one in the 66th minute to level the scores, which then became a win for the Jets when Sam Caslick slotted the 77th minute field goal.
Worries for Ipswich with Michael Purcell nursing an injured arm after the game. One less worry for the Falcons was Cooper Johns, son of Matty, who seems to be adapting well to the Intrust Super Cup.
SHAUN FENSOM RETURNS TO ACTION AS BLACKHAWKS RETURN TO TOP 6
Cowboys forward Shaun Fensom played his first competitive game since his horror injury in the 2017 NRL Grand Final, coming off the bench for Townsville in the weekend’s final clash between the Blackhawks and the competition leading Norths Devils. With an injury to John Asiata in the Cowboys win over the Titans, perhaps his NRL return could be quickly than probably first imagined.
After a slow start to 2018, the Blackhawks are now building some momentum with three straight wins, this victory over the Devils saw them creep into the Top 6, leading the two teams on 8 points with their superior for and against.
There wasn’t much in the game, as you expect for a game with two in form sides, early on Townsville skipped out to a 16-6 lead by the 23rd minute, which had already seen a double for Jonathon Reuben. One of the Intrust Super Cup’s fastest men was given more room at fullback, a worry for defences around the competition. But Norths scored before half time to make it an eight point game at the break, and a further try after the interval saw the gap at just two points. Anyone’s game.
In the end it was Townsville’s game as the Blackhawks responded with two quick tries in three minutes to bounce out to a 30-16 scoreline which remained until full-time. Not a great result for Norths who drop from first to fourth on the ladder, but a decent performance against a powerhouse side at home.
Redcliffe continued their winning ways in Mackay with a 38-10 win that looks big on paper, but in reality the scoreline blew out a little with 3 tries from 65th minute from the Dolphins which included a double for part-time Bronco Jonus Pearson, and a debut try in his second game for Trai Fuller. The Dolphins led just 12-6 at the break, and although they kicked on with a try and a penalty after the break, when the Cutters scored in the 53rd minute it was still only 20-10 and plenty of time for a full comeback. The previously mentioned late second half burst confirmed the win. Worth mentioning is the goal kicking a 2018 discovery Kotoni Staggs, who has been deadly accurate for the Dolphins a good thing considering a few games are decided by the two pointers.
Tweed Heads made it two wins on the trot, as they beat the Easts Tigers reasonably comfortably at Piggabeen. The scoreline could have been much worse for the Tigers as Tweed Heads failed to convert any of their first four tries, by which stage it was 16-0 after 52 minutes. Easts eventually scored in the 61st minutes, and it remained a reachable 10 point margin until Tweed Heads scored their final try with three minutes to go. Easts got themselves a try right on full-time to minimise the damage. As a consequence of the match Easts drop out of the Top 6, Tweed Heads are off the bottom of the ladder.
2017 Premiers PNG Hunters continue a trend for struggling reigning premiers in the intrust Super Cup, as they suffered their first home defeat of the season to the in form Souths Logan Magpies, who now lie third on the Intrust Super Cup ladder. The Hunters started off brightly enough, like last weekend at Redcliffe, with tries to new fullback Edene Gebbie and fan favourite Willie Minoga seeing the Hunters leading 12-6 after 20 minutes. It was as good as the afternoon got for the home side, as Souths Logan halfback Sam Scarlett evened things up on 30 minutes, to see the game locked at half time. The second half produced only a penalty and a late 77th minute try, and both went to the Magpies. With the Hunters underwhelming away form, they really need the home wins, and although losing to Souths Logan is no shame, they can’t afford too many more losses at home without fixing their away form with their rebuilding squad.
INTRUST SUPER CUP ROUND 7 RESULTS
Wynnum Seagulls 16 BURLEIGH BEARS 28
Sunshine Coast Falcons 16 IPSWICH JETS 17
Mackay Cutters 10 REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS 38
CENTRAL CAPRAS 15 Northern Pride 8
TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 24 Easts Tigers 12
PNG Hunters 12 SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES 20
TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS 30 Norths Devils 16