Intrust Super Cup Round 20 has been completed, and it wasn’t a good one for the top Six going into the weekend. Except for the table topping Townsville Blackhawks that is.
Behind the Blackhawks, the rest of the top six were beaten this weekend, all of them losing ground to Townsville, and some of them dropping out of the top six all together.
Those teams chasing the few remaining finals spots all did what they needed, including Wynnum down in 12th, who are the last of the teams who can realistically make the finals.
Onwards then to the best of Intrust Super Cup Round 20.
TOWNSVILLE CLEAR AT THE TOP – SPOIL PHIL DENNIS’ PARTY
After swapping the lead of the Intrust Super Cup with Burleigh and Redcliffe for a few weeks now, Townsville have a two point buffer to Redcliffe and a further two to Burleigh now, with a massive advantage in points difference over their competitors,
They didn’t get it as easy as their 13 try, 50 point win against Tweed Heads last weekend at Davies Park on Sunday scoring just three tries to one to eventually overcome the Magpies. Townsville led by just 6-4 at half time. and the scores were tied not long after the break courtesy of a Magpies penalty goal. But Townsville scored in the 56th and 74th minutes to seal the win and outright competition lead.
With a just four weeks left, Townsville look hard to beat for the minor premiership. Souths Logan on the other hand slipped to their sixth loss in seven games, and they have finally fallen out of the top six. No way to celebrate Magpies stalwart Phil Dennis breaking the all time games record of the Intrust Super Cup.
ALL CHANGE IN THE MIDFIELD – TIGERS POUNCE, FALCONS SWOOP
Some of the teams chasing the top six have become a top six side after the completion of Intrust Super Cup Round 20 saw all but one of the top six lose.
The most impressive of all of these teams were the Easts Tigers who continued their good record at Bishop Park with a nine try to three victory over the previously fifth placed Norths Devils, It was only 16-8 to Easts at half time, but they blew the Devils away in the second half laying on six tries to one to run out 46-12 winners. Fullback Scott Drinkwater grabbed a hat trick of tries and Billy Walters a double. Easts, with their quality line up and recent form could be a very dangerous team to face in the finals if they can maintain the spot.
Also securing a victory to see them jump into the top six was the Sunshine Coast Falcons, who snuck home against the Northern Pride in Hervey Bay on Saturday evening. In the end it was a Ryley Jacks field goal that separated the two sides in the 74th minute, but not after the Northern Pride had led 10-0 at half time thanks to a try and two penalties. It took until the 68th minute for the Falcons to draw level, after the Pride skipped further ahead in the 57th minute responding to the Falcons’ first try just after half time. The Pride hang onto fourth place, but there are four teams just two points away and another three just a win behind those.
JETS AND SEAGULLS KEEP IN THE FINALS RACE FOR NOW
Ipswich Jets, and both Seagulls teams keep themselves in the hunt for finals spots with wins this weekend, mathematically that is, with a winning run and a range of other results required combined with an improvement needed in for and against before getting too excited.
Ipswich’s win was the most impressive, beating the Redcliffe Dolphins with a last minute field goal to back up hooker Sam Caslick with a minute to go breaking the 14-14 deadlock. It was the only point scored by the Jets that wasn’t scored by Marmin Barba who crossed for two tries and kicked a conversion and two penalties. Redcliffe had led at half time 14-10, but there was just one try in the second half – Barba’s second try which locked things up in the 71st minute. Ipswich are down in 10th but within two points of fifth. Redcliffe fell two points behind Townsville but are still two in front of Burleigh in third.
Wynnum got just their second home win of the season against the Capras on Saturday, and have now won three of their last four games to stay mathematically in the race for finals. They led all the way against Central, scoring three tries in both halves and led 17-10 at half time. If they win every game from here it will still only be as many points as fourth placed Northern Pride have now, but will need results and luck. The Capras probably need one more win to guarantee they won’t finish last this season.
The second Seagulls side got back into winning form after being thrashed by 50 points last weekend. It was a game in which Tweed Heads scored first after just one minute, but then the lead changed four times in just the first 40 minutes. The Seagulls eventually leading Mackay 18-14 at the break. Tweed Heads skipped further head in the 54th minute, and held on for a win despite the Capras scoring in the 61st and 71st minute. Tweed Heads are only two points from the top six, but their -151 points difference will likely count against them.
HUNTERS KEEPING FINALS DREAM ALIVE
The PNG Hunters title defence continues with a great win over the Burleigh Bears in Port Moresby. Following on from the excellent win over the Norths Devils in Lae last weekend. That makes it three wins over top six sides in consecutive weeks.
Burleigh looked like they were going to spoil after going into the break leading 10-6 after their speedy winger Troy Leo had wrapped up a first half double. But that was all the scoring Burleigh were doing, as the Hunters scored three tries to nil in the second half to wrap up a vital two points which keeps them in the finals race. Both hookers Charlies Simon and Wartovo Puara scored, as did the experienced Thompson Teteh and Adex Wera in the centres.
This all means that the Hunters sit seventh on the same points as fifth placed Easts Tigers, and their 10 point win saw their for and against creep into the positive for the first time in a long time this season. The home record is improving, but it is the upcoming away fixtures that will determine finals football. Happily they are hitting some good form, and they are yet to lose at next weekend’s venue – Davies Park. It seems like a few additions of experience along with a slight tweak in positions has made some difference to the reigning premiers. Just in time.
INTRUST SUPER CUP ROUND 20 SCORES
Redcliffe Dophins 14 IPSWICH JETS 15
WYNNUM SEAGULLS 33 Central Capras 16
SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS 15 Northern Pride 14
TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 24 Mackay Cutters 22
PNG HUNTERS 20 Burleigh Bears 10
Souths Logan Magpies 6 TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS 16
Norths Devils 12 EASTS TIGERS 46