Queensland Cup version 2015 kicked off on the weekend with 7 action packed games featuring Grand Final replay revenge, a first up win for the new boys of the competition, a marker thrown down by last year’s newcomers, and a better clue on the prospects of all 14 teams.
The rundown and scores of this weekend’s games are below for your bite sized slice of Queensland Cup Round 1.
WYNNUM SEAGULLS 16 def IPSWICH JETS 14 @ North Ipswich Reserve (H/T Ipsw 10-0)
WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS 18 (Daniel Ogden 2, Patrick Templeman, Brendon Gibb tries; Matthew Seamark goal) def IPSWICH JETS 16 (Wes Conlon, Marmin Barba, Nemani Valekapa tries; Wes Conlon 2 goals)
The curtain was raised on the Queensland Cup at the North Ipswich reserve where two of last year’s top 5 battled in the heat of a Queensland almost summer afternoon.
A surprise inclusion of the Broncos Daniel Vidot gave the game another interesting focal point to go with Chris Walker’s appearance in Jets colours. And it was the Jets who eventually after 30 minutes of scrappy early season football in the hot sun who took the lead through a try to Nemani Valekapa. Excitement machine Marmin Barba added another to make it 10-0 and hand the Jets a confidence boosting 1st game half time lead.
Wynnum scored after half time through Patrick Templeton and occasional Bronco Brendan Gibb scored another to level the game with plenty of time for either side to claim opening points. By this time though, Marmin Barba had left the field with injury, leaving the Jets of some attacking firepower.
The absence of Barba didn’t matter for the next Ipswich try as an intercept from Wes Conlon followed by a 100m dash and a conversion gave Ipswich back the lead 16-10 with 25 minutes to go. The question was now could Ipswich hold on, or would Wynnum inflict more of the pain leftover from last year’s finals series.
A part of the question was answered later when Daniel Odgen scored with 9 minutes to go to and make the score 16-14 after the conversion was missed. Be it nerves or the heat, Ipswich couldn’t close out the game which opened the door for Wynnum to complete the comeback close to fulltime when Odgen caught a cross field kick to score, take the lead for the first time in the match and break the Jets hearts.
TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS 30 def MACKAY CUTTERS 16 @ Jack Manski Oval (H/T TVL 20-6)
TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS 30 (Rhyse Martin 2, Jahrome Hughes, Zac Santo, Kyle Feldt, Michael Parker-Walshe tries; Kyle Feldt 2, Tom Humble goals) def MACKAY CUTTERS 16 (Jordan Pereira, Tyson Martin, Josh Chudleigh tries; Rex Johnson 2 goals)
The new boys of the competition arrived with a side containing plenty of ex NRL, Cowboys and local talent and a valuable first up win on Saturday afternoon against their fellow Cowboys feeder side Mackay.
Before the kick off, on paper it looked like Townsville had more than enough to start the season off with a win, and although this proved to be the case on paper, the match was the kind of workout they’d expected and will continue to get in the Queensland Cup competition each week.
The first part of the first half in which Mackay pressed Townsville hard, was an example of this kind of toughness that will be required by the new side, and they soaked that up and put on their first try in the competition through Jahrome Hughes. Another followed through Rhyse Martin, whose brother was playing for Mackay, to give the Blackhawks a 12-0 lead.
This opened up Mackay who conceded two tries to two Cowboys players Zac Santo and Kyle Feldt and give Townsville a 20-0 lead and looking the goods to get their first up win. Tyson Martin, not to be outdone by his brother scored for Mackay, and gave the Cutters a little sniff of a comeback going into the second half going into the break at 20-6.
First points in the second half went to Townsville and their halfback Michael Parker-Walshe and a 24-6 lead still looked enough as the heat and errors set in. A try to Josh Chudleigh reducing the gap to 12 points may have given the home side a scare with 25 minutes to go, but the battle of the brother Martin came down in Ryhse’s and ultimately Townsville’s favour as he completed a double towards the end of the second half.
A late consolation try to Mackay courtesy of Jordan Pereira gave the Cutters a little more respectability, but given the form of the new kids on the block, a 14 point loss to Townsville may not be that bad a result as the season progresses. Whether Townsville can maintain it in their first season with Cowboys commitments will be one of 2015’s points of interest.
NORTHS DEVILS 24 def SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS 18 @ Sunshine Coast Stadium (H/T Nths 12-2)
NORTHS DEVILS 24 (Dylan Galloway, Darren Nicholls, Brett Greinke, Byron Creighton tries; Darren Nicholls 4 goals) def SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS 18 (Sam Wright, Hymel Hunt, Kemu Seru tries; Cory McGrady 3 goals
This game looked primed for an upset before the game with the Sunshine Coast’s side bolstered by their new feeder arrangement with Melbourne including Tom Learoyd Lahrs, but it looked like it could be closer to be a repeat of last year’s 36-0 win to the Devils after the Falcons were down by 24-2 in the second half. Although one could claim progress with 2 points courtesy of a penalty goal, it wasn’t the step forward that the Sunshine Coast league fans were hoping for.
A poor completion rate thanks to a lot of errors meant that the Falcons were chasing the game for the entirety of the 80 minutes, although a handful of extra minutes could have completed a sensational comeback.
Norths scored first and the next three through Dylan Galloway, Darren Nicholls, Byron Creighton and our players to watch from the preview Brett Greinke, and with the score at 24-2 after 60 minutes it looked highly unlikely that this year’s Falcons would match last year’s Falcons win tally in their first game.
At this point in some games, the home fans would start fishing for car keys for an early departure, and if they did they would have missed a stirring comeback for the Sunshine Coast which fell just 6 points short, despite the best efforts of Melbourne contracted Ben Hampton who almost worked some magic in the last minute to get within a kick of an unlikely result.
Ultimately it proved that Norths will be strong as ever in 2015, but more importantly for the lower half of the ladder, the Sunshine Coast will be tougher to beat this year, and the solitary win from last year won’t be the end result for the Falcons.
EASTS TIGERS 20 def NORTHERN PRIDE 12 @ Tapout Energy Stadium (H/T Easts 10-6)
EASTS TIGERS 20 (Donald Malone, Shane Neumann, Mahe Fonua, Tommy Butterfield tries; Shaun Nona 2 goals) def NORTHERN PRIDE 12 (Ben Spina, Patrick Kaufusi tries; Jordan Biondi-Ono 2 goals)
Grand Final defeat revenge for the Tigers who sorted out their rivals on a hot Sunday afternoon in Brisbane.
A friend of the website was there, and so, can provide a much better recap of the game for your reading pleasure.
PNG HUNTERS 40 def SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES 18 @ Davies Park (H/T PNG 22-12)
PNG HUNTERS 40 (Thompson Teteh 2, Oti Bland Tony 2, Stargroth Amean, David Lapua, Israel Eliab, Adam Korave tries; Roger Laka 4 goals) def SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES 18 (Samisoni Vaioleti, Herschel Gideon, Mitch Garbutt tries; Scott Doyle 2, Dylan Taikato-Simpson goals)
The PNG Hunters are back for 2015, and after some movement in the off season, have thankfully returned equally exciting and possibly more so this season than last, and ultimately rugby league will be the winner.
In a repeat of their last fixture from 2014 against the Magpies at Davies Park, the result and manner of the victory were very similar for the Hunters who despite the win last year fell short of the finals series they expect to be a part of this year.
It wasn’t all about the PNG side though, with the Magpies scoring first, and responding to the Hunters first try with another to lead 12-6 and disappoint an entire nation. Giving hope that the new Broncos link up will reap more results for Souths Logan this season.
However, through their rugged defence and sparkling devil may care attack, they levelled the match first and then put themselves in front 18-12 just before half time. Then in a reminder of what to expect from the Hunters, a breakdown in play led to a scrum just before half time, and where most teams would happily see out the final few seconds before the rest, PNG used it as an opportunity to show some flare, and were rewarded with a try to take to the half time break along with their imposing 22-12 lead.
Whereas 2014 saw the Hunters not being able to maintain their dominance in the second half at times, they continued terrorising the Magpies after the break, and kept the PNG fans on the edge of their seats with plenty of big runs leading to more points on the board, and had the game under control with a 36-12 lead.
A Souths Logan try soon reduced the arrears to 18 points after plenty of ball, but no further Magpies tries and no PNG capitulation ensued and the icing on the cake was delivered by Thompson Teteh close to full time with a charge down leading to a 70m run and a final try to the Hunters for a win as dominant and ominous for opposition as anyone this weekend.
TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 44 def REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS 28 @ Dolphin Oval (H/T RED 16-14)
TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 42 (Shaun Carney 3, Nathanael Barnes 2, Kane Elgey, Leva Li, Ryan Simpkins tries; Jamal Fogarty 3, Blake Anderson 2 goals) def REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS 28 (Evander Cummins, Oliver Regan, Charlie Faingaa, Tristan Lumley, Reggie Saunders tries; Luke Capewell 4 goals)
At a bayside venue like Dolphin Oval you would expect plenty of seagulls, but what was probably unexpected at Redcliffe was a Seagulls victory once the home side were 16-0 up early, and 28-20 up with all the momentum with 2o minutes to go.
2015 started as good as one could hope at Redcliffe after a Regan try in the Can Bar corner, a sizzling Evander Cummins run through the centre of the field and Reggie Saunders stormed over from close range made it 16-0 in the first half.
However, a well-known face and try scoring machine Nathanael Barnes returned for Tweed and opened up the scoring adding to his already record scoring feats in the Queensland Cup, and fullback Shaun Carney helped move to the Seagulls to win two at the half time break.
The Seagulls scored just after the break to move ahead for the first time in the game, but it wasn’t long before Redcliffe scored again, and another time to move to a 28-20 lead with 20 minutes to go, and raise the bayside fans expectations of a winning start to the season.
It wasn’t to be for the Dolphins as Tweed scored four unanswered tries which included another try for Barnes, whilst Carney completed an early season hat trick. A salt rubbing try just before full time gave the Seagulls another win at Redcliffe and the start to the season that they travelled north for. Redcliffe will be ruing the one that got away, but there’s enough from the first game to be more competitive in 2015.
CQ CAPRAS 22 def BURLEIGH BEARS 14 @ Browne Park (H/T 10-10)
CQ CAPRAS 22 (Javarn White, Tarrant Mariner, Russ Aitken, Chris Stolk tries; Matt Minto 3 goals) def BURLEIGH BEARS 14 (Siuatonga Likiliki, Dimitri Pelo, Brad Tighe tries; Connor Toia goal)
Last and certainly not least was the Rockhampton based Central Queensland Capras taking on the Burleigh Bears from the Gold Coast.
Like all the games over the weekend, a hot sunny afternoon in Queensland made the game quite uncomfortable for everyone involved, and so the errors throughout the game can be expected and excused.
New recruits Matt Minto and Broncos’ Corey Oates both had impacts for the Central Queensland side looking to improve on the three wins from last year and beyond, and are a third of the way there after 1 game.
Central skipped to a first half lead after two tries, the second of which was set up by Corey Oates after a good run and final pass to Chris Stolk. The Bears answer to an NRL player Brad Tighe helped himself to a first half try and another gave a half time scoreline of 10-10 was a fair indication of the match up to that point giving either side a chance to start 2015 with a win.
Some fancy work from Burleigh after a few handy kicks gave them a 14-10 lead, but as the mistakes continued it was the Capras who added tries to the error rate in the second half to go to a 20-14 lead with 15 minutes to play.
An opportunistic try to the Capras halfback Russ Aitken sealed the game after the Bears fullback did all the hard work retrieving a kick only to spill the ball not far after making the field of play. The final scoreline of 22-14 shows plenty of progress for the Capras and a reward for local fans after Marcia last month.