Another big weekend of rugby league as Intrust Super Cup Round 6 has been completed, and after the top of the table clash between Norths and Burleigh, the competition almost has a new leader after Norths handed the Bears their first loss of the season and joined them on a 5-1 record.
Talk about a real Super Saturday, there were 6 games spread from Cairns to Brisbane, with big results for some of the competition heavyweights, and just the solitary game at Davies Park on Sunday afternoon, which was a great result for the Magpies.
Townsville’s season appears back on track after a win on the Sunshine Coast, Easts Tigers were way too good in a battle of Croft v Carney in Cairns, and Redcliffe inflicted more away days pain on the PNG Hunters.
The first of the weekend’s upsets came at North Ipswich Reserve as the Jets were beaten by Mackay, and the first Flockbuster of the weekend went the way of the Tweed Heads Seagulls – their first win of the 2018 campaign.
There’s more to unpack from the weekend though. Read on for the best bits from Intrust Super Cup Round 6, in a brief review of all the good from the weekend’s action.
DEVILS WIN TOP OF THE TABLE CLASH
A lot of people predicted improvement in the Norths Devils in 2018 (at this stage it’s best to be honest to say we didn’t), but few would have predicted they would be equal top of the Intrust Super Cup after 6 rounds. In fact it is so close between them and their vanquished opponent from Saturday – the Burleigh Bears – that they need to separate the team on points scored, after the two have exactly the same points difference after the end of Intrust Super Cup Round 6.
It was a tight first half with just a try a piece, Burleigh getting their through former NRL player and recent recruit Brenko Lee, Norths matched them not long before half time and the conversion saw them with a 6-4 half time lead. The second half was all Norths, as they laid on two tries and 14 unanswered points to seal their fifth win of the season, and inflict the first loss on Burleigh who also remained on five wins.
Burleigh were without some of their big names – Blake Leary, Jamie Dowling, Kurtis Rowe and Jamal Fogarty, but the Devils did it without one of their best players from 2018 so far – Sam Tagataese – who got a call up to the Broncos in New Zealand as a result to his fine work for Norths.
It means the Devils have knocked off the 2017 Premiers and 2018 favourites in consecutive weeks at home, next week’s trip to Townsville to meet the Blackhawks who have found form will them.
EASTS BEAT THE PRIDE FEATURING BATTLE OF THE BIG NAME HALVES
The TV Game for the Intrust Super Cup Round 6 saw some big names in the halves, as Todd Carney continued his way back to the NRL through the Northern Pride, and Melbourne Cronk-in-waiting Brodie Croft now finds himself behind Ryley Jacks for the time being and is playing with the Easts Tigers. To be honest, neither of the big names set the world on fire with some good mixed in with not so good, and both can probably expect to be turning out for their respective Intrust Super Cup teams for a little while yet.
There weren’t many points on offer in the Tigers-Pride match up, and Easts did the better job, and were without a few of their big names also like Scott Drinkwater, Billy Walters and Dave Tyrrell. Easts got the early try in the 4th minute, and looked quite comfortable after that. In amongst a lot of errors for both sides, they took a 10-4 to the break, and Kea Pere scored the last try of the matcn and only one in the second forty minutes and was awarded Man of the Match by the Nine commentary team to seal an impressive away result.
It was a good response for the Tigers after being beaten at home by Redcliffe last weekend, the Pride however have now lost two in a row.
TOWNSVILLE SNATCH VICTORY FROM FALCONS
Townsville Blackhawks snatched victory off the Sunshine Coast Falcons with a late try after Falcons prop was sin-binned and penalised for punching Townsville’ Joe Boyce whilst in possession late in the game. The late try scored by Paul Byrnes, who only came into the team after it was revealed fullback Carlin Anderson could be out for 4 months with a fractured hand. More bad luck for a very promising player, and given the Cowboys NRL woes, he may well have been worth a punt. Not for the first time in his career, an NRL opportunity might pass him by due to injury. He was previously in the Broncos system.
The win, which saw the lead change several times, was Townsville’s second in a row, and has eased some of the worries of a few weeks ago when the Blackhawks were in the bottom three, they are now with 5 other teams on six points from their first six games.
Another point of interest from the game was Cooper Johns, son of Matty, making his debut for the Sunshine Coast.
As for the game, Sunshine Coast scored in the first minute and took a 12-6 lead to the break. Townsville then scored two converted tries after the break to snatch the lead, which lasted almost 20 minutes before the Falcons replied in the 72nd minute. It wasn’t enough as above when Kamikamica gave away the penalty that led to the Blackhawks match-winner.
DOLPHINS EXTEND HUNTERS AWAY DAY MISERY
Despite a big effort from the PNG Hunters on Saturday evening, they were unable to get their first away points of the year as Redcliffe defeated them 14-6 to maintain their position in the top six..
It was the Dolphins fourth straight win this season, and they had to withstand an early onslaught from the Hunters, and an early try to recent addition Junior Rau, before taking control with two tries in five minutes leading into half time. Their 14-6 lead was extended to 20-6 not long after halftime by off-season recruit Tony Tumusa, but there were no more points from either side for the remainder of the evening.
For the Hunters losing to a side like Redcliffe at Redcliffe, is no shame, but their record 1 win and a draw from five games there is a worry. The effort was the thankfully, and it looks like 2018 is going to be a rebuilding year for the PNG side with many new faces to blood, the biggest change since their first year in the competition. Finals are still not out of the question with their envious home record and tightness of the competition, but patience will be required as the new players get up to speed.
TWEED HEADS BREAK DUCK IN FLOCKBUSTER
Tweed Heads got their first win of the 201`8 Intrust Super Cup season, as they stole victory in the last-minute against Wynnum Seagulls in the first leg of the Flcokbsuter duel between the two Seagulls sides.
Tweed Heads winger Brayden McGrady grabbed a hat trick, including the match winner which came in somewhat fortuitous circumstances as an attempted field goal attempt thundered against the post and landed in cousin’s Lindon McGrady’s hands who provided the kick for Brayden’s match winner.
Before then the Tweed Heads Seagulls had led 22-10 after 61 minutes, after scoring the first try and taking a 12-10 lead to the break after a seesawing first half. But Wynnum fought back to be 22 all with five minutes to play until the fateful lucky bounce of the ball went against them.
The next Flockbuster will take place on North Stradbroke Island, and is always a good event to attend, and based on Saturday night’s game, you will get plenty of on field entertainment value as well.
A result very few saw coming was the Mackay Cutters beating Ipswich at North Ipswich Reserve on Saturday afternoon. The Cutters led 16-6 at the break, but a 58th penalty has capped off a great fight back by the Jets as they took the lead 18-16. Five minutes however the Cutters retook the lead, and then extended it with a penalty goal and another try to seal just their second win of the season.
Sunday’s only game saw the Magpies chalk up a big win over the Central Capras and jump up to third on the ladder, and with the competition’s best for and against, which may come in handy later in the season if they can maintain it. The Magpies scored six tries in all, five in the first half to lead 28-4 at the break. The first half was notable for the Capras as big name recruit Dave “Coal Train” Taylor got a try for Central. It was their only points, and the second half saw just one more try and a penalty goal to the Magpies to wrap up the win.
INTRUST SUPER CUP ROUND 6 RESULTS
Northern Pride 4 EASTS TIGERS 16
Ipswich Jets 18 MACKAY CUTTERS 28
Sunshine Coast Falcons 18 TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS 20
NORTHS DEVILS 20 Burleigh Bears 4
REDCLIFFE 20 PNG Hunters 6
Wynnum Seagulls 22 TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 26
SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES 36 Central Capras 4