U20’s Grand Final V Norths Devils
Thursday, September 27, 2018
Mendi Blackhawks Grand Final Game, Suncorp Stadium. Photo’s Blackhawks Media
It wasn’t the fairy tale finish for the Townsville and Districts Mendi Blackhawks Under 20’s, as they went down to the Norths Devils 20-16, in the final of the 2018 Hastings Deering Colts Competition at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.
After a couple of early errors from both teams, the Devils were first to score, with what would be the first of five tries in the first half.
Duarne Dempsey scored first for the Mendi Blackhawks, diving over from dummy-half.
Not long after, Mendi Blackhawks “2018 U20 Back of the Year” and winger Tom McCagh crossed the line, putting the Blackhawks back in the game, going into half time 16-12.
Scores remained the same until 7 minutes to go, when Norths scored, ending all hopes of a Blackhawks comeback.
A late try to Ben Condon took the final score 20-16.
Coach David Tangata-Toa, who coached his final game with the Mendi Blackhawks on Sunday, after accepting an assistant coaching position at the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys, said he was proud of the efforts by his team for the year.
“It wasn’t the result we wanted, but to get to the grand final was a really good achievement, and something I am really proud of them for,” Tangata-Toa said.
“To come from where we started, having to hold open trials at the start of the year, because we didn’t have enough numbers,”
“Then making the grand final and winning minor premiers, it was an great effort.”
“They deserved everything they got this year, and were certainly the most consistent team.”
The Under 20’s were at the top of the Hastings Deering Colts ladder for 16 weeks consecutive.
Tangata-Toa said that it hadn’t really sunk in it yet that he wouldn’t be around next year.
“Throughout the year, we have become a really tight group,” Tangata-Toa said.
“15 of the 17 who played on the weekend, all went to school in Townsville, so they have been friends for a long time.”
“The most pleasing part of this year for me has been to watch the guys who had previously only played local footy, getting to the same level as the ones who had already played 20’s or have been in an NRL system.”
“When looking back at the year, I hope the boys enjoyed the year and their footy and hopefully learnt something along the way.”
“I would like to thank the Mendi Blackhawks for a really enjoyable year, including all the players, staff, support staff and everyone involved in the club.”
NORTHS DEVILS 20 (Joseph McGuire, Nesta Watene, Liam Horne, David Fauid tries; Gerome Burns 2 goals) def TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS 16 (Duarne Dempsey, Tom McCagh, Ben Condon tries; Adam Cook 2 goals) at Suncorp Stadium (Halftime: Norths 16-12)
Man of the Match: Nesta Watene (Norths Devils)
Photo’s from the sideline. By Blackhawks Media