Downpour proves a real trial in Cairns

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Torrential rain in Cairns made conditions tough during the Townsville & Districts Mendi Blackhawks first trial game against the Northern Pride on Saturday at Stan Williams Park. The game saw a high rotation of players taking to the field as a squad of 24 players got a chance to impress with most of the team coming from the local TDRL competition and a selection of Train and Trialists. The Mendi Blackhawks were first on the scoreboard leading the game 10 nil towards the end of the first quarter with tries to Tyler Smith and Jack Kelleher. (Footage on our Video page)

By the half-time break the Pride had hit back to lead the game 14-10. It was a tough battle in the middle with heavy legs and even heavier turf but new signing Jonathon Reuben showed some impressive evasive skills at fullback and also had a hand in setting up the third try. Reuben’s well placed grubber was pounced on by Mitch Seri in the in-goal to score the club’s final try during the third quarter.

The torrid conditions did nothing to dampen the new team’s determination with Reuben, Samsen O’Neill, Jake McManus, Corey Jensen and Jack Kelleher all turning out impressive performances during their time of the field.

The halves got through a lot of defence early and held the Pride at bay for much of the game. The final two quarters ended in a rush of tries for the defending Intrust Super Cup champions and the Pride came out victors with a 38-14 final score line.

Coach Kristian Woolf was happy with the effort of his squad despite the awful conditions “I was happy with the ball security and the number of scoring opportunities we created. Our contact in defence was excellent at times but it was disappointing to see the score blow out at the end.”

“Execution let us down a few times during the game but I am not overly concerned because that’s what trials are for, to test players and positions. It was a good, tough test for our first hit out”.