Blackhawks Mission Complete in NQ Derby – Round 3 Wrap
Monday, March 23, 2015
The Townsville & Districts Mendi Blackhawks did not set out to silence the critics in their preparation for Round 3 of Intrust Super Cup but that is exactly what occurred at Barlow Park on Sunday. It was clear the team had a different mindset right from the initial whistle against the reigning premiers the Northern Pride with the first try coming in the 2nd minute after a cutout pass from Jahrome Hughes put winger Zac Santo over the line. The Mendi Blackhawks were on a mission to build pressure and succeeded by not allowing their opposition any ball until the 12th minute and also scoring a further two tries in that time including Santo’s second and the first for Ray Thompson in only his second game in the Black and Green.
The fourth try of the match was a thrilling long range effort that involved many hands to keep the ball alive after a sensational line break from halfback Michael Parker-Walshe catapulted the team downfield within range of the try line. Deft hands from Fullback Jahrome Hughes and Parker-Walshe led to centre Moses Pangai running around to score under the posts. Goal kicking kept the score low with the first three conversions waved away and the Mendi Blackhawks were leading 18 nil after 26 minutes.
The Pride made it onto the scoreboard after a flying Luke George snatched a high ball to take the score to 18-4 in the 32nd minute. However a shell-shocked Pride took no further spoils from the first half as the relentless Mendi Blackhawks went back on the attack. The Blackhawks scored twice in the final 8 minutes of the first half with fleet-footed Jonathon Reuben coming up with a try in his first game back from injury and a surging Chris McLean diving over from short range. The half-time score read 30-4.
The Pride no doubt came out from the break with visions of last week’s Jets vs Blackhawks match in their minds and hoping for a similar comeback. It wasn’t to be as a disciplined Mendi Blackhawks returned with vigor and continued to play consistent football led by Captain Dan Beasley, Neville Cositgan and Glenn Hall up the middle of the field. Jahrome Hughes made good use of field position as he crossed in the 50th minute taking the score to 36-4. Hall was not to be upstaged and crossed for his own 4-pointer minutes later taking the game well beyond doubt at 42-4.
Tom Humble made his shift to centre look easy crossing the line for a try and nudging the score closer to the half century mark. That milestone was reached in the 67th minute after a Pride dropped ball lead to a Blackhawks scrum 20 metres out. A short side shift on the second tackle and a clever pass from Humble put the ball into the hands of Reuben who sliced through the defence on his was to his second try for the match. A consolation try to the Pride’s Linc Port took the final score to 52-10.
“A week is a long time in football, we certainly won’t be getting ahead of ourselves. But I do think our players can take a lot of confidence from that game. We were disciplined, able to build pressure and didn’t give the Pride many chances. I thought we controlled the game well.” Coach Kristian Woolf said following the match.
TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS 52 (Santo 2, Reuben 2, Hughes, Humble, Pangai, Hall, Thompson, McLean tries; Lui 5, Humble goals) def NORTHERN PRIDE 10 (George, Port tries; Bowen goal) at Barlow Park.
*Image courtesy of Maria Girgenti