Blackhawks tough it out over a physical Wynnum

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter Saturday saw a bumper crowd at Jack Manski Oval for the Round 5 Intrust Super Cup clash
between home team the Townsville & Districts Mendi Blackhawks and theWynnum Manly Seagulls.
Both teams were on 6 points leading into the round with only the Mendi Blackhawks’ superior points
differential separating them on the premiership ladder. A tight clash was expected and the first half
delivered with the two teams locked up at 12 all going into half time despite Wynnum having a lion’s
share of possession.

The Seagulls were keen to assert their dominance early and raced to an early lead, scoring twice in the
first seven minutes. The Mendi Blackhawks saw very little ball during the first twenty minutes after a
handling error forced a turnover in their first set. Impressive line speed from the Seagulls and poor ball
possession denied the Mendi Blackhawks field position and the visiting side looked to be well in control even as Tom Humble crossed for the local side’s first points at the twenty minute mark.

With the score at 12-6 and minutes left in the first half new recruit Noel Underwood strolled through a yawning gap in the Wynnum line from a Michael Parker-Walshe cut out pass to score in his maiden game for the new club, levelling the ledger and allowing the Mendi Blackhawks back into the contest.

The Mendi Blackhawks’ intensity in defense was evident as captain Dan Beasley and interchange
forward Lorenzo Ma’afu made repeated solid contact with their opponents during the opening of the
second stanza. The local crowd seemed to energize their team as they began to make easy metres and
at the fifty-sixth minute Michael Parker-Walshe sliced through the defence to put the Mendi Blackhawks
in front for the first time in the match.

Parker-Walshe’s effort was quickly followed by another try to the Mendi Blackhawks, this time to Zac
Santo in the Garden Bar corner after a handy offload from Underwood and equally as good flick pass
from big centre Moses Pangai. The Mendi Blackhawks were leading 22-12 with nineteen minutes left in
the game. Celebrations continued for the home side after Kyle Feldt burst strongly through the defence
and shrugged off some high contact to score under the posts and converted his own try to take the
score to 28-12.

Wynnum scored the final points with centre Grieve crossing in the dying stages to take the final score to

Coach KristianWoolf was pleased with his side’s second half potency after a patchy effort prior to the break, “It was good to be able to grind out a tough win against a strong opposition, albeit a bit of a scrappy game from both sides. I was equally happy with our ability to stay composed and play our way back into the contest after things didn’t go our way early in the match.”

“I was impressed with Noel Underwood’s debut. I think his game tonight gave some insight into what he will offer the team moving forward.”