Blackhawks go down to Ipswich Jets in Intrust Super Cup grand final in Brisbane

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

  • SEPTEMBER 27, 2015 12:17PM


A SEASON of dominance went missing on the most important game of them all for the Townsville Blackhawks, going down to the Ipswich Jets 32-20 in the Intrust Super Cup grand final.

The Blackhawks almost found a way through in their uncharacteristically nervous performance, with Robert Lui scoring a brilliant individual try to give the minor premiers a golden chance to send proceedings into golden point, but it was not to me.

The Cowboys now remain Townsville’s only hope for premiership glory on NRL grand final day, with the Blackhawks inconsolable after fulltime.

A soggy Suncorp Stadium track played host to a memorable ISC decider, with the Blackhawks throwing everything at Ipswich in the game’s final moments as they fought back from a 24-8 second half deficit through tries from Jahrome Hughes and Lui.

But Ipswich scraped it out with some inspired scrambling defence and a bit of luck, breaking the hearts of all Blackhawks players and fans.

It all started so well for the Blackhawks.

Blackhawks centre Tom Humble his team on the board inside the opening two minutes, with fullback Jahrome Hughes holding the ball up nicely for Humble to crash over.

The try set the Blackhawks on course for a 10-minute period of dominance, with Mosese Pangai and Zac Santo threatening down the left edge with a couple of missed opportunities.

They were still dominating when Ipswich pulled a rabbit out of the hat through Marmin Barba, who collected a wide pass from Rod Griffin inside his own 30m line to get outside Humble and run most of the length, before offloading to Dane Phillips who scored Ipswich’s first points.

Trailing 6-4, the Blackhawks needed to get back on the job, but a brain explosion from the usually dependable Jahrome Hughes handed Phillips his second try on a plate, with Hughes offloading into the Blackhawks’ in-goal while being dragged into touch, and Phillips pouncing on the gift.

All the momentum was with the Jets until some spilt ball halted their momentum, with Zac Santo getting a vital response for Townsville after scoring in the left corner from a scrum on Ipswich’s 20m line.

Some heavy attrition followed, with Jets players Kurt Capewell and Josh Seage taken off from after suffering heavy hits, but it was Ipswich who got the stanza’s last points as Dane Phillips strolled through a gap in Townsville’s left edge to score his second try.

Trailing 16-8 at halftime, the Blackhawks needed to fight like never before, but a short restart handed Ipswich possession straight away and they scored off it, with Keiron Lander pouncing on a Phillips’ grubber.

It was a huge blow for the Blackhawks and the Jets weren’t finished, with Rod Griffin cruising down Townsville’s right edge to take the Jets to 24-8.

The Blackhawks somehow managed to weather the storm and got back into the contest when Hughes made amends for his earlier mistake to run into an Ipswich gap and score, with Lui converting from the sideline.

Composure — and some desperation — was again needed from the Blackhawks, with the second quality evident in the Blackhawks’ denial of Carlin Anderson what appeared to be a certain try from a Barba kick and chase, resulting in two points to Ipswich instead.

Composure was absent yet again from Hughes, however, when he threw his pass out when attempting a long pass to Samsen O’Neill.

The Blackhawks kept fighting but the Jets always seemed to have an answer and a bit of luck, with Michael Parker-Walshe denied a try from Pangai being accidentally off-side, and Daniel Beasley spilling the ball following a charging run from a repeat set in attack.

But the Blackhawks were not done, with Lui’s individual effort setting up a thrilling finish, with a late Barba field goal missing its mark to hand Townsville one last shot at an equaliser.

But the play came to nothing and Parcell scored under the sticks to earn his team the upset.