Intrust Super Cup Squad Trial Wrap
Monday, February 15, 2016
Story Image courtesy of Wesley Monts – Townsville Bulletin and News Limited.
With the preseason wrapped up for 2016 the Townsville & Districts Mendi Blackhawks will have a small break this week to recharge their batteries prior to Round 1 kick-off on the 5th March 2016.
The Intrust Super Cup squad came away from their two trial matches with one win and one narrow 18-16 loss. In their first trial Mendi Blackhawks had a slow start against the Northern Pride but recovered well to eventually take the match 22-10.
In their second trial, held only 5 days later the Blackhawks were tenacious and spirited against the North Queensland Cowboys, holding the NRL Premiers scoreless in the second half and losing by only 2 points.
The left edge for the Mendi Blackhawks was particularly threatening especially in the second trial and despite a patched up side hitting the field in the second half due to injuries, the team’s defensive effort and resolve was “outstanding” according to Coach Kristian Woolf.
Some stand-out performances in both trials came courtesy of forwards Corey Jensen and Andrew Niemoeller who faced their NRL and Northern Pride counterparts without hesitation and also Willie Minoga who stunned with a crafty goal line pick up and consistently powerful carries.
Swift and skilful back Samsen O’Neill was also in top form alongside half Sam Foster who coach Woolf has said, “played the best game I have seen him play in years against the Cowboys.”
In unfortunate news both Temone Power and Daniel Beasley left the field with ACL injuries during the trial matches. Further assessment has revealed that both players will be out for an extended period of the 2016 Season. Moses Pangai (ribs) and Michael Parker-Walshe (shoulder) were also injured in the second trial and will look to be back to full fitness in 4-6 weeks.
Woolf was shocked and upset, but remaining positive following the diagnoses, “The loss of both Dan and Temone is significant and devastating for us as a team and for them individually.”
“Dan is our Captain and one of our best players and he leads from the front both on and off the field. Whilst Temone is an outstanding talent that we had really high hopes for this year. While this is unfortunate and unlucky to cop both these injuries, particularly during trials, we need to move on as a group and prepare to achieve our goals for this year without these two players.”
“From what I did see through both trial games, we have some outstanding young men ready to put their hands up and fill that void and to bring their own talent and skills to help the team achieve.” Woolf said.