Blackhawks edge out Hunters in game of the season
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
After a stirring rendition of both the Australian and PNG national anthems from the St Patrick’s College Choir a huge crowd settled in for what was set to be an enormously entertaining game of Intrust Super Cup.
In what was indeed a high quality game of football, the Mendi Blackhawks produced one of their best performances of season 2016 to edge out the PNG Hunters for an important 24-20 win in Round 23.
It took just eight minutes for the PNG Hunters to make their intentions clear with a try to Adex Wera in the corner. The heavy hitting Hunters were equally brutal in their defense as they held up several certain tries from the Mendi Blackhawks during the first half.
Despite conceding the early try, and being held up over the line repeatedly, the Mendi Blackhawks never panicked.
In the 20th minute Delouise Hoeter produced a mammoth effort to throw the ball back infield whilst being driven over the sideline by three PNG Hunters. Kyle Laybutt collected the ball to score the first for the home side.
Laybutt collected his brace just prior to the thirty-minute mark after a big tackle from Hezron Murgha forced a PNG mistake twenty meters from their goal line.
After an intense opening forty minutes the score was 10-4 to the Mendi Blackhawks at the break.
The PNG Hunters began the second half as they did the first with a quick try. This time it was Thompson Tehteh in the 41st minute to take the score to 10-8.
What came next was an intense tug of war as both teams fought for ascendency.
The Mendi Blackhawks extended their lead to 18-8 following a successful penalty kick and a try to Andrew Niemoeller with just over twenty minutes to play.
But the PNG Hunters were far from finished. The visitors were next to score through Edward Goma to narrow the lead to just four points.
The Mendi Blackhawks final points of the match came after a Laybutt break lead to an impressive team effort that resulted in a fired up Hoeter diving over in the corner.
The home side’s celebrations were short lived at the Hunters hit back with just two minutes to play to take the score to 24-20.
It was the third grandstand finish in as many weeks for the Mendi Blackhawks and true to form they held their nerve till the final whistle.
The win continued a run of impressive form for the side who are now looking forward to a well-deserved BYE in Round 24.
“It was a terrific effort in what I thought was a very high quality game….and against a tough opposition.” Coach Kristian Woolf said.
“I was very proud of the way our blokes hung in through some very tough periods of the game.”
“It was certainly an effort we will draw on going forward in this competition.”
TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS 24 (Kyle Laybutt 2, Andrew Niemoeller, Delouise Hoeter tries; Kyle Laybutt 3, Hezron Murgha goals) def PNG HUNTERS 20 (Adex Wera, Thompson Teteh, Edward Goma, Justin Olam tries; Ase Boas 2 goals) at Jack Manski Oval.
Photo Gallery courtesy of Alix Sweeney (c) 2016