Blackhawks walking finals tightrope
Monday, July 31, 2017
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE TOWNSVILLE BULLETIN
JON TUXWORTH, TOWNSVILLE BULLETIN
JULY 30, 2017 4:30pm
THE Townsville Blackhawks have plunged from near top six certainties to walking the finals tightrope after suffering a second straight loss to Burleigh Bears on the Gold Coast on Saturday night.
The 28-22 loss compounded last week’s tight defeat to Ipswich, and the Jets have closed to within two points of the sixth-placed Blackhawks with four rounds left after beating Northern Pride.
Townsville has a far superior for and against but this weekend’s road trip to bottom side Central Queensland takes on vital performance given they finish their campaign against top two teams Papua New Guinea and Sunshine Coast.
Two tries in the last three minutes against Burleigh made the scoreboard more respectable and Blackhawks prop Daniel Beasley said they must stop shooting themselves in the foot.
“They scored tries at stages when they shouldn’t have, errors and compounding errors gave them field position which led to their points,” he said.
“We can’t take Capra lightly either. We have to get ourselves right, we’ve let ourselves down two weeks in a row and need to get back to playing some decent footy.”
Blackhawks coach Kristian Woolf said they need to lift their desperation at crucial times of the game.
“It makes every week important. We’re certainly a good enough footy side that we can go on and win the next three games,” he said.
“The last two weeks we’ve been making too many unforced errors which haven’t allowed us to build pressure, and we probably haven’t been as hungry at the contest at certain stages as the opposition have been.”
Blackhawks prop Oshae Tuiasau suffered an ankles sprain against Burleigh but Woolf is hopeful he will be fit to take his place against the Capras after he showed strong signs of improvement on Sunday morning.
“He looked a lot better today so fingers crossed he’ll be OK,” Woolf said.
BURLEIGH BEARS 28 (Connor Broadhurst 2, Troy Leo, Jamal Fogarty, Patrick Politoni, Sami Sauiluma tries; Fogarty 2 goals) def TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS 22 (Blake Leary 2, Anthony Mitchell, Paul Byrnes tries; Carlin Anderson 3 goals) at Pizzey Park, Burleigh on Saturday night.