RD 8 Match Report
Monday, May 31, 2021
Michael Carroll celebrates scoring a try in style. Photo Erick Lucero QRL
Burleigh coach Rick Stone notched up win number 150 in his 218th game at the helm with the Bears defeating the Townsville Blackhawks 22-18 at Pizzey Park on Saturday afternoon.
Four out of the last five times these teams have met, the Mendi Blackhawks have come out on top, which made them the favourites heading into the BHP Indigenous Round 8 clash.
But the Bears capitalised on their home ground advantage and took the North Queensland team by surprise, finishing on top to secure their fifth win of the season.
An early try from Townsville second rower Nathan Barrett led the crowd to believe the pre-match stats, but the defending premiers had other ideas and responded with their own try 10 minutes later.
After this, the Bears couldn’t help themselves and converted two more tries, heading into the break with a comfortable 10-point lead.
The second half was a fairly uneventful affair until Burleigh’s Luke Page was placed in the sin bin with 20 minutes to go, then the Mendi Blackhawks pounced on their opportunity to crack the Bears’ stubborn defence.
Two consecutive tries from the North Queensland team looked positive late in the clash as they clawed their way back into the running, but unfortunately, they couldn’t hold the lead.
In the end, it was Rowe who delivered his side the victory within the last five minutes of play, as he scored his second try of the day in his milestone game.
Next week, the Mendi Blackhawks travel back to the Gold Coast to play the Hunters.
As a mark of respect, the Mendi Blackhawks players wore black arm bands in honour of Shaun Nona’s Grandfather and Kalifa Faifai-Loa’s mother. Two very special members of the Mendi Blackhawks family lost during the week. They will always be remembered.