Mendi Blackhawks Team Named For Country Clash

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Aaron Payne’s picked his side for Country round of the Hostplus Cup and like Cowboys coach Todd Payten he has his fingers crossed North Queensland’s large origin contingent get through game 3 in Sydney unscathed.  Townsville’s seventeen could change if the Cowboys call in reinforcements following the decider.

The Mendi Blackhawks will travel to Stanthorpe to face the Clydesdales at Sullivan Oval. Payne knows his players will need to overcome a tough travel schedule and potentially playing in freezing conditions, come Sunday.

“We’ll fly to Brisbane on Saturday morning, then jump on a bus for three hours and head to Stanthorpe and overnight there. I’m sure the boys will pack plenty of jumpers. I think the temperature got into the minuses the other day, but hopefully when we run out around 2pm it should creep up to the teens.”

As the Mendi Blackhawks prepare for a third straight away game, another win would put them on the cusp of the top 8 with 4 rounds remaining.

“While we’re definitely building momentum, we’re not really looking at who we’re trying to chase down on the ladder, because that’s pointless if we don’t continue winning games. We’re just focused on what we have to do get the job done against the Clydesdales.”

The Clydesdales have lost their last 9 games but Townsville very recently received a reminder what can happen when you take teams lightly, leaving it late to get over the top of the winless Jets.

“It’s probably a positive what happened just a few days ago is fresh in our minds, I guess going into a similar scenario this week. We need to have the right attitude and mindset from the kick off.”

The under 21s won’t hit the field this weekend. The Hastings Deering Colts competition has a full bye.