Photo: Alix Sweeney
A healthy home crowd saw the Townsville & Districts Mendi Blackhawks play their first home game over the weekend against the North Queensland Cowboys at Jack Manski Oval.
Heavy rain just before kick-off made conditions difficult for both sides.
The Blackhawks were impressive with a strong showing in the first two quarters, leading at the end of both. Micheal Parker-Walshe scored the first try for the home side at the 12th minute mark.
NQ Cowboys hit back through Javid Bowen but the Blackhawks led 6-4 at quarter time. An impressive runaway try in the second quarter to Mitch Seri proved a hit with the vocal home crowd.
The Cowboys followed this effort with a dummy half try to Cameron King and the score was 12-10 leading into half-time.
The game remained close until the end of the third quarter. The Cowboys were the only team to score during the third and fourth quarters with tries to Kyle Feldt, Andrew Niemoeller and Viliame Kikau.
More driving rain in the second half of the game led to handling errors from both teams. The final score was 24-12 to the Cowboys.
The game was the first hit out for the full Blackhawks squad with many of the contracted players not taking part in the Cairns trial the previous weekend.
Despite not coming away with a win, there were many positives to emerge from the game.
Coach Kristian Woolf was happy with the team's performance and also the quality of the trial.
"All the players got in some good minutes and that game time under their belts is important moving into our first round,” he said.
“I thought there was some really notable performances, particularly from Jahrome Hughes, Rhyse Martin, Mitch Seri and Wayne Ulugia."
"We still have some work to get done before our first game of the Intrust Super Cup but I think we are well on our way."
Blackhawks Football Operations Manager Adrian Thomson said: "We were really pleased with the crowd, however from an operational point of view the rain certainly tested our facilities. We will learn from it and come up with some new solutions moving forward."
COWBOYS 24 (Javid Bowen, Cameron King, Kyle Feldt, Andrew Niemoeller, Viliame Kikau tries; Kyle Feldt, Cooper Bambling goals) def BLACKHAWKS (Michael Parker-Walshe, Mitch Seri tries; Mitch Seri 2 goals)