Photo: Ritchie Duce - Level Eleven Photography
The Melbourne Storm connection shone through as the Sunshine Coast Falcons recorded their first win since July last year in a well-deserved 36-10 victory over the PNG Hunters.
Fringe Storm five-eighth Ben Hampton scored three tries and steered the hosts around the park with ease off the back of powerful performances from forwards Nelson Asofa-Solomona and Tom Learoyd-Lahrs.
Leading 16-6 at the break, 23-year-old Hampton brought up his hat-trick in the 45th minute with a solo 40-metre run before winger Suli Vunivalu snuck over in the corner for a 26-6 Falcons' lead inside the final half-hour.
PNG struck back inside the final quarter to offer the visitors some hope, but a second try to Vanivalu and one to Mitch Ebdon sealed the win for the Falcons – their first since Round 19 last year and only their second in 47 Intrust Super Cup games.
More Storm talent was on show on Easter Sunday as the Easts Tigers thrashed Souths Logan Magpies 52-0 at Langlands Park in Brisbane.
Cameron Munster, Shaun Nona and Matt Duffie were amongst the scorers for the Tigers with Munster grabbing three tries and Nona snaring an individual tally of 20 points.
The Tigers were six points shy of breaking their previous record-winning margin against the Magpies and move from 10th to fourth on the ladder after the healthy boost to their for-and-against.
In Sunday's final match the Burleigh Bears moved from sixth to fifth after accounting for Redcliffe 32-18 with Titans flyer Kevin Gordon crossing the line twice at Dolphin Oval.
On Saturday the Townsville Blackhawks maintained their place at the top of the ladder after seeing off Wynnum Manly 28-16 at Jack Manski Oval with the Seagulls dropping out of the top five with other results going against them.
Marmin Barba took his season try-scoring tally to six in the Ipswich Jets' 26-22 home win over defending premiers Northern Pride.
The Pride are winless so far in 2015 and sit bottom of the ladder although they do have a game in hand after their Round 2 clash against the Falcons was postponed until May.
2013 premiers Mackay Cutters moved up to second with a tense 13-12 win over Norths Devils with Liam Taylor kicking the winning field goal for the hosts.
SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS 36 (Ben Hampton 3, Suli Vunivalu 2, Callum Klein, Mitch Ebdon tries; Brett Doherty 3, Travis Robinson goals) def PNG HUNTERS 10 (Edward Goma, Esau Siune tries; Roger Laka goal) at Sunshine Coast Stadium.
Sunshine Coast Falcons: 20 Young Tounimaipea 2 Travis Robinson 3 Rueben Baillie 4 Callum Klein 5 Suli Vunivalu 6 Ben Hampton 7 Brett Doherty 8 Nelson Asofa-Solomona 9 Slade Griffin 10 Jon Platt 11 Hymel Hunt 12 Jake Samoa 13 Tom Murphy 14 Billy Brittain 15 Jye Ballinger 19 Tom Learoyd-Lahrs 17 Mitch Ebdon
PNG Hunters: 1 Stargroth Amean 2 Oti Bland Tony 3 Ase Boas 20 Kato Ottio 5 Edward Goma 6 Israel Eliab 7 Roger Laka 8 Henry Noki 9 Wartovo Puara 10 Esau Siune 11 Willie Minoga 12 Brandy Peter 13 Adam Korave 14 Warren Glare 15 Atte Bina 16 Nickson Borana Ugaia 17 Jay Jay Garrison