The Townsville & Districts Mendi Blackhawks didn’t let a disrupted preparation get in their way in Round 14, with the side posting a dominant 46-6 win over the CQ Capras on Saturday night.
The Blackhawks’ flight bookings had the team arriving in Rockhampton with ample time for checking in to their hotel, lunch and a quick game of cricket before heading to Browne Park. The reality of their trip to face the CQ Capras however saw them arrive with barely enough time to pull on their playing kit after flight cancellations played havoc with preparations.
It didn’t show on the field however, with captain Dan Beasley crossing the line within the first minutes of the match to open the scoring. Beasley’s effort was followed by three more converted tries to Michael Parker-Walshe, Zac Santo and Kyle Feldt taking them to a 24-0 lead at the halftime break.
The second half began in much the same manner as the first half with first points to the visiting side, this time to utility Noel Underwood, who continues to do his job well in the centres in place of the injured Moses Pangai.
Parker-Walshe came up with his double just minutes before the Capras scored their only try of the match through Rajan Opetaia-Halls, taking the score to 34-6 with 20 minutes left to play.
The final two tries of the match came from rapid winger Zac Santo who racked up yet another hat-trick in Round 14 and now only sits one try behind Jet Marmin Barba (17 tries) on 2015 Intrust Super Cup leading try-scorer’s list.
A penalty in the dying stages took the final score to 46-6 to the Mendi Blackhawks.
The game was peppered with handling errors due to the light rain falling and the resulting slippery surface at Browne Park. The greasy conditions produced mistakes from both sides, but the Mendi Blackhawks were the team that were able to convert their chances into points. The Capras defended valiantly for the majority of the game, but were unable to prevent the visitors from crossing the line for their eight tries.
Coach Kristian Woolf said that his players were impressive in their ability to rise to the occasion given the challenging day they had endured on the way to Rockhampton.
“Considering the difficult circumstances I was very happy with the way our players went about their business. Everyone was able to put a tough preparation behind them and start with game with excellent intensity,” he said.
“While we still have plenty to improve on, we showed an enhanced attack with the stability of Rob Lui and Michael Parker-Walshe back together in the halves. Our defence was again excellent for the most part as it has been for the past few weeks.”
TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS 46 (Zac Santo 3, Michael Parker-Walshe 2, Noel Underwood, Kyle Feldt, Daniel Beasley tries; Kyle Feldt 7 goals) def CQ CAPRAS 6 (Rajan Opetaia-Halls try; Ian Webster goal) at Browne Park.
CQ Capras: 1. Reece Baker 2. Jake Ainsworth 3. Tarrant Mariner 4. Dan Randall 5. Hayden Buckman 6. Matt Minto 7. Mark Johnstone 8. Rajan Opetaia-Halls 9. Josh Mitchell 10. Gavin Hiscox 11. Garrett Field 12. Guy Williams (c) 13. Ian Webster 14. Clinton Mooney 15. Dean McAdam 16. Corbyn Kilday 17. Josh Johnston
Townsville Blackhawks: 1. Jahrome Hughes 2. Zac Santo 3. Noel Underwood 4. Kyle Feldt 5. Jonathan Reuben 6. Tom Humble 7. Michael Parker-Walshe 8. Lorenzo Ma’afu 9. Anthony Mitchell 10. Daniel Beasley (c) 11. Glenn Hall 12. Rhyse Martin 13. Neville Costigan 18. Robert Lui 15. Corey Jensen 16. Kelepi Tanginoa 17. Jack Kelleher