It was a different Townsville & Districts Mendi Blackhawks side that arrived at Pizzey Park to take on the Burleigh Bears on Saturday with players missing due to family commitments, NRL duty and injuries
The visitors showed depth and an enviable ability to adapt on the run to player and positional changes as they ran out 46-12 winners in Round 17 of the Intrust Super Cup.
The Blackhawks jumped to an early lead three minutes into the match and the first try was cracker. A clever overhead pass from bullocking back rower Rhyse Martin put centre Mosese Pangai over in the corner. After the initial try, points appeared hard to come by as the next 15 minutes of the first half were scrappy and resulted in a string of penalties being handed out.
The Bears attempted to put the visitors on the back foot, peppering them with high kicks and shifting the ball wide early but the Blackhawks trademark defence held solid. Burleigh’s line was also strong in the initial stages as they pulled off some try-saving tackles to keep the game within reach.
It was the 21st minute by the time the next points were scored after a well-constructed backline shift resulted in a try for winger Jonathon Reuben, giving the Blackhawks a 10-0 lead.
Jahrome Hughes looked right at home playing five-eighth as he initiated the Blackhawks third try, drifting across field before putting Tom Humble over the line under the posts in the 31st minute.
Burleigh were swift in their reply with a try to Pelo just three minutes later taking the halftime score to 16-6.
Blackhawks Interchange player Samsen O’Neill opened the scoring in the second stanza after chasing down a grubber from an enterprising Michael Parker-Walshe. The winger notched up his double just minutes later in his second game for the visitors so far this season. Burleigh’s halves combined well and the home side were able to find the line via Jamie Anderson, narrowing the margin to 16 points with 20 minutes left on the clock.
In the closing stages of the match the Blackhawks ran in a further three tries through Zac Santo, Kyle Feldt and Jack Kelleher who scored a try on debut. Feldt was again impressive with the boot, notching up a personal points haul of 20.
Daniel Beasley was strong in his milestone 50th Intrust Super Cup match, making a 50m break and laying the platform up front alongside his front row partner Lorenzo Ma’afu and an evergreen Neville Costigan.
Coach Kristian Woolf praised his troops following the match.
“It was a good performance against a side that played with plenty of energy and asked plenty of questions of our defensive line,” he said.
“I thought we were quite strong across the park, but standout performances came from Mosese Pangai and Michael Parker-Walshe on the left, and Kyle Feldt on our right. As always we were lead well by our middles; in particular Dan Beasley in his 50th Cup game.”
TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS 46 (Samsen O’Neill 2, Zac Santo, Kyle Feldt, Mosese Pangai, Jonathan Reuben, Tom Humble, Jack Kelleher tries; Kyle Feldt 7 goals) def BURLEIGH BEARS 12 (Jamie Anderson, Dimitri Pelo tries; Khan Ahwang 2 goals) at Pizzey Park.
Burleigh Bears: 1. Khan Ahwang 2. Corbin Kiernan 3. Jamie Anderson 4. Dimitri Pelo 5. Connor Broadhurst 6. Conner Toia 7. Ryley Jacks 8. Mitch Sharp 9. Tom Rowles 10. Josh Ailaomai 21. David Hala 12. Louie Fanene 13. Darren Griffiths (c) 14. Marino Allen 15. Ayden Lee 16. Shaun Maloney 17. Pele Peletelese
Townsville Blackhawks: 1. Jahrome Hughes 2. Zac Santo 3. Kyle Feldt 4. Moses Pangai 5. Jonathan Reuben 6. Tom Humble 7. Michael Parker-Walshe 8. Lorenzo Ma’afu 9. Anthony Mitchell 10. Daniel Beasley (c) 19. Kelepi Tanginoa 12. Rhyse Martin 13. Neville Costigan 14. Samsen O’Neill 15. Jack Kelleher 22. Ricky Thorby 17. Corey Jensen