A confident Townsville Mendi Blackhawks notched up a point for every minute played in the first half at Jack Manski Oval against the Tweed Heads Seagulls in Round 22 of the Intrust Super Cup on Saturday afternoon.
After a hard-fought draw, a disappointing loss and a bye in the preceding three rounds, it was a near-perfect first half performance that earned the home side a welcome return to the winner's circle.
The Blackhawks produced an attacking masterclass in the first 40, much to the delight of the home crowd in Townsville. Kyle Feldt’s outstanding display at centre produced a hat-trick of tries.
Despite a below-par second stanza which included some cheap turnovers and lacklustre sets, the Blackhawks came away 40- point winners over Tweed Heads with a final scoreline of 52-12.
It took less than three minutes for Feldt to cross for his first points and the opening try of the match.
In an impressive effort, he out-jumped his opposition to catch a Robert Lui kick and place it down one-handed. The Seagulls though were quick to hit back at the opposite end of the park as Nathanael Barnes levelled the scores at 6-6 a few minutes later.
From the 14th minute all of the action took place at one end of the field as the Blackhawks went on a try-scoring stampede with the forward pack working hard as usual to lay a strong platform for the halves and backs to work from.
The first two tries within four minutes of each other went to a hard-running Kelepi Tanginoa who turned out his best performance all season; and a speedy Zac Santo as he added another to his try scoring tally. Captain Dan Beasley was the next to cross the line as he forced his way over in the 23rd minute taking the score to 22-6.
Fullback Jahrome Hughes caught the defence napping a few sets later as he strolled through the line untouched to put Feldt away for a 70m try. The home side were far from finished however, and managed to cross the line twice more prior to the break with Hughes collecting one for himself after some clever work from Tom Humble and Feldt wrapping up his hat-trick after a huge break from Santo.
Halftime saw a renewed strength in the Tweed Heads defence as they held the Blackhawks to a 12-6 scoreline in the second half. It was almost like watching a different game in the second stanza with no points scored until the 64th minute.
The visitors were first to cross the line through James Wood taking the score to 40-12. The home side wrapped the match up with two more tries to Tom Humble and Samsen O'Neill taking the final score to 52-12.
Coach Kristian Woolf said he was pleased to get the win.
“It’s great to be back in the winner’s circle for sure,” he said. “I thought we showed some glimpses of great footy today, but we also proved we still have things to work on and get right.
“We are looking forward to a big challenge against the Jets next week in Charters Towers for Country Week.”
TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS 52 (Kyle Feldt 3, Jahrome Hughes, Zac Santo, Tom Humble, Samsen O’Neill, Daniel Beasley, Kelepi Tanginoa tries; Kyle Feldt 6, Robert Lui 2 goals) def TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 12 (Nathanael Barnes, James Wood tries; Jamal Fogarty 2 goals) at Jack Manski Oval.
Townsville Blackhawks: 1. Jahrome Hughes 2. Zac Santo 3. Tom Humble 4. Kyle Feldt 5. Samsen O’Neill 6. Robert Lui 7. Michael Parker-Walshe 8. Ricky Thorby 9. Anthony Mitchell 10. Daniel Beasley (c) 11. Glenn Hall 12. Kelepi Tanginoa 13. Neville Costigan 14. Ray Thompson 15. Chris McLean 16. Lorenzo Ma’afu 17. Rhys Martin
Tweed Heads Seagulls: 1. Ali Grant 2. Nathanael Barnes 3. James Wood (c) 4. Shaun Carney 5. Leva Li 6. Jamal Fogarty 7. Sam Foster 8. Will Bugden 9. Sam Meskell 10. Ethan Price 11. Matt Robinson 12. Blake Anderson 13. Sam Saville 14. Ricardo Parata 15. Tim Cassidy 16. Dane Clarke 17. Jai Ingram