It was the heavy weight bout that didn’t really deliver. It was wet and miserable at the North Ipswich Reserve today and the grand final replay started with both teams seemingly intent on not finishing too many sets or building any pressure.
Both teams had two really good periods of play; the Jets the 15 minutes before half-time and the Blackhawk the 25 minutes after the break.
The Jets made two changes to their named team, with both David Fa’alogo and Abraham Atallah making their club debuts, while the Blackhawks brought in Michael Parker-Walshe and Moses Pangai.
It took until the 10th minute for Townsville to capitalise on one of the many mistakes that were offered up when Kyle Laybutt put a kick up that resulted in a mad scramble. The Jets couldn’t hold the slippery ball and Delouise Hoeter dived on it to get the Blackhawks up 6-0.
It was a further 12 minutes of scrappy football before Jets skipper Dane Phillips showed plenty of skills and pace to chip kick and score and even the game up after 23 minutes.
This signalled the start of a Jets’ period of play that saw them score three unanswered tries, first Carlin Anderson who scored under the posts and converted after an inside ball from Haydan Lipp.
Lipp wasn’t finished and on the back of two penalties, Ipswich were on the attack; allowing Lipp the chance to step back inside and go through from 20m out to give the Jets a third try in 10 minutes and a 16-6 half-time lead.
When the teams went to the sheds, the Jets had 66% of the ball compared to the Blackhawks 34% and completed 10 more sets, missed 11 less tackles and produced 10 more offloads.
It wasn’t looking great for the Blackhawks until they came out and scored three tries in a row to take the game away from the home side.
It started in the 45th minute when Pangai was on the end of some swift hands and scored in the left hand corner and they were in again when Jonathan Reuben went over under the post to put the Blackhawks in front 18-16.
The Blackhawks were next denied a try for obstruction, but made up for that not long after when they ran it on the fifth and Parker-Walshe scored again to take the lead to eight after 61 minutes.
They could have extended their lead even further when Rhyse Martin reached out to score, but this attempt was denied as it was deemed a double movement. The Jets took the two points on offer to get it within six it at 24-18.
The home side were holding on as best they could, but couldn’t stop a Corey Jensen break that found Parker-Walshe who went in to score his second and seal not only his XXXX man of the match award but a 30-18 win for his side.
In Round 3, the Jets will travel to Rockhampton to play the Capras on Saturday while the Blackhawks will host Souths Logan at home.
TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS 30 (Michael Parker-Walshe 2, Moses Pangai, Jonathon Reuben, Delouise Hoeter tries; Kyle Laybutt 5 goals) def IPSWICH JETS 18 (Dane Phillips, Carlin Anderson, Haydan Lipp tries; Carlin Anderson 3 goals) at North Ipswich Reserve.
Round 2 match reports: