The Townsville & Districts Mendi Blackhawks and the CQ Capras stood side-by-side as the sounds of the didgeridoo kicked off a Welcome to Country ceremony led by representatives of the Bindal and Wulgurukaba people during the Indigenous Round celebrations at Jack Manski Oval.
It was the club’s chance to recognise the traditional owners of the land and also recognise and celebrate Indigenous players and culture, with the Blackhawks also taking to the field in special edition Indigenous jerseys.
It took just 13 minutes for the Blackhawks to skip out to a 12-0 lead with Noel Underwood showing strength to force his way over for the first and Hezron Murgha showing a clean pair of heels to cross for the second.
The CQ Capras however were certainly not willing to lie down. The visitors scored two tries within seven minutes to narrow the home side’s lead to just two points and then muscled up with some outstanding defence to deny the Mendi Blackhawks several try-scoring opportunities.
Scores were 12-10 with just 12 minutes to play in the first half when the Blackhawks finally found a crack in the Capras defence as Samson O’Neill crossed for the final points of the first half. The home side went to the break 16-10 leaders after close first 40 minutes.
The second half saw Rhyse Martin find his way to the line with some impressive evasive moves before Underwood followed suit, running onto a Kyle Laybutt short ball to score his second try of the match.
The Capras were next to score through Gavin Hiscox taking the score to 28-16 giving the visitors a strong chance with seventeen minutes left to play.
Laybutt made things more difficult for the Capras after he slotted a penalty right in front extending the Blackhawks lead to more than two converted tries.
The Blackhawks were the final team to score just two minutes prior to full time after Murgha finished off a strong performance with a double.
The final result in Indigenous Round was 34-16 to the Mendi Blackhawks.
In exciting news, fans now have the opportunity to bid on the actual playing jerseys worn in the Round 10 win over the Capras. Jerseys will be individually signed by the specific player who wore it during the game. Find out more about how to bid at the Townsville Blackhawks website.
TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS 34 (Noel Underwood 2, Hezron Murgha 2, Samsen O’Neill, Rhyse Martin tries; Kyle Laybutt 3, Corey Jensen 2 goals) def CQ CAPRAS 16 (Reece Baker, Aleki Falepaini, Gavin Hiscox tries; Matthew Minto 2 goals) at Jack Manski Oval.