The Townsville & Districts Mendi Blackhawks took to the field on Saturday with a reshuffled line up which saw the return of Conor Carey, Samsen O’Neill and Sam Foster as well the debut for new recruit Davin Crampton.
Round 16 saw the Blackhawks at home for the second week in a row, this time facing a Sunshine Coast side who arrived fired up and full of confidence. It was a tough, grinding win; but the home side eventually put the match out of reach in the final minutes as they scored a try to secure a 22-12 win over the Falcons.
The first 10 minutes of the match saw both teams finding their feet. The scoring kicked off with a Jahrome Hughes one-on-one steal which lead to a Delouise Hoeter try at the 13th minute.
The rest of the first half was a seesawing affair with both sides failing to capitalise on scoring opportunities. It was the Falcons who eventually took their chance, scoring right on halftime to send the teams to the break at 6 all.
The second half opened with two tries to the Blackhawks, one to Moses Pangai and the second to Carey on his return to Intrust Super Cup duties. Pangai and Carey combined well throughout the match with several Pangai passes leading to a flying Carey making a break down his wing.
The Falcons scored in the corner to narrow the Blackhawks lead to 16-12 with 28 minutes left to play which lead to some tense moments in the final stages of the match.
Corey Jensen sealed it for the home side diving over from dummy half with just over a minute left on the clock to take the final score to 22-12.
Coach Kristian Woolf was delighted with his side’s effort and said he counted the win as one of the club’s best.
“It was a really tough performance against a quality side. We had blokes playing injured and well out of position but they were happy to hang in and tough out a memorable win.”
Hughes was brilliant in the halves showing his ability to read a game is second to none and contributing to almost all of the tries scored for the home side. His halves partner Foster also drew praise from his coach for his gutsy performance.
Hoeter showed outstanding energy during the match and proved reliable under the high ball. Prop Brendan Santi brought some much-needed aggression to the Blackhawks defence as he produced his best performance so far for the club.
New signing Crampton made a difficult debut out of position look like a walk in the park as he filled in out wide in the centres. There were promising signs from the back rower as he turned out a rock solid performance in his first match in Blackhawks colours.
TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS 22 (Delouise Hoeter, Moses Pangai, Conor Carey, Corey Jensen tries; Sam Foster 3 goals) def SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS 12 (Curtis Scott, Nafe Seuini tries; Tony Tumusa 2 goals) at Jack Manski Oval.