An almost perfect first 40 minutes ensured the Townsville & Districts Mendi Blackhawks finished the regular season with a 48-22 win over the Norths Devils at Bishop Park yesterday.
It was a match the Blackhawks needed to win to give themselves some momentum heading into the finals and win they did, with a convincing nine tries to four victory over the home side.
In what was a clinical first half performance from Kristian Woolf’s men, Townsville went about their business scoring 28 unanswered points, with tries to Jahrome Hughes, Ray Thompson and Jonathon Reuben, while Kyle Laybutt crossed for two.
In the second half, Hughes and Reuben racked up their doubles and Michael Parker-Walshe scored a double for himself in the final 10 minutes of the match.
Despite the multitude of tries, there was some disappointment for coach Woolf as defensive lapses in the second half led to four late tries to the Devils who tried hard until the end.
“I think we had a solid 55-60 minutes where we played really well,” Woolf said.
“We trained well all week, approached the match well and stuck to our game plan for the first half.
“Unfortunately, the second half wasn’t up to our usual standards.
“Norths threw everything at us, thankfully we were up for the challenge.”
In a welcome return to form, prolific try-scorer Reuben secured the title of Intrust Super Cup’s leading try scorer for 2016 with his two-try haul in the Round 25 match.
Reuben finished the season on an impressive 18 tries from 14 matches.
The speedy winger has had an outstanding year to date and the Townsville side will need him to feature prominently in their 2016 finals charge.
The Blackhawks now turn their attention to a home elimination final against the Easts Tigers this Sunday at Jack Manski Oval.
The match will also feature live on Channel 9 at 1.40pm which coverage from 1.30pm.
TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS 48 (Jonathon Reuben 2, Jahrome Hughes 2, Kyle Laybutt 2, Michael Parker-Walshe 2, Ray Thompson tries; Kyle Laybutt 6 goals) def NORTHS DEVILS 22 (Danny Kerr 2, Shaun Carney, Todd Murphy tries; Todd Murphy 3 goals) at Bishop Park.