Falcons fight on for another week
The Sunshine Coast have continued their dream finals run, upsetting the Blackhawks 18-10 in Townsville on Saturday.
Strom back Ryan Morgan score three of the Falcons four tries, including the sealer three minutes from fulltime.
The visitors trailed by two points at halftime, but addressed their ball security to run out winners and set up a preliminary final against Redcliffe Dolphins at Dolphin Oval this Sunday.
“I couldn’t be any prouder of blokes like Ryan Morgan, Felise Kaufusi and Mark Nicholls, they did an outstanding job on the weekend,” Falcons coach Craig Ingebrigtsen said.
“Joe Stimson was easily our man of the match and I’m sure he is destined for bigger things.
“He made a couple of really big try-saving tackles and he certainly made Ray Thompson work really hard defensively on their edge.
“He ran hard, tackles hard and does all the things you ask players to do.
“We don’t win those sort of games without Joey Stimson.”
Sunshine Coast will now prepare to travel for their fourth week in a row when for their preliminary final against Redcliffe on Sunday afternoon.
Buses are being organised for Falcons and Storm fans to make the trip to Redcliffe this weekend. Contact the Club on (07) 5493 2902 to book your seat.
For Townsville, their 2016 season is over after a season plagued with injury and player availability issues.
They came into this elimination final with a number of positional changes. The absence of Intrust Super Cup Centre of the Year Moses Pangai was noticeable as the reshuffled line up did their best to form combinations on the run.
The changes appeared to have affected the team’s cohesion as they struggled to gain any traction in the first 20 minutes of the match against a strong Falcons side.
In a tense first half, the sinbinning of Kyle Laybutt after he saved a certain Falcons try at the end of the first 40, did not prevent the Blackhawks from going into the break with a 10-8 lead.
However, despite having plenty of possession in the second stanza, the home side were unable to find the line at all in what became their final half of the 2016 season.
The Falcons on the other hand took their opportunities with both hands as they scored an 10 unanswered points to take the win.
Prop Corey Jensen was again a leader for the Blackhawks with his tireless work in the middle, whilst back rowers Rhyse Martin and Andrew Niemoeller made plenty of tackles.
The Blackhawks were gutsy in defence, especially during the period Laybutt was off the field, but their attacking options were not up to their usual standards.
Coach Kristian Woolf praised his troops following the match for their tenacity and willingness to dig in for each other in the face of a season riddled with injury and disruptions.
SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS 18 (Ryan Morgan 3, Jye Ballinger tries; Joe Stimson goal) def TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS 10 (Delouise Hoeter, Michael Parker-Walshe tries; Matt Bowen goal) at Jack Manski Oval,