The Townsville Mendi Blackhawks were relegated to their first loss of the 2017 Intrust Super Cup season, going down to the Redcliffe Dolphins 18-6 on Saturday night.
There was plenty of interest in the game even before kickoff, with Brisbane Broncos recruit Benji Marshall a confirmed starter for the Dolphins.
In his first outing for the Dolphins he, he didn’t disappoint, helping to set up two of their three tries.
Playing at fullback for the game, the former Kiwi international set up his winger Josh Beehag for his try just before halftime and continued his strong involvement in the game by putting five-eighth Tyson Gamble over early in the second half.
The two sides continue to share space at the top of a crowded Intrust Super Cup ladder alongside the Norths Devils, PNG Hunters and Wynnum Manly Seagulls on six competition points.
Disappointed Townsville coach Kristian Woolf said early errors put his team under pressure for the remainder of the game.
“You have to be at your best when you are playing a team like the Redcliffe Dolphins,” Woolf said.
“Our attack execution, when we got the opportunity, certainly wasn’t where it has been in the last few weeks.
“We will have to work on these things before we face the Easts Tigers this weekend.”
Next weekend, the Blackhawks are home against the Easts Tigers on Saturday, with the Tigers coming off a dominant victory over the Pride.
The Dolphins are at home against for Round 5 and will host the Ipswich Jets in the 1.40pm televised Channel 9 game on Sunday.
REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS 18 (Troy Giess, Joshua Beehag, Tyson Gamble tries; Joshua Beehag 3 goals) def TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS 6 (Michael Parker-Walshe tries; Carlin Anderson goal) at Dolphin Oval