The Townsville Mendi Blackhawks went down to the Easts Tigers 35-22 in a seesawing encounter at Jack Manski Oval on Saturday afternoon.
The Blackhawks led 18-10 going into the sheds at halftime despite giving up an early lead to the Tigers who were first to score points in the game through prop Steve Thorpe.
The Tigers were again first on the board again in the second half with winger Jarrod McInally going over, before the Blackhawks hit back via Jonathan Reuben who crossed for his third try of the day, giving the Blackhawks a 22-16 lead.
Shortly after, the Tigers responded with another converted try to draw level at 22-22. This set the scene for a grandstand finish.
Scores remained locked together until the 73rd minute when promising half Brodie Croft slotted a field goal for the visitors.
This prompted two late tries for the Tigers, including one just after the full time siren, breaking the hearts of the strong home crowd in attendance.
Townsville coach Kristian Woolf said a lack of ball control and composure saw his team put in an uncharacteristic display of errors.
“Unfortunately we are not going quite well enough to win games against real quality opposition,” Woolf said.
“Our completion rate was really poor and that put too much pressure on ourselves, especially in the second half.
“Coming off two losses in a row I’m hoping that we can improve this weekend against the Pride.”
All three Townsville teams will travel north to Cairns this weekend for the local XXXX Rivalry Round derby clash, and points towards the Foley Shield. The Tigers will travel to Ipswich to play the Jets.
EASTS TIGERS 35 (Steven Thorpe, Linc Port, Jarrod McInally, Adam Crear, Gerard McCallum, Conor Carey tries; Billy Walters 5 goals; Brodie Croft field goal) def TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS 22 (Jonathon Reuben 3, Ty Carucci tries; Carlin Anderson 3 goals) at Jack Manski Oval.