Coming off some inconsistent football in recent weeks, both the Falcons and Blackhawks were looking to regain some momentum before Week 1 of the finals when they met at Sunshine Coast Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Falcons were also fighting to host a semi-final next weekend and they earned that right with a powerful 42-16 win.
In the process, they did more than enough to remind the rest of competition they still deserve to be considered one of the favourites as they not only created plenty of opportunities – but convert them all as well.
It took the home side only three minutes to get on the board when a flying Justin Olam got on the end of a grubber kick that bounced horribly for Carlin Anderson, leaving him unable to do anything other than watch Olam ground the ball down.
It was the Blackhawks who scored next when Michael Parker-Walshe astutely took a tap penalty and strolled over, leaving seemingly confused Falcons defenders watching on.
Anderson slotted the conversion and they had the early 6-4 lead, but it would be the only time they were to lead.
Led by a barnstorming Tui Kamikamica (who scored a try with a potent combination of strength and determination in the 47th minute) and a rejuvenated Liam McDonald, the Falcons forwards controlled the middle third of the field in both attack and defence.
Their line speed in defence was very impressive, shutting down everything the Blackhawks tried.
Jahrome Hughes was amongst the Falcons best, scoring a try in the 45th minute and setting up Alex Bishop’s try (when he chimed into the backline superbly in the 18th minute).
Halves Ryley Jacks and XXXX Man of the Match Scott Drinkwater showed why they are both rated as future NRL first grader regulars. The passing game from Jacks was superb while Drinkwater was impressive in everything he did.
For the Blackhawks, Blake Leary tried hard all day and showed on several occasions how dangerous he can be when he runs wide down the left edge. Jonathon Reuben was another who looked dangerous for the Blackhawks, who were put on the back foot when Anderson left the field with a suspected broken arm in a bitter blow for the in-form back.
With the win, the Falcons secured a home semi-final against the Souths Logan Magpies, while the Blackhawks must this week make the trip to Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park to face the Tigers.
SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS 42 (Justin Olam 2, Scott Drinkwater, Alex Bishop, Jahrome Hughes, Tui Kamikamica, Matthew Soper-Lawler, Christopher Lewis tries; Guy Hamilton 4, Scott Drinkwater goals) def TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS 16 (Michael Parker-Walshe, Oshae Tuiasau, Jonathon Reuben tries; Carlin Anderson, Kyle Laybutt goals) at Sunshine Coast Stadium.