A logjam for third place on the Intrust Super Cup ladder has formed, after the Townsville Blackhawks clipped the wings of the Souths Logan Magpies with a 38-14 result.
Countering previous concerns about their inconsistent form, the Blackhawks jumped out to a 26-0 lead to assert their authority over the formerly high-flying Magpies.
The convincing win allows the Blackhawks to leapfrog Souths Logan on for-and-against.
Behind first-placed Burleigh and second-placed Norths there are now four teams tied on 10 competition points – Townsville (+84), Redcliffe (+66), Souths Logan (+55) and Ipswich (-11).
Townsville's form has been noticeably more consistent in the past month than in March, backing up successive wins against Norths, Sunshine Coast and Tweed Heads.
Conversely, Souths Logan faltered after beating PNG in PNG the previous week, a stern test no matter the diminished fortunes of the Hunters in 2018.
Townsville scored first via well-travelled NRL talent Kalifa Faifai-Loa in the 11th minute, then followed with tries to Michael Carroll (18th min), Shaun Hudson (27th min), and Levi Dodd (35th min).
Dodd was in the thick of things throughout, backing up with his second try four minutes into the second stanza.
The Townsville centre ended the contest with an individual tally of 18 points, kicking four conversions and a penalty goal to boot.
Souths Logan made the score more respectable with a flurry in the second half that saw them draw closer to 26-14, before Townsville added a further two converted tries at the death.
Next week the Blackhawks face pacesetter Burleigh on Saturday at Jack Manski Oval, while Souths Logan has a derby with Easts Tigers on Sunday at Davies Park.
TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS 38 (Levi Dodd 2, Kalifa Faifai-Loa, Michael Carroll, Shaun Hudson, Cade Maloney, Krys Freeman tries; Levi Dodd 5 goals) def SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES 14 (George Fai, Benaiah Bowie, Sam Scarlett tries; Guy Hamilton goal) at Jack Manski Oval.