Blackhawks stalking Bears for top spot

Townsville is breathing down the neck of competition leader Burleigh after a tense 13-6 win against the competition leaders.

On the same day that second-place Norths lost to lowly-placed Mackay, Burleigh failed to capitalise and establish a clean break between it and a pursuing pack of clubs.

The contest at Jack Manski Oval was tied 6-all until five minutes from fulltime, when half Zach Clay potted a field goal to make the score 7-6.

Then, as the siren began to warm, ever-dangerous Jaelen Feeney crossed for a converted try to blow out the final margin.

Townsville's fifth successive victory puts the Blackhawks just two competition points behind Burleigh, but with a superior for-and-against.

The Blackhawks also stole the best attacking record in the league from the Bears, and have tightened the screws in defence considerably since the opening month.

Through the opening four games of the season Townsville conceded 21 points per game, which has drastically diminished to 11 points per game in the last five games.

It wasn't all rainbow and lollipops for the home side however, with both Cade Maloney and Ross Bella forced to leave the field for head injury assessments when the game was still in the balance.

Burleigh welcomed back playmaker Dallas Wells from injury but did not have Ben Hannant available for selection and is still without spearheads Jamal Fogarty and Kurtis Rowe.

The depth of the Bears is unquestionable though, with NRL-experienced pair Matthew Robinson and Joe Greenwood coming off the interchange, along with fringe Gold Coast Titans selection Jye Whitbread.

Greenwood has been in the spotlight this week after the Titans said they would allow him to explore options to return to England and play Super League.

He only received 23 minutes for the Bears against the Blackhawks, coming on in the 32nd minute and being replaced in the 55th minute.

Last season he played 22 games for the Titans, but has yet to feature in one this season for the NRL outfit.

Final team lists and full scoring details available on QRL Live.

TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS 13 (Zach Clay, Jaelen Feeney tries; Levi Dodd 2 goals; Zach Clay field goal) def BURLEIGH 6 (Troy Leo try; Tyrone Roberts-Davis goal) at Jack Manski Oval.