The QRL Media Year in Review series resumes with Townsville Blackhawks.
The NQ side were one of the form teams in the competition in 2018 and finished third on the ladder in the regular season.
However, they suffered some indifferent form in the lead up to the finals and in the end they were left to rue the consequences of some long-term injuries to a number of their key contributors.
With the 2018 Intrust Super Cup season having drawn to a close QRL Media have decided to take a look back through the year for all 14 clubs to see what went right, what went wrong and what the club are likely to focus on going forward into the 2019 season. Stay tuned to QRL.com.au in coming weeks for more club Year in Review articles.
More in the Intrust Super Cup Year in Review series
The Season By-The-Numbers:
Final Position on Ladder: 3rd
Regular Season Win %:
- Won: 15
- Draw: 0
- Lost: 8
Home and Away Record:
- Home: 9-2
- Away: 6-6
- Scored: 571
- Conceded: 348
- F/A: 233
Players in Focus:
Standout Player: Jaelen Feeney
Try Assists: 12
Line Break Assists: 9
Average Run M: 70m
Average Kick M: 150m
Notable Player Mentions: Zach Dockar-Clay, Kalifa Faifai-Loa and Jake Marketo
Highlight: Round 19 (Country Week) Townsville registered their biggest win of the season defeating Tweed Heads Seagulls 62-12, in Hughenden.
Notable Player Achievements:
- Kalifa Faifai-Loa – Intrust Super Cup Team of the Year (Winger), Townsville Blackhawks Player of the Year and XXXX Queensland Residents selection
- Jaelen Feeney – Townsville Blackhawks Back of the Year winner and CR Russ Cook Community Award recipient
- Jake Marketo – Townsville Blackhawks Forward of the Year winner
- Temone Power – Townsville Blackhawks Players' Player winner
Key Factor: Key Injuries / Errors
The Blackhawks entered the 2018 season as one of the competition favourites, however key injuries to halves pairing Feeney and Dockar-Clay saw a change of fortune late in the year for the Townsville side.
Coming up against a strong Ipswich outfit in their finals match, Blackhawks had to bring their A game; but they had previously lost Dockar-Clay to a season ending injury in Round 24, with Shaun Hudson named instead to partner Feeney in the halves. The Blackhawks had a slow start to the game conceding two tries off the back of errors; but they went on to score two tries after the break, as they attempted to muster a comeback. However, the loss of Feeney in the 53rd minute of the match proved costly, with Ipswich going on to claim a convincing 32-12 victory to knock Townsville out of the running.
Looking ahead to 2019:
With new coach Aaron Payne at the helm, Townsville have a lot of positives to build on looking towards the 2019 season. They had the best points differential of any side in 2018, showing they’re more than capable of scoring tries and defending their line. Marketo, Faifai-Loa, Feeney and Dockar-Clay enjoyed standout seasons with the club, and if they can keep their playing group together, they’ll be a competitive side again in 2019.