Santo sinks Seagulls

The Townsville Blackhawks secured a top four finish with an inspiring 22-18 victory over Wynnum Manly.

The Seagulls began the game strongly, scoring a try in only the second minute of the game, while a further try in the 20th minute saw the visitors take a commanding 12-0 lead.

A try to Kalifa Fai Fai-Loa in the 25th cut the margin to six.

A key moment in the game occurred after the decision from the match officials to send off interchange forward Krys Freeman in the 37th minute.

A committed 12-man Blackhawks however worked hard to fill the void, and hit back in the 49th minute with a solo try to Josh Chudleigh, bringing the strong crowd at Jack Manski oval to their feet.

Half Shaun Nona bought up 300 goals in the Intrust Super Cup when he added the extras to level the scores.

The Blackhawks suffered another setback when the Seagulls went the length of the field in the 54th minute, scoring a try against the run of play.

With everything seemingly going against them, the Blackhawks refused to yield, levelling the scores in the 73rd minute through Bacho Salam after a sublime pass from Nona.

A frantic final seven minutes went down to the wire, before Zac Santo dived over in the corner to seal an unbelievable win in the 79th minute.

At the post-match presentations, coach Aaron Payne described the win as one of the best he has been involved in either as a player or a coach.

Chudleigh claimed player of the match honours after playing the entire game in the middle of the field, but for the club, it would be impossible to find a Blackhawks player who did not contribute to one of their best wins in recent history.

Next week, the Blackhawks will head to Brisbane to take on the Easts Tigers.

Wynnum Manly will play host to the Norths Devils in another tough clash against a finals-bound team at BMD Kougari Oval.