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Young Falcons find wings before finals

The Sunshine Coast Falcons were given a major boost for the Hastings Deering Colts finals series after overcoming league leaders Burleigh Bears 28-20 at Pizzey Park last weekend.

The Falcons found themselves trailing by 10 points with 12 minutes remaining, before scoring three tries back-to-back to claim a confidence-boosting victory ahead of the final’s series in September. 

The Falcons round out their regular season with a Sunday afternoon clash against the Ipswich Jets at Sunshine Coast Stadium.

Falcons coach Sam Mawhinney said his side’s ability to come back from a deficit would prove crucial heading into the finals series.

“We knew that we were taking on a top side, it was a really tough game and being able to come back into the contest and grind out a win in the last five minutes will prove incredibly useful for us come finals time,” Mawhinney said.

With only one home game left of the 2019 Hastings Deering Colts regular season, Mawhinney said his team had been ramping up their intensity to match the pressures of finals football.

“In the past few weeks of training, the boys have really put in a major effort, we are working towards a really exciting time in finals football and we want the boys to have as much fun and work as hard as they possibly can,” he said.

After finishing 10th place in 2018’s competition, Mawhinney said the culture of the club during the 2019 season has been a real bright spot for his young side.

“The support staff have really driven the standards and the culture of the club in an incredibly positive direction,” Mawhinney said.

“From the coaches of our (Intrust Super) Cup side, to the people who work behind the scenes, we have really seen an improvement in all areas of our culture, and we have every single member of our staff to thank for that.”

Mawhinney was not without praise for his young players and their impact on the results of the season, heaping praise on halfback and captain Jack Wright.

“We’ve got a young side that has battled hard this season for results, and having people like Jack Wright and Luke Murtagh lead from the front has been great for our side,” he said.

The Falcons were victorious 38-6 in the reverse fixture back in May; a statistic Mawhinney hoped won’t lead to complacency.

“We know the Jets are looking to end their season on a high,” he said.

“We are going to go out at home and try to do everything we can before the finals to make the Sunshine Coast proud and make our club proud too.”

In other games across the weekend, the round will begin on Saturday morning at Langlands Park on with the Easts Tigers at home to the Townsville Blackhawks.

As well as the Falcons v Jets match up which will close the round on Sunday, other games that day will see the Wynnum Manly Seagulls host the Devils, while the Mustangs will be hoping to back up their big win over Redcliffe last weekend when they travel to Davies Park to face the Magpies.