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2019 Year in Review: Townsville Blackhawks

Townsville Blackhawks, under the guidance of new coach Aaron Payne in 2019, sat in the top half of the ladder the entire season and remained in the top four from Round 14. The tough football side's consistency saw them make finals, but they faltered just before the big dance. 

With the 2019 Intrust Super Cup season having drawn to a close, we take a look back through the year that was for all 14 clubs to see what went right, what went wrong, and what the clubs may focus on heading into the 2020 season. 

The 2019 Year in Review series continues with the Blackhawks. 

The season by the numbers

Final position on the ladder


Regular season 

  • Won: 17
  • Drawn: 0
  • Lost: 6

Home and away record

  • Home: 10-2
  • Away: 7-4


  • Scored: 566
  • Conceded: 344
  • For and against: 222 

Players in focus

Standout player

Tom Gilbert, after making his Intrust Super Cup debut in the first round of the season, was very impressive throughout the year. The barnstorming 19-year-old forward, contracted to the North Queensland Cowboys, was consistently excellent for the Blackhawks and is aiming to make his NRL debut next year. His superb performances were rewarded with XXXX Queensland Residents and Queensland Under 20 selection. The wrecking ball was also awarded by the Carbine Club the Pedro Gallagher Intrust Super Cup Rookie of the Year and was named Intrust Super Cup Lock of the Year. 

Tom Gilbert.
Tom Gilbert.

Tries: Five

Tackle breaks: 48

Tackles: 707

Tackle efficiency: 86.9 per cent

Average run metres: 139.3 metres

Best of 2019: Townsville Blackhawks

Notable player achievements and milestones

  • Tom Gilbert - XXXX Queensland Residents selection, Queensland Under 20 selection, Intrust Super Cup Lock of the Year, Blackhawks Intrust Super Cup Player of the Year
  • Kyle Laybutt - Blackhawks Intrust Super Cup Back of the Year
  • Temone Power - XXXX Queensland Residents selection, Blackhawks Intrust Super Cup Forward of the Year and Players' Player
  • Zac Santo - XXXX Queensland Residents selection
  • Corey Jensen - XXXX Queensland Residents selection
  • Kalifa FaiFai-Loa - Blackhawks Cr Russ Cook Community Award and Top Try Scorer, and 100 Intrust Super Cup games 
  • Krys Freeman - Blackhawks Cr Russ Cook Community Award
  • Shaun Nona - Blackhawks Top Points Scorer, 100 Intrust Super Cup games and 600 intrust Super Cup points
  • Ben Condon - Queensland Under 20 selection
  • Nathan Barrett - Queensland Under 20 selection
  • Murray Taulagi - NRL debut for the Cowboys and Queensland Under 20 selection
  • Sam Hoare - 100 Intrust Super Cup games 

Key factor to season result 

Consistent tough football

The Blackhawks, under the guidance of new coach Aaron Payne in 2019, sat in the top half of the ladder the entire season and remained in the top four from Round 14. Their good roster played consistently good football and the tough team excelled. A notably good performance was during week one of finals, when they beat minor premiers Sunshine Coast Falcons but after one week off, the Blackhawks were put out by Wynnum Manly Seagulls in week three of finals. 

Looking ahead to 2020

The Blackhawks, after being one win off making the grand final this year, will be hungry to go one better in 2020. Payne will be in his second year as coach and calling on the young talent at the club to step up after the departures of stars Zac Santo and skipper Shaun Nona, who have both gone to France to play. 

2019 Year in Review series

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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