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Mal Meninga Cup

Blackhawks aim to take winning momentum into finals

Blackhawks aim to take winning momentum into finals

Blackhawks aim to take winning momentum into finals

Author : Michael Nunn & Colleen Edwards QRL

Blackhawks aim to take winning momentum into finals

It’s the final regular season round of the Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup and spots in the finals series of this year are still in play.

The finals structure for this year will see the winners of Pool A and Pool B and the top two teams in Pool C competing in a finals series.

While Townsville Blackhawks comfortably lead Pool A, there a number of contenders in the mix to top Pool B, with Sunshine Coast Falcons and Western Clydesdales the frontrunners.

In the southeast Queensland-based Pool C, Souths Logan Magpies and Norths Devils are set to progress after dominant seasons.

This weekend, Townsville will take on Central Queensland Capras and will aim to finish the regular season on a high.

Match: Capras v Blackhawks

Match broadcasters : Qplus

Townsville have won four games and have scored a huge 166 points for, but their defence is a “Townsville wall”, conceding only 18 points.

The most points any team has managed to score against Townsville has been the Mackay Cutters, who hit 10.

In that game, Townsville raced out to 10-0 against Mackay and when Mackay came back, they were able to compose themselves and find some rhythm.

Townsville coach Roy Baira has built this attack on defence.

“We set ourselves the goal of keeping teams to under six every game, we didn’t achieve that last game, so I was filthy,” Baira said.

“It’s a difficult age group to make defence your focus, they all want to score last and win 30-24.

“We want to control the middle and dominate teams with our defence.

“Damon Marshall is our captain and lock forward and he drives it he is our minister for defence.”

Townsville Blackhawks go for a run. Photo: Alix Sweeney / QRL

Townsville Blackhawks go for a run. Photo: Alix Sweeney / QRL

In the other games of the round, all teams will be aiming to either finish their short season well, earn a place in the finals with a strong win or put in a solid performance to help build the foundations for next year.

This weekend, Northern Pride will host Mackay at Barlow Park.

Match: Pride v Cutters

Match broadcasters : Qplus

Last weekend, Pride didn’t have a great day out against Central Queensland Capras and defence continues to haunt them. The Pride led 10-8 just before halftime and would have gone in with plenty of positives.

HostPlus - That's a plus
The Capras then scored the next four tries which would not have pleased the Pride.

Mackay put on the boxing gloves and showed plenty of fight against Townsville. The Blackhawks led 10-0, but then the Cutters came back with two tries by Brady Hazeldine and Balin Burnett.

The Clydesdales were the competition comeback kings, things looked lost for a bit in their last game, but then they turned it on and went from down 24-22 to winning 40-24, scoring three tries in 14 minutes to blitz the Bulls.

This weekend, they will face Sunshine Coast Falcons.

Match: Clydesdales v Falcons

Match broadcasters : Qplus

Sunshine Coast will need to improve their discipline. Against an Ipswich side that was out on their feet and on a hot day in North Ipswich Reserve last weekend.

The Falcons should have finished all over the Jets, who were down to 10 players.

Instead, it was the Jets that got the win. The Falcons will think last week was the one that got away, which makes them dangerous this week and they will be looking for repeat strong performances from Chaser Paterson and Ruben Broome.

Last weekend, the Jets were down to 12 players for 50 minutes and at one stage got down to 10 in their resilient 28-22 win over the Falcons. The Jets didn’t concede a try while they were down to 10 players on the field.

Tyler Peckham-Harris was outstanding at the back for the Jets and scored the try that sealed the win for his team.

Their opponents this weekend are the Wide Bay Bulls.

Match: Bulls v Jets

Match broadcasters : Qplus

The Bulls looked good against Toowoomba and leading 24-22 when Ryan Bugeja scored and up 24-22. Things didn’t go right from there though, and this week, the Bulls will want to make sure they not playing the full 70 minutes.

Brayden Blair was a standout in a beaten side.

Tweed may have been beaten by Norths, but if their forwards keep showing up like they did against the Devils, then this weekend the Burleigh Bears will have a tough time.

Match: Bears v Seagulls

Match broadcasters : Qplus

Eli Tuli was excellent for the Tweed Seagulls and they will want him back at his best again this weekend.

Burleigh had no trouble attacking against Redcliffe, but it was defence that caused them to lose 30-26. Five tries should be enough to win games, but the Bears kept letting the Dolphins find a way.

Josiah Pahulu was great for Burleigh with his fearsome charges skittling plenty of Redcliffe players. Allowing the Dolphins four tries in the last 20 minutes will be something that keeps the Bears up at night this week.

The Dolphins stormed home against the Bears – they started the match poorly and didn’t score until the 37 minute, then after that, ran riot with five tries.

Drew Timms was great for the Dolphins.

In a showcase of a strong club rivalry, this weekend the Dolphins will match up against Wynnum Manly Seagulls.

Match: WM Seagulls v Dolphins

Match broadcasters : Qplus

Wynnum Manly went up against Townsville and had a draw last week; the comeback will impress the Seagulls. Down 10-0 at half-time, they found a way to get level it thanks to two late tries to Haizyn Mellars and Karlin Henry.

Wynnum Manly will be looking to start well this week and get the ball to Jeremy Trappett, who ran a massive 201 metres.

Match: Devils v Magpies

Match broadcasters : Qplus

This week’s match between Norths Devils and Souths Logan Magpies could be a preview for next week’s finals.

The Devils came away with a 30-20 win last round, a high scoring game with nine tries saw kicking play a massive part and Kallum Weatherall-Stacey slotted five goals.

Angus Hinchey continues to prove a massive player for the Devils.

Norths will be looking to take a lot of last week and transplant it to this week against the Magpies.

The Magpies are coming off the bye and will be rested up to take on the Devils in a game that will feature a number of young Brisbane Broncos guns.

Including Blake Mozer, Jye Gray, Israel Leota and Ben Te Kura who is set to play for Norths.

This weekend, Brisbane Tigers have the bye.

Player to bank on - William Lewis

Player to bank on – William Lewis

Player to bank on – William LewisPlayer to bank on – William Lewis

Competition update:

The postponed Round 1 matches, the first between Norths Devils and Wynnum Manly Seagulls and the second between Brisbane Tigers and Burleigh Bears are set to take place next Wednesday, April 13, at Bishop Park.

You can view all QRL statewide competitions matches via QPlus.tv.

QRL Match Review charges results – Round 6 Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup

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