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Mal Meninga Cup

Falcons and Mustangs search for winning consistency

Norths Devils in action against Wynnum Manly Seagulls in Round 1. Photo: Scott Davis / QRL
Norths Devils in action against Wynnum Manly Seagulls in Round 1. Photo: Scott Davis / QRL

Falcons and Mustangs search for winning consistency

Author : Michael Nunn QRL correspondent

Norths Devils in action against Wynnum Manly Seagulls in Round 1. Photo: Scott Davis / QRL

Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup will this weekend see Sunshine Coast Falcons and Western Mustangs kick off a big round of rugby league.

Entering the third week of the competition, both teams are searching for some consistency in their performances after suffering from fluctuating form in recent weeks.

Match :  Falcons v Mustangs
Venue : Sunshine Coast Stadium, Sunshine Coast

Both teams have won one game each, with the Falcons losing to Central Queensland Capras 50-8 and then in a turnaround, they beat Wide Bay 50-8.

In Round 1, the Mustangs defeated Wide Bay 50-6, but then went down in a 34-12 loss at the hands of the Capras.

Falcons coach Danny Gray said he was loving the football being back, but knew his side had some work to do to be their best.

“I love this competition and age group, but it is all about finding consistency in their performance,” Gray said.

“That’s the challenge of this age group, for them to be able to narrow the gap between their best and worst and then go onto Colts.

“The first week against the Capras, we just didn’t control the ball and put ourselves under massive pressure.

“The second week we controlled the tempo of the game and played smart, that’s the key playing smart and learning the subtleties of this competition.”

Falcons fullback Mason Peut made two-line breaks against Wide Bay and Jack Underhill contributed 164 metres.

“Mason Peut has been very good for us and our front row and captain Blake Woodford has played well the first two weeks,” Gray said.

Mustangs coach Brendan Wilson was clear and concise about what he wanted to see from his team in Round 3.

“We have to improve our actions after we score a try, twice last week we scored and then dropped the ball the next set,” Wilson said.

“We had some injuries and we were down to one on the bench which meant our front rowers played the whole game.

“Xavier Va’a and Kelly Shadlow were great in the middle for us and showed a lot of resilience to not need a break.

“They are a very coachable group and we will find that consistency, just have to keep working on it not just week to week but within games too.”

In a big Saturday of action, all remaining Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup games for the round will be played on Saturday.

Match : Cutters v Pride
Venue : Jack Manski Oval, Townsville

The Pride will be keen to get back out onto the field and right the wrongs of last week where they lost 66-0 against the Blackhawks. The Pride started their season in the worst possible way and had limited possession; giving too many chances to Townsville to score. Their opponents the Cutters are coming off a bye following their Round 1 loss against Townsville.

Match : Bears v Seagulls
Venue : Pizzey Park, Gold Coast

The Bears were simply sensational against the Jets in Round 2 and have now won both their games. Burleigh were able dominate every facet of the game and had seven more minutes of ball, producing 46 more runs, three more-line breaks and were asked to make 76 fewer tackles.

The Seagulls warmed for the battle of the coasts with a 32-24 win over the Magpies. Tweed Seagulls captain and half Tom Weaver kicked six goals and his 12 points made all the difference in the end.

Match : Bulls v Capras
Venue : Eskdale Park, Maryborough

The Wide Bay Bulls haven’t started the year in the best way with two losses. The Bulls aren’t giving themselves the best chance at success by not applying any pressure to the opposition. Bulls missed 62 tackles something that they will need to get right this week.

The Capras have started the Mal Meninga season as the form team with two wins. They have scored an unbelievable 84 points in two games but most pleasing will be the 20 against them. The Capras were made to do more defence than the Mustangs but when they had the ball they made better use of it scoring six tries.

Match : Tigers v WM Seagulls
Venue : Totally Workwear Stadium, Brisbane

In ‘Tiger town’ the season has not started the way they would have liked, with the team losing their first two games against Norths Devils and Redcliffe Dolphins.

The Tigers started well against the Devils and scored first, but then let their opposition score the next five tries.

Wynnum Manly are another undefeated team and were outstanding against the Dolphins. Luke Philp made 125 metres for the Seagulls, while Haizyn Mellars scored two tries from his two-line breaks.

Match : Dolphins v Devils
Venue : Matherson Oval, Petrie

The northside battle will have the Dolphins and Devils clash, with Norths ruthless last week against the Tigers. However, the Dolphins couldn’t back-up their Round 1 form, going down to Wynnum Manly. The Dolphins dropped to 47 per cent of the ball and completed at only 58 per cent.

In their win last week, Norths made 23 more runs for an extra 400 metres and also made a huge 12 line breaks.

Norths Devils in action against Wynnum Manly Seagulls in Round 1. Photo: Scott Davis / QRL
Norths Devils in action against Wynnum Manly Seagulls in Round 1. Photo: Scott Davis / QRL

Match : Jets v Magpies
North Ipswich Reserve, Ipswich

The Jets were outclassed by the Bears in their last game and will be working hard this week to find some form against the Magpies.

The Jets just didn’t have the ball at all and were not able to turn things around in the second half.

Souths suffered at the hands of Tweed Seagulls last week and have now lost both their games, just like the Jets. Souths completed at the same rate as the Seagulls, but didn’t do enough with it to get the win.

Mal Meninga Cup Round 2 Full Results, Ladder & Player Stat’s

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