The Courier-Mail

Molo emerges from a dark place to be in frame for Bris­bane

- CHRIS GARRY

THE Bron­cos will con­sider se­lect­ing Fran­cis Molo for the NRL fi­nals af­ter the prop made an im­pres­sive re­turn to rugby league yesterday.

Molo shred sev­eral de­fend­ers dur­ing two 20-minute stints for Norths Devils at Bishop Park yesterday.

The Devils were beaten by Tweed Heads 40-22 but for Molo, it was a cru­cial first step in re­turn­ing to nor­mal­ity.

Molo is the next prop in the peck­ing or­der for the Bron­cos and it is un­der­stood he is a re­al­is­tic op­tion for their fi­nals cam­paign be­cause his size and power would pro­vide a point of dif­fer­ence pack.

If he does make an NRL re­turn this sea­son it would be an amaz­ing story af­ter his tackle on James Ack­er­man trag­i­cally led to the young­ster’s death.

Molo has played five NRL games this sea­son, in­clud­ing four straight from Round 10 to 14 be­fore the tragedy oc­curred.

Molo was ac­tu­ally bet­ter in his sec­ond 20-minute ef­fort, prov­ing he had stayed fit dur­ing his eight-week sus­pen­sion for the tackle on Ack­er­man.

There was only one run in which he ap­peared to be hes­i­tant in us­ing his 115kg frame.

Bron­cos backs Lach­lan Maranta and Dale Co­p­ley also played for Norths yesterday,

from

Bris­bane’s with Co­p­ley im­pres­sive at left cen­tre.

The In­trust Su­per Cup fi­nal­ists are now con­firmed.

The Townsville Black­hawks de­feated Red­cliffe Dol­phins 46-22 in Townsville to ce­ment the mi­nor premier­ship in their first year as a club which is a re­mark­able ef­fort by coach Kris­tian Woolf’s team.

PNG Hun­ters beat Burleigh Bears 44-24 in Port Moresby, with the Hun­ters qual­i­fy­ing for their first fi­nals cam­paign and fin­ish­ing sec­ond.

The In­trust Su­per Cup’s two ex­pan­sion clubs, the Black­hawks and Hun­ters, lost just three games each this sea­son.

On Satur­day, Ip­swich Jets beat Sun­shine Coast Fal­cons 34-16 to ce­ment third po­si­tion while the game of the round saw Wyn­num Manly pip Easts Tigers 17-10 to fin­ish fourth which rel­e­gated the Tigers to fifth. North­ern Pride de­feated Cen­tral Capras 46-18 to claim sixth spot.

Un­der the QRL’s new fi­nals for­mat, the Black­hawks and Hun­ters have a bye week while the third-placed Jets have a home fi­nal this week­end against Pride, and Wyn­num Manly face Easts.

The win­ner of the Jet­sPride match will play the vic­tor of the Wyn­num Manly and Easts game in a week-two elim­i­na­tor while the Black­hawks and Hun­ters have a week-two grand-fi­nal qual­i­fier.

 ??  ?? FIT AND FIR­ING: Prop Fran­cis Molo mak­ing his rugby league re­turn for Norths. Pic­ture: Dar­ren Eng­land
FIT AND FIR­ING: Prop Fran­cis Molo mak­ing his rugby league re­turn for Norths. Pic­ture: Dar­ren Eng­land

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