Black­hawks on song

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - MICHAEL THOMPSON michael. thompson@ news. com. au

THE premier­ship cre­den­tials of the Townsville Black­hawks have soared to new lev­els fol­low­ing their clin­i­cal 46- 12 de­feat of the Burleigh Bears on Satur­day.

Two tries from ris­ing winger Sam­sen O’Neill stirred the Black­hawks to a 30- point sec­ond- half surge fol­low­ing a gritty open­ing stanza that tested Townsville’s de­fen­sive met- tle, with Burleigh well in the fight at half- time trail­ing 16- 6.

But Townsville turned on the raz­zle daz­zle to crush Burleigh’s hopes of an up­set, with the Black­hawks back five flour­ish­ing from yet another strong up­front per­for­mance.

Townsville ju­nior Jack Kelle­her scored his maiden try in the shad­ows of full- time to cap off the Black­hawks win, which main­tains their out­right lead on the In­trust Sup Cup lad­der.

“Burleigh ob­vi­ously came to play and they started with plenty of energy,” Black­hawks coach Kris­tian Woolf said.

“It was their Old Boys day and the club had peo­ple mak­ing speeches and stuff like that be­fore kick- off, so they had plenty in the way of mo­ti­va­tion.

“They came with a men­tal­ity to throw the ball around and that pro­vided a good test of our de­fen­sive line.”

Miss­ing reg­u­lar Cowboys al­lo­cated play­ers Glenn Hall and Robert Lui through first grade du­ties, the Black­hawks showed plenty of re­solve to see off Burleigh’s fir­ing start and score an early try through cen­tre Moses Pan­gai, be­fore Johnathan Reuben scored their sec­ond af­ter 20 min­utes.

A dart­ing run from full­back Jahrome Hughes led to fiveeighth Tom Hum­ble scor­ing Townsville’s third, but Burleigh fin­ished the half on a high when cen­tre Dim­itri Pelo col­lected a high ball to crash over the try­line.

But it was one- way traf­fic in the sec­ond as the Black­hawks clicked into gear thanks to O’Neill’s dou­ble, which he scored be­fore the coup de grace through tries to Kyle Feldt, Zac Santo and Kelle­her in a sublime 10- minute pe­riod.

“Sam­sen ( O’Neill) cer­tainly played his best game of the year so far and hope­fully he can stay fit and healthy to get some more games un­der his belt,” Woolf said.

Burleigh had re­peat sets at the Black­hawks line in the fi­nal minute, but were de­nied by des­per­ate de­fence.

“There’s been times this year where we’ve al­lowed those sort of tries in, but it was good to see the boys mak­ing an ef­fort to shut them out at the very end,” Woolf said. TOWNSVILLE BLACK­HAWKS 46 ( Sam­sen O’Neill 2, Zac Santo, Kyle Feldt, Mos­ese Pan­gai, Jonathan Reuben, Tom Hum­ble, Jack Kelle­her; 7 goals Kyle Feldt) def BURLEIGH BEARS 12 ( Jamie An­der­son, Dim­itri Pelo; 2 goals Khan Ah­wang 2).

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