Keep­ing faith

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - MICHAEL THOMPSON

A WEEK­END bye for the Cowboys is not ex­pected to re­sult in an al­lo­ca­tion bo­nanza for the Townsville Black­hawks, who ex­pect to have an un­changed team for to­day’s clash against Norths Devils.

Robert Lui ( pic­tured) and Glenn Hall may be rested af­ter their ap­pear­ance for North Queens­land in last week­end’s 18- 16 win over St Ge­orge Illawarra, but the Black­hawks will re­tain Kyle Feldt, Zac Santo and Kelepi Tangi­noa.

The Black­hawks will play half­back Michael Parker- Wal­she af­ter the for­mer New Zealand ju­nior pulled up well from a corked knee, and Chris McLean and Noel Un­der­wood will also re­turn af­ter miss­ing last week­end’s thump­ing of Burleigh be­cause of per­sonal com­mit­ments.

“We haven’t fi­nalised any­thing yet and we can’t re­ally make any de­ci­sions un­til the boys get their physio done, but it’s ba­si­cally go­ing to be the same team as last week­end,” Black­hawks coach Kris­tian Woolf said. “Michael should be fine and ready to play.”

The Black­hawks and Devils are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing con­trast­ing for­tunes, with the Black­hawks hold­ing an out­right lead on the In­trust Su­per Lad­der af­ter win­ning 14 of their 16 games, and Norths man­ag­ing just three to sit sec­ond from the bot­tom.

Norths lost their last en­counter 40- 16 to Wyn­num Manly, but Woolf is brac­ing for the un­ex­pected. As a Bris­bane Bron­cos feeder club, Norths could field the likes of Kodi Niko­rima, Dale Co­p­ley and Todd Lowrie – who have all played for Norths this year.

Adding to the in­trigue is the fact a host of North Queens­land prod­ucts will also turn out for Norths, in­clud­ing for­mer Cowboys un­der- 20s play­ers Ro­gan Dean.

“It’s hard to know who they might play, so it’s a bit of the un­ex­pected at this stage,” Woolf said. “They’ve had some tough games re­cently but they have plenty of qual­ity play­ers.”

Kick- off for to­day’s game at Jack Man­ski Oval is at 4pm.

Pic­ture: ZAK SIM­MONDS

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