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.