Costi­gan cau­tious

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

TOWNSVILLE Black­hawks lock Neville Costi­gan has learned the hard way that get­ting ahead of your­self is never a good thing, es­pe­cially in rugby league.

The Black­hawks are charg­ing their way to a mi­nor premier­ship with seven rounds re­main­ing in the In­trust Su­per Cup reg­u­lar sea­son, lead­ing the com­pe­ti­tion out­right af­ter drop­ping just two games this year.

They re­asserted their dom­i­nance last week­end with a 50- 6 thump­ing of Norths Devils de­spite miss­ing a hand­ful of key per­son­nel, adding fur­ther hype to their premier­ship cre­den­tials.

Costi­gan has ex­pe­ri­enced the same ex­pec­ta­tions in NRL, hav­ing been part of St Ge­orge Illawarra’s mi­nor premier­ship team of 2009 that was then bun­dled out of the first two weeks of fi­nals.

The Dragons at the time looked sure things un­der new coach Wayne Ben­nett, and the shock of their sud­den exit still rings with Costi­gan to this day.

“I re­mem­ber that year with the Dragons and how we were the mi­nor pre­miers and ev­ery­thing was go­ing our way,” Costi­gan said. Among his team­mates in the Dragons’ 2009 squad was cur­rent Black­hawk Ricky Thorby.

“It was a great way to end the year with the mi­nor premier­ship, but then we got bun­dled out and it was over.

“You re­ally need to take it one game at a time and not take things for granted, be­cause it’s a tough com­pe­ti­tion.”

Costi­gan will play his 50th In­trust Su­per Cup game in Sun­day’s tele­vised game against the fifth- placed Easts Tigers, who edged out the Ip­swich Jets 18- 16 last week­end.

De­spite his ex­pe­ri­ence with the Dragons, Costi­gan still be­lieves the Black­hawks can achieve some­thing spe­cial in their inau­gu­ral sea­son.

“We’ve been pretty con­sis­tent all year and the depth we have is great,” he said.

“This week­end is go­ing to be a good chal­lenge for us, es­pe­cially up the mid­dle, and we’re def­i­nitely not ex­pect­ing the same sort of re­sult ( 40- 12 win) as last time.

“Easts will be want­ing some re­venge and they’ll be very keen to put on a good game in front of their sup­port­ers.”

Sun -day’ s game will be broad - cast from 1. 30 pm on Chan­nel 9.

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