‘ Nig­gle’ trap fires play­ers in nail­biter

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT -

Two early tries through Malone and play­maker Shaun Nona got Easts to a 10- 0 lead in­side the first five min­utes, al­though Glenn Hall got Townsville on the board soon af­ter with a pow­er­ful run to the try­line.

The hosts hit back to lead 16- 6, but Thorby barged over to get Townsville’s sec­ond to close the gap, and Kyle Feldt soared over in the cor­ner to give the Black­hawks an equaliser.

Michael Parker- Wal­she scored the first of his three tries less than 10 min­utes be­fore half- time, giv­ing Townsville a 22- 16 lead, but the flood­gates re­mained shut this time, with Easts re­cov­er­ing with two tries to have a 28- 22 buf­fer at the break.

The drama stepped up in the sec­ond stanza, with Pan­gai put on re­port early in the piece, and the ill- feel­ing con­tin­ued with spo­radic flare- ups for the rest of the game.

When Thorby was stretchered off and prop Liam Tay­lor scored for Easts with less than 30 min­utes re­main­ing, Townsville had a moun­tain to climb trail­ing 34- 22, but a quick­fire dou­ble from Parker- Wal­she – one try com­ing from a great side­line run and grub­ber from Zac Santo – got the Black­hawks back on level terms.

A great fin­ish from Santo then ap­peared to hand Townsville a re­mark­able win, only for Malone to steal a draw for the fifth- placed Tigers.

The Black­hawks will look to get back on track in what will be a tough test against the Hun­ters over in Pa­pua New Guinea next round.

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