Blackhawks vow to avoid more trouble after Pangai cops five- game ban
We won’t take the bait
michael. THE Townsville Blackhawks insist they will not fall victim to opposition niggle after centre Mosese Pangai was slapped with a five- game suspension.
Pangai successfully had a Grade 4 shoulder charge downgraded to Grade 3 after facing the Queensland Rugby League judiciary on Wednes- day night, but will miss the remainder of the regular season.
Pangai put a shoulder hit on an Easts Tigers player during last week’s heated Intrust Super Cup match in Brisbane, and earlier received separate contrary conduct and striking charges after an all- in scuffle.
Pangai provided early guilty pleas to all three charges, and Blackhawks prop Lorenzo Ma’afu also pleaded guilty to a striking charge resulting from the same match, copping a one- match suspension.
Blackhawks coach Kristian
O’Neill said he and Cowboys edge partner Matthew Wright were ready to stand up to the duo which has combined for more than a third of the Eels’ 61 tries this season.
“( Radradra’s) a great athlete, he’s quite big for a winger and he’s fast as well and great in the air,” O’Neill said.
“He’s one of those all- round athletes and we’ll have to watch him in a lot of different areas. He plays off Takairangi so there are a couple of players we’ll Woolf said his players learnt their lessons.
“We certainly don’t condone the actions that our players have taken on the field,” Woolf said.
“But that was very out of character for them and they are impeccable men, and we’ll make sure nothing like that happens again.
“We just have to be smarter in the way we handle the niggle that other teams give us.
“We thought it was more than fair that we were allowed to make our case and present have to work on and if we defend well as an edge, we should be able to handle him.”
Cowboys prop Ben Hannant said the responsibility for stopping the dynamic Fijian international wouldn’t just fall on O’Neill and Wright.
“( Radradra’s) an awesome player and he knows how to find the tryline,” Hannant said.
“We’re going to have our hands full trying to stop him and I’m glad he’s not a front rower.
had our arguments, so we really appreciated that opportunity.
“But we are disappointed in some inconsistencies when it came to similar incidents in previous games, and that particular game as well.”
Blackhawks utility Tom Humble will play at centre in place of Pangai ( right), and Ma’afu will have his starting role filled by either Ricky Thorby or Chris McLean.
Neville Costigan had one more medical test to pass yesterday after being sidelined with concussion last weekend.
“In saying that, he does run through the middle a bit.
“All 17 of us are going to have our work cut out trying to stop him.”
O’Neill said he was glad Wright would be fit to play the Eels after getting stitches in his hand for a cut sustained against Manly on Monday.
“We’ve been trying to work on that combination throughout the year and it’s good having Wrighty there, he talks a lot,” he said. “He’s definitely a player we want on our edge.
A big week off the field will be followed by a big weekend on it as the Blackhawks travel to Kokopo, Papua New Guinea, to face the in- form Hunters.
The game is a top- of- thetable clash, with PNG trailing the ladder- leading Blackhawks by one win.
“It’s going to be a very big weekend for us and there’ll be a lot of travel,” said Woolf, whose team travelled by bus to Cairns overnight before flying to Port Moresby today, and then on to Kokopo in nearby East New Britain.
“He got through training ( yesterday) and his hand seems OK and there is a few days left before the game so he should be all right.”
Co- captain Matt Scott also trained yesterday morning in another sign that a quadricep injury won’t stop him facing the Eels.
Scott has played 198 NRL games and if he plays on Monday against Parramatta, will be able to play his 200th game in Cowboys colours in front of his home fans.
HOWZAT: Cowboys winger Justin O’Neill with Southern Cross Catholic School student Sophie Fisher, 12, and ( Maddisan Melville, 11, and Ethan Hunter, 11, join in the fun. COWBOYS winger Justin O’Neill shows some pace on the field but he was met with pace of another sort yesterday afternoon.
O’Neill visited his Cowboys adopt- a- school Southern Cross Catholic School for a hit of cricket.