TOP TEST BEGINS
THE Townsville Blackhawks never doubted for a second that their debut Intrust Super Cup season would be a hard ride.
Still in top place following their brilliant season start, the Blackhawks got a stern reminder against the Easts Tigers that opposition teams will not lie down come finals football.
Fired up and with a clear mission to get in the Blackhawks’ faces, the Tigers successfully rattled them enough to surge to a surprise lead and maintain the rage all game, culminating in a 40- all draw they grabbed at the death with a late try.
There were plenty of bright spots for the Blackhawks though, with Michael Parker- Walshe again pulling the strings at halfback and scoring three tries, and their edges again turned on the magic with a handful of eye- catching tries, including a superb sideline effort from Kyle Feldt.
Most promising of all was the Blackhawks’ ability to overcome a 12- point deficit to lead 40- 34, only for fortunate circumstances to hand Easts their equaliser.
Blackhawks forwards Anthony Mitchell, Daniel Beasley and Chris McLean had big games after Neville Costigan and Ricky Thorby were sidelined with concussion.
“Mitchell was one of our best and Dan Beasley did a great job to play over 70 minutes,” Blackhawks coach Kristian Woolf said. “Chris McLean also had a very solid game, so those three did well to step up for us when we needed them, too.”
Blackhawks utility Tom Humble has experienced his fair share of top- tier rugby league seasons, both NRL and reserve grade, and admits the going is getting tough. “This time of the season, it’s been a long year so far and there’s still a bit to go, so the boys are just in a grind now, and getting up week- in, week- out is pretty tough,” he said recently.
The Blackhawks have a bye this weekend before starting their run home with games against Tweeds Heads, Ipswich, Sunshine Coast and Redcliffe.
* The Blackhawks played their Round 20 match against the PNG Hunters in Kokopo on Saturday after this publication went to print.
ON SONG: Kyle Feldt