Black­hawks stay wary

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

TOWNSVILLE Bl a c khawks cap­tain An­thony Mitchell says Satur­day’s Queens­land Cup derby against the North­ern Pride will be any­thing but a walk in the park.

Re­cent form sug­gests the Black­hawks will be over­whelm­ing favourites for Satur­day night’s game at Jack Man­ski Oval, with the Black­hawks rid­ing a three- game los­ing streak, and the Pride los­ing their past seven en­coun­ters.

For­mer Bron­cos for­ward Fran­cis Molo also plays his first game for the Black­hawks, and Jor­dan Drew has al­ready proved him­self as a Q Cup stand­out just two games af­ter sign­ing from NRL pre­miers Cronulla.

But Mitchell has played enough North­ern derbies to know the Pride will travel to Townsville with a point to prove

“Ever since we en­tered the com­pe­ti­tion there has been that ri­valry, that big brother, lit­tle brother feel,” Mitchell said.

“The Pride will al­ways be out to beat us no mat­ter who they have in their team, and any team that comes up here al­ways turns up to play.

“It’s also our chance to win the new Fo­ley Shield and we want to give our­selves ev­ery chance of win­ning.”

The Black­hawks will field a near full strength team, with Daniel Beasley not named in the Black­hawks 17 ear­lier this week as he con­tin­ues to re­cover from a ham­string in­jury.

The Pride have a host of ex­pe­ri­enced Q Cup cam­paign­ers such as Ryan Ghi­etti, Shel­don Powe- Hobbs and Colin Wilkie, and also a mix of ris­ing tal­ents in­clud­ing for­mer Cow­boys un­der- 20s prop Dar­ryn Schonig and 19- year- old full­back Kienan Gro­gan- Hayes.

But it’s the twin threats of Cow­boys out­side backs Javid Bowen and Gideon Ge­laMosby that could be the big­gest guns in the Pride’s at­tack­ing ar­moury.

Bowen will play at right cen­tre op­po­site Black­hawks cen­tre Davin Cramp­ton, while Gela- Mosby could play on the same side if the Cow­boys al­lo­cate him to Q cup as ex­pected later in the week.

“Javid didn’t play against us last time we played the Pride, but we know how dan­ger­ous he is,” Mitchell said.

“He’s a big strike weapon for them and with this game be­ing played next door ( to the Cow­boys) I’m sure he’ll be push­ing to make his case for NRL. They have a big pack as well, and for what­ever rea­son when they play against us they seem to take a more pro­fes­sional ap­proach.

“I’d say it will be about us do­ing the hard work again in the first half and try­ing to put it over them af­ter half­time.”

The Black­hawks and Pride clashed ear­lier this year in Cairns, with the Black­hawks grind­ing out a 28- 18 win.

The Black­hawks are placed fifth on the Q Cup lad­der – three wins be­hind lead­ers the PNG Hun­ters – and the Pride sit one spot off the bot­tom in 13th. Satur­day’s game kicks off at 6pm.

Black­hawks star An­thony Mitchell.

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