Lousi’s out for bat­tle of Burleigh

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

AUS­TRALIA’S men’s wa­ter polo team have lost to Ser­bia 15- 5 in the quar­ter- fi­nals of the world cham­pi­onships in Hun­gary.

The Sharks were out­siders for Tues­day’s clash in Bu­dapest and strug­gled early to be three goals down at quar­ter- time.

Things didn’t im­prove in the sec­ond and the Aussies team found them­selves trail­ing 8- 3 at the main break.

Aus­tralia had no an­swer to world No. 1 Ser­bia, who ex­tended their lead in ev­ery quar­ter to be seven goals up by the fi­nal change.

The Sharks, ranked ninth in the world, will face Italy on Thurs­day in their bid to fin­ish as high as fifth.

Aus­tralia won’t have a team in the tour­na­ment’s semi- fi­nals af­ter their women’s team were beaten by the United States. TOWNSVILLE Bl a c khawks prop Sione Lousi will miss Satur­day’s Queens­land Cup game against Burleigh af­ter tak­ing an early guilty plea to a shoul­der charge.

Lousi ac­cepted the one game penalty in the wake of last weekend’s loss to the Ip­swich Jets in Win­ton, and winger Jonathon Reuben will be free to play af­ter also plead­ing guilty to his grade one dan­ger­ous throw.

Lousi risked miss­ing games if he fronted Queens­land Cup ju­di­ciary.

“We go in and look at ev­ery­thing case by case,” Black­hawks oper­a­tions man­ager Adrian Thom­son said.

“We def­i­nitely want to fight for our play­ers, but if we’ve got noth­ing to re­ally fight with we prob­a­bly have to ac­cept it.

“In this case it was prob­a­bly more ben­e­fi­cial for us to take our medicine and move on.”

Lousi made 80m in the Black­hawks’ 22- 20 loss to Ip­swich and was hard to con­tain, with the for­mer New Zealand War­riors prop scor­ing a try and com­ing close to get­ting an­other.

There will be enough depth to cover his forced omis­sion, with Ing­ham ju­nior Kier­ran Quabba or Mackay’s Ross Bella a chance of be­ing named on the Black­hawks’ bench. two the

“Ob­vi­ously Sione’s a big loss be­cause he’s been pretty solid,” Thom­son said.

“But at the end of the day that’s where things are at.

“We’ll have to make a change but we still have a bit of time to look at a few things, so we’ll make a de­ci­sion by the end of the week.”

The Black­hawks lost to Burleigh in Round 7 but have en­joyed suc­cess against the Bears in the re­cent past, in­clud­ing their club record 78- 6 win in 2015.

Burleigh have over­come a re­cent form slump to win their past two games, in­clud­ing last weekend’s 32- 26 win against the Sun­shine Coast Fal­cons, while the Black­hawks had a six- game win­ning streak bro­ken by their loss in Win­ton.

Black­hawks coach Kris­tian Woolf is keen to see his team make quick amends, es­pe­cially af­ter ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a mid- sea­son form that in­cluded the club’s record 42- 4 loss to PNG.

“We had to talk about progress and what we weren’t do­ing well,” Woolf said.

“We had to change our at­ti­tude to­wards a few things, but the pos­i­tive thing is we not only did we do that but we did it re­ally well.

“We just have to make sure we’re bet­ter this weekend.

“We need to make sure we’re re­ally good in the last four games and have a gen­uine crack at the fi­nals.”

Burleigh will host the Black­hawks at Pizzey Park on Satur­day, with kick- off at 5.45pm.

OUT: Townsville Black­hawks for­ward Sione Lousi was sus­pended for one game. Pic­ture: ALIX SWEENEY

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