Black­hawks wary

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

A PLACE in­side the Queens­land Cup’s top four is within touch­ing dis­tance for the Townsville Black­hawks, but get­ting there this week­end will be no sim­ple feat.

The Black­hawks play the Burleigh Bears on the Gold Coast to­day, and a win would put them on the brink of leapfrog­ging Sun­shine Coast into fourth.

Sun­shine Coast play com­pe­ti­tion lead­ers PNG to­mor­row, and a loss would put the Fal­cons back on equal points with the Black­hawks.

That is, if the Black­hawks come away from Pizzey Park with a win.

Black­hawks coach Kris­tian Woolf is wary of the Bears, who scored a 20- 18 win against the Black­hawks at Jack Man­ski Oval in Round 7.

“You look out­side of where they’re sit­ting on the lad­der and they re­ally are one of the strong­est teams in the com­pe­ti­tion,” Woolf said.

“Play­ers like Luke Page, Matt White and Jamie Dowling have all been in NRL sys­tems and they pro­vide a lot punch in the mid­dle, and their have a lot of strike power with blokes like Kurtis Rowe and Ja­mal Fog­a­rty who also have NRL ex­pe­ri­ence.

“We’re ex­tremely wary of them and it’s one of our big­gest games of the sea­son so far.

“They’re com­ing off a ( 32- 26) win against Sun­shine Coast and they were very strong in that game.

“They were up 24- 6 at one stage and that shows the type of abil­ity they have.”

Woolf will to­day de­cide whether to field Te­mone Power or Kier­ran Quabba in place of sus­pended prop Sione Lousi, who misses to­day’s en­counter af­ter plead­ing guilty to a shoul­der charge in the wake of last week­end’s 22- 20 loss to Ip­swich in Win­ton.

“Kier­ran is com­ing back from a ham­string in­jury and he brings a lot of ef­fort and en­thu­si­asm, you can rely on him for that,” Woolf said.

“Te­mone is get­ting bet­ter with each game and he brings more of an X- fac­tor in at­tack, so we’ll have to de­cide what we go with.”

Black­hawks half­back Michael Parker- Wal­she was close to pass­ing late fit­ness tests, but will again be side­lined to fully re­cover from an in­jured shoul­der.

Burleigh’s late run of form has come too late, with the de­fend­ing pre­miers placed 10th and out of fi­nals con­tention.

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