Blackhawks sweat on Parker- Walshe
TOWNSVILLE Blackhawks halfback Michael ParkerWalshe could make a timely return to help rescue his side’s finals hopes today when they travel to Rockhampton to face the Central Capras.
Parker- Walshe has been sidelined with a shoulder injury since Townsville’s win over Norths early last month.
The talented halfback is still rated a “50- 50 chance” of taking the field this weekend pending a late fitness test, but coach Kristian Woolf said his inclusion would be a huge boost to the team.
“He adds a lot to us and he takes control of the team. He’s our halfback for a reason and one of our best players for the past three years,” Woolf said.
“We can’t expect too much if he does play given he’s been out for a month, but either way he’s going to make a difference.”
The Blackhawks could use Parker- Walshe’s composure as they find themselves in a precarious finals position with just three games left before the Queensland Cup finals.
Townsville have been guilty of letting too many chances slip away over the past fortnight, with narrow losses to Ipswich ( 22- 20) and Burleigh ( 28- 22).
The Blackhawks face a brutal finish to the regular season against top- two sides Papua New Guinea and Sunshine Coast, but Woolf said they first had to focus on improving against the Capras.
“Every game is must win. We’re just really focusing on this week and making sure we come up with a really good performance. If we do that then we’ll come away with the result,” Woolf said.
“We just need to be a bit better. We’ve had two losses where we just haven’t played anywhere near where we need to play, both with the ball making errors and not building pressure.
“Defensively we need to be stronger as well, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a different game.”
The last- placed Capras have endured a tough season, but they’ll have a point to prove against the Blackhawks following the reappointment of coach Kim Williams for the 2018 season.
Townsville only escaped with a 26- 26 draw when they last faced the Capras after winger Johnathan Reuben scored at the death before Carlin Anderson slotted a sideline conversion.
Woolf said he expected another spirited performance from the Capras and he was adamant the Blackhawks won’t take them lightly. “They’re a dangerous side with really dangerous players,” Woolf said.
“I expect them to throw the ball around a bit and chance their hand and pop the ball for some offloads.
“If we’re defending well then that gives us a bit more footy, but if we’re loose in what we’re doing then it makes things more difficult.”