Black­hawks sweat on Parker- Wal­she

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - TRENT SLATTER trent. slatter@ news. com. au

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.”

KEEN: Black­hawks half Michael Parker- Wal­she may re­turn from in­jury to­day. Pic­ture: WES­LEY MONTS

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