Black­hawks re­gain mojo as test looms

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

THE Townsville Black­hawks are con­fi­dent they’ve re­dis­cov­ered their killer in­stinct af­ter over­com­ing a de­ter­mined Cen­tral Capras side 26- 14 in Rock­hamp­ton on Sat­ur­day night.

Emo­tions were run­ning high for the last- placed Capras as they pre­pared to farewell co- cap­tain Gavin His­cox in his fi­nal home game and they came out fir­ing when winger Ken Tofi­lau scored af­ter just four min­utes.

The Black­hawks were quick to re­ply through Blake Leary for a 6- 4 lead be­fore Capras full­back Tony Tu­musa found his way across for his side’s sec­ond, but a try blitz from Car­lin An­der­son and Jor­dan Drew just be­fore the break gave the vis­i­tors a 14- 8 half­time lead

An­der­son made it a dou­ble in the 55th minute be­fore the Capras closed the gap with a con­verted try to hooker Krys Free­man, but Daniel Beasley iced a strong win for the Black­hawks right on full- time.

The Black­hawks have been guilty of let­ting games slip away dur­ing the past fort­night and coach Kris­tian Woolf said he was pleased to see his side con­trol­ling the game more ef­fec­tively.

“The Capras turned up and had a lot of emo­tional in­vest­ment in the game and played re­ally well. We had to work hard and play quite well to beat them,” Woolf said.

“I thought we re­ally stran­gled them to death in the sec­ond half. We re­ally dom­i­nated the field po­si­tion and pos­ses­sion and just re­ally stran­gled them un­til they broke.

“They weren’t go­ing to go away easy and they had a lot of en­ergy, but we just hung in and showed some good pa­tience.”

Much of that com­po­sure could be at­trib­uted to the re­turn of half­back Michael Parker- Wal­she, who had been side­lined for the past month with a shoul­der in­jury. Parker- Wal­she com­bined ef­fort­lessly with five- eighth Kyle Lay­butt and hooker An­thony Mitchell, and Woolf felt the tal­ented half­back added more pol­ish to their at­tack­ing sets.

“He hasn’t played footy for over a month so we couldn’t put too much on him, but he han­dled the oc­ca­sion re­ally well,” Woolf said.

“He just added those things that had been lack­ing and his fifth- play op­tions were re­ally good.

“I think it’s a big part of what we’ve been miss­ing, be­ing able to go through your sets and still ask some ques­tions of the de­fence with­out try­ing to find those 50- 50 plays. Parker- Wal­she in par­tic­u­lar brought that mind­set.”

The win helps the Black­hawks ce­ment sixth on the lad­der but they still have an ar­du­ous run home against the com­pe­ti­tion’s top two sides in Pa­pua New Guinea and Sun­shine Coast.

It all starts with the PNG Hunters at Jack Man­ski Oval this Sat­ur­day but Woolf said the Black­hawks would take plenty of con­fi­dence out of their win over the Capras.

“That gives us a real con­fi­dence boost and re­minds us of what style of footy we play best. We’re in a good po­si­tion to play PNG in what’s go­ing to be a tough game at home,” Woolf said.

CON­FI­DENCE BOOSTER: Townsville Black­hawks play­ers Michael Parker- Wal­she and Blake Leary in ac­tion against the CQ Capras. Pic­ture: CHRIS ISON

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