TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS 14 (Michael Parker-Walshe, Zac Santo tries; Kyle Feldt 3 goals) def MACKAY CUTTERS 12 (Jordan Pereira, Buchanan Rawhiti tries; Liam Taylor 2 goals) – Friday 5 June, Stadium Mackay

They were made to work for it, but the Townsville Blackhawks have returned to the winner’s circle and consolidated top spot on the ladder with a gritty 14-12 win over the Mackay Cutters to kick off round 13 in a battle of the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys feeder teams. 

The Blackhawks travelled to Mackay coming off a loss – just their second in their debut Intrust Super Cup season – and a bye over the past fortnight, while the Cutters were backing up from a typically dogged 12-10 win over the Northern Pride in Cairns.

Following a scoreless first half where defence dominated, the Blackhawks drew first blood seven minutes after half time when halfback Michael Parker-Walshe crossed.

From that point on, the teams traded tries as Cutters winger Jordan Pereira, Cowboys-contracted Blackhawk Zac Santo and Mackay’s Buchanan Rawhiti all touched down.

The win was sealed for Townsville when Cowboys’ squad member Kyle Feldt kicked a straightforward penalty in the final 10 minutes.

The Blackhawks now have 10 wins, two losses and a bye from 13 rounds of competition, while the Cutters have slipped one ladder place to sixth with a seven-win, five-loss, one-bye record.

The Blackhawks travel to Rockhampton to play the CQ Capras at Browne Park next Saturday, 13 June, while the Cutters host the Redcliffe Dolphins that day. 

NORTHERN PRIDE 24 (Linc Port 2, Graham Clark 2, Javid Bowen tries; Port 2 goals) def TWEED HEADS SEAGULLS 18 (Blake Anderson 2, Matt Robinson tries; Jamal Fogarty 3 goals) – Saturday 6 June, Barlow Park

The Northern Pride have put last weekend’s heartbreaking home loss against the Mackay Cutters behind them to score an impressive win over the Tweed Heads Seagulls.

The five-tries-to-three win at Barlow Park ensures the Pride are just one outside the crucial Intrust Super Cup top six, the Cairns-based side actually leapfrogging the Seagulls on the ladder.

The boys from the far north have six wins and six losses after 12 matches, plus two points for a bye.

Cowboys-contracted centre Javid Bowen crossed for a try in the Saturday afternoon match.

The six-point win moves the Pride’s for-and-against split to -1, a figure they would like to improve as the battle for finals spots heats up over the remaining rounds.

The Pride’s next game is next Sunday, 14 June, away against the Sunshine Coast Falcons.