• CQ CAPRAS v TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS
Saturday 13 June, Browne Park, Rockhampton
Blackhawks 46 (Zac Santo 3, Michael Parker-Walshe 2, Noel Underwood, Kyle Feldt, Daniel Beasley tries; Feldt 7 goals) def Capras 6 (Rajan Opetaia-Halls try; Ian Webster goal).
After grinding out a tough 14-12 win over fellow North Queensland Toyota Cowboys feeder team the Mackay Cutters in round 13, the top-placed Blackhawks returned to their free-wheeling best with a dominant win over the struggling CQ Capras in Rockhampton.
Keen to show they were a better side than their Intrust Super Cup ladder position indicated (14th of 14 teams with a 1-12 win-loss record), the Capras were never in the contest as the visiting Townsville side ran away with an eight-tries-to-one victory, the team’s 11th from 13 games.
North Queensland NRL squad member Zac Santo crossed for a hat-trick in the convincing win, while fellow Cowboy Kyle Feldt touched down for a four-pointer while kicking seven from eight conversion attempts.
Other Cowboys to play for the Blackhawks were Glenn Hall (forward) and Kelepi Tanginoa (forward), while Robert Lui (halfback) made a successful return to the paddock after several weeks out with a hamstring injury.
Despite the heavy loss on Saturday, the Capras will be keen to impress incoming coach and current Mackay Cutters mentor Kim Williams for the balance of what has been a disappointing season, with incumbent coach Jason Hetherington stepping aside at season’s end due to family reasons.
• MACKAY CUTTERS v REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS
Saturday 13 June, Stadium Mackay
Mackay Cutters 28 (Coen Hess 2, Jordan Pereira, Buchanan Rawhiti, Brenden Treston; Liam Taylor 4 goals) def Redcliffe Dolphins 18 (Josh Beehag, Oliver Regan, Harley Aiono, Nick Ritter tries; Luke Capewell goal).
Hosting their second consecutive Intrust Super Cup match, the fifth-place Cutters (8 wins, 5 losses) had too much firepower for the Redcliffe Dolphins (10th, 4 wins, 9 losses) at Stadium Mackay.
With Cowboys-contracted hooker/five-eighth Rory Kostjasyn given the weekend off after travelling to Parramatta for the NRL’s round 13 as 18th man, the Cutters’ NQ-affiliated players were Josh Chudleigh (hooker) and under-20s Coen Hess (back rower), playing in his first state league game.
Hess impressed in his Intrust Super Cup debut, scoring a double in the five-tries-to-four win for the Cutters.
Chudleigh suffered a shoulder injury during the match and is set to miss one week of rugby league.
The Cutters travel south to play Easts Tigers in Brisbane on Sunday.
• SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS v NORTHERN PRIDE
Sunday 14 June, Barlow Park
Northern Pride 28 (Linc Port 2, Brett Anderson 2, Luke George, Semi Tadulala; Port 2 goals) def Sunshine Coast Falcons 6 (Suliasi Vunivalu tries; David Oakes goal).
The Pride (7 wins, 6 losses) now sit just one point adrift of the Intrust Super Cup top six with their second straight victory over a southern Queensland team.
In a clinical display – and without injured Cowboys-contracted centre Javid Bowen (shoulder), the Pride reeled off six tries against the Falcons, who are languishing in 11th spot on the ladder with four wins and nine losses.
Despite Bowen’s absence, the Cowboys were well-represented in the Pride lineup with Hezron Murgha (fullback) and Patrick Kaufusi, Ben Spina and Cameron King (forwards) all playing.
The Cairns-based Pride will be facing much tougher opposition this weekend when they travel south to play the Blackhawks at Jack Manski Oval.