• BURLEIGH BEARS v TOWNSVILLE BLACKHAWKS
Saturday 4 July, Pizzey Park, Gold Coast
Townsville Blackhawks 46 (Samsen O’Neill 2, Zac Santo, Kyle Feldt, Mosese Pangai, Jonathan Reuben, Tom Humble, Jack Kelleher tries; Kyle Feldt 7 goals) def Burleigh Bears 12 (Jamie Anderson, Dimitri Pelo tries; Khan Ahwang 2 goals) at Pizzey Park.
The last time these teams met, in Round 9, the Blackhawks put the Bears to the sword 78-6. While Saturday’s result wasn’t quite such a blowout, the Blackhawks triumphed comfortably, 46-12, and were never headed after scoring the first three tries. Slightly weakened due to injuries and players being called up for Cowboys National Rugby League duty, the Blackhawks maintained top spot on the Instrust Super Cup ladder via a dominant win as Samsen O’Neill, younger brother of Cowboys flyer Justin, crossed twice in the seven-tries-to-two victory. NRL squad members Zac Santo and Kyle Feldt both scored, while Feldt was in fine touch with the boot, kicking seven from eight conversion attempts. The Blackhawks sit three points clear on top of the ladder with 14 wins and two losses from 16 games. They next play Norths Devils on Saturday, July 11 at Jack Manski Oval, Townsville.
• NORTHERN PRIDE v EASTS TIGERS
Saturday 4 July, Barlow Park, Cairns
Northern Pride 24 (Linc Port, Justin Castellaro, Luke George, Keelan White tries; Justin Castellaro 4 goals) def Easts Tigers 12 (Michael Kai 2 tries; Shaun Nona 2 goals) at Barlow Park.
For the second straight week, the Pride have posted a timely victory over a top six team with a 24-12 win over Easts Tigers at Barlow Park, Cairns. Like the Blackhawks, the Pride were down on frontline troops but stood tall to score four tries to two in the grand final rematch from last year. Last week, the Pride edged third-placed Ipswich 20-14 and returned to their home ground at the weekend to down the fifth-placed Tigers. The Pride got off to a stunning start in scoring the opening three tries of the match. With nine wins and sevens losses from 16 games this season, the Pride sit in seventh place on the ladder, equal on points with stablemates Mackay, but edged out of the all-important top six on for-and-against. The Pride’s next assignment is an away match to Brisbane-based Souths Logan Magpies.
• SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS v MACKAY CUTTERS
Saturday 4 July, Sunshine Coast Stadium, Sunshine Coast
Mackay Cutters 32 (Buchanan Rawhiti 2, Sam Clune, Jordan Pereira, Justin Tavae, Brad Lupi tries; Liam Taylor 4 goals) def Sunshine Coast Falcons 14 (Young Tonumaipea, Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Sam Young tries; Ryan Hansen goal) at Sunshine Coast Stadium.
It was always going to an emotional afternoon at Sunshine Coast Stadium as the Falcons played their first Intrust Super Cup match after the death of player James Ackerman from injuries incurred in a tackle a fortnight ago. The Falcons forfeited their Round 16 match against the Blackhawks in Townsville last weekend so as they could grieve Ackerman and support his family. Returning to the field with undoubted heavy hearts, the Falcons battled valiantly but were no match for the sixth-placed Cutters, who posted six tries in the 32-14 result. The Cutters have their second bye of the season next weekend.
Other Round 17 results
SUNDAY, JULY 4, 2015
REDCLIFFE DOLPHINS 28 (Jon Green 2, Josh Beehag, Josh Rudolph, Anthony Cherrington tries; Luke Capewell 4 goals) drew with PNG HUNTERS 28 (Wartovo Puara 2, Stargroth Amean, Israel Eliab, Oti Bland Tony tries; Noel Zeming 4 goals) at Dolphin Oval.
IPSWICH JETS 52 (Nemani Valekapa 2, Brandon McGrady 2, Carlin Anderson, Landon Hayes, Sam Martin, Kurt Capewell, Haydan Lipp tries; Carlin Anderson 8 goals) def SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES 34 (Tim Brooks 3, Scott Doyle, Rhys Jacks, Andrew Edwards, Joe Boyce tries; Scott Doyle 3 goals) at North Ipswich Reserve.
WYNNUM MANLY SEAGULLS 40 (John Te Reo 2, Peter Gubb, Matthew Grieve, Patrick Templeton, Matthew Seamark, Brendon Gibb tries; Matthew Seamark 6 goals) def NORTHS DEVILS 16 (Joel Bailey 2, Michael Lucas tries; Liam Tyson 2 goals) at Bishop Park.