You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Falcons bounce back with gritty win over Blackhawks

The Sunshine Coast Falcons have defeated the Townsville Blackhawks 24-16 in a tough, uncompromising encounter at Jack Manski Oval.

Following a moving Anzac Day ceremony on field, both teams threw themselves into the battle with neither team giving an inch early on - the Blackhawks controlling territory.

However, it was Sunshine Coast who struck first with fullback Matthew Milson scoring in the 13th minute, the Todd Murphy conversion giving the visitors an early lead.

A Shaun Nona grubber-kick was pounced on by Nathan Barrett in the 28th minute, with the Nona conversion levelling up the score.

In the 33rd minute, Murphy slotted a penalty goal to give the Falcons an 8-6 lead at half-time.

Milson was in the action again in the 45th minute, giving a classy pass to BJ Aufaga-Toomaga to score in the corner. Murphy kicked the goal from the sideline to give the Falcons momentum and an eight-point buffer.

Nona was involved again, throwing a cut-out pass to Carlin Anderson to score the try and reduce the deficit to only four.

Nathan Barrett celebrates. Photo: Alix Sweeney
Nathan Barrett celebrates. Photo: Alix Sweeney

Nat McGavin increased the lead of the visitors in the 63rd minute when he scored following a kick from Aufaga-Toomaga, who somehow got his foot to the ball despite the attention of numerous Blackhawks defenders. This left the score at 18-10.

Milson put the result beyond doubt after he latched on to an inside ball from Cooper Johns in the 75th minute. Following the conversion from Murphy, the Falcons had an unassailable lead.

Barrett crossed for a double in the 78th minute, converted by Nona, but the game had gone.

Townsville coach Aaron Payne lamented his teams lack of execution post-match.

"I cannot fault the effort of the team," Payne said.

"They are trying exceptionally hard, but we need to improve our execution."

The Blackhawks will regroup whilst cheering on their Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup side at home next week, travelling to Redcliffe in a fortnight.

The Falcons tackle Mackay at home.

Acknowledgement of Country

Melbourne Storm respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.