Minoga named at lock for Townsville


KUMULS and former SP  Hunters forward Willie Minoga, pictured, will run out tomorrow for the Townsville Blackhawks at lock – his first run on start for the club.
Used mainly as an impact forward off the bench throughout the 2016 season, coach Kristian Woolf has shown faith by handing the No.13 jersey to the Engan as his side faces Hunters conquerors the Sunshine Coast Falcons at Jack Manski Oval in a 4pm minor semifinal fixture in the Instrust Super Cup.
Fellow Kumul Rhyse Martin packs in at second-row while former North Queensland Cowboys legend Matty Bowen has been named on the bench.
In the opening week of the finals, the Blackhawks hammered the Easts Tigers 46-4 in the 3rd v 6th clash at the same venue, and last year’s losing grand finalists are favoured to beat the Falcons, who upset the Hunters 18-12 at the National Football Stadium last Sunday.
Rather than seeing their arduous travel schedule as an excuse, Falcons coach Craig Ingebrigtsen urged his players to see the next challenge as an opportunity to achieve something special.
“From my end we’ve got nothing to lose this weekend,” Ingebrigtsen said.
“We’ve overachieved and everybody probably thinks we’re not going to beat them, but that’s when you are dangerous, when you don’t have a lot to lose.”
With their ties to the Melbourne Storm, the Falcons have not been able to train as a full squad for the past three weeks.
This week, players such as Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Felise Kaufusi, Ryan Morgan and Curtis Scott need to be on hand for the Storm’s captain’s run in Melbourne today before flying to Brisbane tonight.
The winner of this match advances to face the loser of the major semifinal between minor premiers the Redcliffe Dolphins and the Burleigh Bears which takes place at Dolphin Oval on Sunday.
The Blackhawks made the Q-Cup grand final last year after finishing minor premiers in their debut season but lost 32-20 to the Ipswich Jets.

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