Hawks go clear at top of ladder
Manunda Hawks have firmed as premiership favourites after flexing their muscles to pass their biggest test so far this season on Saturday. The Hawks overcame wayward kicking in the first half at a blustery Cazalys to post a determined 14-point win over the Port Douglas Crocs and in the process took firm control at the top of the Cairns AFL ladder.
But it took a first-class display in the third quarter, as the Hawks booted nine goals to turn a 21-point deficit at the half-time break into a 21-point lead at the final change.
Led by the dash of best-afield Glen Martin at half-back, the Hawks quickly snuffed out any late challenge from the Crocs, who were afforded the stiff breeze at their backs for the last quarter.
Tenacious young Hawks forward Alex Carter booted one goal, and set up another with a huge defensive effort, as the home side kicked two in succession against the wind to take an unassailable 33-point lead.
The Crocs made a half-hearted late charge, but it failed to eventuate into anything worrying for the Hawks as their back six held strong. Hawks coach Paul Griffiths lauded his team’s efforts as they repelled the Crocs’ attempts to sneak back into the game.
"We were there to be beaten, we were challenged, but we know we can come back from anywhere," he said. "This group is very confident."
Griffiths said he was looking forward to the clash with the Saints this weekend, with a win over the Crocs the perfect preparation.
"It’s good to play these two top sides one after another," he said.
Courtesy of The Cairns Post.