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A game of several halves
NORTH QLD YOUNG GUNS 28 defeat SOUTHS-LOGAN MAGPIES 20
North Queensland?s mid-week signing of Brett Firman seemingly provided the impetus for halfback Brent McConnell to come out with both barrels blazing as the Young Guns accounted for Souths Logan 28-20 in Townsville.
In a match which the home side led 28-0 at halftime, McConnell scored two tries and continued a recent history of terrorising the Magpies with his running game.
The display was a timely one, with Firman arriving, Chris Sheppard departing and Cowboys head coach Graham Murray considering his options in the halves.
After winning the Courier-Mail Best and Fairest award while playing for Burleigh in 2004, McConnell has faced a hard task jostling for position in North Queensland.
Although Sheppard and Kieran Kerr have withdrawn from the race, Firman, Johnathan Thurston and even Aaron Payne provide plenty of competition for the number seven jersey.
?I thought Brent played quite well against Souths Logan,? Young Guns coach Grant Bell said.
?He troubled their defensive line whenever he had the ball in his hands. He has great speed and acceleration and with those attributes you?ve got to be a threat.?
Fortunately for the visitors McConnell didn?t get the opportunity to see much ball in the second half.
Instead Souths Logan opened the second stanza by completing 10 of 11 sets in possession.
A stirring come-from-behind effort ultimately fell short, yet it provided the black-and-whites? best ever effort against North Queensland in the history of the Queensland Wizard Cup.
For the first time against NQ the Magpies conceded less than 40 points, although the win-loss record remains a whitewash to the northerners.
Returning to his hometown Nathaniel Bowman scored a try and kicked two goals for Souths Logan, while shining lights for the Young Guns were Mark Dalle Cort, Clint Amos, Wallace Solomona and captain Shane Muspratt.
A reshuffle before kick-off saw Kam Wilkinson make his debut at hooker, with Amos reverting to the back row. Minor injuries were suffered by Jim Andersen (ankle) and Simon Boyes (quadriceps).
Round 16 sees North Queensland play Redcliffe at Dolphin Oval in Saturday?s televised match.
Meanwhile Souths Logan hosts Ipswich at the special location of junior ground Brandon Park, also on Saturday.
SOUTHS LOGAN 20 (Matt Templeman, Nathaniel Bowman, Stan Fau, Adrian Maloney tries; Nathaniel Bowman 2 goals).
Special thanks to the QRL website for another fantastic article.
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