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NORTH Queensland has shot into third place on the Queensland Wizard Cup ladder with a commanding 34-16 win over Redcliffe at Dairy Farmers Stadium.
With a massive crowd in attendance for the proceeding NRL match between the Cowboys and Wests Tigers, the Young Guns strung together their third successive win.
The change from a few hundred spectators at Davies Park in round five to 20,000 in Townsville seemingly didn?t faze the club?s youth brigade, with the home side up 16-12 at halftime.
A more dominant second stanza brought another three tries, but the defence limited Redcliffe to just one four-pointer in the final 40 minutes.
Following wins against the Dolphins, Souths Logan and Burleigh in the last three rounds, North Queensland has erased a worrying start to the season
Grant Bell?s tenure as Young Guns coach had begun with the team outclassed in clashes against Toowoomba and Easts, and arguably lucky to beat Norths by two points.
The loss of David Faiumu and Jaiman Lowe to NRL duty this week threatened to upset the rhythm, particularly considering Lowe was the team?s best in round five.
However, the direction of the squad did not waver, Bell noting earlier in the week that halfback Brent McConnell was slotting in well and beginning to impose his influence.
McConnell notched two tries in the second half, important in a week when fellow half Kieran Kerr elected to return to New South Wales.
Former Redcliffe players Charles Vis and Gavin Cooper were also point scorers in the match against their old club.
The loss leaves Redcliffe just outside the top five in sixth spot, equal with three wins and three losses at this stage of the season.
Next week sees the Dolphins at home to Ipswich on Sunday, while North Queensland tackles Wynnum at Kougari Oval the same day.
NORTH QUEENSLAND 34 (Brent McConnell 2, Charles Vis, Daniel Strickland, Matthew Scott, Dean Payne tries; Brent McConnell 4, Gavin Cooper goals) beat REDCLIFFE 16 (Phil Shilvock, Shane Perry, Nathan Herbener tries; Greg Bourke 2 goals).
Article courtesy of the QRL. for more Qld Cup news and information visit www.qrl.com.au