Hawks hopes flying higher

INVERELL Hawks swooped through their new Karim and Paul Michael Memorial Gates in a second half raid on Glen Innes Magpies to revitalise their Group 19 premiership hopes on Saturday.

The Hawks outgunned the Magpies 30-16 in their battle of the birds at Varley Oval after trailing 10-6 at halftime.

“It was a big day for the club,”  coach Peter Stevens said.

“We had a big crowd, a lot of the older people came back for the opening of the new gates. And our Under 18, reserves and first grade all won.”

Stevens said his side didn’t start well and trailed by four points at half time.

“I wasn’t happy with our first half,” he said.

“But pretty happy with the second. The second half was probably the best we’ve played all season but we’ve still got plenty of improvement in us. The penny might have started to drop though.”

He said Luke Vakatini was outstanding, the prop giving the side some great carries when he entered the fray.

Lock Cory Garrett, who also played prop, was another standout along with halfback Tom Nelson and Harold Duncan, who started at fullback but moved to the wing.

“Harold scored a couple of really good tries too. That’s what we need from him,” Stevens said.

Best for a Glen Innes side minus captain-coach Sam Key, were Mone Loketi, Jock Waters and five-eighth Nick Ehsman.

In the big local derby at Moree, the Boomerangs won 38-26 after leading 32-10 at half time.

Up at Goondiwindi the under-strength Goondiwindi Boars had a 38-20 win over Ashford while Armidale Rams went to Tingha and beat the Tigers 52-32 with Wes Kelly, Mitch Cooper and Jamie Smith all scoring try doubles.

n For more Group 19 reports turn to Page 20.