Hawks lose in close opening round
THE Gatton Hawks A Grade side has narrowly missed victory by a mere two points in their opening round TRL fixture against Newtown.
The Hawks were beaten 34-32 in blustery conditions at Newtown on Sunday.
The new-look Hawks line-up skipped out to an early 4-0 lead after Casey Morris crossed out wide.
The Hawks were soon in the points again on the back of a Wes Murray 40/20 kick which saw Aaron Blades slice through from the scrum under the posts for a 10-0 lead after 12 minutes.
The Hawks soon dropped off their early intensity however and allowed Newtown back into the game with two tries in the space of five minutes which saw Newtown lead 12-10.
A couple of Hawks errors and some soft defence lead to another Newtown try which took them out to a 16-10 lead.
Both teams had scoring chances late in the half but Newtown maintained their lead at half-time.
Newtown dominated possession early in the second half and on the back of that possession they crossed again to blow the lead out to 20-10.
The Hawks sparked back into gear and an Aaron Werth cut-out pass put Chris Muckert in under the posts to bring the score back to 20-16.
Shortly after Daniel Marsh put Josh Belz over out wide for the Hawks to regain the lead 22-20.
More Hawks errors allowed Newtown back into the game and some soft defence allowed them to dive over after a quick tap to take the lead 26-22.
In a topsy-turvy half, Gatton again scored when Wes Murray put Ben Reuter over to make it 26-all.
Another Hawks error allowed Newton to again take the lead 32-26 with 10 minutes remaining.
In the final five minutes a Wes Murray cross kick put Josh Belz in out wide for his second try and the Murray sideline conversion made the score 32-all.
Another Hawks error off the kick-off gave Newtown possession and a dubious penalty for a strip in front of the posts allowed Newtown to slot the goal and win the game 34-32.
Chris Muckert was solid in his return to the Hawks and Daniel Marsh and Josh Belz also played well.
Gatton will need to improve on its handling and defence around the ruck if they are to beat Souths this weekend at Clive Berghofer stadium.
(Kane Williams 2, Michael Saunders, Bryce Denmon, Jamie Coleman, Steve Rach tries; Robert Clevin 5 goals) (Josh Belz 2, Aaron Blades, Ben Reuter, Casey Morris, Chris Muckert tries; Aaron Werth 2, Wes Murray goals).
The Gatton Hawks Reserve Grade took on Newtown in a replay of last season’s Grand Final.
The Hawks dominated most of the first half and went into half-time leading 24-12.
The Hawks scored again just after half-time to lead 28-12 but allowed Newtown back into the game at 28-22.
However four more Gatton tries soon blew the score-line out and they ran out eventual 52-28 winners in a good start to the season.
Cliff Brown was outstanding for Gatton and he was well supported by Raymond Adams, Jai Taylor and Jack Daniels.
The Gatton Hawks under-18s also had a winning start to the season defeating Newtown 28-24.
The Young Hawks led Newtown easily at half-time 22-6.
They dropped off their intensity in the second-half and allowed Newtown to come back and lead 24-22.
Mitch Carson crossed late in the second-half to secure the win for the Hawks.
Darcy Welbourn and Peter Nibbs were the stand-out performers for Gatton.
The Gatton C Grade side was defeated 64-0 by Pittsworth at Pittsworth in a game which produced few highlights for the Gatton boys.
This Sunday the Hawks take on Souths at Souths.
New players are always welcome at the club with training held on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6.30pm at Cahill Park.