THE Tea Gardens Hawks defeated the Cardiff Cobras by 24 points to 22, in a thriller at Myall Park on Saturday.
In perfect conditions, the Hawks recovered from early tries to Cardiff.
The Hawks opening try was scored by inspiring front rower, John Schultz.
Five eighth Steve Slee was next to score from broken play.
The Hawks led by 12 pints to 10 at the half time break, but needed to consolidate.
A converted try to Jake Geraghty 15 minutes into the second half created an 8 point buffer.
A try constructed by Brooke Roach, and finished by Jack Beverley, was the best of the day.
Cardiff’s persistent attack got them two more ties in the last ten minutes, but was not enough to win the game. Billy Greentree’s boot was the difference. Greentree converted four goals from 4 attempts.
Player of the round was lock Trent Murphy in the Phillips Oysters no.13 jersey.
Murphy celebrated his 250th game for the Hawks by winning the “players player”, supporters, and referees best and fairest awards.
John Schultz was voted best in attack, and Nathan Ruse best in defence.
The win saw the Hawks leapfrog Cardiff into third place on the ladder behind Shortland in 2nd place, and Windale who lead the competition.
Next week’s game will be played at Paterson River on Saturday at 3pm.
By Neil REYNOLDS