Norths Tigers speedster Kyle Blackman scored a hat-trick in his team's Volunteers Cup semi-final victory over Toowoomba Valleys. Picture: Bruce Clayton
Norths Tigers speedster Kyle Blackman scored a hat-trick in his team's Volunteers Cup semi-final victory over Toowoomba Valleys. Picture: Bruce Clayton

Kyle’s hat-trick highlight as Tigers power into grand final

NORTHS junior Kyle Blackman chose an ideal time to score his first hat-trick of the season.

His superb finishing out wide helped the Tigers secure a rapid-fire path to next weekend's Rugby League Ipswich Volunteers Cup grand final.

However, behind the smile of individual satisfaction was a proud Norths footballer eager to share in his team's success.

"I thought everyone showed up for each other today and had a lot of energy,'' Blackman said after Norths' dominant 40-12 semi-final win over Toowoomba competition champions Valleys.

"It definitely showed on the field.''

Blackman scored the first, fourth and sixth tries of the game, being grateful for a position change.

"I was moved from second row to centres. It was good to be out there,'' he said.

The Volunteers Cup semi-final winning Norths Tigers team. Picture: Bruce Clayton
The Volunteers Cup semi-final winning Norths Tigers team. Picture: Bruce Clayton

At 25, Blackman has many more years of A-Grade ahead of him.

However, as he held his son Leivi following the latest triumph, the Norths speedster enjoyed his side's latest achievement.

"The team has come together at the right time,'' he said.

"The training this week has been very strong and it definitely showed out on the park.

"Everyone was just working for each other. That's all it was really.''

After starting in Norths juniors, Blackman previously played A-Grade in 2012 before having some time off.

He was delighted to have scored his first hat-trick "for a while''.

"It's definitely good seeing all the juniors come through,'' Blackman said.

"That's what Norths is all about - bringing the juniors up.

"We are such a family orientated club.''

Norths Tigers five-eight Ritchie Lowe dives over to score in his team’s semi-final victory over Toowoomba Valleys. Picture: Bruce Clayton
Norths Tigers five-eight Ritchie Lowe dives over to score in his team’s semi-final victory over Toowoomba Valleys. Picture: Bruce Clayton

While he savoured his hat-trick moment, the Tigers centre was also pleased to see teammates like Ty Humphreys also bagging three tries this season.

"It just shows how much talent Norths juniors have really,'' the carpenter said.

Norths face the Goodna juggernaut in Saturday's grand final at the North Ipswich Reserve.

The Tigers are the only team to have beaten Goodna this season.

Blackman said his side's 28-24 victory during last month's Norths reunion gave his team added hope in the grand final.

"That was definitely a big turning point. We had such a big crowd,'' he said.

 

Action from the Volunteers Cup semi-final between Norths Tigers and Toowoomba Valleys at the North Ipswich Reserve. Picture: Bruce Clayton
Action from the Volunteers Cup semi-final between Norths Tigers and Toowoomba Valleys at the North Ipswich Reserve. Picture: Bruce Clayton

In Saturday's semi-final, Norths were worthy winners building a 24-6 halftime lead before shutting the dangerous Valleys side out.

Other tryscorers for the Ipswich club side were five-eight Richie Lowe, halfback Lewis Smith, forward Ethan Page and ever-powerful centre Tonga Mounga, who scored 20 points for the match.

Captain Chris Scanlan and Dylan Martin led the way in defence with some crunching tackles that stopped Valleys gaining any momentum.

V olunteers Cup semi-final: Norths 40 (Kyle Blackman 2, Tonga Mounga 2, Ethan Page, Ritchie Lowe, Lewis Smith tries; Tonga Mounga 6 goals) defeated Valleys 12 (Josh Chappell, Curtly Hammond tries; Josh Chappell 2 goals).

Grand final (3pm Saturday at North Ipswich): Norths Tigers v Goodna Eagles.