‘Clutch play’ gives Jets win at 9s comp

Broome Advertiser - - SPORT - Carly Laden

A 13-hour bus ride did not stop the Broome Jets from prov­ing their strength against teams from across WA and Dar­win.

The Broome Jets rugby league squad trav­elled to Ku­nunurra to com­pete in the fourth an­nual Ku­nunurra 9s tour­na­ment over the Queen’s Birth­day long week­end.

Field­ing a team that showed a good bal­ance of youth and ex­pe­ri­ence, the Jets per­formed gal­lantly across the pool rounds against some strong com­pe­ti­tion.

A draw in the first round and two losses earned the Jets a place in the third place play-off against the East Kim­ber­ley Ea­gles.

Jets coach Sean Du­rant said they strug­gled to get a fit team on the field for the play-off, with the sear­ing heat and mount­ing in­jury toll tak­ing the wind out of their sails.

“To their credit, with only a cou­ple of play­ers on the bench they put in an ex­tra­or­di­nary ef­fort and cre­ated some mem­o­rable mo­ments for the new club,” he said.

“It was par­tic­u­larly pleas­ing for me to see how they played with heart and with great ca­ma­raderie for such a new club.”

The play-off match ended up go­ing into ex­tra time af­ter the Jets and the Ea­gles drew level at 22-all, lead­ing to the Jets dig­ging deep to cre­ate what Du­rant called “the clutch play of the game”.

Re­tain­ing pos­ses­sion af­ter an at­tempted short kick­off by the Ea­gles, the Jets made ground through the mid­dle.

The ram­pag­ing run and a quick play by Ja­cob Predo saw Chaz Gar­diner run from dum­my­half through three fa­tigued Ea­gles de­fend­ers to score the “golden try”, to the de­light of the Broome Jets play­ers and sup­port crew.

The Broome Jets won third place with the fi­nal score at 26-22.

Du­rant said there were many stand-out play­ers through­out the tour­na­ment, show­ing pos­i­tive signs for rugby league in Broome.

“All play­ers can hold their heads high and know they have done their part for strength­en­ing rugby league in Broome,” he said.

Pic­ture: Broome Jets Rugby League

The Broome Jets squad with coach Sean Du­rant (back, sec­ond from left) and as­sis­tant Ash­lea Thomp­son (right).

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