Gla­di­a­tors draw against pre­miers

Central and North Burnett Times - - SPORT -

GAYN­DAH Gla­di­a­tors went back to fun­da­men­tals to take the fight to the heav­ily favoured Monto Roos.

De­spite draw­ing 20-all, it felt like a win for the Gla­di­a­tors against last year’s pre­miers af­ter a sea­son full of heavy losses.

The home-ground match for the Gla­di­a­tors be­gan with Damien Carter’s bold pre­dic­tion.

“We’re go­ing to win. Our strat­egy is to beat them,” Carter said.

Cap­tain Jay­bin Pearce laid out the plan to ex­ploit the Roos’ weak­nesses in the wings, and to counter their strong up­per mid­dle with de­fence and at­tack.

“We need to hold the ball, com­plete our sets, and back up our sets with good de­fence,” Pearce said.

It all went ac­cord­ing to plan for the Gla­di­a­tors in the first half and they went to the break 10-all.

Coach Rus­sell Kenny was qui­etly ex­cited with his team’s per­for­mance.

“It’s the best we’ve played all year,” Kenny said.

“It’s the first time with a full side, but one of our fel­las (sec­ond row Ben Ber­rie) is out.”

Ben Ber­rie was not the only player to be side­lined dur­ing the match.

Monto Roos’ Louis Be­necke, just re­turned af­ter a ham­string in­jury, came off to be strapped in the sec­ond half, while cen­tre James Ded­erer “went in for a tackle and rolled my an­kle”.

The three were keen to be match-fit for next week’s games.

Go­ing into the sec­ond half, Roos pres­i­dent Scott Pat­tie talked of their “dis­ap­point­ing” start.

“It was com­ing to­gether in the last 20 min­utes,” Pat­tie said.

“We got the up­per hand, the for­wards were on a roll through the mid­dle, and we got a cou­ple of tries.”

To win, Pat­tie said, the Roos needed “a bit more of the last 20 min­utes” – dom­i­nant for­wards, the backs to fin­ish off and sup­port play for the big boys.

While the Roos put their backs and bod­ies into the game, the Gla­di­a­tors re­mained ag­gres­sive to force a 20-all draw.

Coach Kenny summed up the joy in four words: “We’re happy with that.”

Roos man­ager Damien Zi­eth paid trib­ute with “that was the Glad­i­a­tor’s best game in four years”.

The crowd hushed as the fi­nal score for Mun­dub­bera’s 42-22 de­feat of Theodore was an­nounced.

Mun­dub­bera should be at the top of the ta­ble, while, de­spite the draw, Gayn­dah re­mains at the bot­tom.

Next week stay tuned for the bat­tle be­tween Monto and Theodore for sec­ond place go­ing into the fi­nals.

PHOTO: SHIRLEY WAY

THE MIGHTY FALL: Monto Roo Tyson Dahtler is brought down by a Gayn­dah Glad­i­a­tor at Gayn­dah.

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