Tur­tles crush hope for Isis fi­nals glory

Isis Town and Country - - Sport - By MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY

THE FAIRY­TALE fin­ish Isis Crush­ers dreamed of was well and truly crushed by Tur­tles in the Spring Cup semi-fi­nal.

Reach­ing the fi­nals for the first time in five years, the Crush­ers had to knock off four-time cham­pi­ons Tur­tles for a place in this week’s grand fi­nal.

The plan was to build upon the form Isis had shown in the past fort­night, which pushed Tur­tles and mi­nor pre­miers Bar­bar­ians un­til the fi­nal whis­tle.

Un­for­tu­nately for the Crush­ers, Tur­tles had other plans.

The four-time de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons taught the Crush­ers a les­son in rugby as they romped to a de­moral­is­ing 52-13 win.

Isis was on the back foot from be­fore kick-off, with two of the 22 el­i­gi­ble play­ers with­draw­ing on game day and another only avail­able from half time.

The fa­mil­iar reshuf­fle saw the side forced to make sev­eral changes, but the re­main­ing 19 bound to­gether as they had all sea­son, with “noth­ing to lose and ev­ery­thing to prove”.

Pre­dic­tions of a bru­tal clash weren’t far off the mark, as the highly phys­i­cal open­ing ex­changes set the pace for the 80 min­utes.

The for­ward pack were boosted by the re­turn of Rookie of the Year Ben Devlin, with the prop lin­ing up for his first game in three weeks.

His com­bi­na­tion with fel­low front-rower Kal­lum Mor­gan and hooker Matt Moroney bat­tled hard, with re­place­ment prop Cole Cur­tis’ 60th minute in­jec­tion help­ing the Crush­ers main­tain mo­men­tum against a tir­ing Tur­tles pack.

Try as they might, they could not over­come the speed of Tur­tles’ de­fence, which ef­fec­tively limited Isis’ at­tack­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Halves Andy Golchert and Kale Hen­dle worked through the game to turn the tide, but it wasn’t un­til reg­u­lar starter Heath Tris­dall ar­rived at the break that Crush­ers got on top.

Tris­dall made an im­me­di­ate im­pact, with the out­side cen­tre re­warded with a five-pointer after cre­at­ing a sense of ur­gency among his team­mates.

Hen­dle con­verted the try and kicked two penal­ties, but that was as much dam­age as the Crusher could in­flict on the score­board.

PHOTO: MAX FLEET BUN051214RUG5

HELD BACK: Isis Crush­ers' Ja­cob Klassen play­ing against Tur­tles in the Spring Cup pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal on Fri­day.

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