Barbarians strike it lucky, ending Turtles’ winning run
THE dream run into the finals for the Wests Barbarians has continued after ending the winning streak of the Bundaberg Turtles with a 15-7 win at the Isis Showgrounds on Saturday night.
In a shortened match after lightning strikes in the region, play was stopped after 60 minutes with the Barbarians in the lead.
As play was not resumed and a match can be decided after half-time, the score of 15-7 stood to hand the Turtles their first loss since October.
In a close contest, the depleted Turtles outfit held the lead for almost 20 minutes after the Barbarians scored first.
With two late tries to end the first half – Dylan Arnot scoring a double – the Barbarians took the lead and held on until the weather intervened.
Barbarians coach Matt Leighton said the win built up the confidence in the squad.
“It was great to get away with a win against the Turtles,” he said.
“It gives us momentum as we head into the finals.”
While conceding the Turtles were not at their best, Leighton said the victory was still significant.
“You can only play the team that is in front of you,” he said.
“As we saw the weather starting to come down, our aim was to be in front, and it worked out perfectly for us.”
But he said the team didn’t play at its best and was focussing on playing better next week against the Falcons.
“We need to control the ball better and will train in that area this week,” he said.
“We won’t be looking too far ahead and aim to play well against the Falcons.”
Turtles coach Luke McCloskey praised his team, which had just 12 players on the field.
“It was an outstanding effort from the team, as we rested players and had others out with injury or work,” he said.
“We knew we didn’t need the win so we were just happy not to get any injuries.”
Having a bye this week, McCloskey added the team would now focus on the finals and praised the officials for calling the game off at the right time.
In the other match, Isis beat Waves Falcons 45-5 in a shortened 40-minute game.
Matt Leighton, Barbarians coach As we saw the weather starting to come down, our aim was to be in front, and it worked out perfectly for us.
DARK CLOUDS: Daniel Depape throws in for the Barbarians moments before the game is called off at Isis Showgrounds.