Isis crushes the Pythons

Isis Town and Country - - Sport - By SHANE JONES

FROM cel­lar dwellers to premier­ship play­ers, the story of the Isis Crush­ers is al­most com­plete af­ter Fri­day night.

In the match of the sea­son in the Spring Cup, a try in ex­tra time handed the Crush­ers a 29-24 win over the Pythons and their first grand fi­nal berth in five years.

It also ended what has been a suc­cess­ful first year for the Pythons who only started as a club a few months ear­lier.

They started well, scor­ing two quick tries in the open­ing 20 min­utes as they raced to a 10-0 lead.

In a match of shift­ing mo­men­tum, Isis re­sponded and scored four straight tries for a 24-10 lead with 15 min­utes to go.

With their sea­son on the line the Pythons re­sponded with a try to Steve McNab, be­fore hav­ing Corey Valzan sent off af­ter throw­ing punches in re­tal­i­a­tion to an Isis player grab­bing him around the neck.

Seem­ingly out of the con­test, the Pythons kept on at­tack­ing and scored right on full-time as Danny Mo­ran went un­der the posts.

With plenty of drama the match ended 24-all as both teams en­tered ex­tra time.

Af­ter no score in the first half Isis broke the dead­lock with a try down the right-hand side to seal a fa­mous win.

Af­ter the match, cap­tain Kale Hen­dle said team spirit was what had got them through.

“We had a team bond­ing ses­sion last Sun­day at Her­vey Bay,” he said.

“Mate­ship has a lot to do with the win. At one stage dur­ing the night we just said to each other we need to step up.”

With such a phys­i­cal game, Hen­dle said the team would turn its at­ten­tion to the Tur­tles quickly.

“I’m sure a few boys were sore on Satur­day,” he said.

“The Tur­tles are strong with their backs so we know what we need to do.”

Proud Isis vice-pres­i­dent Brett Phillips said the team had come a long way.

“We had a five-year plan. The plan was to win games and get to a semi,” he said.

“Our plan isn’t fin­ished; we want to win the Spring Cup now.”

He added he was pleased to face the Tur­tles.

Pythons coach Vic­tor Nio was dis­ap­pointed to lose but paid credit to his team.

“It was a good come­back and a great team ef­fort from the side,” he said.

“Un­for­tu­nately dis­ci­pline was our main fac­tor in our loss.

“Three yel­low cards and a red are not go­ing to help.”

He added his team was happy with its sea­son.

“We had a strong fin­ish to the sea­son af­ter a good start,” he said.

“We had a good talk on Fri­day af­ter the match and the boys are com­mit­ted for next sea­son.”

The Crush­ers trained in Childers last Wed­nes­day as they pre­pare to take on the Tur­tles in the grand fi­nal this Fri­day.

PHOTO: MIKE KNOTT

RUGBY UNION: The Pythons keep the Isis pack away from the try line.

TAK­ING AIM: Isis player Kale Hen­dle places the ball dur­ing the match against the Pythons.

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