Isis crushes the Pythons
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.
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.