NORTH’S BIG UPSET HELPS CRUSHERS TAKE TOP SPOT
HERBERT River has grabbed outright lead of the Townsville and Districts Rugby League ladder after Norths produced a 10- 8 win over Burdekin in Ayr on Saturday.
The win ranks as one of the year’s biggest upsets in local league, putting Norths inside the top four and another step closer to playing finals football in five weeks time.
Burdekin on the other hand relinquished its spot in equal first with Herbert River, but four rounds of regular season football remain for the Roosters to fight for a minor premiership.
Tries to Richard Martin and Taylor Welch were enough to get Norths over the line in what was a hard- hitting and unpredictable game, with both Burdekin and Norths having chances to seal a win in the second half.
“It was by far the best win for the club this year,” Norths coach Jason Cook said.
“We’ve got our tails up now and it was good for us to beat the top team, and just the way we grinded it out was the most pleasing thing.
“It was a ferocious game of football and both sides defensively were very strong on the night, and we were just tearing into each other. It was one of those games that was great for a spectator to watch, but terrible for a coach.”
Burdekin led 8- 4 at the break, but Welch soared high for Norths to grab a high ball and ground what turned out to be the matchwinner about half an hour before full- time.
Herbert River and Charters Towers were both missing players in Saturday’s other game at Bill Lewis Oval, which went the Crushers’ way 34- 16.
Herbert River have now won their last two games since losing to Burdekin in Round 14, but the going has been far tougher for Charters Towers, who have not scored a win from their last seven matches.
Charters Towers coach Jeff Burton said there was still hope among the Miners that season 2015 was not over.
“We’re depleted at the moment injury- wise, but we made some really good efforts. It’s just that at times we were our own worst enemies and the score really didn’t reflect the fight our blokes put up,” he said.
“But that’s not taking anything away from Herbert River. They had a good number of blokes away at a wedding and a lot of guys stood up for them. We’re not giving the ghost up yet and we’re still playing with plenty of spirit.”
Centrals took another step towards finals football with a 30- 16 over University at JCU in yesterday’s game.
HARD HIT: University’s Peter Utromu runs into Central's Damien Pryor and Kimi Hemopo.