Scrappy Toads in play­offs mind­set

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - MICHAEL THOMP­SON michael. thomp­son@ news. com. au

THE Bur­dekin Cane­toads in­sist they will not rest easy know­ing they will play an­other fi­nals cam­paign af­ter seal­ing third spot on the Townsville and Dis­tricts Rugby Union lad­der with a 31- 10 win over Ross River.

Rhian Aguirre scored twice for the Cane­toads in Satur­day’s game at Bin­dal Sports Ground, which saw Ross River well in the hunt trail­ing 12- 10 at half­time, but grim de­fence com­bined with a strong run­ning game handed Bur­dekin the all- im­por­tant bonus point win.

Bur­dekin coach Bren­dan Bun­yan said at­ten­tion would now turn to reaching full ser­vice be­fore next month’s knock­out semi­fi­nal, which the Cane­toads will play against ei­ther Ross River or North Ward.

“The boys are pretty happy with the win, and the boys who hadn’t played in re­cent weeks be­cause of in­jury and work com­mit­ments showed a lot of ef­fort,” Bun­yan said.

“Ross River played well, but credit has to go to our de­fen­sive.

“Ross River had a lot of ball at the start, we had a lot of de­fend­ing to do, but in the sec­ond half we started play­ing run­ning rugby, put on a few tries and as a re­sult we got the bonus point.

“I think we’re still pretty crit­i­cal of our­selves be­cause we re­alise we haven’t played our best footy at all.

“Each game we played good foot­ball in dif­fer­ent parts, so we’ve played or­di­nary footy and we’re third, but when it comes to fi­nals we have to put it to­gether for 80 min­utes not just 20- 30 min­utes.”

Brothers beat North Ward 36- 19 in an­other hard- hit­ting game of lo­cal rugby, with the Brethren scor­ing six tries to North Ward’s three.

North Ward were push­ing for top three af­ter en­ter­ing the game on the back of a close win over Ross River, but were out­classed by a Brothers’ team that con­tin­ues to fire af­ter thrash­ing Teach­ers Wests the pre­vi­ous round.

The mi­nor pre­mier­ship re­mains neck and neck as a re­sult, with Teach­ers still hold­ing a onewin lead over Brothers af­ter beat­ing Char­ters Tow­ers 45- 12 in the week­end’s other game.

Bur­dekin coach Bren­dan Bun­yan.

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