No shame for Fury

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - TRENT SLATTER trent. slatter@ news. com. au

NORTH­ERN Fury coach Paul Ron­acto be­lieves his play­ers can still hold their heads high de­spite Sat­ur­day night’s 5- 1 loss to NPLQ pow­er­house the Bris­bane Strik­ers.

It was an un­happy farewell to Townsville Sports Re­serve for the Fury as the vis­i­tors shot out to a 3- 0 half­time lead thanks to a brace from Ja­panese full­back Hiroki Omori.

The Strik­ers ex­tended their lead to 5- 0 shortly af­ter the break as Jake McLean bagged two goals be­fore Jar­rod Green saved face for the home side with a late con­so­la­tion goal.

It was the Fury’s sec­ond 5- 1 ham­mer­ing in as many games, but Ron­cato felt his side had made great strides in the sec­ond half to keep pace with the Strik­ers, who are still in the hunt for the mi­nor premier­ship.

“The Strik­ers are a good side and you can see why they’re top of the lad­der up there with Gold Coast,” Ron­cato said.

“They had a lot to play for and they’re a classy team. They’ve got depth all over the park from goal­keeper to de­fence through mid­field and at­tack.

“I said at half­time, we knew we were in for a big tough game and I felt we gave them two goals out of the three in the first half.

“We went out there and we stuck it to them and played bril­liant in the sec­ond half. We hit the post twice and we eas­ily could have won the sec­ond half 3- 2.

“It was an out­stand­ing sec­ond half per­for­mance against heavy­weight Strik­ers and as a coach I was very proud.”

The Fury are al­ready out of fi­nals con­tention this sea­son, but they’ve still shown huge im­prove­ment from last year’s hor­ror cam­paign when they man­aged just two draws.

Ron­cato felt his side was still ca­pa­ble of a strong fin­ish over the fi­nal three games, start­ing with the Roar Youth team in Bris­bane this Sun­day.

“I re­ally feel we can beat them there at home. It’ll be a great con­fi­dence boost for us when we meet Olympic in the Bur­dekin a week later,” Ron­cato said.

“We’re sit­ting on 21 points which is more than what we were last year and I still be­lieve we can still get a cou­ple more wins be­fore the end of the sea­son.

“We know we don’t have the depth that the south­ern­ers have and that makes a huge dif­fer­ence, but I’m proud of the play­ers we’ve got.”

MY BALL: North­ern Fury goal scorer Jar­rod Green takes pos­ses­sion against the Bris­bane Strik­ers at the Townsville Sports Re­serve. Pic­ture: SCOTT RAD­FORD- CHISHOLM

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