Brah­mans put up a fight

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT -

RUGBY LEAGUE

THEY came home hard but ul­ti­mately the Brah­mans fell marginally short against Sa­rina on Satur­day as Whit­sun­day slipped to sev­enth.

Ham­pered by in­juries to key play­ers, the Brah­mans suf­fered an 8-6 loss to the un­de­feated Crocs at Les Stagg Oval, tak­ing their win­less stretch to four matches.

In a phys­i­cal clash Sa­rina led 8-0 at half­time be­fore Whit­sun­day stormed back into the con­test.

Coach An­thony Black­wood en­cour­aged his charg­ers to im­prove their 50 per­cent com­ple­tion rate and the group re­sponded, lift­ing their ef­fort and in­ten­sity in the fi­nal 40 min­utes.

Lock Grant Cooke crossed late in the half to re­duce Sa­rina’s lead to just two and set up a nail-bit­ing fin­ish.

Whit­sun­day con­tin­ued to pep­per the Crocs’ line but to no avail.

Prop Ivan Petelo was a stand­out in a bru­tal en­counter while Rohan Ah­ern and Alex Clare pro­duced tire­less ef­forts.

In other re­sults the over-35 masters took to the field for the first time this sea­son and knocked off their Sa­rina op­po­nents 28-0.

Ned Walker pro­duced the match’s high­light when he scooted away for a bril­liant 50-me­tre try. Trevor Nos­wor­thy was also in the thick of the ac­tion, adding a brace of tries.

In­spired by their A-grade idols, the un­der-18s pro­duced a clin­i­cal ef­fort to down Sa­rina 30-12.

Dur­ing the week the team lis­tened to se­nior play­ers An­thony Black­wood, Phil Ramage and James Webb, who spoke about the im­por­tance of team­work and help­ing your mates.

Af­ter the game coach Matt Court noted how the team was “fi­nally start­ing to play as a team rather than in­di­vid­u­als”, in a re­sponse to the mid-week les­son from the se­niors.

Blake Faull took home the play­ers’ player fol­low­ing a dom­i­nant game from the sec­ond row while Cadel Schlenner and Cameron Hur­ley were also lively.

The up­set of the day came in the re­serve’s clash, with Whit­sun­day up­stag­ing Sa­rina 16-12.

Down 12-4 at the break, the Brah­mans clicked into gear in the sec­ond half for an in­spired dis­play on the back of coach Adam Smith’s spray.

Matt Lade led the way on the de­fen­sive end, set­ting the tone as Whit­sun­day kept the Crocs score­less.

Timmy Miller capped his man of the match per­for­mance with a stunning 90me­tre solo try while James Coutts was also busy.

This week­end the A-grade and re­serve Brah­mans will play Norths at Les Stagg Oval.

CLOSE CALL: Brah­mans’ half­back Phil Ramage taunts Sa­rina.

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