Fi­nal berth booked

Brah­mans edge Sa­rina to make de­cider

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT -

RUGBY LEAGUE: Sa­rina, the mi­nor pre­miers, have been up­staged by Brah­mans as Whit­sun­day claimed a Mackay and Dis­trict Rugby League grand fi­nal berth last Sun­day.

The Brah­mans shocked Sa­rina in Mackay with an 18-16 up­set to book a spot in next month’s de­cider.

Whit­sun­day earned a week off fol­low­ing the re­sult, and will wait on the score of this week’s pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal be­tween the Crocs and Souths to see who they will play.

Brah­mans’ coach James Webb said the team was still wear­ing scars from what was a bruis­ing semi-fi­nal win against the odds.

“They were mas­sive and the ref­eree slowed the game down which meant it was a one-out bash-athon,” he said.

“We couldn’t play at the pace we would’ve liked, which suited them (Sa­rina).

“The penalty count was also against us in the first half so we did well to come back.”

Whit­sun­day trailed Sa­rina 12-6 at half­time be­fore gain­ing the up­per-hand in the fi­nal 40 min­utes, led by Rohan Ahearn, Darcy Wright, Ivan Petelo and Matt Antony.

“We didn’t need a spray (at half­time) ... we just spoke about lift­ing our in­ten­sity to get the game a bit faster to suit us,” Webb said.

“No one was do­ing any­thing wrong, we just had calls go­ing against us.

“If it was any other side that was put un­der that pres­sure, they’d get beat well but we had the abil­ity to work for each other on the line.”

Webb said the team, along with the re­serves who also qual­i­fied for their grand fi­nal, will host a train­ing run on Satur­day af­ter­noon but the em- pha­sis of the week’s rest was to freshen up the team be­fore what’s ex­pected to be a bruis­ing grand fi­nal – no mat­ter who the op­po­nent is.

“It (the rest) is mas­sive. We’ve got four or five blokes car­ry­ing in­juries so the week off will be great,” he said.

“We know where we are at and ev­ery­thing is in play.

“We are where we need to be with our struc­ture and ev­ery­thing’s there.”

DE­FENCE: Sa­rina’s Dean Hall is tack­led by Whit­sun­days’ David Kay and Alex Clare last Sun­day in Mackay. Photo: Tony Martin

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