Norths’ season off to successful start
Cheika refuses to pin blame on Folau
CRICKET NORTHS began the Cricket Far North season in the best possible way on Saturday, winning both of their Twenty20 matches.
The Cairns team travelled down to Innisfail in the morning and put paid to the competition newcomers Cassowary Coast, skittling them for a paltry 65 runs.
Daniel Freebody removed opener Jasranjeet Kalkat and then returned to clean up the tail to finish with 3-5.
Conor Punshon chipped in with 3-12, preventing the Coast from building partnerships.
Skipper Luke McAvoy toiled away to score 18 runs, but couldn’t guide his team to a competitive total.
Norths made light work of the run chase, with Freebody hitting 26 off 20 balls to help lead his side home.
Corey Domic also hit 26 off 18 as Norths closed their innings at 1/70 off eight overs.
The winners then backed it up in a night match at Walker Road, beating Mulgrave by 49 runs.
Brendan Smith smacked 53 off 26 balls to guide Norths to 5/154 after 20 overs, while Freebody (2-21) and Kyll Wright (1-7 off four) restricted Mulgrave to just 8/105.
Norths were the only side to win both of their matches on Saturday.
Rovers lost a thriller to Mulgrave in the morning before beating Atherton in a lowscoring clash in the afternoon.
Skipper Tom Lever said his side should have won both matches.
“Our fielding let us down in the first game. We leaked about 20 runs more than we should have and we dropped (Marcus) McGregor-Cassady in the first over,” he said.
McGregor-Cassady scored an unbeaten 58 to guide Mulgrave to victory in the last over.
Norths scored 5/117 in that match on the back of a half century to Aaron Lock (56) and 35 from Lever.
(D. Parnell 57, T. Boorman 53; J. Fulton 2-19) (A. Trewin 25, T. Ward 21; M. Salerno 2-8).
d Barron 7/89cc Rovers 5/117cc
(A. Lock 56, T. Lever 35; M. McGregorCassady 2-4, B. Raper 2-17)
after 19.3 overs (M. McGregor-Cassady 58*, K. Singh Rana 24; B. Edwards 2-20).
Mulgrave 3/118 Cassowary Coast 65 lt Norths 1/70 9/80cc 8/105cc d Atherton d Mulgrave lt
(L. McAvoy 18; D. Freebody 3-5, C. Punshon 3-12, B. Smith 2-10) after 8 overs (D. Freebody 26*, C. Domic 26).
(T. Brady 42, E. Sanderson 24; J. Fulton 4-15, T. Ward 4-12) after 18.2 overs (K. Metzeling 36, T. Ward 20).
lt Barron 5/101 Rovers 8/91cc
(T. Lever 21, B. Edwards 21; O. Daley 2-6, P. Nasser 2-12)
(P. Nasser 38, D. Parnell 17; B. Edwards 4-15, T. Lever 2-15, R. Memon 2-8).
(B. Smith 53*, M. Ellis 36, C. Punshon 27; B. Raper 2-18)
(M. McGregorCassady 24, J. Stanton 18; S. Prior 2-19, D. Freebody 2-21).
“It was slow scoring to start with and it took a while for us to get going,” the skipper said.
“The positive was that we had a chat about a few things after that game and really improved against Atherton.”
Rovers could only scramble to 8/91 off their 20 overs on a slow pitch at Endeavour Park, but that proved to be enough.
In reply, the reigning premiers could only reach 9/80 in their allotted overs.
“There was nothing in the pitch and the slower you bowled the harder you were to hit,” Lever said.
The highest score of the game went to Paul Nasser, who compiled 38 off 44 balls. WALLABIES coach Michael Cheika admits Israel Folau squandered an easy chance to seal victory over Argentina in their Rugby Championship clash.
But he says Folau’s decision not to pass to an unmarked Bernard Foley was “irrelevant” in the grander scheme of things on Saturday night.
Folau had the ball in hand and was at a proverbial fork in the road seconds after the final siren sounded at Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast, with Australia trailing 23-19.
He could have passed to his right, where Foley was completely open and looked certain to score in the corner.
Or, he could have kept the ball and sought the glory of the matchwinner for himself.
Folau chose the second option but butchered it completely, spilling the ball to ensure Los Pumas won their first match on Australian soil in 35 years.
Cheika, however, said it was wrong to pin all the blame on him. Asked if he thought the Wallabies would have won the game if Folau had passed to Foley, Cheika said: “Yeah, but it’s irrelevant.
“It doesn’t come down to one instance. Yes, you win the game by the score, but the performance was still the same.
“If the last pass goes, that doesn’t change anything for the other 79 minutes and 59 seconds of what went on.
“That maybe keeps the illusion going, because you win.
“I still would have taken winning, mind you – don’t get me wrong. But if you’re fair dinkum you don’t want to be letting that cover up other issues.”
UNLUCKY: Israel Folau.