Tigers land upset

Dogged de­fen­sive ef­fort helps Tully rain on mi­nor pre­miers’ pa­rade

The Cairns Post - - SPORT - ed­i­to­rial@cairn­spost.com.au face­book.com/TheCairn­sPost www.cairn­spost.com.au twit­ter.com/TheCairn­sPost MATT NICHOLLS

TULLY might be known as the Tigers, but its rugby league team played with the courage of lions to beat Broth­ers 20-18 in yes­ter­day’s CDRL pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal.

The Tigers are now one win away from a fairy­tale pre­mier­ship af­ter many ex­pected them to miss the fi­nals in 2018.

Just like its pre­vi­ous two fi­nals, Tully trailed early in the af­ter­noon clash as Broth­ers took an 8-0 lead off the back of Ge­orge House penalty goal and a con­verted Gabriel Tog­no­lini try.

But the brave Tigers re­fused to give in, de­spite con­ced­ing size to the mi­nor pre­miers in the mid­dle of the park. They opened their scor­ing through the bril­liant Matt Musumeci off the back of a scrum.

It was vet­eran half­back Colin Wilkie who cre­ated the er­ror in the first place. His clever kick made it dif­fi­cult for the Broth­ers de­fender to col­lect the ball and the knock-on led to the scor­ing op­por­tu­nity.

With 90 sec­onds left in the half, Phil Nona kicked a penalty goal to level the scores head­ing into the break.

It was all Tully in the sec­ond half, with set pieces again com­ing to the fore.

The Tigers scored just two min­utes into the pe­riod, with Trevor Mathieson scor­ing af­ter Da­ley Rata-Mak­ene made a break down the right side­line from a scrum.

Nona kicked the goal and scores re­mained at 14-8 for the best part of 20 min­utes be­fore the big cen­tre kicked an­other penalty goal to give Tully a 16-8 lead.

The mar­gin was ex­tended with 11 min­utes to go when Musumeci scored his sec­ond try on the back of a line dropout.

Broth­ers re­sponded im­me­di­ately on the back of a short kick-off through vet­eran Justin Castel­laro to make it 20-12, but the con­ver­sion was un­suc­cess­ful.

With two min­utes to go, Pa­trick Lewis scored next to the left up­right to make it 20-18, but the Tully side did enough to hang on and se­cure a grand fi­nal berth.

“I can’t stop smil­ing,” coach Aaron Tongalea said af­ter the game.

“The whole of Tully is go­ing to get be­hind us this week. We had a big sup­porter base here to­day to cheer on the boys.”

Broth­ers coach Rob­bie Swain lamented his side’s missed op­por­tu­ni­ties but was full of praise for Tully.

“De­fence wins you games of footy and they de­fended re­ally well,” he said. “It’s a tough way to fin­ish the sea­son but we will learn from it.”

Broth­ers lost just one game in the reg­u­lar sea­son, but was bun­dled out of the CDRL fi­nals in straight sets.

The Tigers will now play Moss­man-Port Dou­glas in the grand fi­nal next Satur­day at 7pm at Bar­low Park.

I CAN’T STOP SMIL­ING. THE WHOLE OF TULLY IS GO­ING TO GET BE­HIND US THIS WEEK. WE HAD A BIG SUP­PORTER BASE HERE TO­DAY TO CHEER ON THE BOYS.

AARON TONGALEA

Pic­ture: JUSTIN BRIERTY

HOPES DASHED: Broth­ers’ Peter Tuc­can­didgee flies high for the ball dur­ing the CDRL pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal against Tully at Bar­low Park.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.