Sport

Bloodbath in Agnes as scary Sharks attack

GREAT RUN: Gin Gin's Matthew Card goes low to stop South Kolan fullback Feingaola Blake in the NDRL preliminary final at Agnes Water. Photo: Ben Turnbull / NewsMail
GREAT RUN: Gin Gin's Matthew Card goes low to stop South Kolan fullback Feingaola Blake in the NDRL preliminary final at Agnes Water. Photo: Ben Turnbull / NewsMail Ben Turnbull

BEFORE the kick off in the Northern Districts Rugby League preliminary final the task was ahead of Gin Gin - with 14 men against South Kolan's 18 a win was going to be a super effort.

Without numbers on the backs of the South Kolan players' jerseys it would be hard to tell where the forwards stopped and the backs started.

After wearing Gin Gin down the Sharks cruised to a 72-12 win.

Losing a cut-throat game by 60 points might seem like a terrible way to finish the season for Gin Gin, but with the way the players fought for each other they can be proud.

Great individual performances were the highlight in a game that lost its lustre as the Sharks ran away with it.

South Kolan's Sekope Tua scored five tries and Gin Gin's captain, Brent Kuskey, scored one and his defence was outstanding during the game to be the standout player.

South Kolan hooker Scott Sarson said after a tough opening 40 minutes the time had come to put Gin Gin away and make a statement before the grand final.

"I think at halftime when we realised we had the upper hand and we couldn't let them back in - we spoke to the coach at halftime and we knew what we had to do, use the wind, keep it consistent and complete our sets," Sarson said.

"We did that and we got the reward at the end of the game."

Sarson said his team could have been a little more clinical and that would have to improve in the decider.

Gin Gin second-rower Michael Murphy was disappointed in the loss. He said the lack of players on the bench killed his team's chances.

"We just run out of puff in the long run, that's all we can put it down to," Murphy said.

"They're a quality team with some big boys and like I said, we ran out of puff."

South Kolan faces Avondale Sunday in the grand final at Miriam Vale and the resurgent Sharks, in their current form, are sure to challenge the reigning premiers.

There will be plenty of interest in the game as to how the smaller Avondale team handles a massive and rampaging South Kolan.

For Avondale a strong performance by skipper Daniel Steemson in the forwards will be vital if the Tigers are to claim consecutive titles.

In the days after Ikuna Manuofeta was suspended for 10 years, reduced to five years on appeal, South Kolan president Wayne Dowling said the club would rebound from the drama and be aiming to win the premiership.

With the dominant performance at the weekend it looks like Avondale is in for a fight to stop that happening.

Scores

Preliminary final

South Kolan 72 (S Tua 5, I Pongi 3, V Hoeler 2, F Blake, W Bertram, A Johnstone, D Hoeler tries; A Johnstone 4, V Hoeler 2, S Tua, I Pongo goals) d Gin Gin 12 (B Blair, Brent Kuskey tries; Brent Kuskey 2 goals)

Topics:  agnes water, bundaberg, gin gin hawks, ndrl, northern districts rugby league, rugby league, south kolan sharks, sport



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