Brilliant Bani bites Bulldogs with treble

By VINCE HABERMANN

ACROSS The Waves recruit Michael Bani again proved he will be one to watch in the Bundaberg competition this season by bagging his second hat-trick of tries on day two of the Queensland Police Services Rugby League State Championships yesterday.

The silky-skilled centre was the difference as Torres Strait Warriors made it two from two and sentenced Brisbane Bulldogs to successive losses, 28-16.

But despite his heroics, Bani was again edged out for man of the match honours by a team-mate, with this time five-eighth Riley Larry receiving the award.

Front rower Cian Jacobs marveled at Bani's speed.

"He's very fast - I knew if we (forwards) were able to set a decent platform, then he would be able to finish,'' Jacobs said.

"Riley was also great - we played a bit safer than we did yesterday and with a bit less tackling required by us, we were able to use our attacking flair.

"While the blokes who should have led by example did, all the boys put their hands up today - we were out of reserves by the end but we held on well.''

Today is the carnival rest day and Jacobs said with "nothing major'' in the injuries department, he expected everyone to be on deck for their last-round clash with Country Coast Crows tomorrow, and is confident they can make it back-to-back titles in Friday's grand final.

"We've got a good mix of youth and experience, and the youngies' enthusiasm is just brimming into the old blokes and the mateship in the team is good, and we're in with a big chance,'' he said.

The Stingers suffered a shock 16-12 loss to Logan City Vikings but classy five-eighth Ben Rauter, who has played NRL for the Cowboys, scored two tries in a beaten side and was man of the match.

Gold Coast Gropers and Southern Boars each also made it two wins, downing Central Queensland Bushpigs 28-16 and Crows 1410 respectively.

Hot centre Aaron Bryant bagged four tries for the Gropers.

VIKINGS 16 (Doug King, Mark Rigney, Mick Thiesfield tries; Trevor Hunter 2 goals) d STINGERS 12 (Rauter 2 tries; Dave Caruana 2 goals). WARRIORS 28 (M Bani 3, Riley Larry, Denson Misi tries; Trevor Cook 3, Larry goals) d BULLDOGS 16 (Jason Orman, Andrew Ayres, Dan Kennedy tries; Sean Chapman, Grant Boorman goals). BOARS 14 (Scott Howard 2 tries; Shaun Sutton 3 goals) d CROWS 10 (John Munro, Ron Saltner tries; Chris Murrell goal), MOM: Shaun Sutton. GROPERS 28 (Bryant 4, Rob Smith, Kev Roy tries; Sean Chapman 2 goals) d BUSHPIGS 16 (Dan Kennedy, Dan Dennis, Eamon Bailey tries; Bailey 2 goals), MOM: Nathan Bodey (GC).



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