24 May 2010

Rugby League: Goodna Eagles bide time to crush Swifts

THE Eagles have spread their wings.

Goodna flew beyond the chasing pack to sit alone a top the Ipswich Rugby League ladder after a 40-22 comeback win over Swifts at Llewellyn Motors Field on Saturday.

The Eagles came from 22-4 down at halftime, stunning the Purga crowd, not least the person heard convincing his Swifts teammates in the halftime huddle the final score would be an embarrassment to the visitors.

Swifts rode a tide of possession early on and it became points when Faren Willett crossed after five minutes.

Three more tries followed for the Bluebirds with fullback Wes Conlon chief among his team's backs, seemingly unaffected by the slippery conditions.

"In the first 10 minutes, we got hammered in the penalties," Fowler said. "Mainly around the ruck, in attack and defence.

"At one stage they had four or five sets of six on our tryline."

But Goodna began the second half as though they'd completely forgotten the first and Fowler gave the credit to Andrew Walker's halftime speech.

"It was probably one of the best I've heard," Fowler said. "He just told everyone not to panic.

"Just believe in each other.

"I just said we needed to be more sharp and speed up our own play the ball."

Fowler admitted it was the first time he has felt worried all season.

He needn't have.

Once play resumed, Goodna regained their forward momentum and it was Swifts now giving the ball away needlessly.

"They're good when they get on a roll," Swifts halfback Joel Lennox said.

"They've got lots of size."

It was how they used it that impressed Fowler.

"All our forwards (were good)," he said.

"Especially Roger Eliu."

Eliu kicked off the comeback when he barged over from dummy half early in the second half after Goodna had finally received successive sets.

When prop Alistair Tauaua bolted 40m off an Andrew Walker pass to score soon after, Swifts were just trying to hang on.

But Goodna smell weakness and their relentless pack eventually smashed all Swifts' resistance.

Lennox blamed poor discipline for his team's ruined second half.

"There were too many penalties… also handing the ball back to them," Lennox said.

"We just gave them too many back-to-back sets.

"In the first half we were completing our sets and our defence was a lot better."

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