26 July 2010

Goodna still leads Ipswich Rugby League competition

Norths bore the brunt of the Goodna Eagles defence yesterday as Goodna won their A-grade clash 22-10 at North Ipswich Reserve.

THE rain may be good for the farmers but it did little for the spectacle at the North Ipswich Reserve yesterday.

Goodna beat Norths 22-10 to remain top of the Ipswich Rugby League A-grade ladder but Norths made them work for it, after Goodna had threatened to run rampant.

Goodna raced to a 16-0 lead after 18 minutes on the back of tries to brothers Sione and Andy Piutau from close range and Jackson Solofa.

Solofa's came when Norths made the cardinal error of not playing the whistle following a knock-on.

Goodna halfback Craig Wehrman was the quickest to react and fed Solofa who crossed untouched.

"All in all, it was a good game," Goodna five-eighth Andrew Walker said.

"We've sort of been scrappy the last couple of weeks. We just wanted to control the ball, be consistent and complete our sets."

That they did for the first quarter of the match, until the rain came and turned it into a war of attrition.

To Norths' credit, they hung in for the rest of the half and took their chance when it arrived.

With two minutes to go before halftime, captain Chris Scanlan scored the try they needed to keep them in the game following a grubber kick, toe ahead by Norths hooker Greg Brooks and in-goal fumble by a Goodna player.

The second half was a dour affair, mainly due to poor handling, until Goodna's Roger Eliu found a way through with 16 minutes remaining to virtually seal the match.

Norths got one back when winger Uonamu Teesi scored from a scrum but with only eight minutes left, it was too late for a revival.

"Our defence won us the game," Walker said.

It was also the thing the dual international nominated as the area in need of the most attention.

That's because of the Goodna forwards' love of rushing out of the line to put on a big hit.

When it doesn't work, it creates holes in the defensive line.

"Other teams will pick us out," Walker said.

"They're big boys and they love it (putting on big hits).

"Sometimes they go looking for it but it will come."

Norths player/coach Kerry Theuerkauf was disappointed with the loss and the fact he injured his hamstring but was pleased how his team competed after Goodna's early lead.

"There were a lot of positives," he said. "We didn't lay down.

"Goodna had a lot of possession early on and got a roll on.

"A lesser side could have let them get away.

"Goodna defended well on their line and we had chances but the last pass went to ground and we couldn't finish off."

Theuerkauf admitted his team paid the price early for letting the Eagles get into attacking positions.

"They've got good, big, strong men," he said.

"When they get that close to the line, it's hard to stop them."

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