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18 August 2011

Rugby League: Goodna seals vital final spot

THE battle for the final semi-final spot in the Ipswich Rugby League under-18s could not have been tighter. 
 
The Springfield and West End under-18 teams missed out on the finals after hotly-tested battles for this year's semi-finals.

         

THE battle for the final semi-final spot in the Ipswich Rugby League under-18s could not have been tighter.

With the top three already qualified, it was Springfield, Goodna and Swifts/Fassifern heading into the final round with a chance of finishing fourth.

Goodna scraped through with their 32-all draw with Swifts/Fassifern. That allowed them to advance after Springfield lost 40-14 to Brothers 1.

In a remarkable game, Goodna raced to a 10-0 lead before Swifts/Fassifern stormed back to be in front 22-10 at the break.

Goodna then turned it around to lead 32-22 with less than 10 minutes remaining.

But the game was far from over as Swifts/Fassifern scored twice late, including a try after the final siren to tie the scores.

It left a kick from the sidelines to win it and secure Swifts-Fassifern a semi-final spot. However, it wasn't to be and the Eagles celebrated.

"I was confident," Goodna coach Terry Needham said.

"The last kick of the game gave me a bit of a fright.

"The heart was in the throat then but it was all good."

Needham's confidence should serve the Eagles well during the finals.

"We probably clocked off a little bit but I made a couple of changes," he said. "We gave a couple of boys a run but we made a couple of mistakes."

It was almost fatal against a team with nothing to lose.

"They were desperate," Needham said of Swifts/Fassifern.

"It was their last throw of the dice. They threw everything at us but we just controlled the ball a bit better throughout the day.

"In the first half, we made three handling errors and in the second half we controlled the game until the last five minutes."

Needham praised his under-16 winger Lorenzo Vogel, who stepped up an age division and scored two tries.

"I couldn't knock any of the players," he said.

"They all had tasks to do and went out and did them."

The coach believes his team will ride their confidence past the awaiting Norths in the elimination semi-final following this weekend's break.

"I've got a lot of confidence against Norths," he said.

"We outscored Norths last time we played them, we just couldn't kick goals."

In the other matches, West End beat Brothers (2) 32-18 and Redbank Plains downed Norths 60-16.

Brothers 1 will play Redbank Plains in the qualifying semi-final.

More Ipswich Sport: www.QT.com.au

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