Brumbies run out of legs at the final turn
THE sound of a pained yelp drifted across Mundubbera's Martin Love Oval.
Troy Kimber's knee had buckled in a tackle.
Sam Oppermann, who had his elbow on ice and could hardly bend his arm, was forced back into the fray.
Central Burnett Brumbies now had no bench.
The score at this point was 20-28, Brumbies trailing.
If the game ended here, the points would have reflected where the teams were at.
But there was still the best part of 20 minutes to play and the South Burnett Eagles had fresh legs on the bench, running in three late tries as the score ballooned.
Yet there was honour in going down 24-46, coach Rob Linskett said.
"They were outstanding,” he said.
"They backed one another, there was not a backward step.
"They were buggered but they did it for each other.”
Linskett identified the kicking of five-eighth Zac Dann and half back Daniel West-Pes as keys to the positive performance.
He also nominated Shannon Steinhardt and Kimber for special praise after stepping up at short notice to play after some late scratchings.
South Burnett Eagles coach Jason Webber, who will also coach the Burnett Brahmans at the 47th Battalion Carnival, agreed that Dann stood up to be counted.
"The best player was Central Burnett's five-eighth Zac Dann, he was outstanding and by far the best on the field,” Webber said.
"I was happy with the game and I was hoping they didn't score that many points but Dann set them all up and was good for them.”
Aside from the kicking, Brumbies put Eagles under pressure with their set completion and speed off the defensive line, which forced a series of miscarries by the under-siege Eagles.
Try scorers for Brumbies included Dann, West-Pes, Bailey Kimber, Danyon Van Mierlo and Oppermann.
Add to this list Mark Fischer, and Dann again, for they both made tackles which stopped certain tries and which were the definition of putting one's body on the line.