Eagles grounded in Gayndah rout
RUGBY LEAGUE: A second half masterclass from the Gayndah Gladiators helped them coast to a 70-12 drubbing of the Eidsvold Eagles on Saturday.
Temperatures dropped to four degrees on a brutally cold night and a gutsy first half display from the underdog Eagles saw them rally to trail by just three tries (30-12) at half time.
But it wasn't to be, and Eidsvold continued their horror season after the break.
Their tiring pack couldn't match Gayndah's intensity in the back end of the game and the visitors' ran in 40 unanswered points to record another dominant win.
Gladiators' coach Rob Linsket said superior fitness and strong performances from his bench ultimately proved the difference.
"Full credit to Eidsvold, they came to play and really stuck it to us in the first half,” Linsket said.
"The boys had to dig deep in defence to keep them scoreless after half time.
"We had a week off so it was a scrappy start, but everyone knew their role and we ran away with it in the end.”
With two games to play before finals, Gayndah are building nicely, but Linsket isn't getting carried away and said there was plenty of room for improvement.
"The other teams are playing good football too,” he said.
"It doesn't matter if you finish first or fourth, anyone can win a premiership.
"Our support play has been lacking lately and in the second half we did that really well, so that was pleasing, but we need to tidy up our first half performances.
"At times we panicked - maybe from a bit of fatigue - and made silly mistakes coming out of our own end.
"We'll need to fix those areas up, fast.”
Eidsvold president Noel Thompson couldn't fault the effort from his troops but delivered an honest assessment of their fitness, which he said had hurt them all season.
"We held our own in the first half and despite the result I'm very proud of our performance,” Thompson said.
"Our ball control (in the first half) was as good as it's been all year.
"We struggle with our combinations and the boys' fitness is lacking which let us down again.”