Teams battle to enormous Monto crowd
IN the final 10 minutes of a gripping rugby league encounter, it seemed as though Mundubbera Tigers and Gayndah Gladiators would battle each other to a valiant draw.
The scores were locked at 6-6 in the second of three games in Monto on Saturday.
The Tigers had shown more attacking flair, but Gladiators hung in gamely, wolfing down enormous servings of field position thanks to five-eighth Zac Dann's torpedo boot, which reaped one 40-20 kick and went close other times.
Gladiators ventured inside Tigers' half and without warning, Dann snapped a field goal which sailed over the crossbar, a "split decision,” he said.
7-6 perhaps would have been an accurate reflection of where the teams were at, but scoreboard pressure allowed half-back Tom Jameson to sneak through in the dying minutes for the team's second try, for a final score of 13-6.
Dann said his big forwards, Matt Emmerton, Leroy Brown and Trent Berrie, "set the standard.”
Coach Dave Madden said he believes his team won with their ball control.
"I don't think anyone made two errors,” he said.
Tigers were at a slight disadvantage, however, having already played a hard 40 minutes of football against Monto Roos in the first match at 4pm.
The men in orange were clinical, putting Roos on the back foot early with a series of scything runs from Eniokeli Foki, breaking both sides of the field wide open.
Most of Tigers' most destructive work was done down the left-hand side, as both half-back Daniel West and prop Cameron MacDonald galloped through the defensive line for tries.
Coach Shannon Steinhardt said the eventual scoreline of 26-0 was impressive as they were a player short due to work commitments.
"Especially since we didn't have a trial match, it was our first hit out,” he said.
Steinhardt praised the rock-solid defence, which only conceded 13 points across the two matches and said his team just needed to consolidate their match fitness.
Roos came back strongly in their second match, playing Gladiators.
Although the final result was a 30-14 loss, the scoreline doesn't do them justice as, until Gladiators crossed for two late tries, Roos were making a stirring comeback.
Central to this was 17-year-old Miguel Herrera, who outfoxed Gladiators' goal line defence and darted in for a try from dummy-half.
Roos player and club president Damien Zeith said against Gladiators the team began "finding our way.”
"We went pretty well for not having played for two years and not had any trials,” he said.
"A lot of people were playing new positions.”