Hot start in Ipswich

Ipswich rugby league fans braved the heat to turn out in numbers for the opening round of the Ipswich Rugby League Mayor Paul Pisasale A-Grade Cup.

The North Ipswich Reserve hosted a triple-header as the entire first round of the Mayor Paul Pisasale A-Grade Cup was played at the spiritual home of the Ipswich Rugby League.

The season kicked-off with West End Bulldogs in its centenary season playing against Fassifern Bombers in a game where momentum was constantly changing.

Fassifern gained early ascendancy with a 10-4 lead after 18 minutes before a stellar performance from West End Bulldogs hooker Joel Swan snagged West End the lead.

Swan scored two tries from dummy-half at close range to put West End in front before the Bulldogs scored again on the half-time siren to go into the break with a 20-10 lead over the Bombers.

Fassifern gained a 26-20 lead over West End with three quick tries within nine minutes after the half-time break.

Played at a neutral venue the crowd was mostly in support of West End and their fans did not like what they were seeing after half-time.

The Fassifern forwards adapted to the heat of the weather and the pace of the game to gain the upper-hand over the West End forwards and the Bombers never looked back.

The Bombers took advantage of the tiring West End forwards scoring a try with a run beginning near half-way to take a 32-20 lead.

Fassifern took a successful shot at a penalty goal with three minutes remaining to seal the win.

The Bombers kept West End scoreless in the second-half to run out 34-20 winners.

Norths Tigers and Swifts Bluebirds continued the first round of the Mayor Paul Pisasale A-Grade Cup.

Swifts scored from a slick backline play only six minutes into the game to take an early 6-0 lead over the Tigers.

Norths were quick to hit back scoring only four minutes later to level the scores before a well executed chip and chase resulted in a try for Norths centre Andrew Campbell to give the Tigers a lead of 12-6 after the conversion at the 20th minute.

The Tigers showed great teamwork in the 26th minute with lock Chris Scanlan finishing off the great work with a try, before Norths scored again with seconds remaining in the first-half to take the Tigers to a 26-6 lead over Swifts at the break.

Nothing went Swifts way after half-time with Norths scoring two tries in the first 14 minutes of the second-half which included a second try for Scanlan taking the score to 36-6 in Norths’ favour.

Swifts attempted a short kick-off after Scanlan’s second try but the ball went out on-the-full giving Norths a penalty to keep the pressure on.

Ill-discipline from the Tigers allowed Swifts to score two quick tries to take the score back down to a 20-point margin at 36-16.

As the floodlights came on and the weather cooled down the on-field action heated up even more.

Tempers flared with 13 minutes remaining when Swifts upped their aggression levels in defence, resulting in a lot of penalties being awarded to both teams in the closing stages of the match.

The Tigers ran around the Bluebirds left edge to score a try with 16 seconds remaining giving Norths victory over Swifts 40-16.

In the other Ipswich Rugby League Mayor Paul Pisasale A-Grade Cup round one match, a replay of the 2013 Grand Final took place between Brothers and Goodna with Brothers coming out victors 26-12.

Next weekend the Ipswich Rugby League’s 2014 Whitehead Studios Reserve Grade Cup and Boettcher Realty Under 19’s Cup seasons will begin, for the first time these competitions will include the Eastern Cobras, a joint-venture between Redbank Plains Bears and Springfield Panthers.