Llewellyn Motors Field yesterday hosted a round two thriller between Swifts Bluebirds and West End Bulldogs in the Ipswich Rugby League Mayor Paul Pisasale A Grade Cup.
The heavy conditions at Llewellyn Motors Field meant the kicking game from both teams would be vital to the result.
A kick launched into the wind by West End three minutes into the match proved too much for Swifts’ back-three to deal with, while having to contend with wind, rain and a strong West End defensive chase in their face.
Brook Alofipo scored for West End only seven minutes into the match under darkening skies.
West End’s kicking game was giving them the upper-hand early in the match with a booming 40/20 giving the Bulldogs prime attacking field position to score again and extend their lead to 8-0 after 16 minutes.
Swifts began to create real scoring opportunities through the middle of West End’s defence but the wet conditions made ball-handling difficult and the Bluebirds were unable to capitalise on their opportunities until scoring on the half-time siren to go into the break behind 8-4.
Swifts dropped West End’s kick-off to the second half, but a last tackle kick from the Bulldogs was snatched out of the air by Swifts fullback Sonny Appo who ran 80 metres before setting up team-mate TJ Sagaukaz to level the scores at 8-8.
It wasn’t long until Swifts grabbed the lead through its front-row combination, when Se’e Kali popped a miracle offload to set up fellow prop George Vujanovic for the Bluebirds to gain a 14-8 lead after the try was converted.
Jacob Sinn got West End back on the front foot with an electric run under the lightning in the sky.
Sinn’s great individual effort cost Swifts a player for 10 minutes when Bluebirds centre Mike Timai was sin-binned for a professional foul for slowing down the play-the-ball.
West End took advantage of Swifts being one player short when Joel Swan crashed over from close range near the posts allowing Hal Oram to kick the conversion to level the scores at 14-all.
Swifts kicked a penalty goal to take a 16-14 lead before West End fullback Samson Hookey scored to put West End back in front 18-16.
Despite the narrow lead and wet conditions, with five minutes of play left, West End launched an attacking play from 60 metres out with winger Hal Oram scoring a try to all but seal the win for the Bulldogs.
Swifts kicked-off with seconds remaining in the match before West End’s Samson Hookey kicked the ball out after the siren to end the match with West End defeating Swifts 24-16.
In the other Ipswich Rugby League Mayor Paul Pisasale A Grade Cup matches Brothers defeated Fassifern 26-12 and Goodna led Norths 10-4 at half-time when the match was called-off early due to the weather.
Eastern Cobras lost to Swifts 42-4 in their debut regular season match in the Ipswich Rugby League Whitehead Studios Reserve Grade Cup.