Rochedale Tigers notched up their first win of the season with a convincing 16-8 win over an out of sorts Easts Carina in sweltering conditions at Underwood Park.
In a somewhat dour and scrappy game, poor ball handling by both sides made it a very frustrating afternoon for both coaches and spectators to watch. Rochedale certainly did not look like a side that had not won a game this season as they took full control of the match early on with some punishing defence that left the Carina players rattled.
It was however Carina who nearly went in to score first with halfback Cormack O’Brien throwing a neat pass to replacement forward Chris Dibble who spilt the pill over the line with some huge Rochedale defence. Rochedale muscled up and turned defence into attack and made some easy metres on the back of some great individual performances up the middle lead by the powerful Sonny Wainohu and Waikato Falefehi who terrorized the Carina pack all afternoon.
With the Rochedale team in good field position, it was only a matter of time for the Carina defence to crack and a bullet like pass from inspirational halfback Jay Tarawhiti found a flying Jarrod Kendall who chimed beautifully into the backline from fullback to go in and score in the corner. Kendall converted his own try from the sideline and Rochedale got the ball rolling for the afternoon leading 6-0.
It was Kendall again who confused the Carina side with some dazzling side stepping and weaving and with a terrier like run he found open space to offload a well timed pass to find centre Daniel Rasmassen who powered over the line extending the lead to the Tigers 10-0. Kendall failed with the tough conversion.
Carina had a few opportunities of their own and responded with some inventive plays in particular five-eighth Nathan Smith, but again dropped ball and poor completion troubled the Carina players throughout the match. The 10-0 scoreline would take the home side into the break leading and would be a well deserved break for both sides to cool down from the unseasonal hot conditions.
The second half kicked off and a new improved Carina side responded with some brutal defence of their own notably Nathan Symons and the towering Noel Maluo who in turn made their mark on the game on the opposition forwards. Unfortunately the Carina resurgence did not last long as some smart positional kicking by Nutana Te Rangi had the Rochedale team riding on his coat tails up the field to again be perched deep in the Carina red zone.
In the 45th minute Rochedale centre Henry Cope took three players with him on a juggernaut run but was able to offload to a waiting Te Rangi who crossed under the posts. Kendall with the easy conversion had Rochedale in a comfortable lead at 16-0.
It was Rochedale who now had a case of the dropsies as the humid conditions obviously made the ball feel like a cake of soap to hold, turned over possession to Carina. O’Brien from the scrumbase threw a nice cut-out pass to his winger Billy Collins who dashed down the eastern touchline unopposed to score and put Carina on the scoresheet.
A tough conversion for Mitchell McMillan failed to add to their tally and the score remained 16-4. Again the punishing defence by Rochedale was taking its toll on the Carina forwards and captain Jacob Delange tried his best to inspire his team with some fearless runs and showed tremendous spirit but it was like hitting a brick wall with the more physical imposing Rochedale forwards.
However it would be Carina to have the last say on the scoresheet and as the huge Rochedale forwards were tiring it was left to Carina’s little men to make some inroads and some great individual play by fullback McMillan clawed his way to the tryline in a well determined run, but it would prove to be too late.
With the Tigers left to lick their wounds, a well improved Rochedale side will have coach Moki Gumaka smiling from ear to ear after this courageous effort from his team. Final score Rochedale 16 Carina 8.
In other games, Bulimba Valleys 32 beat Slacks Creek 18, Redlands 20 won on forfeit against Easts Juniors 0, Logan Brothers 38 swept aside Wynnum Manly Juniors 12, Wests Inala defeated Beenleigh Juniors 14.
Points: Redlands 11, Bulimba Valleys 10, Logan Brothers 10, Wynnum Manly Juniors 8, West’s Inala 6, Carina 5, East’s Juniors 4, Beenleigh Juniors 4, Rochedale 2, Slacks Creek 0.