Goodna Eagles defeated West End Bulldogs 23-16 in the Ipswich Rugby League Mayor Paul Pisasale A-Grade Cup at Daniel’s Park on Saturday.
The weather was cold but the match was full of heat as both Goodna and West End tried to win the game with pure physicality.
West End started the game with strong determination making sure every tackle and run they made was felt by their Goodna opposites.
Goodna showed a lot of class early when they absorbed everything that West End threw at them.
In the 16th minute Goodna’s patience in defence paid-off when prop Ethan Tafilli gave Goodna the first try of the match after he scooped up a deflected grubber-kick and scooted across the try-line, Mitchell McNamee converted to give the Eagles a 6-0 lead.
Only four minutes later a stray West End pass was intercepted by Goodna centre Horomona Solomon Foley for the Eagles to extend their lead to 12-0.
The West End crowd began to fire-up and their team responded late in the first-half when Bulldogs halfback Reece Sandy scored a try from a quick darting run to cut the margin to six points with Goodna leading 12-6 at halftime.
Three minutes into the second-half West End put on a remarkable passing play with the ball starting centre-field 35 metres from Goodna’s try-line before being passed to the Eastern touchline then spun back to the Western touchline to Bulldogs centre Samson Hookey who dived over to score a brilliant try to cut the margin to two points at 12-10.
Malaki Oloitoa struck back for Goodna only minutes later when he gathered a well-placed centre-field grubber and scored under the posts.
In the 60th minute Goodna were working their way out of their own 20-metre zone when they were ruled to have passed the ball forward and West End were awarded the feed to a scrum.
The Eagles were made to pay for losing possession, when in the following set Maurice Ah Voa scored for West End cutting Goodna’s lead back down to two points at 18-16.
With only five minutes remaining West End looked like they were about to take the lead before desperate Goodna defence tackled the Bulldogs player into touch only a few metres short of the try-line.
In the following set Goodna made their way downfield and scored through halfback Matthew Ramsamy to give the Eagles a six point lead with two minutes remaining.
In an attempt to regain possession West End tried a short kick-off but they were penalised for being offside.
From the penalty Goodna were able to put themselves in good position which allowed Scott Berrell to kick a drop-goal to seal a 23-16 win for the Eagles.
In the other Ipswich Rugby League Mayor Paul Pisasale A-Grade Cup round nine matches Brothers defeated Norths 28-24 to retain the Matt Dennis Memorial Trophy and Swifts defeated Fassifern 56-22.