Edmonton Storm kept alive their finals dream with a convincing 36-4 victory at Atherton in Round 13 of the David McCoy Homes Key Real Estate Cairns District Rugby League A Grade on Saturday night.
The Storm put in a solid six-try performance against the bottom-of-the-ladder Roosters, with George Toby grabbing a double.
The result still leaves the Storm in ninth position, but now only four points away from a finals spot in what is turning out to be a tight race in 2014.
Edmonton coach Cameron Miller said his side were improving each week, but played down Storm’s finals hopes.
“The boys are starting to believe in themselves a lot more, and this is another step in the right direction,” he said.
“The scoreline probably doesn’t tell the whole story, as Atherton kept trying right up until the final whistle.
“I think they’ll beat a couple of sides at their place, as it’s really tricky to go to Atherton on a cold Saturday night.
“For us, we’re still in the fight for the finals, but most games are must wins for us now, so we’ll just keep plugging away and see what happens.”
Miller reserved special praise for young gun forward Taha Tutavake, who picked up his third man of the match award in four games, as well as the LD Total Cairns CDRL Player of the Round.
Tutavake is just one of several promising players on Storm’s books, with Miller also hailing Robbie Kyles and Nathan Wales’ recent performances.
In the Kenfrost Homes Game of the Round, Yarrabah Seahawks surged into third place and effectively ended Ivanhoes’ feint finals hopes with a dramatic 24-18 win at Jilara Oval yesterday.
The 10th-placed Knights put in an outstanding display to leave the scores locked at 18-18 with just seconds remaining, before allowing Charles Murgha to steal victory for the hosts.
“We can look back on some missed opportunities this year, but we’re still hopeful of finishing off the season well, and putting together back-to-back wins,” said Ivanhoes coach Alan Benn.
Another dramatic affair took place at Davies Park, as Mareeba amazingly let slip a 38-12 lead before hanging on to edge Mossman-Port Douglas 38-36 in a battle between two sides with finals aspirations.
Gladiators hooker Apenisa Cokanasiga was a constant danger for the hosts, the Fijian scoring a fine hat-trick.
Second-placed Innisfail beat fellow high-fliers Southern Suburbs 30-24 at Callendar Park, with both sides scoring five tries apiece.
The difference on the scoresheet was with the boot, with Leprechauns fullback Hayden Topliss landing all five conversions compared to two from Suburbs’ Chris Riesen.
However, it is Tully which remains top of the CDRL ladder, the Tigers beating an ever-improving Brothers side 30-20 at Tully Showgrounds to register their seventh straight win, and remain two points clear of Innisfail.
Cairns Kangaroos had a bye.
2014 David McCoy Homes Cairns Key Real Estate A Grade – ROUND 13 RESULTS
SATURDAY 14 JUNE
Innisfail Leprechauns 30 (Fleming 2, Biondi-Odo, Romano, Fate tries; Topliss 5 goals) def Southern Suburbs 24 (Deen 2, Sutherland, Reilly, M. Oosen tries; Riesen 2 goals) at Callendar Park.
Tully Tigers 30 (J. Verney 2, Rix, Hughes, Fautauai tries; Jolley 5 goals) def Cairns Brothers 20 (Castellaro, Giglio, Morseu, Parmenter tries; Bird 2 goals) at Tully Showgrounds.
Mareeba Gladiators 38 (Cokanasiga 3, Hughes, Walker, Williams, Donohue tries; Williams 3, Leechen, Aue goals) def Mossman-Port Douglas Sharks 36 (Oui 2, Tuccandidgee, Zammataro, Sigiba, Dodd, Grainer tries; Hayes 4 goals) at Davies Park.
Edmonton Storm 36 (Toby 2, Haines, Quakaweet, Kyles, Wales tries; Haines 6 goals) def Atherton Roosters 4 (Webb try) at Roosters Stadium.
SUNDAY 15 JUNE
Yarrabah Seahawks 24 (Prior Jr 2, C. Murgha 2, Tatipata tries; C. Murgha, B. Murgha goals) def Ivanhoe Knights 18 (Burns, McMullen, Prior, Gibson tries; Prior goal) at Jilara Oval.