Southern Suburbs strengthened their position in the top five after a 25-20 win at Mossman-Port Douglas in Round 15 of the David McCoy Homes Key Real Estate Cairns District Rugby League A Grade competition on Saturday night.
In the Kenfrost Homes Game of the Round, Suburbs edged home thanks to tries from Reece Coutts, Ali Henley, Luke Saunders, Paul Rayment and Chris Walker, while Chris Riesen also landed a vital field goal.
Suburbs coach Greg Annison was thrilled to win such a close encounter against the Sharks, after having lost recent similar tight matches against high-fliers Innisfail and Tully.
“I’m really happy with the win,” said Annison.
“We’ve lost four games this year, and they’ve all been close ones, so to finally win one like this will put us in really good stead for later in the year.
“We stuck to our game plan and remained calm and cool under pressure, and then they started to give away a few penalties, and still we didn’t lose control.”
Annison played down expectations on his fourth-placed team, following their Grand Final loss last year and another solid season to date.
“For us, it’s just about keeping in touch, and making sure we’re in the top five at the end of the year – then we’ll see what happens,” he said.
Suburbs will have a bye this weekend with their only major injury concern being Brent Oosen, who is expected to be out for another four weeks with a shoulder problem.
Mossman-Port Douglas are now seven points adrift of the finals race, and will need to bounce back strongly in Round 16 against Ivanhoes.
Innisfail returned to the top of the ladder on points difference from rivals Tully with a convincing 54-10 victory over Edmonton at Callendar Park.
It was another dominant display from a Leprechauns side which has lost just one game all year under coach Ty Williams.
Full-back Hayden Topliss grabbed another two tries, while Luke Fleming also scored a brace for the hosts.
Yarrabah remain in third place after a dramatic 30-24 win over finals rivals Brothers at Jilara Oval yesterday (Sunday) afternoon.
Interchange forward Greg Miller was the hero, scoring the match-winning try with just five minutes left on the clock.
Brothers’ finals hope took a severe blow with the loss, with Chey Bird’s men now four points behind fifth-placed Kangaroos.
Roos had a much easier afternoon at the office, rattling up an 88-0 win over bottom-of-the-table Atherton at Vico Oval.
Points-scoring machine Bradley Stephens was at it again, with three tries and eight goals ensuring a personal haul of 28 points.
Ivanhoes got themselves back in the winning circle after six straight defeats with a tough 16-6 win at Mareeba on Saturday night.
Reece Munster, James Burns and Northern Pride-contracted star Tom Hancock were the try scorers as they sealed only their third win of the year.
Hancock also secured the LD Total Cairns CDRL Player of the Round award for his fine all-round performance.
Second-placed Tully Tigers had a bye.
2014 David McCoy Homes Cairns Key Real Estate A Grade – ROUND 15 RESULTS
SATURDAY 28 JUNE
Innisfail Leprechauns 54 (Topliss 2, Fleming 2, Asela, Williams, Biondi-Odo, Jensen, Laza, Leber tries; Topliss 7 goals) def Edmonton Storm 10 (Dau 2 tries; Whyatt goal) at Callendar Park.
Southern Suburbs 25 (Coutts, Henley, Saunders, Rayment, Walker tries; Walker, Riesen goals; Riesen field goal) def Mossman-Port Douglas Sharks 20 (Dord 2, Danman, Tuccandigee tries; Cobb 2 goals) at Mossman Showgrounds.
Ivanhoe Knights 16 (Munster, Burns, Hancock tries; Pye 2 goals) def Mareeba Gladiators 6 (Tokahari try; Williams goal) at Davies Park.
SUNDAY 29 JUNE
Cairns Kangaroos 88 (Stephens 3, Port 2, Brown 2, Amber 2, Majid 2, Warren, Barba, Gimma, Savage, Gibuma tries; Stephens 8, Amber 4 goals) def Atherton Roosters 0 at Vico Oval.
Yarrabah Seahawks 30 (M. Murgha 2, Bann, Fourmile, C. Murgha, Miller tries; B. Murgha 3 goals) def Cairns Brothers 24 (Emery-Hunia, Parmenter, Castellaro, Sagigi, Morseau tries; Bird 2 goals) at Jilara Oval.