Mareeba Gladiators’ Phil Nona landed a late field goal to give his side a thrilling 31-30 win at Yarrabah on Saturday in Round 6 of the Cairns District Rugby League A Grade competition.
Mareeba, who clinched their second straight win, had fought back from 24-12 down at the break to level the game at 30-30 before Nona became the match-winner two minutes from time to break the Seahawks’ hearts.
Gladiators coach David Grainer described the dramatic win as one of the most memorable wins in the club’s history.
“As long as I’ve been connected with Mareeba Gladiators, I can’t remember any A Grade side coming back to win like we did,” said Grainer.
“To steal the game from Yarrabah like that was very rewarding, and it’s a credit to the boys the way they fought back.
“I knew we could launch a comeback, we just needed to get back to our gameplan and our halves playing out of the back of our forwards and creating opportunities.
“It was a really entertaining game and I feel for Yarrabah – they were shellshocked at the end.”
Fijian hooker Apenisa Cokanasiga, who was nominated for a 2014 Gold Medal, was again a strong performer for Mareeba, scoring a try and leading his side superbly around the paddock.
“Peni is starting to hit top form again and taking his opportunities,” said Grainer.
“He’s really enjoying his footy again and has certainly got the talent if he wanted to play at a higher level.”
Mareeba will be without prop Mike Hauraki (rib cartilage), centre Tom Hughes and fullback Ricky Shave (both hamstring) for this weekend’s trip to top-of-the-ladder Edmonton.
Southern Suburbs lock Jarrod Burton was named LD Total Cairns Player of the Round after he helped inspire his side to a hard-fought 14-6 win over Innisfail Leprechauns at Alley Park.
In a physical encounter, Suburbs winger Jahmal Deen scored a try and slotted three goals in a game which saw three men sent to the bin.
Ivanhoes continued their impressive start to the season with a 28-16 win over reigning premiers Cairns Kangaroos at Smithfield Sporting Complex.
The Verney brothers – Regan and Jared – were both on the scoresheet for the Knights in a game which saw Kangaroos score four tries without a conversion.
Cairns Brothers won a 38-33 thriller against Atherton Roosters at Stan Williams Park thanks to two dramatic late tries.
Trailing 33-26 with just four minutes left on the clock, Brothers looked set for an upset loss before a try brought them to within one point and Maipele Morseau scored with the last play of the game.
Meanwhile, Tully Tigers ended Edmonton Storm’s 100 per cent record with an impressive 36-18 win at Tully Showgrounds.
The Tigers scored six tries through Aaron Jolley, Fabien Tauli, Leroy Rankin, Troy Kapea, Michael Costa and Jordan Ketchell to seal the two points.
Mossman-Port Douglas Sharks had a bye.
2015 DAVID MCCOY HOMES CAIRNS KEY REAL ESTATE A GRADE - ROUND 6 RESULTS:
FRIDAY 24 APRIL
Ivanhoe Knights 28 (Bassini, Munster, R. Verney, Reed, Pryor tries; Pye 3, J. Verney goals) def Cairns Kangaroos 16 (Stephen 2, Lewis, Kusu tries) at Smithfield Sporting Complex.
Cairns Brothers 38 (Doolah 2, Rea, Swain, Morseau, King, Schonig tries; Kelly 4, Doolah goals) def Atherton Roosters 33 (Grant 2, Woodleigh 2, Joseph tries; Grant 6 goals; Grant field goal) at Stan Williams Park, Cairns.
SATURDAY 25 APRIL
Mareeba Gladiators 31 (Aue 2, Tokarah, Cokanasiga, Reys tries; Reys 5 goals; Nona field goal) def Yarrabah Seahawks 30 (C. Murgha 2, Stanley, Mossman, Kynuna, F. Murgha tries; C. Murgha 3 goals) at Jilara Oval, Yarrabah.
Tully Tigers 36 (Tauli, Jolley, Rankin, Kapea, Costa, Ketchell tries; Jolley 6 goals) def Edmonton Storm 18 (Law 2, Ambrym tries; Ambrym 3 goals) at Tully Showgrounds.
Southern Suburbs 14 (Hari, Deen tries; Deen 3 goals) def Innisfail Leprechauns 6 (Wilkie try; Healy goal) at Alley Park, Gordonvale.
Mossman Port-Douglas Sharks – bye.