Atherton Roosters fullback Jacob Rivett inspired his side to a shock 38-28 win over premiers Cairns Kangaroos on Sunday in Round 7 of the Cairns District Rugby League A Grade competition.
Roosters, who have struggled at the bottom of the ladder over recent seasons, had just one win to their name this year – over last season’s losing Grand Finalist Innisfail.
With the scores locked at 10-10 at the break, the Roosters put in a superb second-half display, led by Rivett’s exhilarating hat-trick, which earned him LD Total Cairns Player of the Round.
Atherton were boosted by further scores to Waylon Joseph (2), Jack Willis and Sikeli Sitapa.
Atherton coach Jamie Blain was thrilled his side claimed a deserved win, especially after losing 38-33 to Cairns Brothers last week by conceding two late tries.
“We’ve been close before and just had a sloppy five minutes here and there which has cost us,” said Blain.
“Last year, both Kangaroos and Innisfail flogged us, so we brought in some go-forward and a bit of a platform this season, while still supporting the local boys, and we’re slowly getting there.
“We took a lot of positives out of the Brothers loss because we knew we were going in the right direction and if we complete our sets, then we can compete.
“Roos had lots of speed and go forward but I think we startled them, and the boys were pretty stoked at the end of the game.
“The Tablelands has always had the talent, but it’s been a struggle over recent years to get the youngsters interested, but hopefully winning will help.”
In another surprise result, Yarrabah Seahawks claimed only their second win of the year with a 38-14 triumph over high-flying Southern Suburbs at Alley Park.
Edmonton Storm remain top of the ladder after try doubles to Eddie Prior and Septimus Ambrym ensured a 40-6 victory over Mareeba Gladiators at Petersen Park.
Cairns Brothers edged a titanic clash at Callendar Park against Innisfail Leprechauns, the visitors securing a nailbiting 20-16 win.
Matty Bon, Denzel King, PJ Webb and Jayden Gil – all players with Northern Pride connections – scored the tries.
Meanwhile, Tully Tigers again looked impressive as Greg Miglio’s treble helped his side to a 30-18 win over Mossman-Port Douglas Sharks.
Young half-back Jake Clifford also got on the scoresheet for the hosts.
Ivanhoe Knights had a bye.
2015 DAVID MCCOY HOMES CAIRNS KEY REAL ESTATE A GRADE - ROUND 7 RESULTS:
SATURDAY 2 MAY
Edmonton Storm 40 (Prior 2, Ambrym 2, Smith, Wales, Murgha, Tatipata tries; Prior 2, Ambrym, Murgha goals) def Mareeba Gladiators 6 (Koroi try; Reys goal) at Petersen Park, Edmonton.
Cairns Brothers 20 (Bon, King, Webb, Gil tries; Doolah 2 goals) def Innisfail Leprechauns 16 (Skeens, Williams, McLeish tries; Healey 2 goals) at Callendar Park, Innisfail.
Tully Tigers 30 (Miglio 3, Kapea 2, Clifford tries; Jolley 3 goals) def Mossman-Port Douglas Sharks 18 (Biehler 2, Whap tries; Murgha 3 goals) at Tully Showgrounds.
SUNDAY 3 MAY
Yarrabah Seahawks 38 (Fauid 2, Kynuna 2, Garrett Jr, F. Murgha, Mudu tries; C. Murgha 5 goals) def Southern Suburbs 14 (Day 2, Nicolaou tries; Deen try) at Alley Park, Gordonvale.
Atherton Roosters 38 (Rivett 3, Joseph 2, Sitapa, Willis tries; Grant 5 goals) def Cairns Kangaroos 28 (Lewis, Mene, Kerwick, Barba, Joseph tries; Pau 4 goals) at Vico Oval, Cairns.