Innisfail Leprechauns bounced back to form with a crushing 48-10 win over high-flying Edmonton Storm in Round 8 of the Cairns District Rugby League A Grade competition at Callendar Park on Saturday night.
The 2014 Grand Finalists had endured a mixed start to the year, with four losses in their first seven games, but flexed their muscles against Storm, who went into the game top of the ladder.
Innisfail centre Anthony Perkins grabbed a hat-trick, while young gun Michael Carroll made it an A Grade debut to remember with a sensational maiden try.
Cairns Brothers leapt to the top of the table with a hard-fought 34-28 win over Southern Suburbs at Stan Williams Park on Sunday.
Brethren coach Chey Bird was pleased to secure another two points, but said he was disappointed his side let a 34-16 lead slip by allowing Suburbs to score two late tries.
“I’m disappointed we didn’t go on with the game in the last 10 minutes – we’ve got to get out the habit of letting teams stay with us,” said Bird.
“We played some good footy, but we also bombed five tries and we need to learn not to give teams opportunities.
“There’s lots of room for improvement and we still haven’t put together a complete game of footy yet.
“The biggest thing for us this year is that we’re managing to keep putting pretty much the same side out each week, and we didn’t get close to doing that last season.
“We’ve got a nice mix of experience and youth, and we’ve got a big month ahead of us now where I’ll know where we stand by the end of it.”
Broski Emery-Hunia scored a hat-trick of tries for Brothers, and in the process earned himself the LD Total Cairns Player of the Round.
“Broski is always in the right time and place to score tries because he puts himself there, and I’d be disappointed if he didn’t pick up a Marlins jersey this year,” Bird added.
Tully Tigers kept the pressure on Brothers at the top with a 34-18 victory over Ivanhoe Knights at Tully Showground.
Greg Miglio was once again on the scoresheet, as was young North Queensland Cowboys-signed half-back Jake Clifford.
Knights centre and 2013 Gold Medallist Trent Barnard showed he is getting back to his best after injury with a brace for the visitors.
Reigning premiers Cairns Kangaroos suffered another defeat, this time in a heartbreaking 22-20 loss at Mareeba.
Roos centre Bradley Stephen, who had starred for Northern Pride the previous week, was almost unstoppable with three tries and two conversions.
However, Stephen hit the post with a late conversion attempt which would have levelled the scores, as Mareeba secured a thrilling win. Hooker Apenisa Cokanasiga was again strong for the Gladiators.
Meanwhile, Mossman-Port Douglas Sharks ended Atherton’s mini revival with a 42-26 triumph at Roosters Stadium on Friday night.
Karl Zammataro and David Oui both two tries apiece as the Sharks crossed for eight tries and closed the gap on the top five.
Yarrabah Seahawks had a bye.
2015 DAVID MCCOY HOMES CAIRNS KEY REAL ESTATE A GRADE - ROUND 8 RESULTS:
FRIDAY 8 MAY
Mossman-Port Douglas Sharks 42 (Zammataro 2, Oui 2, Whap, Dau, Creek, Amber tries; Cobb 4, Murgha 2 goals) def Atherton Roosters 26 (Willis 2, Sitapa, Cesar tries; Grant 4 goals) at Roosters Stadium, Atherton.
SATURDAY 9 MAY
Innisfail Leprechauns 48 (Perkins 3, Carroll, Davis, Koraba, Haren, Fichera, Jensen tries; Healy 6 goals) def Edmonton Storm 10 (Smith, Tatipata tries; Ambrym goal) at Callendar Park, Innisfail.
Tully Tigers 34 (Peri, Miglio, Clifford, Tauli, Laumea, Rankin tries; Jolley 4, Clifford goals) def Ivanhoe Knights 18 (Barnard 2, Watson tries; J. Verney 3 goals) at Tully Showgrounds.
Mareeba Gladiators 22 (Williams, Koroi, Jackson, Cokanasiga tries; Aue 3 goals) def Cairns Kangaroos 20 (Stephen 3, Tabuai tries; Stephen 2 goals) at Davies Park, Mareeba.
SUNDAY 10 MAY
Cairns Brothers 34 (Emery-Hunia 3, Fitzpatrick, Parmenter, Bon tries; Kelly 5 goals) def Southern Suburbs 28 (Joinbee 2, Fourmile, Day, Elliott tries; Chinfat 4 goals) at Stan Williams Park, Cairns.
Yarrabah Seahawks – bye.