Mossman-Port Douglas Sharks produced their best display of the season to secure an impressive 45-16 win over fifth-placed Edmonton Storm in Round 12 of the David McCoy Homes Cairns Key Real Estate Cairns District Rugby League A Grade competition.
Strong performances from brothers Paddy and Ronny Whap, assisted by crafty half-back Robbie Amber, gave the Sharks a surprise 18-6 lead at the break.
And the visitors pushed on in the second stanza, crossing for eight tries in total, with doubles to Mark Dau and Darren Cobb.
Mossman-Port Douglas coach Trevor Cobb said his side’s improved showing was down to an improvement in attitude.
“We had a good chat in the sheds before the game about making sure our attitude was right, as we’ve just been too lackadaisical in previous games, which has cost us,” said Cobb.
“This was the first time this season we’ve put together a full 80 minutes, and our defence especially was spot on - it’s great to get that monkey off our back.
“The scoreline is a bit misleading as Edmonton pushed us really hard and are a real force in this year’s comp, and we really had to fight for the win.”
Mossman-Port Douglas, now only four points outside the top five, have just three away games remaining out of their last nine to play, with Cobb targeting a good finish to the year.
“I’ve told the boys that if we can win two out of those three away games, and win most of our home games, we’ll be there or thereabouts come finals time,” he said.
Atherton Roosters produced another Sunday shock when the Tablelands outfit clinched a memorable 18-14 victory at Southern Suburbs.
The visitors, inspired by two tries from Sylvester Pasai, led 12-4 at the break and held on in a thriller at Alley Park.
The result moves Atherton up to seventh place, just two points outside a finals place, while Suburbs remain in sixth.
Tully Tigers continued their ominous form with a 56-14 thumping of Yarrabah Seahawks at Tully Showgrounds, a result which keeps them on the top of the ladder on points difference.
Forward Troy Kapea was the surprise try-scoring hero, grabbing three four-pointers in the ten-try romp. Aaron Jolley (one try, eight goals) was again impressive for the Tigers.
Innisfail’s 17-year-old winger Michael Carroll scored four tries in the Leprechauns’ convincing 44-0 shutout of Mareeba Gladiators, which moves Innisfail into third on the ladder.
Carroll, who is bound for North Queensland Cowboys Under 20s next season, was named LD Total Cairns Player of the Round for his remarkable try-scoring feat.
Meanwhile, Cairns Brothers remain in second spot on points difference after a battling 18-10 triumph over fellow high-fliers Ivanhoe Knights on Saturday night.
Corey Child, James Doolah and Maipele Morseau scored the vital tries for the hosts at Stan Williams Park.
Cairns Kangaroos had a bye.
2015 DAVID MCCOY HOMES CAIRNS KEY REAL ESTATE A GRADE - ROUND 12 RESULTS:
SATURDAY 13 JUNE
Tully Tigers 56 (Kapea 3, Clifford, Musumeci, Savage, Lama, Miglio, Rata-Makene, Jolley tries; Jolley 8 goals) def Yarrabah Seahawks 14 (Kuyana, Bann, Canendo tries; C. Murgha goal) at Tully Showgrounds.
Innisfail Leprechauns 44 (Carroll 4, Fate 2, Jensen, Skeen, Wilkie tries; Haren 2, Biondi-Odo, Healey goals) def Mareeba Gladiators 0 at Callendar Park, Innisfail.
Cairns Brothers 18 (Child, Doolah, Morseau tries; Castellaro 3 goals) def Ivanhoe Knights 10 (Reed try; J. Verney 3 goals) at Stan Williams Park, Cairns.
SUNDAY 14 JUNE
Atherton Roosters 18 (Pasai 2, Tokaraki, Rivett tries; Grant goal) def Southern Suburbs 14 (Joinbee 2, Satrick tries; Deen goal) at Alley Park, Gordonvale.
Mossman-Port Douglas Sharks 45 (Dau 2, Cobb 2, Denman, Daniel, R. Whap, Waigana tries; Amber 6 goals; Segeyaro field goal) def Edmonton Storm 16 (Smith, Pryor, Gibuma tries; Ambrym 2 goals) at Petersen Park, Edmonton.
Cairns Kangaroos – Bye.