Reigning premiers Cairns Kangaroos finally climbed off the bottom of the Cairns District Rugby League A Grade ladder with a much-needed 30-22 Round 16 win over Edmonton Storm on Sunday.
Kangaroos, who had lost five straight before the Storm clash, moved up to 10th spot, although their finals dreams still remain just despite the morale-boosting win.
Roos coach Michael White said he was proud his makeshift side, ravaged by injuries and unavailability, had secured the two points over finals-chasing Edmonton.
“We’ve been there or thereabouts for a few weeks now, so it’s good to finally get a result,” White said.
“We had a number of A Graders out for various reasons, so we ended up with a mix of Under 18s and Reserve Grade players, and they showed plenty of courage, pride and passion in the Roos jersey.
“I thought we out-enthused them on the day and made them look a little sluggish, which is exactly what they did to us earlier in the season.
“We really want to finish off the year well now, and already start building for next season.
“We’re not going to be playing finals football, so the rest of the year is about being competitive each time we turn up.
“There’s nothing to lose, so we can take the shackles off, and let the boys play a bit more freely and enjoy their footy.”
The result severely dented Edmonton’s finals hopes, with the Storm now lying in sixth spot and four points outside the top five.
Cairns Brothers remain locked in a battle with Tully Tigers on 28 points at the top of the ladder after a 90-6 thumping of bottom side Mossman-Port Douglas.
The Brethren ran in 16 tries, with playmaker Maipele Morseu scoring a hat-trick of four-pointers and Adam Kelly slotting nine goals, while Denzel King (two tries, four conversions) was also a stand-out.
Morseu was named the LD Total Cairns Player of the Round for his superb performance.
Tully beat Southern Suburbs 32-14 in a high-class encounter at Tully Showgrounds. Fabien Tauli, Greg Miglio, Matolu Laumea and Timothy Savage scored the host’s tries.
Third-placed Innisfail made if five straight wins to reinforce their premiership credentials with a 42-4 triumph over Atherton Roosters at Callendar Park.
Teenage winger Michael Carroll again showed his finishing prowess with a try-scoring brace, as the Leprechauns ran in eight tries.
Meanwhile, Ivanhoe Knights moved into fourth spot with a superb display at Yarrabah Seahawks, winning 52-18 at Jilara Oval.
Adrian Henley and James Watson scored two tries each to maintain the Knights’ hopes of playing finals football in 2015.
Mareeba Gladiators had a bye.
2015 DAVID MCCOY HOMES CAIRNS KEY REAL ESTATE A GRADE - ROUND 16 RESULTS:
SATURDAY 11 JULY
Cairns Brothers 90 (Morseu 3, Rea 2, King 2, Kelly 2, Roberts, Schell, Bon, Doolah, Charlie, Fitzpatrick, Emery-Hunua tries; Kelly 9, King 4 goals) def Mossman-Port Douglas Sharks 6 (Denman try; Amber goal) at Mossman Showgrounds.
Innisfail Leprechauns 42 (Carroll 2, Biondi-Odo, Perkins, Healey, Haren, Koraba, Reuter tries; Healey 5 goals) def Atherton Roosters 4 (Nawaidaovu try) at Callendar Park, Innisfail.
Tully Tigers 32 (Savage, Miglio, Laumea, Tauli tries; Clifford 4 goals) def Southern Suburbs 14 (Sutherland, Joinbee, Day tries; Colaham goal) at Tully Showgrounds.
SUNDAY 12 JULY
Cairns Kangaroos 30 (Sailor 2, Stephen, Pearson, Arnold, White tries; Stephen 3 goals) def Edmonton Storm 22 (Prior 2, Tatipata 2 tries; Tatipata 3, Harrison goals) at Vico Oval, Cairns.
Ivanhoe Knights 52 (Henley 2, Watson 2, Munster, Burns, Quadling, J. Reed, B. Reed, Pye tries; Pye 4, Munster 2 goals) def Yarrabah Seahawks 18 (Gibson 2, C. Murgha, Mossman tries; C. Murgha goal) at Jilara Oval, Yarrabah.
Mareeba Gladiators – bye.