Valleys open new year with a win
With all the months of build-up, anticipation and pre-season training, one can be thankful that rugby league in the Brisbane Second Division Rugby League returned with a bang!
As far as games of rugby league go however, this was not the most entertaining or thrilling of games, but it was definitely good to smell the liniment and the wafting scent of the steak burgers sizzling from the canteen once more.
A brave Wynnum Juniors went down 30-14 to the mighty Diehards in the opening round and the Valleys club need a standing ovation on how meticulous their field was for the first fixture match of the year.
Valleys coach Steve Brown has the Diehards in good stead for the 2016 if this performance was anything to go by. The side looked sharp at times and were first to score through hard-working prop James Hicks who crashed in beside the sticks to open the scoring.
Wynnum to their credit, tried to play the game at the Valleys fast pace, but simply were being outclassed up the middle.
Cody Herrington, Dayne Rogers and James Manse were simply unstoppable at times, which was causing Wynnum to constantly be on the back foot.
Standout performer on the park was halfback Valleys Patrick Rasmussen. His stepping and near perfect passing game was causing headaches for the Seagulls and it was his deadly left foot step that saw him sneak in beside the sticks to further advance Valleys on the scoreboard.
At 12-0, you could see Wynnum struggling to adapt to their game plan, however outstanding five eighth Chris Green and hooker Nathan Stack never gave in. Both players steered Wynnum around the park and their level heads kept the scoreboard from blowing out early on.
But just as Wynnum looked like turning things around with some wonderful set plays, coach Brown unleashed the beast in Richard Tengdui.
Tengdui wasted no time in stamping his mark on this game as his early touch of the ball saw him beautifully sprint down the sideline and go in to score from a standing start to see the Diehards improve their tally to 16-0.
Valleys were continuing to make a mockery of the tiring Wynnum defence and again best player on the park Rasmussen threw a magnificent cut out pass to find an unmarked Chris Nuendorf to see Valleys now in a commanding 22-0 lead.
But just as Valleys thought they might rack up an early cricket score, some fantastic kicking in general play by Green for Wynnum saw the Seagulls inch closer to the Diehards line.
On the last tackle before halftime, winger Kurt Mcbown clawed his way over the tryline to see the Seagulls finally on the board making it 22-4.
The second half proved to be a turning point for the Seagulls. After only four minutes of play, powerful prop Mani Mani was unstoppable at close range to go over under the posts. Tyson Maher made no mistake, with the easy shot at goal seeing Wynnum nudging back at 22-10.
But with the home crowd cheering on the beloved Blue and Whites, the next try was simply outstanding.
Hard-running centre Chris Nuendorf surged 40m upfield and found his winger Quinton Pepe in sipport who slid in for a brilliant Valleys try. David Nuendorf unsuccessful with the boot saw Valleys increase the lead now to 26-10.
Again Rasmussen was the key figure in Valleys next score as his beautifully executed pass found Chris Nuendorf once more to score an opportunist second try and saw the home side coming home strongly at 30-10.
The Seagulls down but not out thought outside the box and on the first tackle from the scrumbase kicked downfield in which the ball was beautifully regathered to see winger Michael Dickie go in to score a wonderful consolation try for the visitors.
The final score saw Valleys 30 defeat Wynnum Juniors 14.