Mareeba Gladiators began their 2016 David McCoy Homes Cairns Key Real Estate Cairns District Rugby League A Grade campaign in style with a 44-22 win over Edmonton Storm at Davies Park on Saturday.
Ian King was the star of the show for the Tablelands side, scoring four of the eight tries, with Clint Posselt (2), William Dodd, and Patele Tai also grabbing four pointers.
King was named the LD Total Cairns Player of the Round for his superb individual display in an impressive team performance.
Reece Wilson, Ross Maloney, Naru Dau and Nick Farr got on the scoresheet for Edmonton.
Atherton Roosters showed they mean business in 2016 with a thrilling 50-40 victory over Yarrabah Seahawks at Jilara Oval.
An incredible nine different try scorers got on the scoresheet for the visitors, with experienced prop Dean Howard once again leading the way.
Septimus Ambrym impressed for the Seahawks, scoring two tries and landing six conversions for a 20-point individual haul.
Mossman-Port Douglas Sharks were another side to impress in Round 1, overpowering hosts Southern Suburbs at Alley Park.
The Sharks forward pack proved too strong for the Cockatoos, with Josh Sagiba and Shawn Bowen both grabbing doubles for Mossman-Port Douglas.
“This will be one of our best chances (for finals) for seven years,” Sharks forward Darryl Lightning told The Cairns Post.
“We are coming with a different attitude this year.
“We are more structured and we have had a good preseason.”
Chris Reisen starred for Cairns Brothers as they started their season with a nailbiting 34-32 triumph over local rivals Cairns Kangaroos at Vico Oval.
Meanwhile, the grand final rematch between Innisfail and Ivanhoes saw the Leprechauns secure a convincing 34-12 win.
Returning home town hero and Northern Pride record try scorer Brett Anderson grabbed a four-pointer to delight the Callendar Park faithful.
Tully Tigers had a bye.
2016 DAVID MCCOY HOMES CAIRNS KEY REAL ESTATE A GRADE - ROUND 1 RESULTS:
SATURDAY, APRIL 2
Innisfail Leprechauns 34 (Sagigi, Bounghi, Anderson, Skeen, Cassady, Armstrong tries; Healey 5 goals) def Ivanhoe Knights 12 (Lawson, Henley tries; Verney 2 goals) at Callendar Park, Innisfail.
Mareeba Gladiators 44 (King 4, Posselt 2, Dodd, Tai tries; Reys 6 goals) def Edmonton Storm 22 (Wilson, Maloney, Dau, Farr tries; Murgha 3 goals) at Davies Park, Mareeba.
SUNDAY, APRIL 3
Cairns Brothers 34 (Reisen 2, Fitzpatrick, Curcio, Parmenter, Tatipata tries; Curcio 5 goals) def Cairns Kangaroos 32 (Pau 2, Lewis, Lewin, Joseph, Ambrym tries; Haines 4 goals) at Vico Oval, Mooroobool.
Mossman-Port Douglas Sharks 38 (Sagiba 2, Bowen 2, Zammataro, Daniel, Oui tries; Amber 4, Daniel goals) def Southern Suburbs 16 (Chinfat, Henley, Deen tries; Deen 2 goals) at Alley Park, Gordonvale.
Atherton Roosters 50 (Hauraki, Molloy, Blackman, Grant, Willis, Pabal, Rivett, Howard, Dawe tries; Grant 7 goals) def Yarrabah Seahawks 40 (Mossman 2, Ambrym 2, Barlow, Murgha, Yeatman tries; Ambrym 6 goals) at Jilara Oval, Yarrabah.
Tully Tigers – bye.
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