Roosters, Gaters thrill fans

Anyone who’s been involved in the Brisbane Second Division Rugby League will know that the Ted Beaumont Trophy always brings out the best in sides. In last night’s (June 15) fixture, Brighton Roosters 36 defeated Albany Creek Gaters 18 in a match that not only proved significant for the Roosters but impressive as well.

With the Roosters running out 36-18 winners and now sitting outright first on the ladder, take nothing away from Gaters as the scoreline does not reflect on what an effort they too put in for the fans.

You could probably be forgiven for thinking this was a game that would result in winning the competition, as a grand final atmosphere at Emerson Park saw the bumper crowd witness probably the game of the season thus far.

Pride on the line

Everybody knew this game was going to be a crackerjack and with pride on the line it was the Gaters who opened the scoring with a runaway Josh Harris smashing his way through the Roosters defence to score beside the sticks.

A terrible mistake from the restart saw the Gaters knock on from the kick off which allowed the Roosters hooker Cody Tupara sneak in under the Gaters defence from dummy half to get the Roosters on the board.

Gaters then returned serve with Roy McMahon shrugging off three Roosters defenders to score under the posts. Josh Cattell landed the conversion and with Gaters leading 12-8, the tension on the field was hanging on a knife’s edge.

Both sides were wary of making mistakes, however, Gaters handed the Roosters a penalty for holding down in the play the ball that resulted in another Roosters try as tearaway centre Kainga Turner popped up to receive a superb pass from Junior Crawford to go in and score.

Try of season contender

But hold on to your hats as this is where the match stepped up a notch. The next try can only be described as breathtaking. A dropped ball by the Gaters saw Roosters Brent Boyd scoop up the loose ball to find electrifying fullback Gavin Causer who stepped and weaved his way in a magnificent 60m solo effort that had the crowd on its feet for probably the try of the season.

At 18-12, there was no rest for the wicked. As the crowd braved the elements, nobody was blinking an eye. Within minutes the Gaters had found their way inside the Roosters half and best player for the Gaters Morris Hodges powered his way over under the sticks. With Cattell landing the conversion, both sides went in at 18-18 at halftime.

Leading from front

The Roosters started slowly to dominate in the second half. Wrecking balls Taiho Rio, Jayden Reynolds and Jamie Maliko were unstoppable. Hats off to Brighton captain Maliko who was easily the man of the match for his courageous effort in leading his side from the front.

Gaters had a host of stars in this game, but captain and former Queensland Crushers player Nathan Sologinkin, Morris Hodges and Isaiah Hill proved to be near perfect in a losing side.

The Roosters were sticking to their game plan and after 10 minutes of play Greece international Clinton Hughes stepped off his left foot to go in and score.

For entertainment value, the next try proved why the fans braved the cold to watch these players in action. With the game tightly contested in the middle, the backs also had their share of fortune. A 60m special by Roosters Dylan Cherry-Evans lit up the night as his in-and-away swerving run saw the speedster go in to score another stellar Roosters try. Boyd again landing a spectacular sideline conversion had the Roosters now leading 30-18.

It’s raining bombs

With Gaters Cattell and Hill still firing on all cylinders there was no relenting in raining the Roosters with towering bombs in the swirling wind, but the last of the mammoth kicks found Roosters fullback Causer once again in open space and the livewire stepped and jinked his way through the tiring Gaters defence to score another scintillating try.

Coach Nathan Hughes was emotional after the match, saying that he was proud of his boys.

“Mate, this side plays for each other as one. Not one single player let me down tonight and I am proud to say I am the coach of these boys. This means a lot to us and the Brighton Club,” he said.

Brighton Roosters 36 def Albany Creek Gaters 18.