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Tully emerge as finals dark horses after beating Atherton

Tully Tigers marched into Week 2 of the 2016 Cairns District Rugby League A Grade finals after inflicting a heavy defeat on the Atherton Roosters 40-4 at Barlow Park on Sunday.

Budhagi Gibuma was the star of the show, scoring three tries for the Tigers, while Matthew Musumeci, Greg Miglio, Aaron Daniel, Tim Savage and Troy Peri also scored in the eight-try rout.

“We’re in the mix and we’ve got confidence, but there’s some very good sides still in there and we’ve got to turn up next week,” Tully coach Dave Scott told The Cairns Post.

“We’ve got a very good edge and there’s nothing unknown to the way we’re going to play, but if we execute well, teams are going to struggle.”

Atherton were left to rue a poor performance, but can look back proudly on an excellent season under player-coach Dean Howard.

“Up in Atherton we have cold weather all the time, so coming down here it makes it hard,” Howard told The Cairns Post.

“I’m not making excuses but I think all our finals should be on a Saturday night.

“I always told the boys we’ve got to start training in the heat and they just never believed me until today and they found that out.

“Credit to them, they were just too good for us. Next year we’ll come back bigger and better.”

With Atherton eliminated, Tully will now face Ivanhoe Knights in Week 2 of the finals this Sunday, with Ivanhoes suffering a surprise 22-14 loss against Cairns Brothers in their qualifying final.

The Knights took an early 10-0 lead, but the Brethren fought back to level at the break, with Troy Maka scoring the match-winning try late in the second half.

Brothers will now play Innisfail Leprechauns in this week’s grand final qualifier, with Innisfail having had the week off as minor premiers.

2016 CDRL A Grade – FINALS (Week 1)

FRIDAY 2 SEPTEMBER (at Smithfield Sporting Complex)

Cairns Brothers (4th) 32-22 Yarrabah Seahawks (5th)
Cairns Kangaroos (2nd) 24-6 Babinda (3rd)

SUNDAY 4 SEPTEMBER (at Barlow Park, Cairns)

Tully Tigers (5th) 40 (Gibuma 3, Musumeci, Miglio, Daniel, Savage, Peri tries; Hughes 3 goals, Lavell goal) def Atherton Roosters (4th) 4 (Freeman try).

Cairns Brothers (3rd) 22 (Child, Riesen, Bowie, Maka tries; Kepa 3 goals) def Ivanhoe Knights (2nd) 14 (Mackay, R. Verney, Quodling tries; J. Verney goal).

Cairns Brothers (4th) 30-18 Innisfail Leprechauns (5th)
Ivanhoe Knights (2nd) 18-16 Edmonton Storm (3rd)

Cairns Kangaroos (4th) 44-16 Atherton Roosters (5th)
Innisfail Leprechauns (2nd) 28-18 Edmonton Storm (3rd)

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