Toowoomba Rugby League QRL Correspondent Andrew O’Brien reviews Round 2 of the Hutchinson Builders TRL competition.
Brothers Leprechauns v Southern Suburbs Tigers
Brothers continued their nice start to the season with a 10-point win over the Tigers on Friday night.
The Betros brothers steered their team to victory with Ricky Davies also having a good game, while winger Brandon Kerr had his best TRL game to date.
The Brethren held on to the ball better than their opposition to ultimately take the two points.
The Tigers played much better this round with Jack Gilmartin scoring a double with Kyle Athorn also playing well, as did Dwayne Duncan.
BROTHERS 24 (Sam Betros, Ricky Davies, Jake Head, Ethan Hearn, Alexander McErlean tries; Sam Betros 2 goals) defeated SOUTHS 14 (Jack Gilmartin 2, Kyle Athorn, Dwayne Duncan tries; Dwayne Duncan goal)
RESERVE GRADE: Souths 32 defeated Brothers 14
UNDER 18: Souths 18 defeated Brothers 16
Dalby Diehards v Warwick Cowboys
Defending premiers, Dalby flexed their power at home with a convincing win over Warwick on Saturday night.
Given both sides were without key players, the score line was surprising.
Dalby led 14-0 at halftime and went on with it in the second half to run out winners, 32-6, with the Diehards’ forward pack dominating their rivals.
Brayden Alexander played well whilst Jason Wardrop continued his stellar start to the season with a man of the match performance and now competition equal top try-scorer.
Hooker Danny Wassell returned from injury and his balanced approach saw his team react well.
The Cowboys did start the game without in-form centre Joe Fuimaono but regardless, they had no answers for the Diehards.
Ball control let them down and Intrust Super Cup import, Dan Murphy can’t come back from injury quick enough for them.
DALBY 32 (Brayden Alexander, Alex Ambia, Travis Babington, Steve Franciscus, Jason Wardrop, Chris Wilkes tries; Zac Morris 4 goals) defeated WARWICK 6 (Kai Etherington try; Kai Etherington goal)
RESERVE GRADE: Dalby 28 defeated Warwick 4
UNDER 18: Dalby 30 defeated Warwick 26
SECOND DIVISION: Dalby 38 defeated Warwick 20
Valleys Roosters v Oakey Bears
The Valleys Roosters cemented their place at the top of the TRL ladder with a hard-fought win over Oakey at Herb Steinohrt Oval.
A two-try effort midway through the first half by Dylan Chown proved the turning point.
The black and red piled on six tries in the half which took the game out of the Bears’ reach; but to their credit, the Bears never gave up and played much better in the second half.
Their senior players performed well with Daniel Haaijer and Aaron Cherry their best.
The speed of the Roosters’ backline lit up the park. Halfback Corey McGrady led his side well with a clever display whilst Steve Rodgers and Hugh Sedger also played well.
VALLEYS 50 (Dylan Chown 2, Aaron Sillitoe 2, Roger Bartholomew, Hnaloan Budden, Jarryd Dodd, Matthew Hawkins, Cory McGrady, Hugh Sedger tries; Dylan Chown 5 goals) defeated OAKEY 22 (Aaron Cherry, Dylan Haaijer, Lindon Langton, Corey Mullins tries; Dylan Adamson 3 goals)
RESERVE GRADE: Valleys 40 defeated Oakey 24
UNDER 18: Valleys 32 defeated Oakey 24
SECOND DIVISION: Valleys 28 drew Oakey 28
Highfields Eagles v Pittsworth Danes
The Highfields Eagles sent a message out to the rest of the competition when they beat grand finalists Pittsworth 34-0 at home on Saturday night.
The Eagles piled on four unanswered tries in the first stanza and added another three tries in the second half.
The return of Nick Bainbridge for Highfields helped lift the team, while Josh Everett was player of the match with hooker Nathan Smith having his best game in the TRL.
The Danes toiled all day, but nothing went right for them and halfback James Dempsey tried hard in a beaten side.
HIGHFIELDS 34 (Blake Appo, Nick Bainbridge, Sam Bielefeld, Josh Everett, Sean Hamel, Zack Loxley, Cam Stewart tries; Aaron Hooper 2, Sean Loxley goal) defeated PITTSWORTH 0
RESERVE GRADE: Highfields 30 defeated Pittsworth 6
UNDER 18: Highfields 36 defeated Pittsworth 6
Wattles Warriors v Gatton Hawks
The Gatton Hawks travelled to Clifton to play their first game of the TRL season.
Both sides’ big forwards contested a brutal affair with each side not giving an inch in the early stages.
Luke Nolan scored the first try for his new club in a neat individual effort that surprised Wattles.
The Warriors reacted well to tie up the ball game with a clever try by in-form fullback Jackson Green.
The turning point came in the 38th minute, when the Hawks failed to find touch from a penalty and Wattles’ Jake Hargreaves swooped to get his side in front at the break 12-6.
To make matters worst for the Hawks, Wattles scored just after halftime through their experienced men, Ryan Duggan and Travis Burns.
Wattles led 26-6 with 15 minutes remaining until Gatton scored three tries to get within a sniff, but Wattles held on in the end.
Wattles were excellent in starving the Hawks of the ball for long periods of time.
Dylan Wilson had his best game in the TRL and his work rate for a big man was extraordinary.
Wilson and his fellow forwards paved the way for the two competition points.
Green at fullback was difficult to contain, whilst for the Hawks, Daniel Marsh, Nash Hawthorn and Gerard Tema were their best.
It was a good quality game showing two sides that will be difficult to beat this season.
WATTLES 26 (Ryan Duggan 2, Travis Burns, Jackson Green, Jake Hargreaves tries; Matt Duggan 3 goals) defeated GATTON 20 (Billy Jackwitz, Austin Jennings, Daniel Jennings, Luke Nolan tries; Luke Nolan 2 goals)
RESERVE GRADE: Wattles 28 drew Gatton 28
UNDER 18: Gatton 60 defeated Wattles 14
In the other two TRL matches, the South Burnett Eagles Under 18s got their first win of the season, defeating Goondiwindi 16-12, and in the first Second Division game of the season for the Stanthorpe Gremlins, they were defeated by the Gatton Hawks 26-12.
After Round 2, these are how the competition ladders stand:
A GRADE: Valleys 4, Dalby 4, Wattles 4, Highfields 2, Brothers 2, Oakey 2, Warwick 2, Gatton 0, Goondiwindi 0, Pittsworth 0, Souths 0
RESERVE GRADE: Highfields 4, Valleys 4, Wattles 3, Oakey 2, Souths 2, Dalby 2, Pittsworth 2, Gatton 1, Goondiwindi 0, Brothers 0, Warwick 0
UNDER 18: Highfields 4, Gatton 4, Souths 4, Dalby 4, Goondiwindi 2, South Burnett 2, Oakey 2, Valleys 2, Brothers 0, Warwick 0, Pittsworth 0, Wattles 0
SECOND DIVISION: Dalby 3, Oakey 3, Gatton 2, Valleys 1, Pittsworth 1, Brothers 0, Warwick 0, Stanthorpe 0
The TRL takes a break for the Easter period and returns with Round 3 on Saturday, April 7 and Sunday, April 8.
For full results, ladders and upcoming fixtures of the Toowoomba Rugby League, visit the TRL website.