North Lakes retain lead after beating Narangba
North Lakes Kangaroos remain on top of the Rugby League Brisbane Northside 2 ladder thanks to a 27-12 win over Narangba Rangers on Saturday.
Anyone sceptical about the burgeoning appeal of local amateur rugby league should have been at the Narangba Sports Reserve to witness an entertaining slugfest in slippery conditions, with the Kangaroos continuing their charge towards the finals.
Kangaroos second rower Nicholas Taylor was his side's best and within five minutes of play, the strapping back rower secured the first points of the afternoon, with an early set piece that saw him slide over beside the sticks.
Rangers did well to weather the early storm from the Kangaroos and didn't seem overawed by the first placed side with some gutsy defence of their own line.
Twice in rapid succession, though, the Kangaroos raided the Narangba line and quite possibly should have scored on both occasions.
However, with the wet conditions under foot and some brave cover defence by Rangers fullback Isaac Breed, the Kangaroos frustration at times was starting to show with not being able to cross the Rangers line.
With the Kangaroos bench barking out the orders from the sideline, the visitors eventually regrouped and with three minutes left in the first half scored their second try through hooker Steven Henricksen to lead 12-0.
Kangaroos halfback Brodie Blake was the mastermind for the first try of the second half, with a beautiful cut-out pass to rangy centre Corey Ellis who dummied his way to the line to score.
Blake's goal kicking was also on song in the wet conditions, as he landed another scorcher from the sideline to see the Kangaroos lead 18-0.
Some poor handling from North Lakes saw the Rangers hone in on some good field position and they quickly took advantage when prop Matt Cullen picked up a loose pass to crash over under the posts.
The Kangaroos were still in command, however, and again second rower Taylor steadied the ship with a runaway try to put the visitors in good stead.
With Kangaroos replacement Jake Lines underlining his value from the bench, the back rower made a mockery of the Rangers tiring defence to score what was a soft try to further increase the lead.
Still gritting their teeth in determination, the Rangers did score a late consolation try to winger Zantena Djokovic with a one on one strip, before Kangaroos halfback Blake put the game to bed with a pin point field goal right on the fulltime siren to remain top of the table.
* Mike Simpson is a QRL correspondent covering the Rugby League Brisbane competitions