Brighton Roosters downed a brave Mitchelton Panthers 10-8 in Round 2 of the Open 3 Northside Rugby League Brisbane senior competition.
Defying the odds with a depleted side, the Panthers were gallant against a hungry and determined Roosters who were too good at home.
The home side struggled for cohesion and made basic errors in the first 40 minutes, allowing Mitchelton to capitalise on those gift opportunities by scoring the first try in the 11th minute, with the ever-industrious front rower Marshal Tighe crashing in beside the posts.
A six-minute patch of errors by the Panthers quickly yielded the next points of the game to Brighton, who unleashed hooker Jonathon Fatamai.
The Roosters dummy half scurried his way over the line to plant the ball on the chalk to see the home side go in with a slim 6-4 lead at the break.
Brighton coach Mark Thacker felt his sides errors in the first half cost them any chance of further points and a rousing speech at the break certainly shifted the home side up a gear.
The Roosters crossed first in the second half through centre Nicholas O’Connell and their attack throughout the second 40 was near faultless.
Superbly leading the charge for the home side were Mitchell Gray, Quinton Aiono and Leroy Iakopo who were near unstoppable for the Roosters.
After enduring four sets of six on their own line at one stage, Mitchelton’s brick wall defence was holding on in the dying stages of the game as Brighton were coming home the stronger and looking for the finishing blow.
While the Panthers struggled with handling errors in this game, you’d struggle to find a team with more passion and commitment than was on show despite being short on troops.
The Roosters went agonisingly close with five minutes left on the clock through Ray Newell, but the speedy winger was bundled into touch within a whisker of the tryline.
The last points of the day though belonged to Mitchelton with winger David Ellis showing a cool head under pressure to inch his way over for a rousing solo try, but in the end, it was too little too late as Brighton secured a hard fought 10-8 win on home soil.