Two tries to Native’s Greg Boyd would be the telling factor in the Indigenous side’s thrilling 24-16 victory over North Lakes Kangaroos in their Northside 1 clash.
On a bleak afternoon in drizzling rain, both sides put on a show for the vocal crowd that had shown up in the miserable conditions.
The game began with a breathtaking try from Kangaroos winger Mika Muggerride, who used his speed to burst down the sideline and score after only two minutes on the clock.
Shell-shocked, the Natives hit back four minutes later, when Elijah Gusterson bumped off two defenders to cross within inches of the sideline. A superb sideline conversion by Leonard Burns locked up the scores 6-6 early on.
However, hooker Greg Boyd’s quick thinking from dummy half further increased the score line for the visitors, as he pounced over from dummy half right on the halftime hooter.
Natives were the first to open the scoring in the second half courtesy of a powerhouse try by second row forward Fred Matthew.
Beginning on halfway, the ball was worked to the right-hand side, with halfback Tremaine Bird releasing a beautiful pass to Matthew, who powered his way over the line.
The Kangaroos however were being superbly led by halfback Brodie Blake, who was inspirational in a losing side, with prop Jaxson Kirkland also impressive.
It would be Blake’s influence that would set the tone for the Kangaroo’s next try, sending in his winger Ueseli Pupuslii in for another four-pointer.
Blake then proved he is worth his weight in gold, by leveling up the scores with a try out of nothing to get the home side back in the game.
Stepping off both feet, the elusive halfback made a mockery of the Native’s defence to score right under the sticks.
But if the Kangaroos thought they were going to pinch this game from the Natives, they had another thing coming.
Boyd continued to be dangerous from dummy half, nudging his way over to put the visitors back in the lead.
North Lakes coach Justin Henriksen’s frustration was evident on the sidelines, as his side had been so admirable in pegging back the score.
A few penalties started to creep into the Kangaroo’s game late in the second half, which was further proving that the game was slipping away from them.
On the full time hooter, Natives centre Burns sealed the Kangaroos' fate, with a penalty goal to secure a much-needed two points.