Seahawks fly high to down Innisfail in two-point thriller

Yarrabah Seahawks soared high on Sunday when they snatched a thrilling two-point victory over current ladder leaders Innisfail at Jilara Oval on Sunday.

Their sixth straight win saw Yarrabah move to equal first behind Mossman-Port Douglas on the ladder, while Innisfail slipped to third after Mossman's big win over Ivanhoes. 

It was a good day all round for Yarrabah with the A Grade win capping off a clean sweep in all three grades.

Innisfail scored first points before Yarrabah posted a try through Andrew Garrett and Amiel Harris.

Soon after, a neat chip kick was collected by Ross Maloney who found the line close to half time.

A Yarrabah player is stopped in his tracks by Innisfail players Ronald Ambrum, Chris Galea, Usaia Fonongaloa and Luke Horsford Photo: Maria Girgenti
A Yarrabah player is stopped in his tracks by Innisfail players Ronald Ambrum, Chris Galea, Usaia Fonongaloa and Luke Horsford Photo: Maria Girgenti

Despite a second try to Innisfail's Taulata Fakalelu right on halftime Yarrabah held a narrow four point lead.

Innisfail came out strongly in the second half and when Fakalelu barged over for this third try and the conversion was wayward, scores were locked at 14-14.

The deadlock was broken when Yarrabah's Maloney registered his second four pointer and the extras were slotted by Jayden Kynuna to put them out to a 20-14 lead.

Yarrabah's Roderick Duncan runs into Innisfail's captain Robert Haren Photo: Maria Girgenti
Yarrabah's Roderick Duncan runs into Innisfail's captain Robert Haren Photo: Maria Girgenti

When Innisfail debutant Den Waireg-Ingui found the line in the final two minutes of the game, the game was delicately poised for a draw, but the all important  conversion was missed which saw Yarrabah run out 20-18 winners at fulltime.

Seahawks coach Eddie Prior said it felt good to get the two points against Innisfail, but they weren't getting ahead of themselves and were taking each game on its merit as there was still a long way to go in the season.

It has been a shaky start to Yarrabah's season, notching up only one win in their first four games, however since then, they have been building nicely with five straight wins over Mareeba, Cairns Brothers, Tully, Atherton and Ivanhoes before last week's bye.

"Innisfail are always a big tough side and very competitive," Prior said.

"Their big prop Fakalelu scored three tries which could well have been four until the boys realised how dangerous he was out wide and started smothering him."

He said the the side was a little rusty after the bye and there were a few positional changes on the field, so it was just a matter of those players understanding and adjusting to their new positions.

A Yarrabah player is surrounded by Innisfail's Robert Haren, Taulata Fakalelu and Jaymon Moore Photo: Maria Girgenti
A Yarrabah player is surrounded by Innisfail's Robert Haren, Taulata Fakalelu and Jaymon Moore Photo: Maria Girgenti

"For the past few weeks, we've had the consistency of a full team with the same players which I feel is one of the major reasons we are in this position.

"The boys now have a real fire in their belly with that they've achieved and are fighting for the top spot."

Prior said they've worked hard on their defence as well as building up trust and communication between the older and younger players in order for the team to bond.

Steven Stafford from Northern Pride returned after injury and played his first game in more than a year, while experienced former Pride stalwart Hezron Murgha is good at keeping things calm on the park.

Prior also felt their five-eighth Fenton Murgha performed well in his position by putting a few players through the gaps.

Menmeny Murgha is wrapped up by Innisfail players Fred Koraba and Den Waireg-Ingui Photo: Maria Girgenti
Menmeny Murgha is wrapped up by Innisfail players Fred Koraba and Den Waireg-Ingui Photo: Maria Girgenti

"Our training sessions have been going well and a couple of boys had to sit out this week which is a luxury we haven't had since last year so this is making reserve grade more competitive."

The coach believed there needed to be more discipline in their games and some more work needed on player fitness, but if the boys stay focused on the job at hand they will go a long way.

Prior added the next few weeks would be challenging as this weekend, they face Kangaroos at home followed by six games on the road.

Innisfail coach Leon Hallie said it was a good game of footy with both teams defending well.

"I was really impressed with Waireg-Ingui in his A Grade debut who was a late inclusion for Jackson Laza," Hallie said. 

"Elia Mooka also played really well against an experienced Yarrabah side. Ben Reuter went off the field injured but am not sure yet how bad it is."

The coach said he was happy with the effort from his players as they did everything he asked them to do, however a couple of wrong options under pressure made it harder for ourselves. 

Round 11 Results

A Grade

Mossman-Port Douglas 60 defeated Ivanhoes 10

Mareeba 32 defeated Edmonton 10

Atherton 38 defeated Tully 12

Yarrabah 20 defeated Innisfail 18

Kangaroos 28 defeated Cairns Brothers 26

Bye: Southern Suburbs

Ladder: Mossman-Port Douglas 14, Yarrabah 14, Innisfail 13, Cairns Brothers 12, Atherton 12, Kangaroos 11, Southern Suburbs 10, Ivanhoes 9, Mareeba 8, Edmonton 6, Tully 1

Reserve Grade

Mossman-Port Douglas 28 defeated Ivanhoes 14

Mareeba 30 defeated Edmonton 22

Tully 30 defeated Atherton 22

Yarrabah 32 defeated Innisfail 26

Kangaroos 30 defeated Cairns Brothers 12

Under 18

Edmonton won on forfeit by Mareeba

Atherton won on forfeit by Tully

Ivanhoes won on forfeit by Mossman-Port Douglas 

Yarrabah 32 defeated Innisfail 28

Cairns Brothers 62 defeated Kangaroos 14

Women's Touch

Mareeba 2 defeated Edmonton 0

Atherton 6 defeated Tully 0

Mossman-Port Douglas won on forfeit by Ivanhoes

Kangaroos won on forfeit by Cairns Brothers

Innisfail won on forfeit by Yarrabah

Round 12 A Grade Fixtures

Saturday, June 29

Mareeba v Atherton at Davies Park, Mareeba

Tully v Ivanhoes at Tully Showgrounds

Mossman-Port Douglas v Innisfail at Coronation Park, Mossman

Sunday, June 30

Cairns Brothers v Southern Suburbs at Stan Williams Park, Cairns

Yarrabah v Kangaroos at Jilara Oval, Yarrabah 

Bye: Edmonton

Main image: Yarrabah A grade team and supporters celebrate their sixth straight win after a two point win against Innisfail at Jilara Oval on Sunday Photo: Maria Girgenti