Atherton's Nick Pratten is

A trifecta of tries by Pio Seci in the first half was instrumental in steering Atherton to a 34 - 16 victory over Edmonton Storm on a wet track at Petersen Park on Sunday.

After having a narrow four-point loss to ladder leaders Mossman-Port Douglas in Round 14, Atherton has started to build nicely now notching up three wins on the trot against Kangaroos, Cairns Brothers and Edmonton.

With only three regular rounds left in the season, this crucial win sees Atherton leapfrog Cairns Brothers to fourth position on the ladder just behind Innisfail and a spot in the finals.

Seci scored the first three tries of the match before Matt Baillie also crossed for a four pointer and all four conversions slotted by Nigel Woodleigh soon put the visitors out to convincing lead of 24 - 0.

Atherton's Pio Seci on his way to scoring one of three tries in the game against Edmonton Photo: Maria Girgenti
Atherton's Pio Seci on his way to scoring one of three tries in the game against Edmonton Photo: Maria Girgenti

With only a few minutes remaining in the first half, Edmonton opened their account when Isaiah Pau barged his way over the line. 

The extras were added by Asi Asi John and the home side went into the sheds at the break trailing by 18.

Frustration began to creep into the Storm players, which resulted in penalties being gifted to the visitors and two penalty kicks off the boot of Woodleigh found the mark extended the Roosters lead  28 - 6.

One of Atherton's try scorers Matt Baillie draws in two Edmonton Storm defenders Photo: Maria Girgenti
One of Atherton's try scorers Matt Baillie draws in two Edmonton Storm defenders Photo: Maria Girgenti

Frustration boiled over again and an on-field melee ensued which resulted in two Storm players being dispatched to the sin bin.

Edmonton staged a second half fight back when captain Taputoa (Sonny) Rea and Asi Asi John scored tries but the clock was against them and they 

A try to Mae Mani right on the stroke of full time and the extras added by Seci all but sealed the gritty victory for the Roosters. 

Roosters coach Graham Clark said at this stage of the season, it was great to get the win and pick up the valuable two points.

"We expected Edmonton to come out tough so this was a good contest for us," Clark said. 

Atherton Roosters try scorer Mae Mani is halted by an Edmonton Storm player Photo: Maria Girgenti
Atherton Roosters try scorer Mae Mani is halted by an Edmonton Storm player Photo: Maria Girgenti

Holding a strong lead at half time, the coach decided to rest some of his players in the second half which paid dividends with the win but without anymore injuries to his squad. 

"At the moment, we're fielding a lot of injuries which is challenging, but it's impressive seeing the depth in those lower grade players as they step up to the plate and fill the voids," Clark said. 

Currently, Atherton has six players out of action including, Luke La Rosa and James Clark who have ACL injuries and won't be back this season.

Atherton's James Coyle is wrapped up by the Edmonton defence Photo: Maria Girgenti
Atherton's James Coyle is wrapped up by the Edmonton defence Photo: Maria Girgenti

"We've also suffered a huge loss in our centres with Willem Foster also out for the rest of the season."

Clark gave full credit to the efforts of his Under 18 and Reserve grade players who "gave it their all" and said they will be better off for the experience when they return to their respective grades.

Roosters Under 18s player Kiefhar Rosas who stepped up to first grade tries to spin away from the grasp of two Edmonton Storm players Photo: Maria Girgenti
Roosters Under 18s player Kiefhar Rosas who stepped up to first grade tries to spin away from the grasp of two Edmonton Storm players Photo: Maria Girgenti

Clark said he relished the challenge of having three tough games against Innisfail, Yarrabah and Tully to round off the regular season, as this will hold them in good stead heading into the finals.

This weekend, Atherton host Innisfail in their last home game of the season where the coach said he will change his game plan accordingly, as they have a big pack so the boys will have a different plan of attack.

He hoped to have some of his players back this weekend, and is confident his side will be competitive against Innisfail.

Atherton's Reece Munster is brought down by two Edmonton Storm players Photo: Maria Girgenti
Atherton's Reece Munster is brought down by two Edmonton Storm players Photo: Maria Girgenti

Round 17 Results

A Grade

Mossman-Port Douglas 30 defeated Kangaroos 18
Mareeba 24 defeated Ivanhoes 16

Southern Suburbs 28 defeated Tully 14

Atherton 34 defeated Edmonton 16

Bye: Cairns Brothers, Innisfail and Yarrabah

Ladder: Mossman-Port Douglas 24, Yarrabah 22, Innisfail 21, Atherton 20, Cairns Brothers 18, Southern Suburbs 16,  Kangaroos 13, Ivanhoes 13, Edmonton 10, Mareeba 10, Tully 1

An Edmonton Storm player feels the brunt of Ned Blackman's tackle Photo: Maria Girgenti
An Edmonton Storm player feels the brunt of Ned Blackman's tackle Photo: Maria Girgenti

Reserve Grade

Mossman-Port Douglas 58 defeated Kangaroos 18

Mareeba 24 defeated Ivanhoes 18

Southern Suburbs 18 defeated Tully 14

Atherton 22 defeated Edmonton 18

Ladder: Yarrabah 20, Atherton 19, Innisfail 19, Mossman-Port Douglas 18, Southern Suburbs 18, Tully 16, Mareeba 16, Cairns Brothers 16, Kangaroos 13, Edmonton 10, Ivanhoes 3

Atherton Roosters player Graham Clark Jnr comes up against three Edmonton Storm defenders Photo: Maria Girgenti
Atherton Roosters player Graham Clark Jnr comes up against three Edmonton Storm defenders Photo: Maria Girgenti

Under 18

Kangaroos won on forfeit by Mossman-Port Douglas 

Ivanhoes won on forfeit by Mareeba

Southern Suburbs won on forfeit by Tully

Edmonton 40 defeated Atherton 12

Ladder: Ivanhoes 31, Edmonton 24, Cairns Brothers 24, Innisfail 21, Atherton 20, Yarrabah 14, Kangaroos 14, Southern Suburbs 10, Mareeba 8, Tully 1

Atherton Roosters player Nigel Woodleigh who had a good day with the boot is brought down by an Edmonton Storm player Photo: Maria Girgenti
Atherton Roosters player Nigel Woodleigh who had a good day with the boot is brought down by an Edmonton Storm player Photo: Maria Girgenti

Round 18 A Grade Fixtures

Saturday, August 10

Tully v Cairns Brothers at Tully Showgrounds, Tully

Mareeba v Southern Suburbs at Davies Park, Mareeba

Atherton v Innisfail at Mungalli Creek Dairy Stadium, Atherton

Sunday, August 11

Kangaroos v Edmonton at Petersen Park, Edmonton

Mossman-Port Douglas v Yarrabah, Coronation Park, Mossman

Bye: Ivanhoes

Main image: Atherton's Nick Pratten is caught in the middle of three Edmonton Storm players Photo: Maria Girgenti