Innisfail prevail over Yarrabah in Deadly Choices Invitational

Innisfail Leprechauns have finished second on the ladder after a 40-16 win over Yarrabah in the final round of regular season at Callendar Park on Saturday.

Both teams wore special Indigenous themed playing kit and contested the Deadly Choices Invitational match, which will be an annual event.

Innisfail claimed the brand new specially designed shield and will have their name engraved as winners in its inaugural year.

Innisfail Leprechauns and Yarrabah Seahawks players after the inaugural Deadly Choices Invitational match. Photo: Maria Girgenti
Innisfail Leprechauns and Yarrabah Seahawks players after the inaugural Deadly Choices Invitational match. Photo: Maria Girgenti

The win saw Innisfail leapfrog Yarrabah to second and set up a tantalising rematch this Sunday.

Mossman-Port Douglas finished the season as A Grade Minor premiers after defeating Ivanhoes at Smithfield on Friday night.

In the Under 18 division, Ivanhoes have finished the season as minor premiers, while in reserve grade, Yarrabah claimed those honours after a 34-26 win over Innisfail.

Yarrabah Seahawks Reserve grade side have finished the regular season as minor premiers. Photo: Maria Girgenti
Yarrabah Seahawks Reserve grade side have finished the regular season as minor premiers. Photo: Maria Girgenti

Police Liaison officer Michael Sands, Gary Ambrum and Denzel Philpot from Deadly Choices were special guests at the main game and presented Innisfail players with their Deadly Choices jerseys in the dressing sheds.

Denzel Philpot from Mamu Health Service Deadly Choices program and Innisfail Brothers president Nick Souvlis presented the Deadly Choices Invitational shield to winning Innisfail captain Robert Haren. Photo: Maria Girgenti
Denzel Philpot from Mamu Health Service Deadly Choices program and Innisfail Brothers president Nick Souvlis presented the Deadly Choices Invitational shield to winning Innisfail captain Robert Haren. Photo: Maria Girgenti

Sands and Ambrum are highly respected members of the rugby league community who were both accomplished players in past eras.

Innisfail came out firing and opened the scoring with a four pointer to Den Waireg-Ingui.

Innisfail's Den Waireg-Ingui who scored a double improves his position under the goal posts. Photo: Maria Girgenti
Innisfail's Den Waireg-Ingui who scored a double improves his position under the goal posts. Photo: Maria Girgenti

The Seahawks struck back soon after when Gundle Costello crossed for their first try.

Unfortunately for Yarrabah, a player was sin binned with just over 18 minutes left in the half.

A Yarrabah player is pulled back by Innisfail's Jaymon Moore. Photo: Maria Girgenti
A Yarrabah player is pulled back by Innisfail's Jaymon Moore. Photo: Maria Girgenti

Innisfail capitalised on Yarrabah having a man down and posted more points with tries to Luke Horsford, Dan Sagigi and a second to Waireg-Ingui.

Luke Horsford proved too strong for Yarrabah and crashed over for Innisfail's second try. Photo: Maria Girgenti
Luke Horsford proved too strong for Yarrabah and crashed over for Innisfail's second try. Photo: Maria Girgenti

The game was again marred when a player from each team were given their marching orders to the sin bin 10 minutes before the break.

Yarrabah weren't able to penetrate Innisfail's defence and went into the sheds at halftime with a 20 point deficit.

Yarrabah's Bruce Myungha is wrapped up by Innisfail's Elia Mooka and Fred Koraba. Photo: Maria Girgenti
Yarrabah's Bruce Myungha is wrapped up by Innisfail's Elia Mooka and Fred Koraba. Photo: Maria Girgenti

Innisfail continued their points fest with a try to Usaia Fonongaloa which blew their lead out to 28-4.

In true fighting spirit, Yarrabah broke through Innisfail's defence with a try to Charles Murgha with the extras added by Costello.

Yarrabah's Fenton Murgha makes a run with the ball and looks to team mate Andrew Garrett Jnr for support. Photo: Maria Girgenti
Yarrabah's Fenton Murgha makes a run with the ball and looks to team mate Andrew Garrett Jnr for support. Photo: Maria Girgenti

More points followed for the home side when Elia Mooka chipped in with a try and their lead extended to 34-10.

A consolation try to Arnell Harris and successful conversion by Costello saw Yarrabah trail by 18.

Yarrabah's Ashton Schrieber tries to break out of the clutches of Innisfail player Elia Mooka. Photo: Maria Girgenti
Yarrabah's Ashton Schrieber tries to break out of the clutches of Innisfail player Elia Mooka. Photo: Maria Girgenti

A late try to Innisfail by Fred Koraba and extras added by Michael Morton all but sealed victory for Innisfail.

After the game, Yarrabah coach Eddie Prior gave full credit to his players who he said hung in and finished the game off so he couldn't take anything away from them for effort.

Yarrabah Seahawks captain Milton Mossman speaks to his troops during a break in play. Photo: Maria Girgenti
Yarrabah Seahawks captain Milton Mossman speaks to his troops during a break in play. Photo: Maria Girgenti

The coach said hooker Arnell Harris did a lot of work in defence, while second rower Rodrick Duncan and Jack Webster also really stood out for him.

Innisfail came out firing and Prior knew the game would be physical, but wasn't expecting serious injuries. 

Fenton Murgha has a sustained a torn quadricep and Gundle Costello a torn hamstring.

Yarrabah's Andrew Garrett Jnr looks for support after being halted by Innisfail player Chris Galea. Photo: Maria Girgenti
Yarrabah's Andrew Garrett Jnr looks for support after being halted by Innisfail player Chris Galea. Photo: Maria Girgenti

He conceded this upcoming weekend will be a totally different ball game as Yarrabah now have a second crack at them and would put up a good fight.

Prior said they were hoping to have Hezron Murgha and Jayden Kynuna back in the side for this week's qualifying final.

Three Yarrabah players find it difficult to bring down Innisfail's Dan Sagigi. Photo: Maria Girgenti
Three Yarrabah players find it difficult to bring down Innisfail's Dan Sagigi. Photo: Maria Girgenti

The coach said his side would have to put this loss behind them and move on, as the team needed to get back on track with the right attitude and lift their game to face Innisfail again.

"There are a few little things (we will) be focusing on this week at training to get their fine tuning right so they know exactly where they are at, Prior said.

Two Yarrabah players stop the run of Innisfail player Fred Koraba. Photo: Maria Girgenti
Two Yarrabah players stop the run of Innisfail player Fred Koraba. Photo: Maria Girgenti

Innisfail coach Leon Hallie said it was great effort from his team.

"We talked about defending at Callendar Park for the final game in the regular season as having only dropped one game at home," Hallie said.

A Yarrabah player picks up the scraps after Usaia Fonongaloa spills the ball in a tackle. Photo: Maria Girgenti
A Yarrabah player picks up the scraps after Usaia Fonongaloa spills the ball in a tackle. Photo: Maria Girgenti

He said he was happy achieving both goals of getting a win in the last home game and being able to get the job done with whoever we put on the field, but said a whole new competition would start this weekend so the side needed to move on quickly from the win.

Innisfail player Chris Galea feels the brunt of a two man Yarrabah tackle. Photo: Maria Girgenti
Innisfail player Chris Galea feels the brunt of a two man Yarrabah tackle. Photo: Maria Girgenti

While he won’t know the team's line up until later in the week, Hallie said he was pleased there were no serious injuries to his players. 

Round 20 Results

A Grade

Mossman-Port Douglas 40 defeated Ivanhoes 22

Innisfail 40 defeated Yarrabah 16

Mareeba 18 defeated Edmonton 16

Atherton 40 defeated Tully 6

Cairns Brothers 36 defeated Kangaroos 28

Bye - Southern Suburbs

Ladder: Mossman-Port Douglas 28, Innisfail 27, Yarrabah 26, Cairns Brothers 24, Atherton 22, Southern Suburbs 18,  Kangaroos 15, Mareeba 14, Ivanhoes 13, Edmonton 10, Tully 1

Ashton Galea beats a Yarrabah player and crosses over for Innisfail's first try in the Reserve grade game. Photo: Maria Girgenti
Ashton Galea beats a Yarrabah player and crosses over for Innisfail's first try in the Reserve grade game. Photo: Maria Girgenti

Reserve Grade

Mossman-Port Douglas won on forfeit Ivanhoes

Yarrabah 34 defeated Innisfail 26

Mareeba 32 defeated Edmonton 26

Atherton 32 defeated Tully 20

Kangaroos 32 drew with Cairns Brothers 32

Ladder: Yarrabah 26, Atherton 23, Mossman-Port Douglas 22, Southern Suburbs 22, Cairns Brothers 21, Mareeba 20, Innisfail 19, Tully 16, Kangaroos 14, Edmonton 12, Ivanhoes 3

In Reserve grade Innisfail's Kyle Kris brings to ground a Yarrabah player. Photo: Maria Girgenti
In Reserve grade Innisfail's Kyle Kris brings to ground a Yarrabah player. Photo: Maria Girgenti

Under 18

Ivanhoes won on forfeit by Mossman-Port Douglas

Yarrabah 38 defeated Innisfail 28

Edmonton won on forfeit by Mareeba

Atherton won on forfeit by Tully

Cairns Brothers won on forfeit by Kangaroos

Ladder: Ivanhoes 35, Edmonton 30, Cairns Brothers 26, Innisfail 25, Atherton 22, Yarrabah 20, Kangaroos 16, Southern Suburbs 12, Mareeba 10, Tully 1, Mossman-Port Douglas 1

A Yarrabah player manages to get a pass away before he is brought to ground by three Innisfail players. Photo: Maria Girgenti
A Yarrabah player manages to get a pass away before he is brought to ground by three Innisfail players. Photo: Maria Girgenti

Week 1 - Finals - Sunday, September 1 - Barlow Park Cairns

Under 18

10.00am - Innisfail vs Atherton (elimination)

11.30am – Edmonton vs Cairns Brothers

Rhaymus Tomarra crashes over for Innisfail's first try in the Under 18s game. Photo: Maria Girgenti
Rhaymus Tomarra crashes over for Innisfail's first try in the Under 18s game. Photo: Maria Girgenti

Reserve Grade

1.00pm – Suburbs vs Brothers (elimination)

2.30pm – Atherton vs Mossman

Innisfail and Yarrabah Under 18s players pause for a minute's silence before their game at Callendar in memory of well respected Innisfail State College teacher and mentor Lindy Harrison who sadly passed away. Photo: Maria Girgenti
Innisfail and Yarrabah Under 18s players pause for a minute's silence before their game at Callendar in memory of well respected Innisfail State College teacher and mentor Lindy Harrison who sadly passed away. Photo: Maria Girgenti

A Grade

4.00pm – Cairns Brothers vs Atherton (elimination)

5.30pm – Innisfail vs Yarrabah

Main image: Innisfail defeated Yarrabah in the Deadly Choices Invitational match to claim the shield in its inaugural year. Photo: Maria Girgenti