Brighton Roosters maintained second spot on the Rugby League Brisbane Men’s Open 2 North ladder, with a convincing 30-18 win over Narangba Rangers on Saturday, June 11.
Played at Williamina Sports Complex, the Roosters - who are one point off the lead - did enough away from home to ensure they are in good stead as the competition nears the halfway mark.
Superbly led by halfback captain Joel Bailey, the Roosters did in fact get off to a shaky start when the Rangers struck first on the scoreboard through Lachlan Bramley, who sliced his way through the Roosters defence.
A glut of dropped balls followed the next passage of play on a glorious Brisbane afternoon, but it did allow for the visitors to reload and in the 19th minute Roosters' William Longi burst clear from the scrum base, to motor downfield from the halfway line and go in for a superb Roosters try.
This would only be the start of things to come for the visiting side and in the 26th minute, Roosters back rower Lachie McDonald was on the end of a great attacking raid to pinch a four pointer out wide.
The Rangers were trying hard to stop the Roosters juggernaut up the middle with Dylan Stammers and Joel Lane the pick of the home side's defence.
However, in the 30th minute, Rooster Longi set up his winger Tyler McPhillips, who had work to do to get over the line but was able to plant the ball down right on the chalk.
Rangers capitalised on a Roosters dropped ball at the other end of the field, but they lost possession themselves with a crunching tackle through Roosters' powerful second rower Jack Watkins.
Quinton Hudson then ensured the visitors went into the break with a commanding 24-6 lead when he waltzed over from dummy half to score an easy try right on the hooter.
Positional changes from Rangers coach Carl Hartwig saw the home side breathe new life in the second half, with winger Jordan Machong and five eighth Jaiyden Brown showing flashes of brilliance in the preliminary stages.
It did provide the home side to get a roll on which saw the Rangers post first points in the 44th minute when they crossed under the posts.
Machong, who signed from AFL, used his strength to palm off his opposite number to crash in at the clubhouse end of the ground, to slowly peg the score back to 24-18.
However, Roosters' standout captain Bailey had the ball on a string and his general play kicking was continually turning the Rangers defence around.
The halfback put the Roosters in good field position and the captain seized the day with a meat pie of his own, when he slipped through the Rangers defence to cross in the 61st minute.
A howler of a goal from centre Ashley Kiss saw the Roosters sharpshooter land six from six with the boot and it sealed what was an important win for the Roosters in front of a bumper crowd.