Last Saturday’s Red Rooster Cup C Grade match between first and second-placed Yandina and Coolum saw skills, passion and tenacity worthy of an A grade final.
The match, played at Coolum’s Ronnie Cargill Oval, had it all – a low-error rate, bruising defence, scintillating attack and a short-lived all-in brawl, though it was more push than punch.
Yandina hung on to win18-16, but Colts coach Nathan Ratcliffe said it was a game the home team should have won.
“We were the best side for all but for 15 minutes of the game when they put 18 points on us and that cost us the game,” Ratcliffe said.
“I am very proud of the blokes and while the score went against us today the result was in the balance until the final siren.
“The whole team deserves praise. I think we did enough to win but could not manage to get the ball over the line.
“We made several line breaks that did not get results and the Raiders played a very spoiling sort of game which disrupted our continuity.”
In the first half the Raiders skipped out to an early lead with a couple of tries to centre Jessie Curry but the Colts hung in and a try in the corner from hooker Corey Gray kept the home side in touch.
The Raiders went further ahead with tries to fullback Tim Humphries, from a well-worked scrum move, and second-rower Tim O’Halloron.
This took the Raiders to an 18-4 lead.
But from that point it was all Coolum, with only determined defence from Yandina spoiling a home-team victory.
At the 25-minute mark, Ryan Carfantan scored after the Colts applied the blow torch to the Raiders goal-line defence with a series of attacking raids at the line. Drew Cantle converted to take the score to 18-10.
During this phase, the Raiders were lucky not to lose a player to the sin bin after conceding five penalties in a row.
After the break both sides threw their all into the encounter.
Eventually the Raiders defence cracked when Dale Shearer was put through a gap at the scrum with a sublime pass from replacement half Max Harvey.
The conversion from Drew Cantle made it 18-16.
Coach Ratcliffe said halfback Darren Polla-Mounter and hooker Corey Gray both injured their hamstrings and we would have to be assessed before next week.
“Luckily we had the under-18 half Max Harvey on the bench and he did a great job in the second half, leading the boys around the park,” he said.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.