The Coolum Colts C grade will take winning form into the Red Rooster Cup semi-finals to be played at Coolum this weekend after a heroic 24-22 victory over competition pacesetters Yandina last Saturday.
The highlight of the win was the performance of half and captain-coach Nathan Ratcliffe who scored 20 of the side’s 24 points.
It was only Ratcliffe’s second game back after suffering a severely broken arm that needed surgery early in the season.
Second rower Jay Yelds said his skipper’s performance was inspirational.
“Nathan scored three tries and put on the last try for me to score. He also kicked four from five, with the last the match winning penalty with a minute to go,” Yelds said.
“He also tackled everything that moved, was the leader of the kick chase game, was belted by the Yandina pack a couple of times and to top it off he was the one who forced the match winning penalty when Yandina were in possession in front of their posts.”
The win was even more special, given that the Colts had only one player on the bench, and when front-rower Trent Hartshorn was injured early in the match they only had the players on the paddock.
“We gutsed it out and defeated the team who had not lost a game since round one of the pre-season back in April Yelds said.
The Colts, who have beaten third-placed Pomona and competition leaders Yandina in the last two weeks, have now shown that the race for the Red Rooster Cup is not a one-horse race.
Colts president Quinton Stevenson said the wins over Yandina and Pomona timely.
“We have beaten the two sides that stand directly in the way of us making the grand final in our inaugural season in the Sunshine Coast Gympie Rugby Senior League,” Stevenson said.
“This week in the major semi-final we will take on Pomona and if we win that we will then play Yandina with the winner getting a week off and a direct path into the grand final.
“But we must not get ahead of ourselves with the first hurdle this week’s semi-final at Coolum.
Two semi-finals will be played at Ronnie Cargill Oval on Saturday: Caboolture against Beachmere in the elimination final from 4pm and the Colts versus Pomona at 5.45pm.
Coolum 24 ( Nathan Ratcliffe 3, Jay Yelds tries. Nathan Ratcliffe 4 goals) defeated Yandina 22.
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