Coast go down to Blackwater
CAPRICORN Coast didn't win the grand final match with Blackwater but at least the players came away knowing they had done a good job.
The Blackwater team is very strong and had deserved to win the reserve grade minor premiership with many supporters of the sport predicting it would take the grand final with a runaway victory.
That was far from the case as the Capricorn Coast boys proved they are made of sterner stuff and made the team from out west work until the final whistle before Blackwater took the game 19-12.
It was a great day for both sets of supporters and players as the two “out of Rockhampton” teams shared their big day.
This was always going to be a battle between two strong forward packs with the first half, in particular, very tight as the big men fought for supremacy.
For 20 minutes the match turned into an arm wrestle with Blackwater holding a territorial advantage but Cap Coast repelling everything that was thrown at the line they were defending.
Eventually something had to give and a slight lapse of concentration saw Blackwater cut through the Coast defence to dive over for a try which was converted by full back Grant Collins.
After putting so much work into the opening spell Coast might have capitulated but instead it bounced back with a well set up try of its own resulting in centre Ryan Swanson touching down for Clint Holloway to add the extra points.
After 35 minutes of bruising rugby there was still nothing to separate the two teams with the score locked at 7-7. However, Blackwater enjoyed a good start to the second period of play, attacking with pace down Coast's left flank.
Centre Samuel Jones made it 12-7 as quick ball movement exposed the Coast cover defence with his pace.
A missed penalty by Blackwater was a let off for Coast but Blackwater stormed back taking the ball from a scrum and working a nice little blindside move that put centre Michael Ogrodnicek in for a converted try.
Again Coast refused to give up and when lock Tristan Stephenson stood in the tackle before delicately delivering the ball to supporting Mose Kiriona who charged over to make the scoreline look more tolerable.
Coast coach Andrew Lawrence could not fault his players for the effort.
“The first half we played a very good defensive game,” he said.
While not taking anything away from a strong Blackwater combination, Lawrence felt his team had more in the tank when the final whistle blew and was left wondering what might have happened if the game had lasted longer.
“When they took a penalty shot it was out of respect for our defence,” he said.
“Everybody played their hearts out.”