'Our defence was really good and that was the difference'
RUGBY LEAGUE: Rock-solid defence was the telling factor in St Brendan's 32-point win over Rockhampton Grammar School last night.
The Terry Hansen-coached outfit ran out 42-10 winners in Round 4 of the Aaron Payne Cup, the first official game played under the new lights at St Brendan's main oval.
St Brendan's skipped out to a 14-nil lead, and managed to restrict their opponents to just two tries as they marched to a comprehensive victory.
Laish Salam bagged a double for the victors, while Chase Demaine-Beale, Mitchell Biddulph, Peyton Jenkins, Sam Strohfeldt, Isaac Garraway and Blake Laherty also ran in four pointers.
Joe Callanan and Bronson Ryan crossed for Grammar.
Hansen said it was a good game of footy, despite the lopsided scoreline.
"It was pretty tough all the way through,” he said.
"Even though we ended up winning by 32 points, it wasn't a true indication of the game. I thought Grammar were better than that.
"They were pretty physical and they're a good team but our boys were tenacious, aimed up and really hung in there.
"They were a bit clunky in attack but our defence was really good and that was the difference.”
Hansen had to do a quick reshuffle after star winger Jake Keating was sidelined before kick-off after injuring his hamstring in the warm-up.
The contest was brought to an unexpected halt about 10 minutes in when a snake slithered on to the field.
Alarmed spectators alerted the referee, who immediately stopped the game.
In a stroke of good luck, the father of one of the under-15 players was a snake handler and quickly took charge of the situation.
He coaxed the intruder into a rubbish bin, and the game resumed about five minutes later.
Hansen said the delay did not affect his players and every one of them did their job.
"We were pretty good across the board,” he said.
"I thought our halfback Peyton Jenkins was very good; he's got a great kicking game.
"Our whole forward pack was really good - Liam Kenny, Isaac Garraway, Tully Barritt, Chase Demaine-Beale, Bill Gunning and Sam Strohfeldt who, unfortunately, got hurt late in the game.”
Hansen said St Brendan's would travel to Mackay next month for a double header against St Pat's and Kirwan.
"If we beat both of them that probably should leave us on top of the Aaron Payne Cup, which means we get a curtain raiser to the Cowboys sometime next term,” Hansen said.
"That's what I'm hoping for but there's a long way to go yet.
"That will certainly be a big motivator.
"They're young fellas and to play at Smiles Stadium before a Cowboys game would certainly be a thrill for them.”
Hansen is pleased with how his team is tracking.
"I'm feeling pretty good, actually,” he said.
"They're a good bunch of boys and they're really buying in.
"They're going along nicely. They're training hard so I'm hoping they can get some good results out of all the hard work they're putting in.”
- Cowboys Challenge (under-15): St Brendan's d Rockhampton Grammar 62-0
- Aaron Payne Cup (open): St Brendan's First XIII d Rockhampton Grammar 42-10