Scoring blitz propels young Comets
THE equation was simple, yet staggering – score 61 points to advance to the finals of the Cyril Connell Cup.
The Central Comets under-16s did just that, thrashing Mackay Cutters 75-0 on Saturday afternoon in front of a home crowd at Rockhampton's Browne Park.
With his team's for and against 40 points in arrears of the Stingers prior to kick-off and the Stingers playing Northern Pride, Comets coach Stephen Parle knew they had to give the scoreboard attendant a workout to put themselves in contention.
The Stingers went on to win 36-16, by 20 points, ensuring the Comets finals hopes rested on a big second-half performance.
“Just as I walked into the change room at half-time, I was told Townsville had beaten the Pride by 20, so I knew we needed to win by 61 or more to make the finish on top,” Parle said.
Leading 40-0 at half-time, the Comets scored a further 35 unanswered points in the second half, with lock Harry Pondekas scoring a hat-trick of tries, while captain Duncan Paiua scored 29 points, comprising two tries, 10 goals and a field goal, in the 13-try romp.
The result helped the Comets jump Townsville Stingers into top spot of pool four and a secure a place in the cup finals in a fortnight.
Parle said his team had been briefed during the week about the task at hand, but knew that his players had to be focused on playing well first and foremost.
“The staff and I talked about what the score might be in the other match. All we could do is go out and play our best footy and I knew if we did that we could do it,” he said.
Parle was pleased with his entire team's performance, struggling to single out a particular player.
“Right across the field we're very strong.
“Even when the interchange players come on we don't lose anything at all,” he said.
“It's a very special team and I believe we can give anyone a run for their money.”
The Comets Mal Meninga Cup outfit also racked up the points against Mackay in the under-18 contest, winning 36-18.
The Comets under-16s face Gold Coast Green in the semi-final of the Cyril Connell Cup in a fortnight, at a venue to be determined.
Cyril Connell Cup
CENTRAL COMETS 75 (Harry Pondekas 3, Duncan Paiua 2, Sheldon Bobbert, Riley Norris, Liam Doolan, Cooper Bambling, Jack Anderson, Liam Pickersgill, Cody Poole, Josh Ballard tries; Duncan Paiua 10, Sheldon Bobbert goals; Duncan Paiua field goal) MACKAY CUTTERS 0 at Browne Park.
Mal Meninga Cup
CENTRAL COMETS 36 (Daniel Bartlett, Liam Buck, Grant Rogers, Angus Dorante, Dan Clarke, Thorne Johnson, Anthony Maelale tries; Grant Rogers 2, Angus Dorante 2 goals) MACKAY CUTTERS 18 (Robert Day 2, Ayden Daniels, Stephen Jones tries; Ayden Daniels goal) at Browne Park.