Gulls in full flight for Port City success over Brothers
YEPPOON Seagulls had a successful trip down to the Port City to play Gladstone Brothers on Saturday afternoon.
The under 20s defeated an under-strength Brothers side 44-12, the reserve grade won 36-18 and the A grade had to work hard to win 38-18.
In the last game of the regular season before the semi finals, Yeppoon was a little flat in the early exchanges before hitting their straps late in the first half.
Brothers were able to turn field position into early points before a great bust by Rhys McKenna saw centre Jacob Opperman crash over out wide.
A quick-stepping Angus Dorante worked his way over eight minutes before half time to put momentum firmly the Gulls' way.
Brett Reddiex had his best game in a month after finally overcoming a niggling knee injury to lead the way with some outstanding defence. Rhys Stafford was able to continually find holes in the defence and showed his versatility by playing in the backs and the forwards.
But the outstanding performance on the night came from front rower Vic Halfpenny who continually bent the defensive line and led the tackle count with some outstanding hits. His 80-minute performance was rewarded with a try late in the game.
The other tries were scored by winger Jamie Minto, 5/8 George Grant, hooker Sam "Piledriver” Holtzheimer and the wrecking ball Dan Collins.
With the return from long term injury of Grant and clever dummy half Dean Blackman who are slowly getting back to match fitness, coach Scott Minto will have Jeff Russell and David and Jon Still to fit into his best side for next week's qualifying semi against Norths. The reserve grade side heads into the semi finals with some good momentum after another comfortable win. Led by hooker Ken Haxell, who was the best on the field for the third week running, the Gulls are playing tough footy early then spreading it wide when the game opens up.
It's a credit to coach Alan Frost because it is a real team effort.
Big forward Sam Stibbards is now leading the way with his defence and fellow backrowers Cory Munns and Tom Sullivan let nothing past them. Jon Vatabau turned back the clock to score an 80-metre try where he showed a clean pair of heels to the Brothers backs before scoring under the posts.
Dan Crosby had the knack of getting through the line on a regular basis and 5/8 Jacob Watson is powerful in everything he does. Centre Peter Stanley scored again as Mr Reliable out wide and Nathan Brockhurst scored what was the best team try all day. The other try scorers were winger Aaron Wovat and Watson (two).
They will play Norths in the qualifying Semi-final next weekend. The under 20s have a very big and very good forward pack that punches holes in a retreating defence.
The continued development of 5/8 Dajah Pulevaka has now given them a quality play-maker to complement the powerful forwards and strong back line.
The right centre/ winger combination of Hayden Doyle and Jacob O'Brien had a field day with the Brothers back unable to handle their speed and power.
O'Brien ran 160 metres in consecutive carries after scoring a long range try and then busting them open again from the kick-off. the other centre Connor Dennis has a good read in defence and can beat a man to get into the clear.