League Action, Cudgen Hornets at home, Tom Prichard sidestep
League Action, Cudgen Hornets at home, Tom Prichard sidestep Blainey Woodham

Hornets stung at end

EXCITING centre Scott Julius crossed the chalk on three occasions for Cudgen on Saturday night, but it was Runaway Bay who landed the final stinging blow to prevail 20-16 in their pre-season trial at Ned Byrne Field.

Trailing 10-0 early and 14-4 at half-time the hosts fought back to lead 16-14 lead in the dying stages and bring the impressively large and vocal crowd to their feet.

However, as the referee prepared to bring the game to a close, Cudgen were caught short in defence and following a well-rehearsed move out wide conceded the decisive try.

“It was a good last try they scored,” Cudgen's football operations manager Graeme Lawrence said after the thrilling four-quarter trial.

“But the Cudgen supporters will have left happy nonetheless after being treated to a very physical forward clash with plenty of intensity.”

Prop forwards Brady Upton and Dan Donovan together with second rower Djarn Jarrett, who delivered a magic ball to Julius for one of his tries, were outstanding in the Cudgen engine room.

Replacement prop Chris Sheehan's impact was felt immediately upon his arrival.

Also impressing was workaholic backrower Jay Solley whose tireless efforts both attack and defence paved the way for a Cudgen fightback.

Hulking new recruit Toni Pamatangi showed glimpses that he will be a force to be reckoned with in the centres while Josh Sleba withstood plenty of pressure to put in a strong performance at fullback.

With new boys Simon Kelly and Matt Slattery both missing in action along with wily fullback Shannon Murphy and second rower Tom Pritchard, captain-coach Craig Field also gave a run to four promising under-18s.

All performed admirably, but Matt Gilbert's display at dummy half was the pick of the bunch.

“Last season we didn't look like winning a trial so the performance was very pleasing,” Field said.

“Unforced errors in our own half put us under some pressure but otherwise I'm very upbeat.

“You could tell that the Bay boys had had a run already as their cohesion was a bit better than ours.”

In reserve grade, a dislocated elbow to Hornets reggies player Brad Julius marred an otherwise courageous and hard-fought 6-0 victory.

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