Jets claim third place on ladder
IN an absolute thriller to wrap up the Gold Coast Rugby League season, the Bilambil Jets stitched up third place with a nail-biting 41-38 win over Tugun at Bilambil yesterday.
The huge crowd couldn't have asked for a more exciting game as the home side opened up a big lead over the visitors, only to be forced to hang on with some desperate defence as the competition heavyweights came storming back.
Ironically, these two teams will meet again next week in the major semi final but for the Jets, it was a rare double having beaten Tugun in the first round in another close game 14-12.
A relieved Bilambil coach, Troy McCarthy, was pleased with his side's efforts, particularly in the first half when the Jets opened up a handy lead. “We really dominated in the first half on the back of some good defence,” McCarthy said. “I think we may have eased up towards the end of the game but knew that Tugun, being the side they are, would always keep coming at us.
“In some ways I don't think the scoreline was a good reflection of the game but I am pleased with the way the players stuck to their tasks and that we were able to keep the momentum going which we started in the Southport match three weeks ago.”
Tugun coach Craig Briscoe would have taken plenty of confidence from the match as he watched his side almost grab an unlikely win.
Bilambil led 22-6 at half time thanks to two tries to winger Tim Mason, a try to prop Wade Hall and a try to lock Matt Nuttall, who had a brilliant day with the boot, converting three of the four tries.
Bilambil held Tugun to just the lone try to winger Michael Day with pivot Richard Wiliams converting.
The game promised to be a tough, physical encounter and it certainly didn't disappoint anyone.
Bilambil opened the second half in flying form with winger Guy Lanston scoring and Nuttall converting to extend the Jets' lead to 28-6.
When the Seahawks' Williams crossed for a try and converted late on the margin was 34-22 before another Jets try to centre Mitch Hayden again gave the home side breathing space with Nuttall's conversion 40-22. A try to Tugun centre Sea Ireland converted by Williams followed by a second to Backo in quick succession had the Seahawks charging home with the score 40-34.
With time ticking down, Nuttall landed a field goal to make the score 41-34 but a try with less than two minutes on the clock to Tugun's Chris O'Shannessy had the score at 41-38 and the crowd on the edges of their seats.
Tugun's desperate attack was matched by some equally desperate Bilambil defence before the full time siren sounded.
In other final round games, Southport clinched the minor premiership smashing Hinterland 56-6, Burleigh defeated Ormeau 36-28, Currumbin downed Parkwood 34-22 and Runaway Bay left Beaudesert with the wooden spoon 36-6.
In the lower grades, Bilambil defeated South Tweed in reserve grade 48-30 and also won the under 19s against South Tweed 40-14.
Next week at Tugun in the major semi finals on Sunday, Tugun will meet Bilambil on both A grade and reserve grade with Bilambil playing Southport in the under 19s.