Action from the Gold Coast Bycroft Cup rugby league grand final between the Bilambil Jets and Southport Tigers.
Action from the Gold Coast Bycroft Cup rugby league grand final between the Bilambil Jets and Southport Tigers. Scott Powick

Jets' week off blamed for loss

BILAMBIL coach Troy McCarthy blamed the Jets’ week off for their second consecutive GCRL Bycroft Cup grand final loss at Pizzey Park yesterday.

In front of 4500 fans the Jets were disappointingly downed 18-6 by three-time reigning premiers Southport, sparking criti- cism from McCarthy about the make-up of the finals.

The veteran mentor, who led the Tweed Heads Seagulls to Queensland Cup glory in 2007, said he was not a fan of earning direct entrance into the final because his players were uncharacteristically flat, especially in attack.

“We didn’t seem to have many opportunities at all, and the ball seemed to bounce against us throughout and we struggled to get out of our own half,” McCarthy said.

“We had no ball at all in the second half when the game was there to be won, and unfortunately we couldn’t play footy against them.

“We were just a defensive team, and when we had the ball we had no juice.”

Southport and Bilambil had been the pacesetters all season, with Bilambil beating Southport, the minor premiers, in the preliminary final and having a week’s break before the grand final.

Three minutes after the start Tigers halfback Westwood, who has played in all three Tigers premiership wins, climbed high above the pack to drag down a Chris Thomas bomb, and when caught passed back to Thomas who crossed near the post.

Thomas then converted his own try to give the Tigers an early 6-0 lead.

Quick hands in the backline in the 24th minute saw representative winger Scott Mulligan into a gap and he charged over to score in the corner to increase the Tigers’ lead to 10-0.

Bilambil could not score until the 34th minute when fullback Drew Langston pounced on a kick in goal and five-eighth Matt Nuttall landed the conversion to reduce Southport’s lead to 10-6.

Bilambil were behind 10-6 at the break and had a win within their reach until the 66th minute when Mulligan scored his second after diving on a spilled ball.

Tigers’ pivot Chris Thomas booted a penalty goal from 33 metres out late in the game to give the Tigers their 18-6 win.



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