THE Whitsunday Brahmans recorded their third straight win on the weekend, accounting for Mackay's Magpies 22-18 under the stars at their fortress, Les Stagg Oval.
After withstanding an early onslaught where they had to defend their line for the first 10 minutes of the game, the Brahmans slowly started to get the upper hand.
Chris “Lightning” McEwan scored a try from a perfectly placed Craig Korn bomb, and big forward Julian Stevens grounded the ball after some good lead-up work from Dean Connell and captain-coach Trent Dally.
At the end of the first half, a couple of melees led to the send-off of a Magpies forward for the rest of the game, while Brahman's powerful prop Jack Burke was sin-binned for 10 minutes.
The Brahmans went into the halftime break leading 12-6.
With both sides reduced to 12 men for the first 10 minutes of the second half, the game opened up. Much to the delight of the very vocal local crowd, the Brahmans jumped away to a 22-6 lead after some great attacking raids lead by classy hooker Matt Temby.
With 20 minutes to go the Brahmans looked set to rack up a big score but poor discipline let the Magpies score a couple of late tries, which narrowed the fulltime margin to an unconvincing four points.
Best for the Brahmans were five-eighth Dean Connell. In only his second appearance in the number six jersey he showed some classy touches with the ball and was very prominent in defence.
Others to shine were impact forward Jimmy Webb who fearlessly charged into the Magpies defence all night and hooker Matt Temby who continues to show why he is rated the competition's best rake.
While captain-coach Trent Dally was pleased with the win, he said the team still has a long way to go to be a contender.
“We showed some great spirit with our goal line defence tonight, the boys kept turning up for each other, and that's an ingredient any premiership aspirant needs,” he said.
“It's disappointing that in the last three games we've been in a position to really put a side away and have failed to capitalise. But we are still learning each other's games and are improving every week. The future looks bright.”
In the earlier game, the Brahmans won a very entertaining reserve grade match. They blew a match-winning 32-16 lead to be level at 32-all with only minutes remaining before a fantastic try right on fulltime earned the home side back-to-back victories and kept new coach Peter Reichel's unbeaten record.
This week both sides are away to lowly placed Norths in Mackay and are looking to keep up that winning feeling.
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