Wallabys inch a step closer to A grade title
By CRAIG ROSScraigr@gladstoneobserver.com.au
WALLABYS took another step towards retaining their CQ Extended League A grade title with a 4424 demolition of Gladstone Brothers at Marley Brown Oval yesterday.
The Brethren's premiership campaign is looking troubled after Wallabys crossed for eight tries in the victory after leading 26-0 at halftime.
A glut of possession early and the relentless go-forward of their pack gave Wallabys the momentum to secure the win, and set up this weekend's clash with minor premiers CQU Norths for direct entry into the grand final.
Brothers looked to be matching it with the GDRL champions early, with only a converted Garry Brown try in the fourth minute separating the sides until Wallabys prop Aaron Farrar carried three defenders over the line in the 20th minute.
That effort opened the floodgates with Wallabys crossing for another three tries before halftime.
The second half began controversially when Wallabys centre Chris Butler was sent from the field on a touch judge's report in the 42nd minute, accused of deliberately elbowing the face of Brothers fullback James Radloff.
Radloff took advantage of Wallabys' predicament shortly after, charging through a gap in the defensive line to open Brothers' account.
The Brethren were in again in the 47th minute when second-rower Nathan Cameron crossed after a Clint Docherty break upfield.
At 26-12 down, Brothers were back in the hunt ? but not for long with Wallabys fullback Ron Craig charging through a yawning gap off an inside pass from Brown to score under the posts two minutes later.
Craig's try carried his side to the safety of a 32-12 from where they never looked likely to be reeled in.
Farrar, second-rower Shaun Retchford and lock Adam Hamilton were dominant up front for Wallabys while Brown and Craig were dangerous in attack.
O'Dowd, Radloff and five-eighth Russell Groth stood out for Brothers while prop Clint Doherty put in a powerful second half.