Comets unable to muster victory
THE CQ Comets were unable to muster an upset victory in their round 20 Queensland Cup match against top side Souths Logan, losing 36-22 in a spirited display at Marley Brown Oval on Saturday night.
Comets coach Wayne Barnett said his side performed well given their shaky preparation, which included the withdrawals of key centre Josh Bishop and Darren Mapp.
Souths Logan had the early running and strolled to a 10-0 lead midway through the first half courtesy of long-range tries to Michael Brophy and James Stuart.
After a disorganised opening in attack, the Comets finally found their feet when 21-year-old prop Tim Glasby brushed away several would-be defenders in a barnstorming run to set up a simple try for Cooper Nobbs.
The Comets took an unlikely lead just before half-time through Tyron Haynes, but failed to field the ensuing kick-off which opened the door for the Magpies to sneak ahead 14-12 at the break.
The second half was a better reflection of the run of play, with Souths Logan’s dominant field position and superior kicking game resulting in two early tries and a 24-12 scoreline.
Marc Fickling provided a glimmer of hope for the home side when he burrowed over the line from dummyhalf to bring the deficit to eight with 15 minutes remaining, but some soft defence allowed the Magpies to cross twice soon after and seal victory.
The Gladstone faithful did not walk away empty-handed, with a magical try from a set-piece scrum base kick rounding out the Comets’ otherwise disappointing night. The win takes Souths Logan one step closer to securing the minor premiership for the second year running and leaves CQ languishing towards the bottom of the table.
Barnett was pleased with the way his team fought to the final whistle, particularly given that they were short staffed in important departments.
“We’re a team that’s obviously lacking in a few key positions and I think if we can tidy them up for next year with pretty much the squad we’ve got then we can look at a better year next year for sure,” he said.
“We had a new halves combination last night with Marc Webb and Guy (Williams), and that’s always hard when you’re putting a young kid like Marc in there against a top side and telling him to lead the side around.”