RUGBY UNION: The Gladstone Goats finally broke through for their first win of the CQ Rugby season after seeing off Cap Coast Crocs 44-29 at the weekend.
Both sides scored five tries each with the boot of David West, playing his first game of the season, proving the difference for the Goats away from home.
Leading 27-12 at half-time, the Goats had the result wrapped up inside dying minutes of the Round 9 contest, with a late Cap Coast consolation try inflating their final score.
The 15-point victory was sweet revenge for the Goats, who were pipped 16-14 after the siren against the Crocs in Round 4 at Marley Brown Oval.
Trinity Tea, Adam Edmistone, Dylan Johnson, Matthew Theobald and Robert Wood all crossed for tries, with the latter three all coming from the front row.
West had his kicking radar on target by nailing five conversions and three penalty goals, including some long-range efforts from beyond the 40m line.
What made Gladstone's first win of the season even more special was their lack of troops.
Goats coach Sam Carey had to suit up for his side, who still managed to get the job done with a squad of only 17 players.
"We originally looked like having 14 people head up but we managed to get 17,” Carey said.
"David West's kicking was the difference because Cap Coast scored five tries as well.
"It was his first game of the season after being away with rep duties and injury and it was great to have his kicking foot back.”
Carey was slightly disappointed on the defensive front with his side conceding five tries.
However, he was pleased to get such a crucial win away from home, putting the Goats in a position to have a crack at a top-four finals spot in the five-team competition.
"That was a big win for us to after they took one off us at home,” he said.
"We can still position ourselves to play finals and (Cap Coast) have to travel to us again.
"We have a team that can genuinely take on the best teams in competition but for a number of adverse reasons we haven't been able to.
"We still have a number of front line players on the sideline and if we can get all those boys on the field at the same time we can be untouchable on our day.”
The Goats only train once this week due to a Round 10 bye, but will ramp up preparations the following week ahead of a home match against Frenchville on Saturday, July 1.
Gladstone Goats 44 (Trinity Tea, Adam Edmistone, Dylan Johnson, Matthew Theobald, Robert Wood tries; David West 5 cons, 3 pens) defeated Cap Coast Crocs 29.