20 July, 2023

Hot and cold Yowies notch home win

THE Kilcoy Yowies produced some entertaining if risky football as they defeated the Pomona-Cooran Cutters 28-20 in a Sunshine Coast Gympie Rugby League (SCGRL) C grade contest at Yowie Park last Saturday.

Among a pile of bodies, Keverieli Waqa has possession for the Kilcoy Yowies in their win on home soil last Saturday. Photo credit: Melinda Harrison/Deerlightful Photography.
Among a pile of bodies, Keverieli Waqa has possession for the Kilcoy Yowies in their win on home soil last Saturday. Photo credit: Melinda Harrison/Deerlightful Photography.

Kilcoy’s win kept alive the team’s finals chances on a memorable day of rugby league for the town as three matches took place.

Palmwoods beat Mary Valley 26-16 before the Yowies and Cutters squared off in the SCGRL, and then the Tweed Seagulls defeated the Brisbane Tigers 38-12 in the Hostplus Cup as part of Activate! Queensland Country Week.

Although Pomona-Cooran was in second-last place on the points table while also being the first team to lose to Kilcoy this year – 28-14 back on May 13 – the Cutters were competitive last Saturday.

The Yowies played some razzle-dazzle, unpredictable and speculative football which looked brilliant when it worked, while on the other hand it also came dreadfully unstuck at times.

Yowies coach Anthony Longbottom said afterwards, “If Clint Eastwood was here, I think he’d say it was just that: the good, the bad and the ugly.”

Longbottom said the Yowies switched off in patches, and that “that was the ugly part of it”.

“If it pays off it looks spectacular,” he said of their style of play.

“At the end of the day it’s the way they play. I’m not going to change it.

“If it works it works, if it doesn’t they’ll learn from the mistake.”

Longbottom said he was very happy with how the culture was developing, and that last Saturday was “an important win” for the Yowies on a day when QRL people attended.

Longbottom also acknowledged the local support, with the coach saying, “When the Yowies play, people are turning up.”

Last Saturday was the third occasion this year that the Yowies hosted a round-robin game, with Kilcoy drawing Yandina 24-all on April 15 and beating Mary Valley 22-14 on May 20.

Pomona-Cooran opened the scoring as Ashar Buckman-Williams won the race to a well-placed chip-kick and scored a try.

After the Yowies forced a repeat set, captain and halfback Logan Manwaring took the ball to the defensive line and produced a splendid unload to Ratu Ravai who ran in a converted try which put Kilcoy ahead 6-4.

Cutters five-eighth Glenn Jarrett scored a relatively soft try, which he converted to give the visitors a four-point lead with nine minutes left in the first half.

The hosts hit back as Keverieli Waqa made a threatening run and then scored as the defence arrived too late.

Sekove Serevi’s second conversion reinstated Kilcoy’s two-point lead with half-time looming.

For not the first time during a half-time break this year, Longbottom asked his players what they were doing.

This time, his main concern was that the Yowies put no pressure on Pomona-Cooran halfback Bayley McMichan, and allowed him to dictate the terms.

The Yowies also received a talk from former Kilcoy player Edward Monaei, who was the only First Nations player in the team back in the 1980s.

While the Yowies needed to put more pressure on Pomona-Cooran’s halfback, the Cutters found it hard to contain Kilcoy forward Mick Giles who often required three or four defenders to halt his momentum.

In the second half, Giles made a big run after the home side received a penalty.

Soon, Ross Delaiverata was too much for the Cutters to handle as he took on the defence and scored near the posts.

Kilcoy had a try disallowed due to an obstruction, before Pomona-Cooran’s Brandon Collins was sent to the sin bin after the visitors were penalised.

The Yowies profited as they shifted the ball right, with a clever pass finding the mark as Keverieli Waqa crossed in the corner.

After the visitors blundered from a kick-off for the second time, Waqa set up the next try with a jinking run and a risky but immaculate offload to Ravai who scampered away to score.

The hosts led 28-10 with 14 minutes left, but soon the tide turned again when a needless pass backfired.

A lack of urgency in defence enabled Brett Davis to run towards the tryline and reach to score in a last-gasp tackle.

The Cutters were still in the game as the conversion trimmed the margin to 12 points, and then Collins returned to the field.

A defensive lapse in the midfield enabled McMichan to send Buckman-Williams dashing away for his second try to reduce the margin to eight points.

Crucially for the Yowies, a desperate chase from Serevi forced Buckman-Williams to veer to the right corner, which resulted in an unsuccessful conversion attempt from the sideline.

With the Cutters still more than a converted try in arrears, they were unable to close the gap any further in the final four minutes.

This Saturday, the fifth-placed Yowies will contest the second-placed Palmwoods at Briggs Park


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