11 August, 2022

Unhappy finish to year for Snakes

THE Caboolture Snakes concluded their Sunshine Coast Rugby Union (SCRU) season on a bleak note last Saturday as they went down 40-0 to the Noosa Dolphins at Caboolture Rugby Union Club.

John Flew’s mates dress to impress as they acknowledge his 100th appearance for the Caboolture Snakes.
John Flew’s mates dress to impress as they acknowledge his 100th appearance for the Caboolture Snakes.

The Dolphins qualified for the finals as they finished fourth while the Snakes came fifth in the six-team competition, after all three of Caboolture’s victories for the year were against the last-placed Wynnum.

Last Saturday’s defeat largely summed up the year for the Snakes, who were competitive for a while before falling well off the pace.

Noosa led only 7-0 at half-time following a somewhat speculative try, before scoring five tries in the second half.

Dolphins centre Lincoln Parsons starred with four of the six tries.

It was a disappointing way for the Snakes to mark playmaker John Flew’s 100th game for the club, after he led the team onto the playing arena with his wife Tia and daughter Stevie.

It may also have been Flew’s last appearance for the Snakes as a player, with the 100-game veteran saying he would take time to focus on family and working for the club rather than playing.

“(It was) another frustrating week, but (I’m) appreciative of how the guys let me come out the tunnel with my family,” he said.

“I’ve had some great times with the club, 2016 premiership, lean years through the last couple but (it’s) good to see the group of guys we have together now, and the way they are building is promising for the club.” 

Flew was voted by his peers as one of the Snakes’ top three players in last Saturday’s game, along with Josh Ulk and Jordan Tuapou.

The Snakes applied pressure at times in the first half but couldn’t convert it into points, as errors brought them undone.

The first points came in the 14th minute when Parsons kicked a loose ball towards the tryline and then pounced for a try.

A brilliantly timed pass from Flew set up a raid for the Snakes, but they were foiled just short of the tryline before a player was held up over the line.

When Parsons scored the opening try of the second half, the game was slipping away from Caboolture.

Soon afterwards the Dolphins moved the ball right, with winger Mitchell Duncan producing a great fend during a scurrying dash to the tryline, before stumbling short of the line and then scoring in a last-ditch tackle.

Noosa’s Corey Dietrich was yellow-carded but the Dolphins scored in his absence, as good lead-up work set up a converted try for James Wilson-Bishop to make the score 26-0.

When the Snakes threatened to score next, a fumble occurred before the Dolphins counterattacked.

Duncan set up the next try as he made a break and chip-kicked, with Parsons winning the race to the ball.

A runaway try to Parsons in the dying stages ensured there was no consolation try for the hosts.

Snakes coach Billy Holland said, “We do all the hard work and then give it away through pushing the pass or giving away a penalty.”

Holland identified fitness as an issue for the Snakes this year, as he said player numbers at training had been poor and that this was a factor with fitness as well as making mistakes.

“We’ve certainly been competitive in a lot of the games, but periods have let us down,” he said.

“It’s that 30 percent of the game when they (the opposition) score their points.”

Holland nonetheless said there had been massive improvements since the start of the year when there were new players, new faces and a new game plan.

Holland said he hoped the playing group would stick together and be back next year.

When talking to the players immediately after the game, Holland and assistant coach Wilson Enoka encouraged them to support the reserve grade and women’s teams in their finals campaigns.


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