24 August, 2023
Yowies finish season on a high with half-century
THE Kilcoy Yowies concluded their Sunshine Coast Gympie Rugby League (SCGRL) C grade season in style with a 50-14 drubbing of the Beerwah Bulldogs at Beachmere Sports Grounds last Saturday.
The itinerary changed as the seventh and second-last Pomona-Cooran forfeited its match against the top-placed Palmwoods.
Kilcoy and Beerwah were originally scheduled to play at the Palmwoods-based Briggs Park, but the game was relocated to Beachmere where two other matches also took place.
The change didn’t distract the fifth-placed Yowies, who were determined to finish their season strongly as they were out of finals contention along with the sixth-placed Bulldogs.
The Yowies could also have wanted to settle a score with the Bulldogs, who beat them 20-10 back in April before their next encounter resulted in a 30-all draw.
Last Saturday’s victory was Kilcoy’s third on the trot, bringing Kilcoy’s season tally to seven wins, three draws and eight losses.
Last Saturday also produced Kilcoy’s largest victory of the year after its previous biggest was two weeks earlier when the Yowies trounced Beachmere 48-16.
In the other contests at Beachmere last Saturday, the third-placed Mary Valley beat the second-placed Caloundra 26-16 before the bottom-placed home side sank to a demoralising 90-14 loss to the fourth-placed Yandina.
In the first of the three games, Kilcoy blundered from the kick-off but Beerwah failed to capitalise, and the Yowies soon opened the scoring.
Kilcoy notched nine tries to three, with Keverieli Waqa, Ratu Ravai, Steele Hanton and Timoci Koroiqica among the scorers for the victors.
It was the only time this year that Hanton and Koroiqica registered a four-pointer.
Waqa, Ravai and Suepasi Pelesafiame continued their brilliant form of late in the backline, while the Yowies had no passengers in their dominant performance.
Kilcoy coach Anthony Longbottom said the Yowies made a pact last Thursday night to put 50 points on Beerwah.
“You could see the positive attitude in the dressing room,” he said.
Whereas the Yowies were prone to sometimes play risky football and throw speculative passes during the first half of the year, Longbottom said things had changed in the past few weeks as Kilcoy scored many of its tries from more well-structured football.
“We peaked at the wrong end of the season,” he said.
Longbottom reiterated his wish that the finals series contained the top five teams rather than the top four.
Longbottom said he had spoken to a couple of opposing coaches recently, and that they had said “they’d be looking over their shoulders” if the Yowies were in the finals.
Longbottom cited Kilcoy’s 20-6 loss to Mary Valley on July 29 as “our downfall”, saying the players “shut up shop” and “went to sleep” after opening the scoring.
“They knew it was their fault,” he said.
Longbottom nonetheless said he was “very much happy” with this year as it was the first time for several years that the Yowies fielded a team.
Longbottom said the return of the Yowies was a welcome change for the community while there was “trial and error”, and that they were unbeaten in their four home games.
“(It was) doing something positive which brings the community together,” he said.
“That’s what it’s all about.”
Longbottom praised Kate Power in particular, with the coach saying Power was “an awesome manager” who helped get the team together each week.
Longbottom said he would be available to continue coaching “if they want me”, and that he was already looking ahead to the Kilcoy rugby league club’s involvement in the Fijian 9s in late November, and the Sunshine Coast 9s in January.