IT might have been an “ugly win” but there were many positive signs for the Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles, according to coach Brandon Costin.
Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles debutant Maa Ruua finds no way through the Comets defence.
ALLAN REINIKKA AR--
The Sea Eagles ground out a 34-26 win over Central Comets at Rockhampton yesterday, a week after annihilating fellow 2009 grand finalist Northern Pride 64-0.
While the come-from-behind win wasn’t pretty, in many ways it was just what the coach wanted to see.
Sunshine Coast took a 16-6 lead into half-time before gifting Central a 26-16 lead just 15 minutes after the break.
But the Queensland Cup defending premier stood up when needed to, much to Costin’s delight.
“You can call it an ugly win. We weren’t at our best,” he said.
“They (Comets) came out and in 15 minutes put on 20 points.
“The good thing is we’ve improved as a team to be able to wear that and come back and get a result late in the game.
“In previous games we’ve given up. I wanted to see them play tough. I wanted to see them forget last week’s result
“It’s really hard to do. It’s almost like you have a hangover after a win like that and you need to get the monkey off your back.”
First-half tries to Mark Page, Filinga Filiga and debutant Maa Ruua gave the Sea Eagles a handy lead.
But that was extinguished quickly after the break as the Comets scored four quick tries.
The Sea Eagles steadied the ship though and wore their opposition down. Daly Cherry-Evans, Dennis Sandow and Jamie Buhrer scored in the second half to give Sunshine Coast its fourth win in five weeks.
Costin said his troops failed to match the intensity of their opposition at times.
“The Comets were really enthusiastic and energetic, especially after half-time,” he said.
“It’s fair to say we didn’t play for 80 minutes but we were able to stay composed and get the win.
“It’s a good learning curve and stepping stone for the team.”
The Sea Eagles face big improvers Wynnum-Manly Seagulls at Stockland Park next weekend in the team’s first televised match of the year.
The Seagulls claimed a 24-12 win against Sunshine Coast earlier this year and Costin said the match would be a good test of where his improving team was at.
“They came out of the blocks running and have been one of the frontrunners this season,” he said.
“They have made big improvements from last year. When we last played them they were on top and have continued to be right up there.
“They’re one of the favourites to win the competition, so it’ll be good to test ourselves to see if we’re up there.”
SUNSHINE COAST 34
Dennis Sandow, Filinga Filiga, Mark Page, Maa Ruua, Daly Cherry-Evans, Jamie Buhrer tries; Daly Cherry-Evans 5 goals
CENTRAL COMETS 26
Jade Williams 2, Josh Bishop, Tyron Haynes, Tim Glasby; Ian Webster 2, Nathan Barraclough goals