Mariners face tough run home
FRASER Coast Mariners will have to fight the hard way to reach the Sunshine Coast Rugby Union reserve grade finals.
The Mariners drew with University of Sunshine Coast 10-all on Saturday, and after the round's other results, three teams are fighting for the final two spots.
Nambour Toads, Maroochydore Swans and the Mariners are separated by just one point, though the Swans have the easiest run home.
They have games against Nambour, USC and lowly Gympie to close out the regular season and should finish third.
Fraser Coast faces top two teams Caloundra and Noosa Dolphins on the run home, and co-coach Trent Devere said the August 1 game against USC was vital.
"We're coming up against good, solid teams but hopefully we'll have everyone on the deck," Devere said of the run home.
"We play Caloundra and Noosa and home so we should be able to put a good team on the park," he said.
"We've competed well with Noosa in our home games against them so we are a chance to get them.
"It just means we have to beat USC in a fortnight."
Every player wants to win but the finals are not the sole goal for Devere and co-coach Adam Ebert.
"We had a set of goals at the start of the year and we've achieved each of those already," Devere said.
"The finals would be a bonus for us and the club," he said.
Devere admitted he would have preferred to beat USC on Saturday, but on reflection said he was happy to share competition points.
He had several regular players unavailable through work commitments and injury, while USC dropped several first graders (who had the bye) for the game.
"They had a lot of ball in that second half so I don't think it was too bad considering," he said.
"We defended really well in that second half."
Devere praised quartet Luke Walter, Peter Van Rooyen and father-son duo Josh and Peter Hutchings for their efforts, and the whole forward pack.
In the other games, Noosa beat Caloundra 24-7 to take top spot, and Nambour nailed Gympie Hammers 66-0.