Seagulls escape Eskdale Park with six-point win over Roos
HERVEY Bay Seagulls might have won the game but for several Wallaroos players it felt like a victory for the Maryborough club.
Wallaroos produced one of their best performances, and for 60 minutes it was enough to keep the Seagulls at bay.
While the Seagulls snatched victory in the final 10 minutes, gun Wallaroos fullback Joey Alberts could not disguise his excitement.
"We didn't get the win but we played really well together," Alberts said. "For me it does (feel like a win). We played such a good game."
The 17-year-old was unstoppable at the back. He confidently cleaned up the majority of Hervey Bay halfback Clinton Horne's kicks, he broke tackles left, right and centre, and used his blinding speed to get Wallaroos out of trouble on several occasions.
Playing just his second A-grade game, Alberts looked a man far beyond his years as he fearlessly ran into - and through - men almost twice his age, let alone size.
Wallaroos co-captain Jack Horder, who scored two tries and kicked three goals, praised Alberts and halfback Luke Waters.
"Joey was outstanding, so was Waters," he said. "We all dug in and did it for each other tonight.
"It felt good, we felt we had the match in our hands (at halftime). They slipped away from us in the end."
Horder stepped into the starting line-up this year after Damien Otto vacated Wallaroos' hooker jersey.
Now a Hervey Bay Seagull, this was Otto's first trip to Eskdale Park in rival colours.
"The crowd out here tonight was very vocal, mainly towards me," he said.
"It's different to be on the receiving end for once. The difference between other teams that play at home like this is the crowd because they are so vocal and it deters you.
"It was good to get away with the win against a very surprising strong pack."
The sides meet again on May 7 at Stafford Park, then July 10 at Salter Oval.
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This poll ended on 25 March 2016.
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WAVES TIGERS 46 (Jones 2, Pimm 2, Saumalu 2, Brosnan, Vujanovic tries; Bainbridge 7 goals) def ISIS DEVILS 18 (Dann, Rowan, Cole, Grant tries; Rowan goal).
HERVEY BAY SEAGULLS 28 (Stefaniuk, T Horne, Saumani, Elemani, McCrea, Nau tries; C Horne 2 goals) def WALLAROOS 22 (Horder 2, Alberts, Ahon tries; Horder 3 goals).
PAST BROTHERS 46 (Carl 2, Sherriff 2, Filo, Martin, Rose, Savage; Carl 7 goals) def EASTERN SUBURBS 14 (Taylor 2, Carsen; Taylor 1 goal).