TECHNICALLY it wasn?t all that pretty. But in terms of courage, degree of difficulty and timing there was little choice but to award full points.
No it wasn?t another addition to State of Origin?s lingering ?diving? fiasco. Rather it was a gallant 22-12 win by the North Queensland Young Guns against Redcliffe on Sunday.
Facing a likely finals opponent on enemy soil, the Young Guns survived a captivating battle that was locked 12-all just 10 minutes before fulltime. A 40-20 kick by David Myles plus tries to Drew Campbell and Charles Vis swung a match in which teenage centre Dean Payne was left with three broken teeth
Afterwards coach Grant Bell was left in little doubt that his players were willing to bleed for the team, both physically and emotionally.
?The completions weren?t great, but the commitment and willingness to compete were there,? noted Bell.
?Desperation in defence was what pleased me the most. A game like that brings out the quality and the character of the individual, which I think is important at this time of year.?
While the speedsters such as Campbell, Vis, Neil Sweeney and Rory Bromley caught the eye of spectators, Bell reserved his greatest praise for 80-minute men Mark Dalle Cort and Clint Amos.
Former schoolmates at Palm Beach Currumbin, Dalle Cort and Amos have hardly had things go their own way since arriving in Townsville, but they continue to persevere.
?Mark hasn?t had the happiest times with a neck injury last year and few niggling things after that, but to his credit he?s starting to produce some good football,? Bell said.
?As for Dean, his workrate was outstanding (against Redcliffe). Neither of them had time off the field and for forwards playing in a tough game like that, it really says something about them.?
Best for Redcliffe and continuing from a fine mid-week performance for Queensland Residents was back-rower Jamie Russo. Dolphins captain Shane Perry has already suggested that Russo deserves to be back playing in the National Rugby League.
North Queensland now has two matches at home, starting with next Saturday?s hit-out against Wynnum. Redcliffe tackles Ipswich at QLD Group Stadium the same day.
NORTH QUEENSLAND 22 (Drew Campbell 2, Charles Vis, Clint Amos tries; Neil Sweeney 3 goals) beat REDCLIFFE 12 (Grant Flugge, Shannon Fish tries; Greg Bourke 2 goals).
This article is courtesy of the QRL for Queensland Wizard Cup news log on to www.qrl.com.auLike