Late Wehi heroics Roo heartbreaker
BROTHERS broke the hearts of Kangaroos yesterday when a try to centre Kane Wehi with three minutes remaining gave the defending premiers a dramatic 32-28 victory at Stan Williams Park.
With their spot in the top five hinging on the result, Roos looked set to register an upset win when they led 26-14 after early second-half tries to Kieran Hayes and James Kerwick.
But Brothers did not panic and moved within six points of the visitors when Queensland under-18s representative PJ Webb barged over his direct opponent to plant the ball near the posts.
The next time Roos visited Brothers' end Theeran Pearson slotted a field goal before the five-eighth repeated the trick to give his side an eight-point buffer with 23 minutes to go.
Roos were on the verge of a season-defining triumph and appeared to be doing everything right as the clock slowly counted down to zero.
But then disaster struck for the Mooroobool club. Roos dropped a ball from a scrum win close to their line to gift Brothers centre Justin Castellaro an easy try before Wehi's late heroics sealed the game for the home team.
While delighted at how his side gutsed out the win, Brothers player-coach Robbie Swain said Roos exposed some serious flaws in their game.
"That was a get out of jail card. We used that one up," Swain said of the result. "It's good to get a win like that, though. I'm proud of the guys, but we've still got a long way to go in terms of our attack and defence.
"It goes to show there are gaps in our game that we've got to fix up and fix up quick.
"There's no short cuts. We've got to get them right before semis."
Brothers enjoyed a perfect start to the game when winger Daniel Mooka plucked a cross-field kick out of the air to dive over in the opening minutes.
But Roos' reply was just as spectacular, with speedster Cameron Hooker producing a stepping run Ben Barba would have been proud of to set up Hayden Brown.
Better was to come for the visitors, who found themselves in front when second-rower Wees Nawai collected an intercept and ran 30m to score untouched.
Trailing 10-4, Brothers returned fire with tries to Wehi and Mooka before Hooker scored for Roos just before halftime.
Yesterday's loss means Roos drop to sixth on the ladder, with Yarrabah now occupying fifth spot
NEW CAIRNS.COM.AU COMMENT POLICY
We welcome your comments on this story. Comments are submitted for possible publication on the condition that they may be edited. Comments submitted without a full name and suburb/location will not be considered for publication. Please read our full comment policy and publication guidelines.
Share this article
Wrapped up: Brothers' Ben Groves and Santoi Thaiday combine to halt Kangaroos' Hayden Brown in their CDRL clash. Picture: STEWART McLEAN