Hammers enjoy win against Mariners
THE budding rivalry between the Gympie Hammers and Fraser Coast Mariners rugby union sides wrote a new chapter at the weekend.
But it was for the Hammers to enjoy the storyline, overcoming Fraser Coast 20-17 in a close encounter played in Hervey Bay Saturday.
The win is the first for the Hammers after six rounds of play in the Sunshine Coast competition and coach David Crowley was rapt with the result.
“It’s been a long time coming but we are going to enjoy it,” he said.
“Hopefully it will be a turning point for the boys and give us some momentum for what remains of the season.”
Initially, it appeared as though the Hammers would cruise to victory after a dominant performance in the first half saw the team leading 17-0 at half time.
However, the second half saw Fraser Coast sprint out of the blocks, fired up with thoughts of a comeback at the forefront of their minds.
Crowley said his troops were caught unaware.
“I think we had a lead and we took our foot off the pedal for a while there,” he said. “That and the fact Fraser Coast changed their style with success.”
Fraser Coast dug in and managed to have the game returning to level pegging, the score tied at 17-all, when Gympie managed to come out of its slumber and collect a penalty kick.
Andrew Rye slotted the ball between the posts and the Hammers regained a 20-17 lead.
With 15 minutes remaining in the game, Fraser Coast stepped up its attack once more and found itself deep in Gympie’s half.
Crowley said the game could have gone either way during this tense period.
“We were in front by only three points, so Fraser Coast could have scored to win,” he said.
The Hammers survived the final onslaught thanks to some gritty defence, notching their first win this season.
Scoring for Gympie was Sean Dixon, Jarrod Dann and Ricky-Lee Hasnip. Andrew Rye collected the match-winning penalty.
Other results: Caloundra 32 defeated Caboolture 22, University 53 defeated Nambour 10, Noosa 27 defeated Maroochydore 15.