FORWARD MOMENTUM: Fassifern forward Sateki Umu does the hard yards to help his team to its thrilling win over Goodna at Harrisville yesterday.
FORWARD MOMENTUM: Fassifern forward Sateki Umu does the hard yards to help his team to its thrilling win over Goodna at Harrisville yesterday. Kate Czerny

Bombers strike late to nab win

THE home team and its supporters were ecstatic and even the defeated team wasn't too down about it.

It was that rare sort of Ipswich Rugby League game at Harrisville that had everyone leaving with the feeling they'd benefited.

Fassifern scored with the final play of the game when winger Harold Mosby chased and grounded a last-throw-of-the-dice cross-field kick by five-eighth Mitch Range.

It gave Fassifern the win 24-20 after scores had been locked 20-all, with Goodna half-back Corey Kirk having narrowly missed a field goal attempt two minutes earlier.

The Bombers were delighted to have sealed a win, particularly coming without injured halfback Kali Nauqe and forward Mahe Paseka.

Goodna took consolation from the way they played, doing enough to win most games.

"I said before the game they would be in it until the 80th minute and they were," Goodna coach Craig Wehrman said.

"The crowd got behind them, which is what you expect. It was a good game of football."

Goodna began the match like a team ready for finals and led 12-0 in the 16th minute.

Goodna was completing sets, not conceding penalties and skipper Corey Kirk seemed to have the ball on a string, be it out of hand or off his foot.

So for the Bombers to trail just 12-4 at the break was encouraging for them.

When centre Yvan Leroyer picked up a loose Goodna pass three metres from his own line and sprinted the length of the field to score early in the second half, it gave them the belief to go on with it.

Missing Nauqe's energy and guidance, the Bombers compensated with most players raising their games.

First among those was prop Husky Teutau, who at various times seemed to be also playing halfback, lock, centre and fullback.

Range also put his stamp increasingly on the match as it wore on. But Fassifern skipper Joel Miles credited his hard-working forwards for the Bombers' comeback.

"They probably out-completed us in the first half but I thought in the final 20 minutes of the half we managed to change the momentum," he said. "Before that our forwards weren't giving us much momentum.

"In the second half, we managed to push forward that bit more."

Fassifern was fuelled by a belief that was missing for the first half of the season but which has returned and has made the club the danger team of the coming finals.

"We'll take a lot out of it," Miles said of the win. "To win without Kali, especially the last 20 minutes of each half.

"Goodna are a hard team to beat. Last year, in a game like that, we would have let negativity creep in."


State of play

The final four of the Ipswich Rugby League has all but been confirmed, with the main interest in the final three rounds surrounding who will be minor premiers.

Brothers' win over Swifts ended the Bluebirds' finals hopes and drew the Brethren level with Goodna at the top of the ladder.

Norths sit comfortably in third after their narrow win over West End with Fassifern rounding out the four.

Sunday's clash between Goodna and Brothers at Woogaroo Field could determine who finishes on top of the ladder.

Ladder: Goodna 22, Brothers 22, Norths 19, Fassifern 14, Swifts 9, West End 4.

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