KEY CONTRIBUTOR: Goodna hooker Saunda Seumanutafa (right) tries desperately to tackle Fassifern’s Huskey Teutau in last weekend’s A grade clash.
KEY CONTRIBUTOR: Goodna hooker Saunda Seumanutafa (right) tries desperately to tackle Fassifern’s Huskey Teutau in last weekend’s A grade clash. Kate Czerny

Seumanutafa boys crucial for the Eagles

WHEN Goodna coach Craig Wehrman was wondering who would play hooker in his A grade side, lock Max Seumanutafa suggested his little brother Saunda.

It was not just family loyalty either, with Seumanutafa needing a reliable rake alongside him in defence.

"I told Wehrmo, if you need a hooker, Saunda can tackle and I can rely on him in the middle," Max said.

Wehrman was obviously looking for more than just a tackler, however, and Saunda has shown he has the makings of an excellent dummy half.

The former Australian Schoolboys rugby league and union outside back has the pace and passing game to excel.

But it is his decision-making that has come on the most since getting his chance this season.

In attack, Max has benefited from having his brother there as well.

"We just know each other's games," Max said.

"When he's jumping out of dummy half, I'll just try to be there."

Unfortunately for the Eagles, Max is out of action at the moment with a grade two medial ligament tear.

He hopes to be fit for finals.

The 22-year-old Saunda left the Ipswich Jets after the 2012 season, joining Wests Rugby Union in Brisbane.

He switched this year to University of Queensland but didn't get the opportunities he hoped for.

Rather than continue on there, he decided to join big brother Max at Goodna, expecting to play in the backline.

Hooker was not entirely new to him with Jets coaches Ben and Shane Walker trialing him there three years ago.

"I was a bit nervous," Saunda said of being told he would play hooker for Goodna.

Not because of any doubts about his ability. It was more to do with the fitness requirements of the number nine position.

As his fitness has improved, so has Saunda's game awareness.

"Vision was a big thing," he said of the challenges of playing dummy half.

"It's improved a lot."

Having veteran Scott Berrell there to share the duties has also been valuable to Saunda.

"It's been good," he said of his return to Woogaroo Field.

"I love it.

"It's a good atmosphere with the boys at the club."

Saunda reckons the Eagles have barely shown what they are capable of this season. "I believe we can do much better than what we've been doing," he said.

He is always happy to take advice from big brother as well, with Max one of the few Goodna players left from the team that last won an A grade title for the club in 2005.

"He tells me what to do in attack now and then," Saunda said.

"And in defence, with the example he sets."

In other A grade games this weekend, Norths host Swifts tonight and West End host Fassifern tomorrow.

Swifts are realistically out of the finals' hunt and the Tigers can end any mathematical chance they had with a win.

Game day

Today

Keith Sternberg Oval: Norths v Swifts (A grade 7pm, Reserve grade 5.30pm, U19 4pm)

Woogaroo Field: Goodna v Brothers 6.30pm, Redbank Plains v West End 5pm.

Anzac Park: Div 2 - Rosewood v Swifts 6.30pm, Lowood Tarampa v Karalee 5pm.

Tomorrow

Woogaroo Field: Goodna v Brothers (A grade 3pm, Reserve grade 1.30pm, U19 noon).

Daniels Park: A grade - West End v Fassifern 3pm, Reserve grade West End v Eastern Cobras 1.30pm, U19 West End v Eastern Cobras noon.



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