GRIPPING BATTLE: A Brothers player is rounded up by the Cobras defence in Saturday’s IRL Nines’ match.
GRIPPING BATTLE: A Brothers player is rounded up by the Cobras defence in Saturday’s IRL Nines’ match. Inga Williams

Cobras strike late in IRL Nines

A TRY in the dying minutes provided an exciting finish to the first Ipswich Rugby League Nines Carnival yesterday.

Playmaker Wade Seden scored on the final tackle in the grand final to give Eastern Cobras the perfect start to the 2016 season.

In hot conditions at the Swifts home ground in Purga, the Eastern Cobras (Purple) overcame the Fassifern Bombers to take the title 36-32.

The win concluded a huge day of rugby league action with 27 games played over the one-day tournament.

Eastern Cobras new senior coach Morris Kent said the win was a reward for a gruelling pre-season.

"I was stoked with the win," Kent said.

"The boys have done a lot of hard stuff on the paddock in training and it paid off.

"It's a very good sign for the season to come."

Kent praised the efforts of Seden whose last ditch effort clinched the tournament for the Cobras.

"He was probably our most outstanding player on the day," he said.

"It was try for try the whole way through and we got the ball back in the last few minutes.

"Wade got the ball on the last tackle and spotted some tired boys in defence and took the line on."

Kent said he would like to see the carnival become a regular fixture.

"I think it's good for the game and it's good for Ipswich," he said.

"It's a good chance for the clubs to have a look at their players and everyone had a great time.

"I'd like to see it shared around each year and give each club a chance to host it."

The competition included 16 teams from Brothers, Swifts, Rosewood, Redbank, Valleys, Goodna, Lowood, Norths and Eastern Cobras.

Using the same format as the Auckland Nines, teams were split into four pool groups with the winner from each pool to progress to the semi-finals.

Coaches took the chance to test some of their younger, more mobile players with the halves shortened to nine minutes each way in the pool stages.

After 24 pool games Fassifern, Eastern Cobras, Goodna (Black) and Brothers (Blue) topped the four pool groups and progressed to the finals.

Goodna proved a match for the Cobras, drawing the second semi final 24-all.

Thanks to strong wins in the pool stages, the Cobras progressed with the greater competition points.

Fassifern defeated Brothers (Blue) 20-16 in the other semi-final, setting up the grand final showdown with the Cobras.

The Ipswich Rugby League competition starts on April 9.



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