Eagles chop down Bombers
WITH five international representatives on the field, it should have been a classy affair between Goodna and Fassifern at Woogaroo Field yesterday.
But the Bombers misread the script, allowing Goodna to establish an early lead the visitors couldn't run down.
With their front row stocks seriously depleted, Fassifern knew they could not give Goodna easy territory or possession.
So when they were forced into touch from the first tackle, things didn't look good.
By the 20th minute mark, the Bombers were down 22-0.
When first Andrew Walker, then Kali Nauqe knocked-on under no pressure, it seemed it wasn't meant to be the visitors' day.
Fassifern didn't help themselves either. When they did get opportunities, they invariably blew them with poor options.
The attempted short line-dropout that was taken by Goodna's Joel Lennox, who then ambled the 10m to score, was the most obvious example.
It took Walker's skill and composure to get the Bombers on the board in the 26th minute when he fired a bullet-like pass to centre Jack Mounsey, who put winger Callum McInnes over.
Then Goodna's former Kiwis David Solomona and Sione Faumuina both handled twice in a movement, ending in a try to David Heketoa and a 28-6 half-time lead for the home team.
But it was a different Goodna that emerged for the second half, lacking the intensity they started the game with.
"It was what we worked on at training," Goodna hooker Alby Talipeau said of the way the Eagles started the match.
"In the second half we thought it was too easy and you can't do that against the premiers.
"The game plan in the second half wasn't up to scratch."
The visitors took advantage with tries in the 10th and 17th minutes.
Both orchestrated by Walker, one with a grubber kick for winger David Tahavalu, the other with a cut-out pass to reignite the Mounsey-McInnes combination.
But when Talipeau put Fa Tauaa over for a try, it was a bridge too far for the Bombers, despite a late try to Mounsey that made the final score 34-24.
Talipeau praised the efforts of Goodna winger Vili Leaunoa and fullback Joseph Ledger, as well as the out-muscled Bombers forwards.
"Their forward pack are just goers," Talipeau said. "They're always there, wanting to work for each other."
For injured Fassifern player-coach Daniel Roos, the fightback was little consolation for a team now five points off the top four.
"The first half got us," he said.
"Our completion rate was 40 percent. We were just trying to change things rather than play the high percentage. In the second half, we went out and played footy. In the first half, everything we did at training, we did the opposite."