Eagles hold off comeback
IF ONLY West End had started their match against Goodna at Basin Pocket like they finished it yesterday.
Instead, Goodna led 24-0 after 18 minutes, having had all the ball due to West End ill-discipline and woeful defence.
The Eagles then survived a late Bulldogs comeback to hold on and win 36-32.
But at the start of the match Goodna were given the opportunity to attack and took it, converting every time West End invited them into their territory through silly penalties.
"We looked like a million dollars in the first half an hour," Goodna captain Sione Piutau said.
"We looked good, completed our sets and scored points."
It was 20 minutes before West End were able to exert any pressure and when they did they still couldn't find a way over the line.
It was hard to see how they were going to get back into the match, before two long range intercept tries got them going.
At half-time Goodna led 30-16.
Things looked up for West End early in the second half when Piutau was sin-binned following a minor skirmish.
Soon after West End second rower Gary Natoealofa showed a magical side-step to score.
Goodna stretched their lead to 36-20 when Zac Lemberg scored under the posts without a defender near him.
But late tries to Nephi Tusa and Jacob Sinn set up a grandstand finish.
Natoealofa came within a whisker of the try that would have levelled scores with a conversion to win but was just short of the try line and Goodna claimed the points.
West End showed that with powerful forwards like Natoealofa, Christmas Fuiavailili and Tusa, tough dummy half in Jacob Sinn and classy backs such as Andrew Walker and Brook Alofipo, they should be capable of consistently good football.
But for every big hit or surging run the Bulldogs are as likely to conceded a penalty or go missing in defence.
At the end of the game Goodna five-eighth Corey Kirk could be heard admonishing his team, despite the win.
"We're our won worst enemy," he said.
"The only team that is going to beat us is us."
Piutau agreed with the sentiment, admitting that players had become slack with turning up to training and match preparations.
"We've got the team to put other teams to the sword," he said.
"But we need to improve our attitude. In the first three weeks everyone was keen and we beat the best teams.
"But everyone has slipped away with their preparations.
"When we're getting through sets and holding onto the ball, we've got the players at the club to succeed. But we're still a new side and are still getting our combinations right."