Kookas so close, so far from state carnival win

THE South East Queensland Kookaburras went within one minute of winning their first Queensland Divisional Carnival on Sunday.

Having won their first match, against Central Queensland on Saturday, the Kookas led the Northern Marlins 22-20 in the dying stages of Sunday's game.

Had the Southern Division team held on, they would have taken out the state competition, held at Runaway Bay.

It was not to be however, as a Marlins' kick from near halfway was toed through to score. That gave the northerners victory in the game and to secure the tournament.

Ipswich Jets players Dan Fullarton, Dale Robertson and Todd Riggs were all part of the Kookaburras team.

“We were pretty unlucky,” Fullarton said.

The Kookas trailed the Marlins 14-6 at half-time before a stirring comeback got them in front.

“It was just poor ball control and we gave away a lot of penalties,” Fullarton said of the first half.

“In the second half we just targeted them down the left side and kept making breaks down there.”

Fullarton, representing the Kookas for the first time, said the pace of the football was slower than the FOGS Cup but was tough.

“It was pretty physical,” he said.

“There were a lot of big country boys playing.”

Things didn't start out well for the Kookas on Saturday and they were behind at half-time in their first match.

“It took us a while to get it together,” Fullarton admitted.

“Then we started holding the ball and playing what was in front of us.”

Fullarton grabbed his team's first try.

Despite that, and how close the Kookas went to winning the carnival, second rower Fullarton didn't rate his chances of higher honours when the Queensland Rangers team is announced.

“I didn't play as well as I wanted,” he said.

“I was happy with my defence but I see myself as a wide running back rower.”

Unfortunately he didn't get the chance to show that to selectors.

“I didn't get enough quality ball,” he said.

“We had no time to work on combinations with the halfback and no-one knows your game.”

Fullarton's Jets comrades had a mixed weekend.

Robertson impressed with his work rate in defence but Riggs had few opportunities.

“Dale (Robertson) played pretty well,” Fullarton said.

“He tackled his backside off.

“Todd got hurt in the first game and only got 10 minutes (on Sunday).”

Despite the heartbreak, Fullarton is keen to ensure he gets another crack for the Kookas next year.

“I enjoyed the carnival,” he said.

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