Rampant Eagles sound warning as finals loom
RUGBY LEAGUE: In a display of the club's considerable depth the Goodna Eagles overcame Brothers 34-16 at Raceview this afternoon.
The convincing victory over the competition pacesetters, secured by an undermanned outfit, means the Eagles lock down second and will enter the playoffs armed with an unshakeable self-belief.
Coach Corey Kirk said he had called on his men to put in a superhuman effort and they delivered.
"The boys were hungry," he said. "I think they just wanted it more than Brothers. I'm very happy."
Kirk said his charges took their opportunities when they arose but it was the resilience they showed without the ball which proved decisive.
He said during one match-defining sequence Brothers attacked the Goodna tryline relentlessly for three consecutive sets but were repelled repeatedly by the determined Eagles defenders.
"We have got points in us," Kirk said. "We just need to have the ability to defend our errors."
Kirk said his entire forward pack deserved praise but lock Saunda Seumanutafa and front rowers Perry Ioane and Zach Lemberg were among the best performers.
He said the halves were also influential, kicking effectively and playing with control in an arm wrestle which saw plenty of dropped ball from both sides.
He also commended deadly fullback Ono So'oialo.
In an ominous sign for rivals, So'oialo has lifted a gear in recent outings.
Kirk said the Queensland Rangers representative had taken his game to a whole new level and he was looking forward to seeing him make an impact during the finals.
He said the Eagles had now claimed five consecutive triumphs without several key contributors indicating the enviable depth in the club's arsenal.
"We were confident in our ability and the depth at the club," he said. "That locks up a top two finish, which was the goal.
"Now we've got a roll on we just need to keep building."
In today's other matches, a defiant West End Bulldogs line-up rebounded from last week's stunning capitulation.
With the opposing coaches engaging in pre-game banter the stakes were raised. But the Bulldogs lifted in the presence of the club's 1979 premiership-winning team to hand the Swifts Bluebirds a shock 42-38 defeat and delight their trusted mentor Jae Woodward.
The unexpected loss means Swifts (44) remains fourth instead of joining Redbank Plains (46) in equal third.
Meanwhile, Norths prevailed 46-14 over the Fassifern Bombers at the Tigers' den.
In Reserve Grade, Goodna knocked off the Brethren 35-28, Swifts annihilated West End 62-0, Fassifern overcame Norths 68-12 and Rosewood beat Redbank 16-6.
State of Play
RLI A-Grade Rd 19: Goodna Eagles 34 def Brothers 16; West End Bulldogs 42 def Swifts Bluebirds 38; Norths Tigers 46 def Fassifern Bombers 14.