Tigers on the move in bid for IRL title honours
NORTHS have proven it is more than a two-horse race in this year's Ipswich Rugby League A-grade competition.
The Tigers shocked Goodna from the start in yesterday's match at Keith Sternberg Oval, establishing a 16-0 lead from three tries in the first 20 minutes.
"It would be nice to start every game like that," Norths centre Nathan Carney said.
Goodna brought it back to 16-12 at half-time with two tries of their own.
But Norths had set their resolve and three tries in four minutes midway through the second half delivered the knock-out blow that closed the gap between the second- placed Eagles and third-placed Tigers to two points.
"It's a great feeling," Carney said.
"It's tough playing Goodna.
"They're a big side and we've only got a small pack."
And that meant the Norths forwards had to deliver.
Props Nathan Teaonui and Tuuta Manu and the back row of John Luhrman, Gerico Cecil and Stephen Kafer nullified any plans Goodna had to steamroll through the middle.
It enabled the likes of hooker Robbie Peters and backs Steven West, Josh Roberts and Jarrod Biggs to find holes in the Goodna defence with Biggs scoring a hat-trick of tries.
"We thought we could get them in behind the ruck," Carney said.
"They commit a lot of players to the tackle and if you can slip through, find your front and start to get in behind them, you can certainly turn them around.
"Kafer at lock had a huge game.
"And the usuals - Biggsy and Roberts. They've got a good combination. Westy plays above himself every week."
Carney is just happy to be playing. After suffering a shattered cheekbone playing for the Ipswich Diggers in 2011 he took a year to recover physically and another to get over the psychological effects.
He was not certain to play this year, but his Norths teammates convinced him and he has not had cause to regret it.
For Goodna it was a step back from the form that had delivered three successive wins before yesterday.
"We were a bit flat," Goodna centre Jason Lennox said. "They started well and got a lead and we just didn't come back from it. From 16 points down we worked our way back into it. But in the second half we just didn't hold the ball."