Sharkies swim past Fish

Fitzroys' Takai Mokohar, right, and Jamie Simpson, left, jump for a ball to bat it back towards their team.

By Liam Emerton

The Fitzroy-Gracemere Sharks survived a scare in the wet to remain in the hunt for the Yeppoon Seagulls.

The dreadful conditions muddied Salesyard Park but it was still playable as the Sharks welcomed the Gladstone Brothers to their home ground.

The Brothers made their presence felt just a few minutes into the contest, scoring through their hooker Bailey Audet to open proceedings and give Brothers a 6-0 lead.

Just four minutes later a towering midfield bomb from Gladstone halfback Lyncoln Rebel was allowed to bounce by both teams.

After the bounce it was picked up by Brothers’ Corban Phillips who drew in Fitzroy fullback Arramun Ross-Henderson and passed it to a supporting Jake Robertson.

Robertson spun out of a tackle and dove over the line with another successful conversion seeing the away team’s lead was doubled to 12-0.

Fitzroys were desperate to find their footing in the contest and a dropped catch was all the opening the Sharks needed to halve the Brothers’ lead.

The spiraling bomb, which was a well used weapon for both sides all afternoon, was knocked straight into the path of Sharks’ centre Jamie Simpson who burrowed under a tackle to score.

Cyron Tull’s boot was in a converting mood, nailing the first attempt at goal to make the score 12-6.

In the 24th minute it looked like the Fitzroy-Gracemere squad was destined to score their second of the afternoon.

Cyron Tull broke away from the Gladstone defence and eventually made his way to within inches of the Brothers’ tryline.

But a brilliant tackle from fullback Deklin Huth pushed the five-eight out of bounds before he could get a pass to his inside.

The desperate defence of Gladstone kept Fitzroys out for another 10 minutes of the first half but with just minutes remaining an unforced error cost them a half time lead.

With the advantage the Sharks halfback Yoren Major took a tough catch from a dodgy pass, composed himself and threw a brilliant cutout pass to his left centre Morris Bowman who scored.

The set piece, along with Cyron Tull’s inch-perfect kick, made the score 12-12 which is how it remained at the break.

Just six minutes into the second half Fitzroys had the lead when big boppa Craig O’Brien crashed over the top of the Brothers defence to help give the home side an 18-12 lead.

After a period of back-and-forth action Gladstone had the chance to level the score.

A inside-pass dummy from the Fish’s Rebel saw him run almost the length of the field before passing to the pacemen Corey Larsen who sprinted away for Brothers’ third try.

A successful conversion would have tied the scores but a miskick saw Gladstone remain behind 18-16, something that would come back to haunt the travellers.

After sustaining a bunch of pressure from the away side, the Fitzroys made one quick move to extend their lead with 12 minutes left.

A one on one strip would set the Sharkies up and allow Cyron Tull to cross the line, convert the goal and give his side a 24-16 advantage.

But again the pressure of Brothers was staggering and after multiple sets on their own tryline, eventually the green wall would crack.

Another one of those towering bombs from Rebel was mishandled by the Fitzroys and after a sharp backline play, Gladstone would again pull the game to within two points when Phillips crossed.

Trailing 24-22 Brothers were incredible in attack, getting over the advantage line every single tackle in the final four minutes.

A penalty, too far out for a shot at goal, gave them a golden opportunity to bring home a huge win.

The kick for touch brought Gladstone just 20 metres out from the Fitzroys’ line and after one run the side was just 10 metres out.

But the second run would prove to be their final chance and after the Sharks controlled the tackle the hooter sounded to give the home side a 24-22 win.

In the only other A grade match played on the weekend, the Yeppoon Seagulls won 50-0 over the Tannum Sands Seagulls.

This weekend the two top teams of the competition go head to head when the Yeppoon Seagulls travel to Salesyard Park to take on the Fitzroy-Gracemere Sharks.

The Gladstone Brothers look to bounce back against local rivals Valley Diehards in a rematch of the 2021 Gladstone Rugby League grand final.

Rockhampton Brothers will want to show Norths Chargers they have what it takes to grab the fourth spot on the table when those sides collide.

And in the final match of round 11 the Tannum Sands Seagulls take on the Emu Park Emus on the Livingstone Shire coast.

In the women’s competition the Gladstone Wallabys defeated Fitzroys 16-14 and the Yeppoon Seagulls beat the Tannum Sands Seagulls 24-0.

This weekend the Rocky Brothers take on the Norths Chargers, Tannum Sands meet Emu Park, and Fitzroys take on Yeppoon.