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Gladiators show promise in loss to Roos

Gladiators winger Josh Adu-Dwanna proves tough to tackle for the Kangaroos defence.

WHILE dropped ball and defensive lapses continue to plague the Mareeba Gladiators’ AGrade season, there are plenty of positives that can be taken out of their 22-6 loss to Kangaroos on
the weekend.

The Gladiators came out strong in the first half, particularly on the defensive side of the ball as they showed resolve on their own line and thwarted any attacking efforts by their opposition. Their defensive efforts were rewarded 18 minutes into the first half as Gladiators fullback Mitchell Brim scored out wide.

The Gladiators managed to keep Kangaroos scoreless for the remainder of the half and took a 6-0 lead into the break. It was crucial that the Mareeba outfit didn’t become complacent however, as poor second halves have cost them in their two recent outings against Mossman and Yarrabah. Unfortunately for Terry Aquilina’s side, the Gladiators began to drop plenty of ball and gave their opposition prime field position on too many occasions.

Kangaroos were able to capitalise and scored four tries in the second half, with hooker Ty Millard and centre Linton Enoch bagging two apiece. Despite suffering their fifth loss of the season, the performances from their youngsters Caleb Dally and Ezra Tokarahi will give the club plenty of confidence about their future. In addition, winger Josh Adu-Dwanna and Ben Cocciolone were exceptional in a losing effort for the men in green and gold.

“It was a pretty good first half, but obviously we lack depth with the amount of injuries we’ve had and that’s why we’ve struggled in the second halves this season,” Gladiators A-Grade coach Terry Aquilina said. “Once we get that continuity amongst the squad I think we’ll be fine.

“We worked with a new spine this week and had a couple of additions who really showed good things today, so if we can get them training together over the next few games I’m confident we’ll see plenty of improvements across the board.”

The Mareeba Gladiators next fixture will be this Sunday against Cairns Brothers at Stan Williams Park.

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