4 March, 2024

Mareeba conquer Atherton in pre-season challenge

IT was a tough match on Friday night between local rivals Atherton Roosters and Mareeba Gladiators, but it was the Gladiators who came out on top, winning 36-22 at Mungalli Creek Dairy Stadium.

Keripo Gutchen-Gela and Reece Dally in Friday nights trial match.
Keripo Gutchen-Gela and Reece Dally in Friday nights trial match.

Despite the win, it was a slow start for the Gladiators, with Atherton leading at halftime 16-10. 

Mareeba coach Chris Sheppard said that didn’t stop the Gladiators from pushing forward and catching the Roosters by surprise in the second half. 

“Atherton are a quality team with a lot of new big names and we knew they'd be tough but we had to concentrate on ourselves and improving,” he said. 

“We started pretty slowly and let in some tries we shouldn't have but just before half-time we found our groove and played a really good half hour of footy getting our focus areas right. 

“I couldn't fault the effort and energy of any Gladiators but a special shout out to Ryan Flegler, Hubie Elu and Keripo Gutchen-Gela for their performances.”

For the Roosters, Morgan Solinas, Matthew Whybird and captain Ned Blackman all scored  tries while Ty Grogan notched up a try and three conversions. 

The first game of the FNQ Rugby League season will kick off on Saturday 16 March, where Mareeba will take on Ivanhoes at Davies Park. 

Atherton will have a bye to prepare for the “rivalry round” on 22 March, where they will meet Mareeba once again for revenge at Davies Park. 


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