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Gladiators show plenty of heart in away loss

Gladiators winger Eze Harper picks up a loose ball and runs 90 metres to score. The Mareeba Gladiators have the bye this weekend.

THE Mareeba Gladiators A-Grade side went down in a gutsy effort to the Cairns Kangaroos at Vico Oval on Sunday afternoon.

It was a poor start from the away side, as a lack of possession hurt the men in green and gold and Roos were able to capitalise through two tries to hooker Ty Millard in the first ten minutes of the match.

That didn’t deter the Gladiators however, as stalwart Tom Hughes showed plenty of determination to muscle his way to the line and bring the score back within a converted try.

Roos and the Gladiators scored another try apiece for the remainder of the first half, of which included a 90 metre dash from rapid winger Eze Harper. Kangaroos went into halftime with an 18-10 lead.

There was nothing between the two sides in the opening stages of the second half, and it was the boot of Jayden Edwards that kicked off the scoring opportunities for Mareeba as Keripo Gutchen-Gela picked up a loose ball from an Edwards bomb and linked up with centre Trent Barnard to bring the game within two points.

It was clear there was a shift in momentum towards the away side, however they were unable to transfer it into points.

That reprieve paid dividends for Roos as they took advantage of two Gladiators mistakes to score two tries and jump out to a 28-16 lead. As the Gladiators were trying to get back into the game, they were reduced to ten men after three of their players were sinbinned.

Roos also had two players sent for ten and the game finished with eleven and ten players for each team respectively.

Roos scored again to make it 34-16 which put the game out of reach.

To Mareeba’s credit, they crossed for two consolation tries to make for a respectable 34-28 scoreline at the end.

In Reserve Grade, Mareeba went down 42-14.

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