BOTH teams crossed the line for four tries but in the end it was Innisfail who took the points 24-18 over the Atherton Roosters in Saturday night’s Cairns District Rugby League match played at the Mungalli Creek Dairy Stadium.
Innisfail were successful with all four conversions while the Roosters could only manage one two pointer.
In their last home game of the season, the Roosters were first to score in the fifth minute when winger Pio Seci went over in the corner. Innisfail soon replied with two of their own and led 12-4 until the 33rd minute when the Roosters hit back with tries through Nigel Woodleigh and Ned Blackman to lock the score at 12 all for the break.
The Roosters’ second half was full of mistakes as their attack broke down with poor ball handling early in the tackle count several times giving Innisfail more chances in attack.
The visitors looked comfortable when they pushed the score out to 24-12 with two tries against the tired Roosters defence. But to their credit the Roosters kick started a big finish when Jermaine Pedro sliced through with eight minutes left to play which closed the gap to 24-18.
The Roosters went close to saving the points in the final minutes but again the final pass was put down.
Although beaten on Saturday, the Roosters remain in the top five mix on the points table which is led by Mossman 24, Yarrabah 24, Innisfail 23, Atherton 20, Brothers 20, Suburbs 18, Kangaroos 15, Ivanhoes 13, Edmonton 10, Mareeba 10, Tully 1.
In Saturday’s reserve grade game, the Roosters held out a fast finishing Innisfail side to win 22-16 and remain in second spot on the points table. Darren Ball, Tony Woodleigh, Anthony Anning and Brodie Martin all scored tries for the Roosters.
Innisfail won the under 18 match over the Roosters 20-18. This Sunday the Atherton Roosters play at Yarrabah in three grades from 12 noon.