In the semi final and grand final qualifier of the Langer Reserve competition, our Year 11/12 Marsden Makos came up against a stacked Palm Beach Currumbin (PBC) SHS team at Wavell SHS, giving away size and age right across the park.
After a late arrival to the grounds through hectic northside traffic, the boys hustled through a short but sharp warm up and, before they knew it, it was game time.
Due to basic errors and a lack of direction in the opening stanza, we kept turning the ball over late in the sets which kept PBC camped in our red zone for the majority of the match.
Against the run of play, scoring kicked off with a 95m intercept try to flying winger Desmond Samuelu. Checking leads along with his centre and playing eyes up football, allowed him to pluck a long ball out of the air and go the distance.
Throughout, aggressive and committed defence led by Ami Paleilei, Roger Maliu and Fe’ao Maka kept frustrating the sharp PBC attack; leaving them with no option but to kick in behind which Robert Pati and both wingers covered well all game.
A 70m individual effort by speedster Vahai Finau off the back of a deft pass by Zac Hamilton stretched the lead further towards the end of the opening 30. Under relentless pressure, however, fatigue set in and our opposition crossed for a soft try under the sticks, just before half time.
In the 2nd half, despite all attempts, we could not get our sets in order, or, quality kicks to complete them. This led to a mirror image of the first half with our team placed under unnecessary defensive pressure.
Luckily, M-City defence stuck solid and the confidence and sublime skills of Vahai Finau and Fe’ao Maka allowed both to race 70m for tries to seal the win 22-18.
The boys were appreciative to make the GF, however, many have a burning hunger to put in a better performance to secure the Langer Reserve title in a couple of weeks time. For graduating students Paul Faiete, Dario Taki-Taki, Ami Paleilei, Cameron Dudley, Exodus Semau it will be their final games in Marsden colours.
Our attention turns now to the grand final showdown in a couple of weeks time against Keebra Park SHS and ensuring we are right to go!
Jesse Maclean, Head Coach