A BARNSTORMING Kurt Wilton try with five minutes remaining has secured a memorable victory for the Bidgee Hurricanes as they downed the Yenda Blueheelers 30-24 at Wade Park yesterday.
With time running out and the home side looking to come home with a wet sail, Bidgee capitalised on a penalty to get out of their own half before Wilton ripped through the Yenda defence, sparking wild celebrations from the Hurricanes players.
The win for Bidgee sees them continue to improve in betting for the Group 20 title in this, their inaugural year.
While Yenda will be left to wonder what might have been as they simply look to sneak into the finals – an unheard of proposition given the club went through the season undefeated in 2009.
“The effort’s great, but just our execution let us down a few times today,” Yenda co-coach Roy Romeo said.
“We let in two really soft tries, especially on in the first half just off a hit-up, there was no urgency there.
“I’m not sure if last week’s game took it out of them, but just right on our line we couldn’t stop them, we were just waiting on our line for them and it just hurt us.”
Yenda dominated possession early thanks to a slew of penalties given away by the Hurricanes, but they were unable to crack the line.
Bidgee was first on the board when winger Kieran Cates scored, despite there being a hint of a forward pass earlier in the movement.
The Hurricanes continued to put big pressure on the Yenda kicking game, but penalties continued to let Yenda gain easy metres out of its own half with Apaisi Loaloadravu crossing for his side’s first try to make it 6-4.
The home side grabbed the lead for the first time soon after when Steve Matthews scored his first for the afternoon, but both sides were guilty of mistakes in the next set after points, stifling their ability to create more pressure.
A lack of line speed from Yenda allowed the Bidgee forwards to rumble down field, with the visitors scoring the next two tries to jump out to a 10-point lead.
But a fortuitous try to Ray Mavroudis kept the home side in touch and it went into the sheds down 18-14.
Bidgee scored the vital first try after the break when Troy Preston crossed easily and the Hurricanes’ lead again grew back to 10. Yenda’s English import Liam Fishwick continued to try and inspire his team with his strong, darting runs that allowed second phase play continue to rack up for the men in blue and white.
But it was his halves partner Shannon Rupapere who laid on Yenda’s next try, when he sliced through a yawning gap to put Matthews over for his second to make it 24-20.
The Yenda comeback continued to gather steam when a Bidgee error led to George Broome crashing over out wide to level the scores, with Rupapere unable to add the extras from a tough position.
Yenda continued to live by the sword as it threw the ball around in Bidgee’s 20-metre zone in a bid to try and break the opposition down.
With time running out, Fishwick looked to take a short-range snap at a field goal, but it rebounded off a Hurricanes player, seeing them handed the ball from a scrum.
A subsequent penalty gave the Hurricanes the chance they needed to attack and when Wilton saw open space, he sliced through several weak tackles to score under the posts and give the joint-venture side arguably its
most-important win of its first season.