Seasons stay alive after thrilling day in Toowoomba
By Tate Spiteri
The Victorian U18 Mal Meninga Cup and U20 FOG’s team have kept their seasons alive with an undefeated day in Toowoomba against the Western Mustangs.
The U18s again stormed home to record a 28-20 win while the U20s played out a 22-22 draw.
Both Victorian teams travelled to Toowoomba knowing that a loss would end their finals hopes so the positive is that both seasons stay alive.
However, the U20s will rue a missed opportunity to enter the top four for the first time this season.
The game didn’t start well for the Victorians with the Mustangs opening up a 10-0 lead inside the first 14 minutes but the visitors were able to claw their way back with tries to Sunbury Tigers’ Uala Salia and the South Eastern Titans’ Jacob Cordtz putting them 12-10 up at Half Time.
A further try straight after the break to centre Rylie Williams and a third conversion from as many attempts to Northern Thunders William Sila then had the Victorians with a very handy 18-10 lead. But ultimately, they could not hold on with a late Mustangs try forcing the Victorians to share the points and give up a spot inside the top four.
Like the U20s the U18s were also slow out of the blocks with the Mustangs scoring four tries in the first 28 minutes to lead 20-6 at Half Time.
But once again Ash Lanfranchi’s men rallied in the second half piling on 22 points to 0 in the second half and running out 8-point winners.
Interestingly, the U18s have a point differential of -20 in first halves this year but +34 in second halves.
The Victorian outfit will need to use every bit of the attacking prowess that has been on display in the second halves this year when they meet the Easts Tigers next weekend needing a massive win.