RUGBY LEAGUE: Author Mark Twain said "it's not the size of the dog that counts, it's the size of the fight in the dog". For minnow Sunshine Coast, one of only two clubs in the Intrust Super Cup to not boast NRL fringe players, it appears there will indeed be plenty of fight in the side this season. After claiming a gutsy come-from-behind win over Central in a trial a week ago, last year's wooden spoon recipient showed great determination in its final trial at Bokarina yesterday to salvage a draw with Souths Logan. The Falcons trailed on the scoreboard in the second half but overcame a stiff northerly and a sin-binning to snatch an unlikely dead-lock.
"We just kept competing," new coach and former Brisbane Broncos mentor Ivan Henjak said. "We got behind on the scoreboard again and it was pleasing we were able to get back to level. "They just keep hanging in there, which is good. That's a good sign and we've got to keep doing that. "Both last week's trial and this week's trial have been tight and we've just kept punching and punching."
Henjak conceded, how-ever, his side would have to improve on some basics. "Our discipline with the footy is just not good enough (and) defensively they (Magpies) scored a couple of soft tries, so we need to fix that up," he said.
The host opened the scoring when centre Rowan Klein stood up winger Luke Archer, but the Magpies struck back through three-quarter Tim Brooks. Souths Logan's Ramon Filipine came close to scoring but spilled the pill on the line due to a desperate tackle from back Dale Middleton. The Falcons claimed a 10-4 lead at the break after half Brett Doherty stepped inside back-rower Andrew Edwards to score.
After the break, the Magpies' Simanu Chricton split Doherty and Jacob Samoa to equalise and the visitor claimed a six-point buffer when fullback Ono Sodiola left Doherty in his wake. When Middleton was sin-binned in the 70th min-ute for repeated Falcons infringements in the ruck, the host was seemingly beaten. BUT lock Kai Busiko produced a barnstorming run to level the scores with just two minutes remaining.
Henjak is closer to finalising his squad ahead of the round one clash with Northern Pride at Cairns in a fortnight. Prop Ryan Hansen is set to be among the first selected after a standout performance yesterday. Dummy-half options seem strong after Jay Lobwein and Brenton Stonier impressed. Halves Callum Klein and Brett Doherty looked good in patches and Dalton Harry was trialled at wing, fullback and in the halves.
Forwards Kristian Wanka, Mboya Adams and back Louis Fesolai did not play because of injury.
SUNSHINE COAST 16
(R Klein, B Doherty, K Busiko tries, B Doherty 2 goals)
SOUTHS LOGAN 16
(T Brooks, S Chricton, O Sodiala tries, N Doyle 2 goals)
Sunshine Coast Daily