Bruised but brilliant Bombers through to decider
SOMETIMES if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.
Having conceded a 12-point halftime lead and sat camped on the Swifts line for four repeated sets, Fassifern five-eight Aaron Adcock was getting a little frustrated.
The Rugby League Ipswich Senior Player of the Year admittedly tried to push the envelope a little too much after halftime.
Two forward passes in dangerous situations let the Bluebirds off the hook.
But the mark of a good player is trusting your instincts and never going into your shell.
So when the Bombers' litany of dangerous outside threats failed to crack Swifts' stout goal-line defence, Adcock took it upon himself to break the deadlock.
Feigning to throw the same floating pass he had done earlier in the match, this time the number six stepped back into the line - finding the first hint of daylight in nearly 10 minutes - and punched his way over to score.
"I was looking up through the game and thought on maybe two or three occasions I might have split them, but I got sandwiched,” Adcock said.
"I was probably a bit stirred up toward the end of the game there, and thought I'd take it on myself.
"I was due for one, I hadn't scored in about 14 weeks. It was a good time to get back on the board.”
It was the perfect time to hit the scoreboard; breaking a run of four consecutive Swifts tries.
But it did not break their back.
Having glimpsed the promised land after Zeb Nuuola levelled at 22-all in the 55th minute, the Bluebirds were intent to send the major semi-final into extra time.
This time it was Fassifern's turn to defend repeated sets on their goal-line.
At times the line would bend, but never did it break.
It was the philosophy Bombers coach Daniel Roos drummed into his side over the past month as they prepared for finals footy.
When tested, they came to the fore.
"All year we've let teams back into games, but I think in a way we enjoy getting back into the grind and toughing it out,” Adcock said.
"We made it hard on ourselves in that second half. We probably lost our cool a little bit, and went away from our structure.
"Through the middle of the year we got pretty good at defending our line. We've been a bit lazy with our line speed lately, but when it counts we always knuckle-up and get involved.
"I can't fault the boys' efforts today.”
A battle-weary Adcock welcomed another weekend of rest before the final match of the season.
"Last year we had to play all three finals. I think that takes it out of you a bit,” he said. "We'll train three times this week, but hopefully on Tuesday (Roos) lets us rest a few muscles.”
Rugby League Ipswich A-Grade major semi-final: Fassifern Bombers 34 (M. Sledge, L. Kurimalawai, M. Kuriyalavou, A. Adcock, K. Nauvasi tries; A. Adock 3 goals) def. Swifts Bluebirds 22 (J. Arrow-Smith, F. Faingaa, A. Nuuola, P. Seci tries; R. Vauinaruku 3 goals) at North Ipswich Reserve.