Goodna player Zachary Eldridge palms off a Norths tackler in their weekend IRL match.
Goodna player Zachary Eldridge palms off a Norths tackler in their weekend IRL match. Kate Czerny

Goodna surging forward in IRL

IT WAS the new-look Goodna Eagles that got the better of the new-look Norths Tigers at Goodna yesterday.

Goodna won 26-10 on the back of a hard working forward effort, which is not something you could have always said about them in the past.

The Eagles led early thanks to two tries in the opening five minutes by left winger Jack Tamanmasui.

The Tigers hit back however and, with both teams proving they had points in them, Goodna led 16-10 at half time.

The game took a turn in the second half, with both teams struggling for penetration.

A Norths team lacking five first choice backs had plenty of opportunities to narrow the gap but lacked the killer blow.

The Tigers' veteran leaders in hooker Chris Porter, half Steven West and lock Chris Scanlan lacked nothing for effort.

What was missing was the penetrative running the likes of Tonga Mounga, Matthew Fairhurst and Josh Roberts could have provided to turn chances into tries.

Goodna's defence deserves much of the credit.

In past years, teams could come to Woogaroo Field knowing they were in with a chance by out- working their opposition in the middle. This is a Goodna side that may be missing the impact and intimidation of some of its predecessors.

But it more than compensates with its collective work ethic.

Prop Zac Lemberg was named man of the match as the Merv Gumbleton trophy was presented to Goodna after fulltime.

"It was a tough game," Lemberg said. "They're a good side.

"It was not too much of a step down to what I'm used to."

Lemberg has been used to the Queensland Cup in recent seasons, having played for Souths Logan and Redcliffe.

Before that he played for Brothers in the Ipswich Rugby League, but this year he is fulfilling a long time ambition to represent the Eagles.

"I live up the road and my granddad played here," he said.

"So I always wanted to pay a few seasons here.

"I can't say enough about the boys' attitude. All the boys who have been here from previous seasons say there is a massive change to what it used to be like.

"Teams knew they could weather the storm and come home when our bigger boys tired."

Not anymore.

And the warning from Lemberg is that he only expects the team to get better once they string some consecutive games together.

"What is hurting us at the moment is we missed a week due to the wet, then last week had the bye.

"We haven't strung back-to-back games together through circumstances.

"If we get a few games we can build off that. We just need some tough games."

A-Grade ladder

Brothers 8, Goodna 8, Norths 6, West End 4, Swifts 4, Fassifern 2.