Norths awake after lethargic start
IT took until the second half on Saturday for Norths to show their semi-finals credentials.
Norths beat West End 42-12 in their Ipswich Rugby League A grade tussle at Daniel’s Park but made life tough for themselves by letting the Bulldogs back into the game.
Norths led 10-0 early but two fortuitous West End tries had them trailing just 16-12 at the break.
“We weren’t getting to our kicks or completing our sets,” Norths’ two-try halfback Steven West said.
“We had a good talk at halftime and really turned it around.
“We got to our kicks and our fifth tackle options were a lot better. It has been a problem all year, only playing one half.”
The reason is not something West can put his finger on.
“(On Saturday) night, we had a really good warm-up,” he said.
“There was good chat and we hardly put any ball down.
“We started off well but fell away from doing stupid things.”
In the second half, Norths’ senior players took it upon themselves to provide the leadership that had been lacking.
“A number of us started to put our hands up,” West said.
“When we complete our sets, we play our best football.”
Norths’ defence throughout the match was a positive, with West End’s tries coming from a kick and length-of-the-field try from a Norths kick. The other huge positive for the Tigers was the form of prop Tuuta Manu.
Manu was named players’ player after earning a start when player-coach Kerry Thueuerkauf was ruled out injured.
Manu started the year in Reserve grade and has spent most of the season coming off the bench in A grade.
On Saturday he produced a sustained 80-minute effort to set up the Tigers’ win.
“He’s taken it with both hands,” West said. “A lot of his runs in the second half took three or four attempts to put him down.”