Redbank inflicts rare defeat on Brothers at their fortress
THE Redbank Plains Bears completed one of the upsets of the Rugby League Ipswich A-Grade season this afternoon.
Inspired by four-try hero Godfrey Okott, Redbank Plains routed the Brethren 40-34 at Raceview.
Pre-match, the stars had aligned for a Bears victory.
With several of Brothers frontliners missing, the door was left ajar and the hungry Bears took full advantage.
Redbank Plains coach John Leota said it was always pleasing to get a win over the Raceview powerhouse but knocking them off in front of their home crowd made the victory sweeter.
"Brothers were good but we were better," he said.
"It is not a grand final and both teams had key players missing but it is a huge boost for my boys."
The battle between the forwards was as ferocious as it was decisive, with Leota's pack demonstrating why it is one of the best in the A-Grade competition.
Okott's four-try haul means the lethal fullback has collected seven four-pointers in the last two rounds.
Leota said it was a blessing having a player that possesses such clinical finishing abilities and strikes fear into opposition minds.
"Godfrey is so tough and strong," he said. "You can't coach speed and you can't beat speed in our game. He has all of that."
In today's other match, Norths refused to be overawed or intimidated, sticking it to Goodna for the full 80 minutes to prevail 20-16.
Meanwhile, in last night's fixture, Fassifern lifted themselves off the bottom of the premiership table with a dramatic 24-16 come from behind win over West End.
Missing on-field leader Kelepi Faukafa through family commitments, the Bulldogs led for much of the contest but were mowed down following an irresistible Bombers surge at the death.
With West End holding a slender 16-14 advantage with five minutes on the clock, the determined Bombers rallied to register two late tries and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
West End coach Jae Woodward said his youthful line-up improved massively after the last-round debacle against Goodna but a lack of patience had cost them dearly.
"We were too impatient with the football, especially when we were in control of the game," he said.
"We are not used to being in front.
"My halves are only 20 and 21, and they will improve but they just need to spend more time together."
Woodward said the Bulldogs had to deal with a couple of dubious calls but he refused to use that as an excuse.
"We were smoked on penalties in the second half," he said.
"But that is part and parcel of football.
"We couldn't defend repeated sets."
Delivering 70 quality minutes in the front row, Charlie Kapati earned an honourable mention from the Bulldogs mentor.
As did hooker Aiden Boyce, who defended tirelessly and constantly asked questions of the defensive line.
With the much-needed win locked away, the Bombers (17 points) leapfrog the Bulldogs (16) and are now within striking distance of fifth-placed Norths (19).
State of Play
RLI A-Grade Rd 11: Fassifern 24 (Jacky Marcus, Matthew Sledge, Tate Arova Jnr, Lemeki Wraight 2 tries; Jake Hooper 2 goals) def West End 16 (Saimoni Waka 2, James Croyden tries; Regan Wilde 2 goals); Goodna 20 def Norths 16; Redbank Plains 40 def Brothers 34.