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Rugby League - Beenleigh V Harristown


By Steve Ricketts.
A top four finish appears out of reach for the Harristown and Beenleigh Open sides which contested a round 1 Broncos Challenge Secondary Schools fixture at Brothers Junior Rugby League fields in Toowoomba last week.
Respective coaches, Ian Brackstone (Harristown) and Damien Ricketts (Beenleigh) were frustrated by poor completion rates, with Harristown emerging worthy 22-18 victors after trailing 18-6 at halftime.
Beenleigh had a chance to snatch victory just before fulltime, but Cody Gunzler's  chip kick just evaded Jay Lealali as players from both sides merged in a mad scramble near the goal posts.
It was always going to be a tough road trip for Beenleigh against a school which featured in a national final in Wollongong in 1992 and has a great league tradition.
Things looked ominous when classy Harristown centre, Corey Langton scored a 60 metre try in just the third minute, with the visitors' outside men looking dazed and confused.
Langton appeared to play within himself for much of the game, which is just as well for the Beenleigh boys.
The try stung Beenleigh into action with prop, Carl Aramoana showing how to tackle after one or two grabbing efforts by teammates.
But Beenleigh suffered a massive blow in the sixth minute with fullback, Raymond Saunders-Radcliffe carried from the field with an ankle injury. He took no further part in proceedings.
Halfback, Jesse Hughes put Harristown on the back foot with a glorious bomb and Beenleigh took full advantage of the territory and possession with Karl Aramoana  crossing after a nice inside ball from Curtis Schipp who converted to make it 6-6.
Harristown were pinched for a shoulder charge and Aramoana powered over for a try from his second ruck in the same set of six.
But Aramoana was guilty of ill-discipline when he took exception to a big hit from Langton, an 18-year-old who has played FOGS Colts for Toowoomba.
Things started to get a bit heated and referee, Taylor, whose son plays under-20s for the Broncos, spoke to both sides about the need to get back to basics.
Schipp scored a fine individual try, grubber kicking and regathering to give Beenleigh a 12 point margin at the break.
Instead of consolidating after the interval, Beenleigh meekly turned over possession and Harristown hit back with a try and conversion to make it 18-12.
Harristown started to get a roll-on and their kicking game had Beenleigh on the back foot. The Harristown halfback was firing out immaculate passes to supports and the home side strolled over for a try to make it 18-18 with 15 minutes left.
Not to be denied, Beenleigh took advantage of several penalties to have Harristown on the back foot. Braxton Kelly was held up in-goal and then halfback, Jesse Hughes found Schipp in space, but the pass was marginally off-line and the chance went begging.
Beenleigh's mid-field defence was exposed with Harristown's forwards making long gains and then Aramoana was penalised for a shoulder charge.

He made amends soon after with a powerful, legal hit which left his opponent reeling.

Aramoana showed his skill with the ball, fending off a rival and off-loading to fellow prop, Jerome Diggler as Beenleigh threatened again.

But a turnover of possession and a penalty saw Harristown on the attack and the locals scored what proved the match deciding try.

Beenleigh lock, Tyson Davis impressed with his off-loading ability and plays well above his weight.

The boys from the Albert River Valley suffered a setback with several late withdrawals leaving coach, Ricketts shaking his head in disbelief.

There is plenty of improvement in both sides.