Magpies swoop to take top prize
By GREG WHITE
SOUTHS LOGAN Magpies scored a controversial but thrilling 48-44 win over Fiji Bati in the final of the Orara Valley Sevens at Coramba Sportsground yesterday.
After literally going try for try in a feisty confrontation, the last two of 32 combatants found themselves deadlocked 44-all at the end of regular time and heading for the panic-attack of a "golden point" showdown.
"I thought we were two points behind and had lost the game," Magpies winger and former Coffs Harbour Comet, Dave Woods said.
"When Fiji scored that last try in the corner I thought we'd had it."
That "try" Woods was referring to had been disallowed when the referee ruled it was scored after the final siren.
The decision sent the Bati into meltdown as they hotly disputed, not for the first time, a referee's ruling.
Within four tackles of the resumption of play, Fiji crossed the South Logan line and were penalised for a double movement.
Then it was the Magpie's turn to pump up the volume.
Within three tackles centre Kyle Lodge looked certain to touch for his fifth try of the match but was called back for a forward pass.
At that point the tension hit the roof as Fiji launched fresh howls of protest, only to miraculously subside when they realised it was they who'd been favoured by the referee's call.
Again, Fiji broke through the line. This time the last pass of the movement was fumbled into touch.
Finally, Souths Logan launched a desperate raid into Fiji territory as another former Comet, Brandon Costin, made the last of his many breaks for the game.
With the Bati defence melting away in the oppressive heat, one pass off the ruck found Phil Dennis charging into clear space for the winning touchdown.
"Last time I played footy here was a couple of years ago and I think the Comets lost that day," Dave Woods said in the middle of his excited team mates. "It was good to get back and win.
SOUTHS LOGAN MAGPIES 48 (Kyle Lodge 4, Dennis Sandow 3, Cameron Joyce, Daniel Sorbelo, Phil Dennis tries; Joyce, Lodge, Sandow, Sorbelo goals) def FIJI BATI 44 (Waisale Suka 3, Seruvi Ralulu, Alipate Tani, Vula Naqua, Semesa Cadrakilagi, Marika Korovui, Inosa Ratete tries; Ralulu, Cadrakilagi, Suka, Korovui goals).