Brahmans' unbeaten streak goes to three
RUGBY LEAGUE: Whitsunday is the only side to have an unbeaten record in the Mackay District Rugby League A-grade competition following a 12-10 victory against Souths at Les Stagg Oval last Saturday night.
In a tough, bruising encounter dominated by defence, the boot of fullback Augustus Rangihuna proved the difference as the Brahmans made it three wins from as many starts this campaign under new coach Tye Ingebrigtsen.
Whitsunday led 10-6 at the main break after two opening-half tries from flying winger David Kay, including another from a set play sparked by Rangihuna kick from a tap. Kay, who came through the club's junior ranks, is enjoying a career-best season, according to team manager Bryce Fraser.
"He's been playing A-grade for about five years and is about 23, but he's stepped it up a notch this year," Fraser said.
Kay has now scored three tries in as many matches and earned the three-point in the players' player award.
Prop Isaac Richardson collected two for a typically industrious performance where he consistently made metres running the football and half-back Scott Evans landed the one.
The Brahmans' ability to defend under pressure in the second half as Souths cut the deficit to two proved a cornerstone of the win.
Fraser said the performance of former Melbourne Storm Under-20 player Rangihuna, in his first year at the club, was a highlight.
"His kicking was on point and with Salts (James Salter) out, he's becoming more of an option in that area for us and his general play was solid," he said.
It was also tough, with Rangihuna breaking his nose early in the game.
Rangihuna said his ambition was to force his way into the Mackay Cutters Queensland Cup side.
"I've been travelling to Mackay once a week which has been pretty good, Steve Sheppard is a great coach and I've been learning lots," he said.
There is no doubt that defence has been a major factor in Whitsunday's success, having conceded just 34 points in their opening three matches.
It was a tough day for the Brahmans' reserve grade, who went down 54-0 to the visiting Sharks.
Souths defeated Whitsunday 32-14 in the Under-19 match, with Brahmans winger Caleb Anderson scoring a brace in a losing cause.
The Brahmans hit the road for the first time in 2019 with an away trip to Sarina on Sunday.
The Crocs boasta 2-1 win-loss record under coach Setaimata Sa, the former Sydney Roosters and New Zealand international, who has made a big impression.
Whitsunday Brahmans 12 (David Kay 2 tries; Augustus Rangihuna 2 goals) d Souths Sharks 10.
Souths Sharks 54 d Whitsunday Brahmans 0.
Souths Sharks 32 d Whitsunday Brahmans 14 (Caleb Anderson 2, Austin Cameron tries; Ben Van Veen goal).
A-GRADE POINTS LADDER
Whitsunday 6, Magpies 4, Wests 4, Sarina 4, Souths 4, Brothers 2, Moranbah 0, Carltons 0.
Sarina v Whitsunday at Sarina, Sunday, May 26