TOUGH BATTLE: Maroochydore and Nambour collide at Buderim on Saturday.
TOUGH BATTLE: Maroochydore and Nambour collide at Buderim on Saturday. Patrick Woods

Madden-inspired Swans get key players back just time

RUGBY LEAGUE: A strong display from fullback Sam Madden and the recent return of key players has provided the Swans with some timely confidence.

Maroochydore beat Nambour 30-16 at Buderim to claim just its second win in its past seven outings.

It's clinging to the fourth and last finals spot in the six-team Caloundra RSL Cup after 19 of 21 rounds.

"We've been going through a rough patch with a few injuries but everyone is starting to back on the field now and it's good to get back in the winner's circle,” co-captain Josh Buckland said.

Brad Kent (shoulder), Joe Meninga (eye socket fracture), Jason Wardrop (rep footy) and Buckland (groin) have all returned to bolster the Swans.

"It just gives everyone that confidence boost. You feel like everyone around you is going to do their job and there is trust on your inside man which makes it a lot easier.”

The performance of Madden from fullback was promising.

"He's a confident player who will run the ball back hard and will always be there supporting the others,” Buckland said.

The 25-year-old had been playing at lock but swapped with regular custodian Buckland.

"We made the switch to see how things went and it seems to be working out and I'm happy in the backrow, there's a lot more action,” Buckland said.

An ex-state league player for Central, Madden came to the Swans two years ago but was injured in his maiden season and spent last year in the centres.

He started this campaign at halfback but was shifted to make way for Tyler Oxenham.

"He can play anywhere but judging by that last game fullback is his spot,” Buckland said.

The Swans next face Kawana, which beat Caloundra 28-16 to take top spot from the Sharks.

"That will be a big game for both us. They will be trying to cement that minor premiership and we're trying to cement our finals spot,” Buckland said.

"With (fifth-placed) Gympie as our last game we don't want to leave it to then to get into the finals because they've beaten us both times we've played them this year.”

Gympie beat Caboolture on Saturday.



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