Mustangs hold off fast-finishing Norths
RUGBY LEAGUE: There were hearts in mouths in the dying stages, but the Western Mustangs were able to break through for their second win of the Hastings Deering Colts season.
They came away with a well-earned 26-24 win over the Norths Devils.
It wasn't without a climactic finish, as the Devils stormed back from 26-0 down to trail by just two in the final minute of play, before the Mustangs held them out.
With both teams unable to trouble the scorer early on, it was up to New Zealand touch representative Tarkyn Loloselo to get proceedings underway in the 17th minute.
They kept the heat on the visitors and scored immediately after, this time through Benji Neliman, taking a 12-0 lead into half-time.
Determined to continue piling on Norths' woes, Jordan Crocker scored in the first minute after the break to lift them ahead by 16.
The point scoring did not end there, with Austin Jennings and Neliman's second giving the Mustangs a commanding 26-point lead, that would prove unassailable in the end.
Coach Eugene Seddon said a dominant first half in defence laid the platform for victory.
"It was the most complete first half we've produced. It put us in a good position," he said.
"Whilst it was good, it was disappointing to allow them an opportunity when we were easily the more dominant side.
"We had a few cramping up and a few minor injuries later in the game so we had to shuffle things slightly, but with the season we've had we'll take any win we can get.
"Our defensive attitude in that first half was the key.
"We were still making a few unforced errors and had penalties against us. They had every opportunity to put points on the board, but our boys were working for each other.
"We frustrated Norths out of the game with our defence."
Seddon said the writing was on the wall after pushing the Northern Pride all the way the week prior, and was proud of the way his team was able to back up that performance.
"We put ourselves in good positions and it all came together," he said.
"We built on a big week before and this time we were able to walk away with theresult."