Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Goal after Bell Secures Draw; Swifts Keep Langer Trophy after Star's Amazing Penalty

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Goal after Bell Secures Draw; Swifts Keep Langer Trophy after Star's Amazing Penalty

Article excerpt

JOEL

GOULD

joel.gould@qt.com.au

SWIFTS fullback Ratunaisa Vatuinaruku has revealed the positive mindset that inspired his 50m penalty goal after the final siren to secure a 16-all draw against Norths.

The Bluebirds retained the Harry Langer Memorial Trophy as they were the holders of the prestigious title that is contested annually between the clubs.

Norths prop Lui Afele was sin-binned at the death and Vatuinaruku, who had an outstanding game, drilled the penalty between the sticks.

The former Fijian rugby union star said he had no doubts about landing the kick.

"I didn't really feel the pressure," he said. "I was telling myself 'I will make this for all of my brothers in our team'. I've kicked them longer in rugby union.

"But it was all credit to the boys' defence that we were able to get the draw."

Swifts led 10-4 at half-time after a try to winger Sonny Appo following a neat cut-out pass from Harold Mosby.

On the stroke of half-time five-eighth Andrew Taylor went himself and scored.

Earlier Norths winger Anava Fesolai had gone in after a Swifts mistake.

Swifts showed great resilience in the opening half with their defence on the line snuffing out numerous Tigers' raids. Norths drew level after the break when playmaker Josh Roberts went on a typically decisive charge to the line.

Vatuinaruku then dove over from close range for Swifts before rising Norths talent Jackson Weir-White appeared to have won the game with a barnstorming try.

Steven West converted to give the Tigers a 16-14 lead before Vatuinaruku's heroics for Swifts at the end.

Swifts coach Steve O'Connell said his side's defence was the key to retaining the trophy and securing a draw.

"The defence was inspirational today," he said.

"We were down on troops. We only had 14 players to start the game and then we got a few Reserve graders to back up. …

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