GPS upset Brethren with narrow victory at Crosby Park
In the Round 13 Game of the Round, GPS snatched a crucial two-point victory over Brothers at Jack Ross Oval. The visitors were trailing by 12 with 15 minutes remaining, but two late tries secured the 26-24 victory.
The opening quarter was a tight affair until a misjudgement from GPS winger Rika Batibasaga saw the Gallopers a man down for 10 minutes. The Brethren capitalised on the advantage and Patrick James opened the scoring with a try.
Brothers extended their lead to 14 points when flanker Charlie Freney crashed over from close range.
The Gallopers were effectively utilising their pick and drive and Feleti Kaitu’u got the visitors on the scoreboard with a well-worked try.
The Brethren punished GPS fly half Somi Pulu for not finding the touchline with a clearance kick immediately after the restart. Opposite number Patrick James sliced through the Gallopers defence before linking up with winger Mitch Felsman who crossed in the corner.
With five minutes remaining in the first half, GPS went back to their pick and drive that had proved to be effective in the early stages and Kaitu’u crossed for his second, reducing Brothers lead to seven points.
The match looked like opening up for Brothers when captain Nathanuel Gendle found the gap and threw a crisp cut out pass to Mitch Felsman who crossed for his second of the afternoon. But, Taniela Tupou was handed a yellow card for dangerous play and the momentum swung in GPS favour.
A clever 22 metre drop out by Nigel Genia saw the Gallopers go on a stunning 80 metre charge that saw loose head prop Trent Anderson score under the sticks, reducing the deficit to five, with 13 minutes left on the clock.
Having returned for his original infringement, Taniela Tupou again showed his ill-discipline, with another dangerous play that saw him sent to the sin bin for the second time in the match.
With Brothers a man down, GPS applied pressure and Trent Anderson dived over the try line for his second and Batibasaga nailed the conversion to secure the important victory for the Gallopers.
GPS 26 (T Anderson F Kaitu’u 2 tries R Batibasaga 3 cons) d Brothers 24 (M Felsman 2 tries C Freney P James tries M Felsman 2 cons)