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Cup goes to Atherton

Roosters Reece Munster caught by the Mareeba defence on Saturday night.

THE Mareeba Gladiators’ three game winning streak came to an end on Saturday night after the Atherton Roosters defeated the home side 36-22 to secure the Tableland Cup at Davies Park on Saturday night.

Atherton jumped out to a 12-0 lead in the opening stages through tries to their captain Jermaine Pedro and captain Luke La Rosa. However Mareeba were able to rally and get back into the game through tries to stalwart Tom Hughes and Kurt Jackson. Defensive lapses cost the home side however and the Roosters scored three consecutive tries to set up a 28-12 scoreline at the main break.

The Mareeba Gladiators showed grit and determination in the second half to get back into the match, yet it wasn’t enough as Atherton’s adlib and second phase play proved too much. Roosters coach Graham Clark Snr said he was happy with his side’s performance.

“We had a couple of lapses but overall I thought we played well,” he said.

“We’ve had some injuries in the last few weeks so our game against Edmonton and tonight was a good opportunity to get some time back together as a squad.

“Mareeba have improved a lot since we played them in round one, so this was a really important win and will build confidence for us moving forward.”

In the Reserve Grade match Roosters also won 20-14. The Atherton Roosters have the bye this week while the Mareeba Gladiators will once again take on the Cairns Kangaroos at Vico Oval this Sunday at 3pm.

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