THE Mareeba Gladiators were yet again on the end of a lopsided scoreline after they went down 38-14 to a willing Yarrabah Seahawks side at Davies Park on Saturday night.
The home side’s notoriously slow starts for the season continued as Yarrabah quickly jumped out to a 12-0 lead inside ten minutes off the back of some brilliant play from their halfback.
From there it was to and fro for the remainder of the first half, as both sides managed to score two tries to set up a 22-10 scoreline at the main break.
The Gladiators’ two tries in the first stanza went to winger Josh Adu-Dwanna and veteran hooker Tom Hughes, the latter of which was a fantastic solo effort that saw Hughes probe out of dummy-half and recover his own grubber for a crucial four-pointer.
Despite showing promise in the first half, the Gladiators’ second half resembled much of their performance against Mossman a fortnight prior, where their defensive lapses proved costly and they leaked plenty of points when fatigue set in.
Tom Hughes was the stand-in captain for the night as Trent Barnard was out with injury, and while he was disappointed with the loss, he spoke with relative optimism about his side’s performance.
“Tonight was definitely an improvement from Mossman, we put in for a lot of minutes tonight,” he said.
“I thought our go-forward was good, however we had a few defensive lapses and if you give a team like Yarrabah a sniff they’ll take it and make you pay.
“There’s obviously still a few areas we need to work on, particularly defensively, however as I said I think tonight’s performance was better and I feel we’re heading in the right direction.”
The Gladiators were missing a few key players on the night, and Hughes praised those who stepped up in their absence.
“We had a few Reserve Grade boys who filled in and they went really well,” he said.
“They gave it their all and that’s what the green and gold is about, so I’m impressed and really happy from that perspective.
“Ultimately now it’s just about getting back to training, moving forward and hopefully we will see further improvement over the next few weeks.”
In the other senior fixtures on Saturday night, Reserve Grade and the U18s went down while the Ladies secured a win.
The Gladiators’ next fixture is this Sunday against Kangaroos at Vico Oval, Cairns.