Goroka’s speed burns Bulls

QUICK HANDS: Southcity fullback Jake Dooley fires a pass away before Goroka's Utere Urakusie can come in for the tackle in the special clash at Harris Park on Saturday. Picture: Kieren L Tilly
QUICK HANDS: Southcity fullback Jake Dooley fires a pass away before Goroka's Utere Urakusie can come in for the tackle in the special clash at Harris Park on Saturday. Picture: Kieren L Tilly

Southcity have been offered a rematch in Papua New Guinea after the representative team from Goroka proved far too strong at Harris Park on Saturday.

The reigning Group Nine premiers had no answers to the ferocious onslaught as the international visitors ran out 58-20 winners.

Even Southcity insiders were talking about trying to recruit some of the PNG players following the 10 tries to four tries massacre in Wagga.

Playing a dazzling brand of football, Goroka led 34-10 at half-time and scored another four tries in the second half to send the Bulls to the cleaners.

The steamy 30 degree weather didn’t faze the visitors as they kept up a frenetic pace from start to finish.

The fitness, speed and strength of the Goroka team were just too much for Southcity at such an early stage of the year.

Despite the heavy defeat, Bulls captain-coach Nick Skinner thought it was fantastic occasion.

“They played a different style of footy to anything around here and we struggled to adapt to how they played,” Skinner said.

“They give us a bit of a touch up but it was an awesome experience for every one involved.”

Unlike the Bulls, who are just finding their feet since winning the Group Nine title in 2016, the PNG players have been training for five months for their big occasion.

And the in-depth preparation paid off – and definitely showed.

With halfback Robin Soga running the show, and speedsters like Brandon Nima (two tries) and Buddy Jack (two tries) running like sprinters, Goroka was superb in all departments

Fittingly, Goroka skipper Leo Fred blazed over for the last of their 10 tries.

It was later confirmed Southcity will travel to PNG for a reciprocal game again Goroka in 2018, if not later this year.

“They’ve offered for us to go over there and it is something we would love to do,” Skinner said.

“They get pretty massive crowds over there so it would just be a good experience to go other there.”

For Southcity, Hayden Jeans and Skinner were excellent, while fullback Jake Dooley and rookie centre Riley Flint were the best of the Bulls backs.

The Goroka players were in magic touch, utilising the chip and chase to great advantage and exploiting their speed around the park.

But Goroka also had a resolute tenacity in defence and kept Southcity out when it seemed certain they would score.

Across town at Parramore Park, Coogee Dolphins retained the David Mavroudis Shield with a 24-14 over Brothers in the annual clash.

Coogee has now won eight of the 13 editions of the David Mavroudis Shield.

Gundagai also put in a good showing in their last hit out, defeating Canberra club Woden Valley Rams 34-18.