By Shane Jones
The Fraser Coast Mariners are one step away from their third straight minor premiership.
And the team could wrap it up tomorrow in the latest round of the Spring Cup.
The Mariners defeated The Waves Falcons 65-11 to move six points clear of the Turtles Brothers in second.
Teams can only score a maximum of five points in a game, by winning and scoring four tries, so if the Mariners score four tries this week and beat the Barbarians they can’t be caught at the top.
Mariners player Filipe Koroibola scored a hattrick as the team scored 11 tries in the win.
It was a good comeback after losing for the first time last week against the Turtles.
“We were certainly boosted this week with a few returns,” Mariners captain Trent Devine said.
“It was good to be back to our top performance.
“We just had a nice and relaxing week at training, we don’t let losses and things worry us too much.”
The win not only gave them a chance this week at wrapping up the minor premiership, it also gave them a warm-up against a side they could meet in the finals.
If the Mariners and Falcons finish first and fourth, which is their current spot, they’ll meet again.
“We now know what they are going to bring in a couple of weeks,” Devine said.
“It will be an interesting contest.”
Devine said the team needed to improve on its discipline, with too many penalties given away in the first half.
Now the focus turns to the Barbarians, who will be looking to beat the Mariners for the first time since last season.
“We still had five to six blokes out (this week) so hopefully we get all boys back on deck,” Devine said.
“We want to step up, we want to finish first and potentially play the Falcons in week one.”
Devine said it would be important to keep building as the team was on par from last year’s one that won.
But the teams behind it have improved.
“I think it is on par with this year’s squad, but we have to put in complete performances to win the games and do all the right things,” Devine said.
“The Turtles have improved and Barbarians have improved.
“The competition overall has been great this year, the best it has been in the three years.”
Falcons captain Tommy Akers said the team was competitive in patches against the Mariners but needed to do it for longer to match and beat them.
The side hopes over the next few weeks, through its performances, that it can qualify for the finals and seal a spot.
The team was aided in its quest with the Barbarians beating the bottom-placed East Bundaberg Pythons 82-10.
Easts, who had just 11 players, were no match for the Barbarians, who scored four early tries to wrap up the game early in the first half.
The Pythons were able to score later in the contest but the Barbarians scored 14 themselves.
The Barbarians will now face the Mariners this week at 6.30pm at The Waves Sports Ground with East Bundaberg to face the Turtles in the first game at 4.30pm.