Work to do for Parkes Spacemen ahead of this week’s semi

16/12/2018 // by admin

Parkes Spacemen have a lot of work to do if they are to compete with the best sides in this season’s Group 11 finals series after they came up short against a quality Macquarie outfit in Dubbo yesterday.
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Parkes Spacemen have a lot of work to do if they are to compete with the best sides in this season’s Group 11 finals series after they came up short against a quality Macquarie outfit in Dubbo yesterday.

Missing a number of players including Dennis Moran, Hayden Robinson, Cameron Standen and Matt Clarke and Todd Barrow, with the majority of these players expected to return next week, ultimately it was the Spacemen’s ball control and defence that led to their demise at the hands of a hungrier Macquarie team.

The final 15 minutes of each half proved fruitful for the home side as they posted two tries just before half-time to lead 22-10 at the break and scored another two in the final minutes of the match to seal the 48-24 victory.

The final round loss had little bearing on the semi-final fixtures with Nyngan climbing into fourth and relegating the Spacemen into fifth after the Tigers defeated minor premiers Cyms in their match.

In the earlier matches, a 12-man Parkes Under 18 side went down 48-4 to finish in equal fifth but miss out on the semis via for and against.

Parkes Reserves enjoyed better fortune to record a 26-24 victory and secure second place on the ladder and two bites of the cherry in the semis.

They face Macquarie again next week in the qualifying semi-final.

In the main match, Parkes were on the back foot early when Mason Williams opened the scoring with a converted try for Dubbo in the first minute of play.

The Spacemen hit back seven minutes later when half Alex Prout made a half-break and off loaded to try scoring machine Tino Ionatana who raced 30 metres to score for 6-4.

Parkes Under 18s front-rower Ethan McKellar ran on for his first taste of first grade football in the 11th minute.

He contributed to the Spacemen taking the lead after his strong charge was followed by back-rower Ben Nash before Prout dummied and crossed with Jake Dooley converting for 10-6.

When Ashley Widders crossed for Macquarie’s second try, in the 20th minute, scores were level again at 10-all.

Macquarie looked set to take the lead in the 24th minute before a last gasp effort from Spacemen custodian Sam Dwyer defused a Dubbo kick to save the try for the visitors.

Macquarie only had to wait a further two minutes before they did lead after hooker Jeremy Smith scored from dummy half.

Williams’ successful conversion saw the home side open up a six point gap at 16-10.

They extended their advantage in the final minute of the half when Etuate Gusuivalu crossed and Williams converted for the two teams to head to the sheds at 22-10.

The Spacemen looked to have gotten away to the perfect start when play resumed only for captain Pat Rosser to have a try disallowed in the fifth minute.

Parkes successfully cut into the Macquarie advantage when Tino Ionatana regathered a loose Dubbo pass to scamper away and score for 22-14.

The Spacemen looked to have all the momentum when Jake Dooley continued his good try scoring form by adding another four pointer to his season tally after a slick backline movement for 22-18.

All that momentum was lost when Macquarie winger Turuva Villiavue scored a try against the run of play to open the lead back out to eight points at 26-18.

Two more Macquarie tries in three minutes all but ended the contest with first Luz and then Kyle Cochrane crossing for four pointers with Williams converting both tries.

Cochrane’s try came on the back of a Parkes error from the restart.

The ball was sent out on the full from the kick-off, gifting Macquarie a penalty from the middle of the field.

The penalty found touch and Cochrane, who had been a real handful all match, finished off a good move to score.

Prout gave the Spacemen faithful a glimmer of hope when he put Evi Nioko through a gap with an inside pass.

Nioko raced 30 metres to score with Dooley converting for 38-24 and 12 minutes remaining.

It was the home side that dominated the final minutes as the Spacemen looked to have run out of steam.

Tries to Dylan Hill and Perry Meredith in the final five minutes saw the score blow out to 48-24.

In a match with very little positives to come out of it for Parkes, Prout and Tino Ionatana were standouts.

Compounding the loss for the Spacemen were injuries to Ben Nash (leg) and Alex Prout (knee).

Parkes will hope they are fit for this weekend’s elimination semi-final against Nyngan as they will need all hands on deck.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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