PIRATES COACH: Noosa Pirates' Brett Winkler.
PIRATES COACH: Noosa Pirates' Brett Winkler. Peter Gardiner

Pirates' victory over Crushers crucial to their campaign

RUGBY LEAGUE: Noosa coach Brett Winkler says their win over Nambour was vital in their pursuit of a play-offs berth.

The Pirates overcame a 12-4 half-time deficit to claim a 16-12 triumph in their Sunshine Coast division one encounter at Tewantin.

As a result, the hosts leap-frogged their opponents to move into the top-four on the nine-team ladder through 12 of 18 rounds.

"That was really important. It was a pivotal game for us,” Winkler said.

"There's a way to go yet but we've got to start beating teams above us on the ladder. We've got to crawl back.

"We had an opportunity to win against (ladder leaders) Caboolture and we didn't take it and this time it was really good ... when you keep persevering.”

Winkler believed both teams played well and he wouldn't have been disappointed by his team had they have lost.

"We had to defend really well. It was a great game of footy and a really good test for us. We managed to get there.”

"They (Pirates players) put a lot of effort and work in for each other and they're uncoachable things but they've also got to execute and they were able to put those things together.”

Winkler said the performance suggested they have the ability to play finals footy.

"It shows we're capable of it.”

"It's a long way out and we're a week-to-week proposition so we don't even put our heads up to have a look (at finals) but it shows if we work hard and things go our way, that possibly we could be.”

The Pirates hit the lead with about seven minutes remaining when Sunshine Coast Falcons-affiliated player Ben Henderson crashed over for a try.

"That was a big one (moment). He's played really good football for us,” Winkler said.

The forward, who recently made his debut in the state league, has spent most of his season pressing his claims for game time in the Queensland Cup.

"He buys in every week he comes in and treats it like its a state league game. He lifts the guys.”

"He brings energy, a consistent player all around the park and is reliable. You know he's going to take the hard yards and you know if you need a big play at the end of the day he's going to come up with that.

"The other guys feed into it and look up to him. He's become sort of an inspiration to them.”

Meanwhile, Gympie beat Maroochydore 36-24 at Gympie on Saturday.

Caboolture was due to host Kawana and Caloundra was due to host Stanley River on Sunday.

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