Snakes wary of Dolphins’ spin
CABOOLTURE coach Don Gailer does not buy talk about a Kawana collapse as his side prepares to face the ailing premiers in this weekend's elimination final.
The Snakes' mentor believes the Dolphins will be back to their best after losing four from five and moving 80 minutes away from bowing out the finals with three straight losses.
"They'll be backs to the wall," Gailer said after his side beat Nambour 30-6 yesterday afternoon.
"They've got a lot of history at the top of the table and premierships to defend.
"I'm expecting to see that in the way they play. They aren't going to let their titles go and we're going to have to be on our game from the start."
Kawana's run at a third consecutive Sunshine Coast Gympie Rugby League premiership has looked extremely shaky since its 15-game winning streak to start the season ended with a 28-20 loss to Maroochydore last month.
Saturday night's 22-4 loss to the Swans was the Dolphins' second consecutive home finals loss and Gailer believes a third will be hard to come by.
"They've got a lot of quality players in their side and they know how to lift," Gailer said.
"We got them a few weeks ago but that was close and they'll be even harder this time."
The Snakes' mentor was proud of his team's ability to kill the finals hopes of a Nambour team that travelled to Caboolture yesterday afternoon in the mood for an upset.
The Crushers fought valiantly after knocking out Noosa-Gympie last week but Caboolture did enough to advance in a game that was much closer than the scoreline suggested.
Nambour had a chance to make the scores 16-10 with 20 minutes to go when winger Kenny Knight took an intercept on his own tryline and ran 70m, being dragged down.
Caboolture's Travis Baker was sin-binned on the following play for coming from an offside position to shut down the Nambour attack.
The Snakes flourished in Baker's absence and piled on the points in the final 15 minutes as the Crushers' season faded in the afternoon heat.
"I'm pleased with the way we played in that second half and the maturity some of our young fellas showed," he said.
"If we can build on that second half, it's a good boost going into the next one."
In the major semi, Caloundra will meet the Swans for a spot in the decider.
- JOE FLYNN
(W Pretorius 3, M Crowe, J Casey, J Moule tries; S Maddick 3 goals)
(E Evans try; S Millar goal)