Wattles go down to Gatton in semi
WATTLES have some injury concerns heading into a sudden-death final this Saturday against Valleys after yesterday's 28-22 loss to Gatton in a thrilling Hutchinson Builders TRL Premiership minor semi-final.
The final between second and third at Clive Berghofer Stadium started in worrying fashion when Wattles prop Pat Manley stayed down after a tackle.
It was a worrying time for Wattles as Manley didn't look good and the game was delayed for 30 minutes while paramedics attended to him.
Updates said Manley's condition was improving but coach Luke Duggan does not expect him to play again this season.
Wattles halfback Matt Duggan also came from the field in the second half with a leg cork after playing an outstanding first 55 minutes.
Despite the early injury to prop Manley, Wattles took the lead in the fourth minute thanks to a try from Xavier Manley, with the interchange forward coming on in place of his brother.
Gatton and Wattles traded tries as the score was 12-all at half-time.
Wattles got out to a 16-12 lead on the back of some great play from Matt Duggan before the influential halfback left the field.
The Warriors scored again out wide through Tim Hentschel to get out to a 22-12 lead.
Gatton rallied though and levelled the score at 22-all thanks to tries from Dom Haak and Jason Wilmot.
Hulking Hawks prop Dennis Burgoyne then put Gatton ahead 26-22 in the 71st minute thanks to a dogged run where he carried multiple Wattles over the tryline.
Wattles looked to have snatched the game in the final minute with a short ball on their 10m line putting a Warrior through the defensive line only for the ball to be called back for a forward pass.
Wattles remonstrated with the referee and a penalty was awarded, with Wilmot slotting a goal to round out the 28-22 win for Gatton.
"I thought we had our chances. We probably still should have won I thought," Wattles coach Luke Duggan said.
GATTON 28 (Christian Thompson, Ashley Boney, Dom Haak, Jason Wilmot, Dennis Burgoyne tries; Wilmot 4 goals) d WATTLES 22 (Xavier Manley, Jackson Green, Brodie Sharman, Tim Hentschel tries; Matt Duggan 2, Sharman goals).