RUGBY LEAGUE: The Gatton Hawks were brought back down to Earth with a 38-22 loss to the Valleys Roosters on Saturday night at Herb Steinohrt Oval.
A first-half try and conversion from lock Shannon Hicks got the Hawks on the board for the first half and they trailed 20-6 at the half-time break.
Tries to veterans Dominic Haak and Dennis Burgoyne got them back into the game at 22-18 with 13 minutes left to play, but the team sitting equal at the top of the TRL ladder ran away with it.
Co-coach Michael Armstrong was impressed with his side's effort despite having a host of important players out injured.
Gatton went into the match without fullback Billy Jackwitz, halfback Callum Woolacott and winger Joshua Belz.
"We had an opportunity in the second half to make things go our way, however we just did not have the cattle,” Armstrong said.
"Our three speedsters were out, and that takes a fair bit out of any side.”
Co-coach Nicki John Harch was happy with how his side competed at stages.
"We certainly have shown we can match them - cut back our lapses and have a few players return and I am confident,” Harch said.
Shannon Hicks, Robert Fletcher and Nash Hawthorn were named as the Hawks' best.
Sitting just on the fringes of the top six, the Hawks will face rivals Highfields on Sunday at Cahill Park at 3pm, with a win crucial to keeping the club's finals hopes alive.
The Hawks reserve grade side drew 20-20 against second-placed Valleys.
Gatton went into the half-time break with an eight-point lead, ahead 14-6.
Francis Han, Liam Neumann and James Lewis scored tries for Gatton, while Jagan Swan converted two goals.
The Hawks under-18 side suffered a heavy 46-6 defeat to a strong Valleys Roosters outfit with coach Joshua Belz having a tough day at the office.
"The boys got off to the worse possible start, going into half-time trailing 30-6,” Belz said.
Belz was impressed with newcomer Jack Marlow and believed he has the potential to play top grade rugby league.
"He was the shining light in a beaten side. He looked dangerous every time he got the ball,” Belz said.
Marlow, Thomas Boland and Jack Logan were named as the best for the Young Hawks.
The Gatton second division side continued their success this season with a 22-6 victory.
Luke Morrison, Gary Everuss, Frank Green and Brendan Simpson all scored tries.
The Hawks will take on the Highfields Eagles this Sunday at Cahill Park.
A-Grade kicks off at 3pm, Western Mustangs will play Sunshine Coast at 1:30pm, reserve grade start at 12pm and the Under 18s will get going at 10.30am.
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