TINO VS CARLIN: Gympie NRL guns collide in Super Cup
RUGBY LEAGUE: Gympie's Melbourne Storm NRL hopeful Tino Fa'asuamaleaui got one up on fellow local export Carlin Anderson when his Sunshine Coast Falcons surged to victory over Anderson's Mackay Cutters at the weekend.
The 19-year-old, 107kg behemoth crossed for his first try of the Intrust Super Cup season early in the second half as the unbeaten Falcons claimed a commanding 30-10 victory at Sunshine Coast Stadium, taking their record to 8-0 and retaining top spot on the ladder.
Coming off the bench to log 41 minutes on the field, Fa'asuamaleaui received a short pass from hooker Harry Grant in the 48th minute and barged over three Cutters defenders including Anderson, placing the ball down under the posts.
The powerful second rower finished with an impressive 124m from 11 runs, 44 of which were post-contact with one line break.
He also logged 15 tackles at 83.3 per cent efficiency in his fourth match for the season.
Falcons coach Eric Smith called the match an "arm wrestle” and "one of the better wins for the year”.
"We knew that was going to be coming because they're a really good football team and where they're sitting on the ladder (ninth) doesn't give them the credit they are (due),” Smith said of the Cutters.
"The most pleasing thing is we were in a battle for a very long period of time and were able to come out the other side of that.
"There's been a couple of games where we probably haven't been tested like we needed to be tested ... and we were put into a few of those positions by the Cutters and it was a really good win.
"I think it was probably one of the better wins for the year to be quite honest.”
Anderson logged 65 out of 80 minutes at fullback in his third game since returning to the field from a nasty spinal injury he suffered against Easts in Round 1.
The 23-year-old was taken from the field on a stretcher with heavy concussion and what would later be diagnosed as a fracture to his T6 vertebrae. He was initially expected to miss "several months”, but has since added three matches to his career Super Cup tally of 96.
He converted one of two tries on Saturday, gaining 47m on six total runs.
Fa'asuamaleaui will hope to continue pressing his claim for a coveted Storm debut in the Falcons' next clash with the Souths Logan Magpies at Davies Park this Sunday afternoon.
Anderson and the Cutters return home, hoping to bounce back against the Northern Pride at BB Print Stadium on Saturday night.