MAN OF THE MATCH: Whitsunday Brahman's Augustus Rangihuna sends the ball to the wing while playing against Souths Sharks at Les Stagg Oval.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Whitsunday Brahman's Augustus Rangihuna sends the ball to the wing while playing against Souths Sharks at Les Stagg Oval. Jeni Fraser

Player of the game not slowed by a broken nose

THERE was no contest for the man of the match mantle when a Whitsunday Brahmans fullback put his body, particularly his face, on the line for his team.

Augustus Rangihuna had his nose broken when he took a knee to the face 15-minutes into the Brahmans, Souths Sharks match on Saturday.

The young player got up and continued to be a weapon in the first half and helped the Whitsunday team to a two-point win.

Whitsunday coach Tye Ingebrigtsen said Rangihuna was "instrumental” to their success.

"It was one of the toughest performances I've seen from a young kid. He's only 20 years old and he really stood up,” he said.

"His kicking game was outstanding. Souths have a strong right-hand edge with Jardine Bobongie out there, so we really wanted to kick over the top of them, make them turn around and have to do some tough carries to get it out of their own (half) and tire those boys out.”

Rangihuna said he did not think much of his actions and believed he was "just doing his job”.

Brahman's have had a thin herd for the last two weeks but managed to beat two competition heavyweights.

"I don't think many people we were going to win that game against Wests, and going up against Souths I don't think anyone expected us to win that as well,” Rangihuna said.

The young fullback came to the Rugby League Mackay competition this year, carting experience in the Hasting Deerings colts and the NRL Under-20s.

"I played for the Falcons Under-20s last year. The year before I was playing for the Melbourne Storm Under-20s,” he said.

With the Falcons, Rangihuna was coached by Craig Ingebrigtsen, the Moranbah coach's father.

"That's how Tye contacted me. He called and said it would be a good opportunity to come here and play A-Grade, so I just took it,” Rangihuna said.

"I was going to play with Wests Brisbane Panthers for reserve grade and Tye said I was better off coming to Mackay and playing A-Grade.”

The Brahmans player said the A-Grade would hopefully be his break into the Intrust Super Cup selection with the Cutters.

"I've been travelling to Mackay once a week for Cutters training which has been pretty good,” he said.

”Steve Sheppard is a great coach and I've been learning lots.”

The Round 3 low scoring game was a war of defence. Whitsunday put up a fortress to keep Souths at bay and defend their 10-6 score at half-time. While the Sharks were able to cross the line and even the odds, a penalty shot awarded to Whitsunday gave them the 2 points which won them the game.

"We knew Souths have a really strong forward pack, we knew they'd try get number in defence, catch us and drag us back after tackles and they did that relatively well," Ingebrigtsen said.

"But we capitalised going down the short side and making ground there.”

Ingebrigtsen said his club's depth was a strong asset for them on home turf.

"We had a few out, but the three that stepped up from reserve grade really stood out,” he said.

"It shows we have good depth in the club, and we out muscled Souths in the end and got a win.”

State of Play

Rugby League Mackay A-Grade Round 3

Moranbah 12 def Souths Sharks at Les Stagg Oval

Wests Tigers 24 def Sarina Crocs at Ray Edwards Oval

Brothers 36 def Moranbah 16 at Leprechaun Park.

Magpies 72 def Carltons 6 at Sologinkin Oval.