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Madsen Rasmussen Final: Obee’s Preview

Andrew O'Brien - Toowoomba Rugby League QRL Correspondent

TRL Toowoomba hero

A Grade - Dalby V Valleys - 3pm

It’s a promoter’s dream in boxing terms - the undefeated versus the home-ground favourite. Both teams deserve to be in the final. But Valleys have lost to Dalby and Highfields in the past few weeks. But they bounced back against Souths and Oakey.

Dalby on the other hand have conquered all before them leading up to this game. You would be a brave person to bet against them.

There will be some key match-ups but it is the backlines that I believe will decide the game as I believe the forwards will nullify each other.

'A couple of old heads with their accompanying boy wonders in toe'

Valleys will be better for the match they had against the Diehards. They should be fresher than Dalby who had a real tough game against Highfields last round and their rep players backed up as well.

The teams kicking game will also be a key. Valleys see the return of captain Ryan Stevens, which will help, but he hasn’t played in a month. Whilst Dalby’s kicking game has not been good. They miss 47th Battalion player Dylan Taylor’s kicking game. I’m sure coach Carmichael will be working on that during the lead-up.

The trophy cabinet has been pretty bare these past few years for both clubs and they will see this as a rare opportunity to showpiece some silverware.

Some key match-ups:

Fullback:  Dylan Chown V Corey Blades (Travis Turnbull unavailable due to rep duty).

Experience V Youth. Watch for these two players to influence the result of the game. Both are very good late-game runners.

Centre pairings: Nathan Simpson/Luke Capewell V Steve Franciscus/Zac Morris.

A couple of old heads with their accompanying boy wonders in toe. Should be a highlight. They all love the ball in-hand and each are clever defenders. In fact, I’ve found a new nickname for Franciscus – Spiderman, as he is all arms and legs and I think Capewell is the Batman of our competition as he flies from side to side, which is very effective. Simpson is elusive whilst Morris had his best game last week and played real tough footy.

Wingers: Emmanuel Cerei/ Aaron Sillitoe V Shaun Wickham/Alex Ambia.

Certainly, all are in good form. The Valleys pair have been very consistent whilst Wickham and Ambia have only just returned. Ambia is probably the better defender of the four but not by much in this match-up.

Halves: Ryan Stevens/Brett Seymour V Eli Wickham/Mitch Taylor.

I think if Valleys are going to win it’s in this area and mainly in the kicking department. Wickham and Seymour are ferocious defenders. Seymour is a wonderful leader by example. Watch for him late in the game.

Backrow:  Nick Sargent/Hnaloan Budden/Luke Menhinnit V Chris Wilkes/Dan Manley/Jason Wardrop.

Wardrop is the standout in this contest. He is the Cameron Smith of the competition. He is technically the most proficient and complete footballer in the comp. Budden may have something to say about that.

Front row: Steven Rodgers/Johnson Viane V Xavier Manley/Colin Green.

All except Viane have had stellar seasons. Viane only recently returned from injury but is one of the young stars of our comp. Green and Manley have done nothing wrong and they know how to find the tryline. Oh, by the way, their defence is pretty effective as well. Steven Rodgers had his best game against Pittsworth. He found the line and was busy all day. Watch for him late on the game.

Hookers: Danny Wassell V Nathan Bowering

Experience V Youth again. Two gifted players with the same strengths. Both are quick out of dummy half and who ever stops their momentum will go a long way towards winning the game.

Bench:

Valleys:

Mitchell Tuite: May start. Never stops. Good all round game

Jacob Ryals: Hits the ground running when he comes on. Good backup for key positions

Oliver Scott: Solid in attack and defence. He and Munn are a perfect team.

Josh Rose. Big confronting style of player

Reggie Munn: Having the time of his life. So effective when he comes on. Really enjoying the top grade and probably the best bench player in the comp.

Jock Waters: Good defender and plays tough.

Dalby:

Brent Hunt: Good old-fashioned footballer. Had a whale of a game against Highfields.

Daniel Harms: Good hands. Carries the ball well. Big and strong.

Jed Bryers: Close to Dalby’s best the last time these two met. Watch for him when he comes on.

Jack Krienke: Roma boy who just loves his footy. Good work rate

Tyrone Kuhl: Hasn’t played for seven years. What a story if Dalby win? Nice and tough.

Bill Pollard Player of the Match medallist prediction

I’ve asked our Obee and Cookie team as well as the TRL coaches for their predictions;

Obee: Jason Wardrop

Cookie: Jason Wardrop

Nutz: Jason Wardrop

Kelvin Haak: Brett Seymour

Nev Cherry: Colin Green

Lennie Currie: Brett Seymour.

Ned Murphy: Corey Blades

Brandan Dolan (Oakey): Steve Franciscus

Ian Brackstone (Pittsworth): Jason Wardrop

Nicki John Harch (Gatton): Jason Wardrop

Liam Cullen (Brothers): Brett Seymour

Scott Schulz (Goondiwindi): Jason Wardrop

Gus McKellar (Highfields): Danny Wassell

Garry Lawrence (Wattles): Colin Green

Daniel Holmes (Souths): Jason Wardrop

Others finals

2nd Division - Gatton V Warwick - 10am

Gatton are the defending Premiers. The Hawks were sound winners against the Cowboys last time they played. But since then, the Cowboys have improved.

Under 18 - Dalby V Souths - 11.30am

Souths beat the then undefeated Dalby on a cold, foggy night a few weeks ago. Both teams have been playing very well. This should be a ripper of a game. Watch for plenty of tries.

Reserve - Gatton V Dalby - 1.15pm

The last time these two teams met, they scored the lowest points of the season with the Hawks beating the Diehards 6-0 at Dalby. Astonishing result. Gatton are the defending Madsen Rasmussen titleholders and defending premiers. Whilst Dalby are part of their club’s resurgence. Should be an intriguing battle.