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Valleys, Panthers fight for GF place

By BRL A Grade Media John Devine

Redcliffe v Valleys Haydan Lipp BRL
Haydan Lipp of Valleys in action in the loss to Redcliffe last weekend. Photo: Ritchie Duce - Level Eleven Photography

The Redcliffe Dolphins will find out on Saturday afternoon who their opponent will be in the BRL A Grade In Safe Hands Cup 2017 grand final on September 16.

Valleys Diehards will host rivals West Brisbane Panthers in the preliminary final at Emerson Park at 4pm.

Valleys have a second chance to make the title decider after going down to the Dolphins 29-14 last week.

Valleys have won seven of their past 10 games, losing to Redcliffe twice and the Ipswich Jets once.

The Panthers have been walking the tightrope of sudden death football to progress to the grand final qualifier with wins over Easts (31-18) and Wynnum Manly (25-24).

West Brisbane are yet to defeat their traditional foes, going down 32 -18 in Round 7 at home.

On the other two occasions, the Diehards have again prevailed – 18-4 in Round 15 at Emerson Park and in the final fixture of the competition 18-10 at Arana.

Panthers coach Wayne Weekes was blunt in outlining what lay ahead for his charges.

“Valleys are red-hot favourites to win this; we have been outplayed on each occasion this year and it will be a tough ask for our boys to back up against Valleys after coming through some tough semi-final action.”

Valleys will be sweating on the fitness of Rowan Klein receiving a high tackle last week against Redcliffe. Taylor Brown received a four-week suspension for his tackle after pleading guilty.

The Diehards will also be without Joe Bond who has been suspended for a shoulder charge.

The Panthers have been punished on the field by the quality of the competition and Weekes will have to find some more from his 17.

“We have suffered some casualties during those games and will need to find something extra to get a good result against a very good outfit,” he said.

The Diehards have also had a tough couple of weeks going against some massive packs in the past three weeks in Wests, Wynnum Manly and Redcliffe.

Redcliffe were able to negate the offloads from the Diehards pack and once they found their rhythm, after a three-week break; the Phins progressed to defend their 2016 title.

Both Valleys and Wests have some inspirational and game changing players at their disposal.

For the Diehards, it is the collective genius of the Klein brothers Rowan and Callum, the wheels out wide of Tom Collins and the fleet of foot of Stacey Everitt.

They will go up against the mesmerising turn of foot and acceleration of the Panthers Paul Ulberg, the deft passing of Luke Strasser and the tenacious Adam Wickins.

This all bodes well for an epic Brisbane Rugby League old school epic.

It will be a full day of finals football at Emerson Park, with all three SEQ Women’s Divisions to also line up for preliminary finals – see the details below.

SEQW Div 3: 11.30am – Jimboomba v Mt Gravatt
SEQW Div 2: 1pm – Carina v Sunnybank
SEQW Div 1: 2.30pm – Burleigh v West Brisbane Panthers

FINALS WEEK 3 – Team Lists for September, 9, 2017

Preliminary Final

Valleys Diehards v West Brisbane Panthers at Emerson Park, Saturday, September 9, 2017 at 4pm
Live Stream:
LIVESTEAM BRLTV

Valleys Diehards 

1.Andrew Lancaster 2. Tom Collins 3. Ryley Kajewski 4. Greg Miglio 5. Stacey Everitt 6. Rowan Klein 7. Callum Klein 20. Dylan Smith 9. Chris Aiton 10. Liam Herrington 11. Troyden Watene 12. Jacob Kelly 13. Hayden Lipp 14. Aaron Clode 15. Rajan Opetaia-Halls 16. Mattais Heimuli 17. Dylan Mislov 

Coach: Don Gailer

West Brisbane Panthers  

1. Adam Wickins 2. Paul Ulberg 3. Michael Pearsall 4. Kennedy Pettyborne 5. Jamie Olds 6. Kane Zalewski 7. Luke Strasser 8. Erik Koelbel 9. Shaun Tupou 10. Jared Blanke 11. Ashley Harawira 12. Dominic Biondi 13. Ethan Marrinan 14. Mitchell Hallinan 15. James Sharkie 16. Josh Afoa 17. Troy Swift

Coach: Wayne Weekes