Tigers seal grand final berth
Norths Tigers qualified for the Ipswich Rugby League Mayor Paul Pisasale A-Grade Cup Grand Final with a 36-30 win over Brothers in the qualifying final on Sunday.
The stage was set for a high scoring game when both teams scored a try each in the first eight minutes of the match.
Both teams’ opening tries showed where their attacking strengths were.
Norths’ Tonga Mounga cut through Brothers defence to open the Tigers’ scoring while Brothers’ Ben Seve leapt above Norths’ defence to catch a cross-field kick to get the Brethren on the board.
Brothers threatened to score with every cross-field kick they sent up, the kicks were pinpoint accurate for the Brethren’s wingers to take full advantage.
While Norths right-edge combination of Tonga Mounga and Anava Fesolai tested Brothers’ defence all game.
In the 15th minute of play the Tigers showed just how lethal their right-edge can be when Tonga Mounga laid on a brilliant tap-on pass for Anava Fesolai to race away and score to extend Norths’ lead to 12-4.
Tries to Brothers’ Jason Connors and Norths’ Christopher Scanlan in the last 10-minutes of the first-half took the score to 18-10 in Norths’ favour at halftime.
Five minutes into the second-half Gerico Cecil scored for Norths from dummy-half to give the Tigers a solid 24-10 lead.
After Cecil’s try momentum began to shift towards Brothers.
Ben Seve scored for the Brethren in the 48th minute, again from a cross-field kick, before Sam Krueger, Cane Kaleopa and Nat Creedy all scored tries to put Brothers in front 30-24.
After Creedy’s try for Brothers, Norths regained possession from the kick-off when the wind held the ball up and the bounce favoured the Tigers.
Norths took the opportunity with both hands when Mark Appleton barged over to score for the Tigers in the 67th minute levelling the scores at 30-all.
When the game looked to be headed for extra-time it was no surprise that it was on Norths’ right-edge where the deadlock was broken, when Anava Fesolai made the most of limited space running just inside the touch line to score in the 75th minute.
Despite the wind in his face, Jarrod Biggs converted the try from the sideline to put Norths a converted try in front at 36-30.
The Tigers managed to keep a hold of their lead to ensure they are the first team into the 2014 Grand Final.
Brothers’ loss will see them playoff against Fassifern next Sunday for the last spot in the Grand Final.
Fassifern Bombers qualified for the second week of the finals after defeating Goodna Eagles 24-18 at the North Ipswich Reserve on Saturday.
The Eagles looked in control early in the elimination final but managed to lead only 14-12 at halftime.
Early in the second-half Fassifern had taken an 18-14 lead over Goodna and they refused to surrender their lead.
Kieran Turner scored a scintillating try in the 52nd minute to extend the Bombers’ lead to 24-14.
Fili Ioane soared through the air for the Eagles in the 56th minute catching a cross-field kick and scoring to reduce Fassifern’s lead to 24-18.
Both teams muscled up in defence resulting in no further points being scored and Goodna being eliminated from the Ipswich Rugby League Mayor Paul Pisasale A-Grade Cup 2014 finals.
The following Grand Final qualifiers will be played on Sunday September 7 at North Ipswich Reserve.
Under 19s – Goodna vs West End (Winner plays Swifts in Grand Final)
Reserve Grade – Goodna vs Norths (Winner plays Brothers in Grand Final)
A-Grade – Brothers vs Fassifern (Winner plays Norths in Grand Final)