Souths clinch third straight title

Courtesy of The Mackay Daily Mercury

SOUTHS are celebrating their third successive Auscoal Super Cup Mackay rugby league premiership after a tough 36-30 win over Wests at Stadium Mackay.

The match ignited in the last minutes from a few niggles into melee.

When referee Shane Wright restored order he marched five players - three from Souths and two from Wests - for 10 minutes in the bin, even though the match was only a minute from full time.

The final will be noted for some heroic efforts, not the least being from Wests captain Jardine Bobongie who was on one leg for most of the match with a dodgy hamstring.

"That's Jar. He goes all the way," Tigers five-eighth Michael Meigan said.

"I'm devastated, but proud of the boys."

Young Tigers bench player Zac Radel was named the Pat Hannay Medal winner for man of the match after a whole-hearted effort, while Souths second-rower Josh Osborne celebrated with a treble of tries.

"It was tough and to win it is unbelievable," Osborne said.

"I think it was two tries really, but I had a hand in the third one."

Osborne opened the scoring for Souths who dominated the opening exchanges.

It looked like becoming a blowout with Souths leading 24-0. Wests needed a revival - and it came.

Bobongie's wrap-around with Meigan brought a try, and fullback Harley Bickey crashed over out wide to give them hope at 24-12 down at half time.

The arm-wrestle was finally broken by Souths when Osborne crashed over.

But Wests struck back immediately, Bickey going over under the posts.

Bobongie could hardly stand, but he was there to feed Luke Young for a try and give the Tigers a scent at 30-22 down. Young winger Nick Baker brought the Tigers alight when he went over in the corner, but couldn't convert to have Wests down 30-26. The two sides then traded tries - and punches for a final 36-30 scoreline.

FULL TIME

Souths 36 (tries Josh Osborne 3, Hayden Lloyd, Luke Vaccaneo, Adam Wright; goals Vaccaneo 6) def Wests 30 (tries Harley Bickey 2, Nick Baker, Luke Young, Michael Meigan, Jardine Bobongie; goals Baker 3)