Redlands ruthless display against a disappointing Logan Brothers secured their place in this weekend’s Grand Final against the highly rated Bulimba Valleys.
It was a hard day at the office for Logan who were no match for a super confident Redlands side that never looked like losing throughout the match. Redlands had far more power and pace in a game that had all the makings for a grandstand finish but was all one way traffic.
Redlands got off to a flying start when brilliant halfback Max McMillan scooted down the blindside to score after taking a neat short pass from Robert Sanderson. Conversion was waved away and the Parakeets were leading 4-0 early on in the game.
It was a real semi-final atmosphere with Redlands bringing a massive contingent of supporters who were very vocal throughout the game. This really spurred on Redlands next try as a double to McMillan who raced away unopposed under the sticks really had the Parakeets in the driver’s seat. Craig Matheson booted the easy conversion and Redlands were powering on at 10-0.
A shell shocked Logan could only defend in the first half as the Parakeets had the majority of possession and raided the Leprechaun’s line set after set. Logan could not get into the Redlands quarter and were back peddling from the waves of attack that Redland’s were dishing out.
The Parakeets were well served by halfback McMillan who was probably Redlands best player, hooker Mitch Askew, captain Linton Taituma and lock Mitch Reading. Coach Shane Munro had Redlands come into this game all guns blazing as it was do or die for both sides, but it appeared that Redlands wanted this much more. A glut of possession by Redlands saw them go close to scoring another two tries late in the first half, but Logan held in there to ensure the scoreline did not blow out.
The second half got off to a better start by Logan who opened up the scoring first when workaholic lock Chris Turner crashed over beside the posts. Sharp shooter Tim Tanielu converted the easy shot at goal and Logan were back in the game at 10-6. It looked as if Logan had come out a different side in the second half and as usual were led by Captain Glen Salter, wrecking ball Terry Kepu and centre Enesi Salu.
Logan looked certain to score again courtesy of winger Jonathon Tuiono but a crunching tackle by three Redlands defenders saw him go into touch. It was a defining moment in the game as this gave Redlands a much needed boost to continue where they left off in the first half. It didn’t take long for the Parakeets to get back on the scoreboard when a superb run by winger Steven Harris saw him go into score. Matheson failed with the difficult conversion and Redlands had pipped their noses in front once again to make it 14-6.
A horrendous mistake by Sanderson for Redlands kicking out on the full saw Logan gifted with some excellent field position and the inevitable fightback looked like being on the cards as powerful centre Tony Chong dummied and crashed his way over the line to see the score 14-10. Tanielu missed with the conversion but Logan were showing some promise in the latter stages of the match.
Redlands however were still playing to their game plan which was working a treat. Their young backline proved to be the catalyst that tore Logan apart. With McMillan running the show and Jones at fullback calling the shots, saw the Parakeets go in again after a turnover of possession by Logan. The scoreline was now out to 20-10 and it was a case of Logan hanging in there.
With a minute to go on the clock, McMillan the little wizard stepped his way through some flimsy defence by Logan to score his hat trick for the afternoon and see Redlands cement their well-deserved spot in this year’s Grand Final winning 24-10.
In the other Major semi-final played, a hat trick to Gaters Representative five-eight Brent Boyd was the focal point that secured Gaters another showdown with Pine Rivers in the Open 1 North Grand Final.
Boyd was absolutely outstanding in the 32-20 win over Aspley that ended the Devils dominance in this year competition. Big games from fullback Stacey Everitt, Michael Timmins and Clinton Hughes for Gaters was nothing short of heroic. Aspley managed a spirited fightback in the last quarter in the game and were well served by Tyrone Lockery, Cody Herrington and Mitch Houghton out wide.
However this was Gaters day and their gutsy wins leading up to the finals gives them a well-earned shot at the title once again and you can be assured a massive crowd will be on hand to witness all the spectacle this competition offers.