Pine Rivers captain/coach Adam Breen can be hailed as the ‘man with the plan’ who steered the Bears to their fourth-straight title after beating Gaters 36-10 in the Brisbane XXXX Second Division Grand Final.
Breen was superb at fullback in a Bears outfit that were cool, calm and collected yet vigorous in defence. The resourceful and resilient Bears were no match for a disappointing Gaters who could not break the Bears rock solid defence and were shown up by a well prepared Pine Rivers outfit that ensured they added another piece of silverware to their already expanding trophy cabinet.
Pine Rivers luck started early on when halfback Jordan Mitchell scored the first of his three tries for the afternoon when he scurried over beside the posts. He was able to land the conversion for his own try to have the Bears 6-0 up in the fifth minute.
Gaters who have been nothing short of magnificent leading into the Grand Final, went extremely close to scoring on three separate occasions, but were all bundled into touch on the back of some brutal goaline defence.
But Pine Rivers looked the more focused on a day that saw a massive crowd on hand at the impressive Langlands Park and halfback Mitchell was on show again as he took a nice pass from Harawire-Narea to score under the posts. With the conversion successful, the Bears had hit an early 12-0 lead and this would be the scoreline to see both teams go into the sheds at halftime.
The second half was looking better for Gaters who were not being pushed over completely and with their front row enforcer Mick Smith out injured, it was up to regulars Dan Harms, Chris Moriarty, Matt Murray and Clinton Hughes to fly the Gaters defensive flag and they did so with pride.
But Pine Rivers had also started off the second half where they left off and again the light footed Mitchell was able to go in again under the posts to see the scoreline now blow out to 18-0 after his conversion attempt was successful.
Gaters did well to withstand some more attacking raids on their line but again were no match for the Bears rampaging forwards and a try to prop Kevin Sherriff deflated the hearts of the Gaters players and supporters as he barged his way over beside the posts to go in and score. Mitchell added the extras and the Bears were now in a commanding lead to take the title once again.
However the Gaters passion and persistence was still burning and a brilliant cross field kick from playmaker Brent Boyd found the impressive William Bern to take an AFL style catch to break the duck and go over and score the Gaters first try. Boyd was unable to add the extras and it was now 24-4.
With Gaters getting a little shot of confidence, the Bears were not going to let down their guard and impressive for the Pine Rivers outfit were Henry Coutts who was absolutely outstanding, talented back rower Brett Zgrajewski, the underrated Derek Wolfenden and Ben Holzapfel who was impeccable out wide.
It was Holzapfel who was next to score for the Bears as his powerful backline running saw him break free of some flimsy Gaters tackles to go in and score a well-deserved try. Mitchell again superb with the boot adding the extras and it was now a red hot Pine Rivers in control at 30-4. Gaters were still holding on for dear life in the latter stages of the game and not once took a backward step when the chips were down. Halves Crawford and Boyd tried desperately to kick-start their troops back into the game and fullback Everitt tried hard at the back, but a glut of drop ball and penalties saw the Bears claw their way closer to the trophy.
Workaholic second rower Dan Culgan was next to get his name on the scoresheet for Rivers as his granite like frame helped him crash over beside the posts to score a great individual try to see the Bears go even further ahead on the scoreboard.
Mitchell again proved to be the master tactician when it came to goal kicking, landing another shot at goal to see the Bears leading 36-4. The Gaters would have the last say however on the scoreboard and a consolation try to centre Joshua Cattell converted by Brent Boyd saw the final score Pine Rivers 36 Gaters 10.