The opposing coaches of the Townsville Stingers and Easts Tigers are certain that good defence will win this weekend’s Mal Meninga Cup state grand final.
Coach of the Stingers Dick Walsh said his team were courageous in their win over Norths last week, with the side defending their line against back-to-back attacks; and were now focused for the grand final.
“We came back from 16-10 to square the game up at halftime and in the second half we just dominated,” Walsh said.
“We were second in defence all season with only 74 points scored against us, coming second to the Tigers on 70 points.
“This weekend’s grand final is going to be won on defence and I am confident that our forwards can do the job.”
With finals fever-hitting Townsville, the Stingers side are remaining focused and ensuring they had a good mindset.
“We gained some confidence from the semi-final as that was the first time we played a side from Brisbane and meant that we can compete with the Brisbane sides,” Walsh said.
“The culture around the club is focused on behaviours which players have adhered and embraced.
“We set ourselves a ladder from the start of the season and every victory it is reassessed without looking too far ahead.”
The close win over the Capras in the semi-final was just what the Tigers needed to bring them back to a level playing field and start training hard to get the rewards, Easts coach Andrew Barr said.
“We have been working really hard in our defence, as a strong defensive effort is going to get you the result in the final,” Barr said.
“The whole team is playing really well together and there is a good vibe around the group that we are trying to temper to play well in the grand final.
“The nerves of last week’s game and the thrill of being in the grand final will be there for the team, but I think we are ready for the grand final.”
Mal Meninga Cup State Final – Under 18
Easts Tigers v Townsville Stingers at Tapout Energy Stadium on Sunday, May 3 - 11.45am
Easts Tigers: 1. Joshua Holani 18. Tyson Smith 3. Daniel Brownbill 4. Joel Gittins 5. Jayden Carroll 6. Reece Braun 7. Brodie Croft 8. Riley Leota 9. Ryan Cameron (c) 10. Cameron Torpy 11. Jake Elmore 12. Jaiyden Hunt 13. Lachlan Barr 14. Caleb Daunt 15. Patrick Carrigan 16. Heath Wilson 17. Nicholas Udowika
Coach: Andrew Barr
Townsville Stingers: 1. Marshall Hudson 2. Enari Tuala 3. Bacho Salam 4. Cody Maughan 5. Richie Munchow 6. Mitchell Dunn (c) 7. Bradley Cross 8. Faron Morris 9. Calam Gahan 10. Kaleb Fuimaono 11. Lachlan Payne 12. Rhein Frank (c) 13. Ben Cocciolone 14. Jason Bail 15. Duarne Dempsey 16. Brayden Dee 17. Sione Veukiso
Coach: Dick Walsh
Read the Easts Tigers game preview here: Young Tigers to feature at festival of footy