By Ben Drewe - courtesy of The Toowoomba Chronicle
WATTLES is one win away from defending its Hutchies-Chronicle Cup after moving into the grand final with a dominant 62-24 win over Gatton in the major semi-final at Clive Berghofer Stadium.
Outside backs Michael Purcell and Joel Koina each ran in three tries as the Warriors showed it would take a great team performance in the grand final to prevent them from making it back-to-back titles.
Koina opened the scoring in the 10th minute with the first of his three tries before hard-working Gatton prop Corey Mullins levelled the ledger with a try five minutes later.
Purcell then scored the next two tries to set Wattles on their way.
The Warriors scored two more first half tries to be in control up 26-6 at the break.
Two tries just after half-time got them out to 38-6 with that grand final spot looking wrapped up.
Gatton ran in quick tries to Cliff Brown and Steve Franciscus to close the gap to 38-18 but that was as close as the Hawks got.
Wattles ran away with the game with four more tries to finish up 62-24 victors.
Wattles were able to give halfback Matt Duggan the last 10 minutes off and he was thrilled to be through to another grand final.
"It was a good win for sure. I wasn't expecting to win by that margin but everything ended up coming off today," he said.
The two-time Price-Webcke Medallist thought Gatton was unlucky as everything fell the way of Wattles and that the Warriors could not rest on their laurels after the major semi-final win.
Wattles will take on the winner of Sunday's preliminary final between Gatton and Dalby.