There are a number of clichés when it comes to grand finals, from ‘you have to win one to lose one’ to ‘on any given day’.
Most grand final stories fall somewhere in the middle, but this year’s SEQ Division 2 decider had it all.
In a game mirroring the semi finals, Toowoomba had bounced back from their Week 1 43-18 defeat at the hands of Waterford to win at home against Aspley, to set up the re-match.
The Toowoomba Fillies have been in Division 2 since 2014 and had been previous competitors in SEQ women’s competitions on and off for over 10 years. Waterford also started in Division 2 in 2014 having previously competed in the B&DWRL competition in 2012.
Toowoomba had been grand finalists in 2014 and narrowly lost to Burpengary, but in 2015 had played second fiddle to the dominant Waterford Demons who topped the table undefeated all season.
In the semi final last month, Toowoomba had put the Waterford side to the test going out to a 12-0 lead in the first half, but did not have the legs to match it with them in the second half leading to the 43-18 loss.
As previous grand finalists, Toowoomba had the big match experience and boasted an ex-Jillaroo or two, but Waterford’s record against Toowoomba all season was as impressive as it was emphatic and the Demons were deserved of the ‘favourites’ title.
Unlike the previous match up, defence was the key feature of the grand final and points were hard to come by. At halftime Toowoomba were up 10-4 with one try apiece and the accurate kicking of Fillies back Taylor Stevens the difference, potting three goals in the first half.
Stevens was set to add another 2 points 10 minutes into the second half from a relatively easy penalty kick near the posts to extend the lead to 8 points; but struck the upright. Toowoomba were able to retain possession but were held up over the line in a subsequent set.
The second half featured several line breaks from both sides, but each was cut down by desperate scrambling defence.
Waterford seemed to be back in the contest when they crossed the line with 10 minutes to go, but were called back for a knock on when planting the ball down.
In the final minutes, with the difference only a converted try, any defensive errors were likely to be costly. In a game that was played at a fast pace it was the competition leaders Waterford who faltered with seven minutes to go when Toowoomba halfback Emily Young slipped through the line to score. Stevens added the extras and Toowoomba had the game in the bag at 16-4.
Discipline started to slip amongst Demons players and several penalties ensued. Taylor Stevens added the final two points to her match total of 10 points when presented a penalty in front of the posts. Stevens would go on to be awarded Player of the Match for her goal kicking as much as her line busting efforts in general play
The Toowoomba Fillies, runners up in 2014, beat the Waterford Demons for the first time in 2015 on grand final day.
On any given day, any team prepared to back themselves can win the ultimate prize.
TOOWOOMBA FILLIES 18 (Emily Young 2 tries; Taylor Stevens 5 goals) def WATERFORD DEMONS 4 (Olivia Gaffiero try) at Tapout Energy Stadium, Langlands Park, Stones Corner
(Halftime: Toowoomba 10-4).
Toowoomba: 1. Karen Reynolds 2. Rachel Greenslade 3. Angie Forbes 4. Taylor Stevens 5. Pearl Hood 6. Vass Hunter 7. Emily Young 8. Angela Collins 9. Kylie Swan 10. Melissa Edwards 11. Cassandra Brown 12. Jayde Ware 13. Samartha Leisha 15. Tamara Willis 16. Lisa Croft 17. Hannah Martin 18. Tamara Law 19. Emma Robin 20. Lisa Goodman
Waterford: 1. Jessica Carey 2. Ashley Katu 3. Rachelle Ware 4. Darcel Colenso 5. Olivia Gaffiero 6. Savana Tauri 7. Kiriana Nukunuku 8. Kelly Haugland 9. Janet Mitchell 10. Candice Sanders-Makiri 11. Cherry Neho 12. Jaz Kahu 13. Teri Nukunuku 14. Teesha Gavin 15. Kristienne Hudson 16. Hana Oveinkovas 17. Terianna Christie 18. Cassandra Simpson-Conlan 19. Sheila-Ann Fisher