SEQ Chairman's Challenge wrap

The Ipswich Diggers were finally able to claim the South East Queensland Chairman’s XXXX Challenge series, after a dominant display at this year’s carnival hosted at Ipswich Brothers.

The Gold Coast continued their monopoly over the Under 20 division, winning both games to retain the championship trophy.

Read the BRL Poinsettia squad here

Ipswich v Vikings opened the carnival weekend on Friday night and it was the home side that crossed for an early try through centre Loia Fetaoai to lead 4-0.

The only other points in an entertaining first half was a try to Gold Coast hooker Zac Jones for the 6-4 scoreline at half-time.

The Vikings lifted for the second term, adding four more tries for a 24-4 advantage. Two late tries to the Diggers showed great spirit, and provided the final 24-14 scoreline. Fullback Pou Poihipi scored two tries for the Gold Coast.

Brisbane and the Gold Coast produced another exciting match on Saturday with the Vikings notching three tries to one effort from Brisbane for a 16-4 lead at the break.

It was again a committed defence from both sides which dominated the second half with the Vikings adding only two more tries and Brisbane one, for the final 26-10 result.

With Gold Coast amassing the maximum available 10 points from their two games, Division Chairman Brad Tallon handed over the Championship trophy to a delighted Vikings outfit.

In the Sunday clash, Brisbane started with great enthusiasm, raising to a 12-0 lead before the Diggers crossed for their first try.

More pressure from Brisbane was rewarded with a 22-6 advantage by half- time.

In a gutsy display, Ipswich matched the Brisbane effort in the second half to outscore their opponents for a final score of 34-20, which gave the home side one championship point.

The disappointment of Ipswich Rugby League fans when Gold Coast handed the Diggers a 64-6 drubbing in the final game of the 2015 series was well documented, so it is a credit to coach Lee Addision that his side got off to a flying start as they scored six unanswered tries in the first half to have a 34-0 lead over a shell-shocked Gold Coast outfit.

Two Vikings tries back-to-back in the first five minutes of the second half asked some questions at 34-10, but Ipswich had all the answers on the night adding three more tries for a comfortable 48-10 victory.

After their disappointing loss to Ipswich, the Vikings crossed first in their clash against Brisbane to lead 6-0. However the Brisbane boys settled into their stride, crossing for two tries for a 12-6 margin at half-time.

Some good tries saw the Brisbane advantage increase to 26-6, before Gold Coast with some possession narrowed the gap. The Vikings did cross for the final try to end a disappointing weekend, losing 30-18.

The championship decider was much anticipated, with the teams playing out a thrilling draw in the corresponding game in 2014 when Brisbane claimed the trophy on points difference.

The 2016 Ipswich model however is much improved and although the scores were locked at 6-6 briefly, the contest was all but over when the Diggers held a 48-6 advantage by half-time.

Brisbane tried to get back into the match, but Ipswich were never really challenged and won comfortably 62-16.

Ageless centre Brendon Marshall and promising youngster Lachlan Roe both crossed for two tries in this dominant display.

The Division will name its 19-member SEQ representative team for the QRL State-wide Carnival which will be hosted at Southport’s Owen Park from Friday June 3-5.

The following players have been named in the SEQ squad:

Lui AFELE

Ipswich 8 – Norths Ipswich

Denman AH-YOU

Ipswich 10 – Brothers Ipswich

Shawn ANDERSON

Gold Coast 11 – Tweed Heads Seagulls

Chris ASH

Ipswich 7 – Ipswich Jets

Raymond BAIRA

Ipswich 4 – Fassifern

Mikaere BEATTIE

Ipswich 6 – Ipswich Jets

Tai BETHAM

Brisbane 8 – Bulimba

Matt BROWN

Ipswich 12 – Ipswich Jets

Brett COUTTS

Brisbane 5 – Moreton Bay Pride

Josh HARVEY

Gold Coast 10 – Tweed Heads Seagulls

Tyrone LOCKREY

Brisbane 9 – West Brisbane Panthers

Brendan MARSHALL

Ipswich 3 – Norths Ipswich

Harold MOSBY

Ipswich 5 – Fassifern

Lachlan ROE

Ipswich 11 – Ipswich Jets

Max SEUMENATAFA

Ipswich 13 – Goodna

Ono SO’OLIA

Ipswich 1 – Ipswich Jets

Ben SULLIVAN

Ipswich 17 – Ipswich Jets

Troy SWIFT

Brisbane 12 – Albany Creek Gaters

Alex TAUMAOE

Brisbane 10 – West Brisbane Panthers