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Cairns Brothers booked their place in the 2016 grand final after an impressive 34-28 win over minor premiers Innisfail in Week 2 of the 2016 Cairns District Rugby League A Grade finals.

Brothers came under huge pressure in the last five minutes of their Barlow Park clash, holding on to make their first decider since 2012.

Ben Schell scored two tries for the Brethren, while playmaker Nathan Kepa was outstanding in keeping the score ticking over.

“It was super gutsy. I could not be prouder of those blokes. They’re awesome. Huge effort,” Brothers coach Ben Groves told The Cairns Post.

“There’s always stuff to work on, but our completions were much better this week and we moved their big boys around, which was good.

“But defensive-wise, probably goal-line defence, is something we need to work on.

“I guess our young kids showed that anyone can win on their day, with a bit of enthusiasm. You can’t coach that.”

Innisfail will now face Ivanhoes in this Sunday’s grand final qualifier, after the Knights gained a scrappy but comfortable 26-10 victory over Tully Tigers.

Marvin Toko, Michael Starr, Ali Henley and Whyatt Barnes were the Ivanhoes try scorers, while Jared Verney landed five goals.

“There were a lot of silly errors, I suppose you could say, stuff that we haven’t been doing all year,” Ivanhoes coach Ben Rauter told The Cairns Post.

“But look, we’re through, we get another crack at it next week so it’s good.

“They’re a young side and if they got the momentum at one point we maybe would have struggled, but we defended well.

“I think we’ve got a lot of improvement to go, but in finals footy as long as you’re the best team on the day you win, so next week will be a whole new ball game.”

CDRL A Grade – FINALS (Week 2)

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 9 (at Smithfield Sporting Complex)

Babinda 36-8 Cairns Brothers
Mossman-Port Douglas 16-20 Cairns Kangaroos

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 (at Barlow Park, Cairns)

Edmonton Storm 16-26 Cairns Kangaroos
Cairns Brothers 18-20 Innisfail Leprechauns

Edmonton Storm 28-32 Cairns Brothers
Tully Tigers 22-26 Ivanhoe Knights

Ivanhoe Knights 26 (Toko, Starr, Henley, Barnes tries; Verney 5 goals) def Tully Tigers 10 (Gibuma, Davis tries; Campagnolo goal).

Cairns Brothers 34 (Schell 2, Dunbar, Benioni, Gil, Bowie tries; Kepa 5 goals) def Innisfail Leprechauns 28 (Stephen, Hardwick, Sheens, Sagigi, Fichera tries; Healey 4 goals).

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