Congratulations to the Tugun Seahawks who claimed the2016 Gold Coast-Tweed Gen Z Employment Cup, defeating the Burleigh Bears in the grand final 27-14.

As the 2016 season has now wrapped up; we decided to take a club-by-club look into the season that was and what season 2017 might bring for the Gold Coast teams.

Powrgard Under 19 Premiership Winners – Bilambil Jets
Powrgard Second Division Premiership Winners – Coolangatta Knights
Gen Z Employment Reserve Grade Premiership Winners – Burleigh Bears
Gen Z Employment A Grade Premiership Winners – Tugun Seahawks

*End-of-season award winners are listed at the bottom of this article

Bilambil Jets
It was a slow start for Bilambil as they almost folded their A grade team due to lack of numbers. Coach Troy McClean has confirmed he will return for the 2017 season and is excited for what the year will bring. McClean said “there is heaps of potential in the Under 19s squad which is ultimately good to form a stronger team in the A Grade.” Season standouts captain and front rower Mitch Spackman and lock Luke Hawkins will be returning next year. The Jets finished positively in 2016, showing huge improvements through the year. Pre-season will commence in early January with semi-finals football the main target in 2017 for the Jets.

Burleigh Bears
Although unable to take the 2016 premiership title, the Bears came a long way this year, developing their much younger squad from previous years. Coach Matt Foster was proud of the team’s effort during the year, which included giving the grand final against Tugun their best crack. Foster said “I am happy with the skill and mental development of the players and just want to further build that for next year.” Looking for a more stable set of players, the Bears will be gaining players from the Under 20s squad.

Currumbin Eagles
Struggling to field a team towards the end of the season, the Currumbin Eagles will be looking for a clean slate in 2017. Although disappointed with how they ended the season, coach James Griffiths said “the club has great depth and great coaches in Matt Geyer and Luke Bryant for the Under 19s and reserve grade”. These players backed up heavily through the year and shows great potential for the 2017 season. The Eagles will be looking towards building and pushing for a team to make it to the finals series for next season.

Ormeau Shearers
The Ormeau Shearers completed their first A Grade season in the Gold Coast-Tweed Rugby League competition. Although unable to make the final series, the Shearers showed great strength through the season. Unfortunately, injuries didn’t allow the team to reach their full potential as captain Mathew Parata and halfback Lorenzo Chun-Kwan were out early in the season and numerous others forcing the Reserve Grade team to back up.

Runaway Bay Seagulls
First time coach Clinton Toopi has brought a fresh perspective to the Runaway Bay side. Toopi said “it will be great if I could take them through another year, I have developed as a coach and the boys have adjusted to my style”. Although unable to defeat the Burleigh Bears in the elimination finals, the Seagulls have a bright future ahead. There is good depth within the club with good quality players and coaches guiding them. Under 19s player Ty Nagel has been identified as a young standout and is one of many Under 19s players showing potential. Pre-season will commence in November with sights set on another semi-final appearance in 2017.

Southport Tigers
Achieving set goals has been amongst the Southport Tigers culture and philosophy this season. In 2016, the Tigers made a finals appearance and maintained their tight club culture. Coaches Tim Cannard and Michael Esdale were pleased with the emerging talent, attitude and effort the team exhibited through the year. Esdale said “we have some great Under 19s coming through the ranks and is good to hear lots of players wanting to stay with Southport”. The Tigers will have a well-deserved rest, with hopes to resume training in January. The main priority for the Tigers in the lead up to the 2017 season is to retain as many of this season’s team for next year.

Tugun Seahawks
The 2016 premiership winners Tugun will experience some changes to their squad as captain Robert Apanui, Chris Hodges and Drumaye Dayberg Muir all retired at the completion of the 2016 season. Coach Martin Griese was pleased with the team’s dedication and attitude this season with hopes to continue for next season. Griese said “I am really happy with the team as a whole and the support we got from the club, especially the players that backed up from the Under 19 and Reserve Grade teams.” The Seahawks have set a goal for 2017 to gain consistency through players each week, which will allow the team to gel. Pre-season will commence in early December.

Tweed Head Seagulls
The most dominant team of the competition through the regular season, the Tweed Heads Seagulls just fell short in playing for the premiership title. The Seagulls struggled in the finals series to match their opposition’s drive which saw them knocked out. Coach Clint Barends was pleased with the team’s improvement throughout the season which saw them fall just short. Barends said “we were blown off the park and couldn’t match Tugun or Burleigh in the finals series.” The Seagulls have started building the 2017 squad with a few player signings and are looking for further development with their Intrust Super Cup side. Pre-season will start in early November with hopes to work on all aspects of the Seagulls game.

Gold Coast Rugby League Award Winners – 2016

Leading Points Scorers

Darcy Earl (Bilambil Jets)                                               Under 19
Alan Johnson (Helensvale Hornets)                           Powrgard Second Division
Nicholas Harkin (Beaudesert Kingfishers)               Reserve Grade
Jacob Garland (Tweed Heads Seagulls)                    A Grade

Leading Try Scorers

Tyler Ingram (Southport Tigers)                                 Under 19
Alan Johnson (Helensvale Hornets)                           Powrgard Second Division
Sam Crocker (Robina Raptors)                                    Powrgard Second Division
Jayde Williams (Beaudesert Kingfishers)                 Reserve Grade
Troy Leo (Southport Tigers)                                         A Grade

Under 20 Representative Player of the Year

Doryaan Hape Apiata (Runaway Bay Seagulls)

Executive/Volunteer of the Year

Rod Hill (Tugun Seahawks)

Referee of the Year

Riley Coulson

Coach of the Year

Clint Barends (Tweed Heads Seagulls)

A Grade Representative Player of the Year

Joshua Harvey (Tweed Heads Seagulls)

Under 19 Player of the Year

Alexander Fitzhugh (Bilambil Jets) & Bostyn Hakaraia (Southport Tigers)

Powrgard Second Division Player of the Year

James Marcus (Coolangatta Knights)

Reserve Grade Player of the Year

Nathan Green (Bilambil Jets)

A Grade Player of the Year

Jacob Garland (Tweed Heads Seagulls)

2016 Club Championship

Tugun Seahawks