What a beautiful day for Junior Rugby League in Rockhampton, with the final spots in the Grand Finals on the line, all teams gave their best to make next week’s deciders.

The Under 13 semi-final was a tight affair as predicted. Both sides showed some early nerves and when the two sides went to the sheds it was 4-0 to Brothers. Both coaches asked for attacking play in the second stanza and it was Brothers who took the game up to Norths and put on 22 points in the second half. Norths were gallant in defeat and lost no admirers with their spirit.

It was always going to be a tough ask for the Yeppoon U14 side. They have played well all year and Saturday they came up against a very hot Brothers outfit. Brothers used their representative players well and took a 14-0 halftime lead. They then took control of the second half and ran away with the win. To Yeppoon’s credit they never gave up and can take heart from the season and look to further improvement in 2018.

This was going to be close to the game of the day in the Under 15 Grand Final qualifier. Yeppoon were coming off the tight clash last week and Norths have been playing with confidence. Both sides used the first half to size each other up and it was Yeppoon getting the first and only points of the half going to the break 6-0 up. Norths have been the big improvers of 2017 and when they hit back with a few minutes left both sides were locked up. But it was Norths using their new confidence who got home with minutes remaining and held on to play in their first Grand Final.

The Under 16 semi-final could have gone either way, Fitzroys were coming off a tough extra-time loss to Brothers while Cap Coast were on a high, defeating Yeppoon in an upset. While Cap Coast haven't been close to Fitzroys this year they weren't going to let them have an easy ride into next week’s Grand Final. Lead by Lewis Frost with three tries they stuck it to the Sharks. But it was the experience of the representative players in the Sharks outfit that got them through with Riley Comiskey getting three tries in their pathway through to the Grand Final.

The last game of the day was between the minor premiers Emu Park and Brothers who just made the top four. Emus have had the wood over the Brethren but last week’s tough encounter with Norths was going to take a toll. We knew both sides could defend but it was the attack from these sides that would decide this game. Brothers hit early and took a 16-10 lead into halftime. But it was the sleeping giant of Brothers that came alive in the second half and they put on an attacking display that their coach Lachlan Hall knew they had and came away with a 38-20 win.

Under 13:

Brothers Blue 26 (Kyidah Vea Vea, Carter Wight, Angus Gabriel, Jack Seibold, Jackson Dingle tries; Carter Wight 3 goals) def Norths 4 (Preston Richards try).

Under 14:

Brothers 36 (Zanya Cox 2, Noah Chadwick 2, Patrick Crow, Flynn Kelso, Heath Collins tries; Peyton Jenkins 2, Zayne Cox, Flynn Kelso goals) def Yeppoon 0.

Under 15:

Norths 18 (Josh Wright, Damian Russell, Lachlan Savage tries; Harry Barham goal) def Yeppoon 12 (Bailey Sims, Sam Strohfeldt tries; Blake Laherty 2 goals).

Under 16:

Fitzroys 28 (Riley Comiskey 3, Sam Curr, Trent White, Austin Routley tries; Aaron Morre, Trent White goals) def Cap Coast Brothers 16 (Lewis Frost three tries; Trent Richardson 2 goals).

Under 18:

Brothers 38 (Corey Armstrong, Corbin Bellette, Jordon Mole, Riley Shadlow, Matthew Baker, Alexander Gilbert tries; Joe Shackleton 7 goals) def Emu Park 20 (Leroy Richards 2, Stephen Upkett, Gabriel Hamson tries; Ryan Francis, Leroy Richards goals).

Well Saturday brings us to the Grand Finals and again we have a classic group of games that will show the true skills that are on show in Rockhampton and the Capricorn Coast.

Grand Finals

Cap Coast Brothers V Brothers Blue

The Under 13 final pits Cap Coast Brothers against Brothers Blue. Last year’s defending premiers, Cap Coast, have gone through again undefeated. They were able to get the straight passage through to the Big Dance with a good win over Rocky Brothers. If you back form, Cap Coast are the winners but this is a Grand Final and Rocky Brothers will take confidence out of the big win over Norths. Cap Coast will look at Ryan Welsh and Will Larsen to take them forward while Brothers will look to Kelly Shadlow and Carter Wight to combat the tough Cap Coast side. What a start to Grand Final day, make sure you get to Browne Park early.

Gracemere V Brothers

Gracemere Under 14 side are looking to take some silverware back to the Cubs home ground for the first time in a few years. They got home in the major semi-final to earn the week off but they also did that last year. Both sides have plenty of representative talent, both sides are well coached, which means it will come down to who wants this more, and only the players can decide that on Saturday. Gracemere will look to Corey Johns and Joshua Grange to lead them around the ground while Flynn Kelso and Jai Hansen will set the platform for Brothers. If you thought the first game was going to be good, stay around and watch this ripper.

Fitzroys V Norths

The Under 15 competition. For the first time we have two sides that haven't been to the big day, though Fitzroys do have Grand Final experience players. Fitzroys have been very consistent this year and both sides have had great contests. Norths have found something under coach Rod Peckett and this could be a Grand Final that could go to extra time. Watch out for Fitzroys Cane Comiskey, Larsen Daley-Doyle while Norths will be looking to Jack Tibbs and Seth Backo to gain yards out wide.

Brothers Blue V Fitzroys

Brothers Blue Under 16 have been the surprise packets of the competition, who have gone through the season undefeated and got through in extra time in the major semi-final. Fitzroys have been the benchmark over the past seasons and that will be a big advantage going into the big game. Both coaches know they can't let their players take each other lightly or that could mean a big scoreline being posted. It went to extra time last game - it could happen again this weekend. Brothers players Chayse Cavanagh and Liam Briggs will take Brothers forward while Fitzroys will look to Riley Comiskey and Austen Routley to lead the way

Norths V Brothers

The Under 18 Grand Final could be the best we have seen in quite a few years. Norths are full of representative talent that have been playing together since under 6s. They have been close but haven't been able to secure a spot in the big game at seasons end. Brothers made the top four in the last spot and haven't let that take focus on the end goal. Both sides have plenty of attacking flair and both can defend hard. As always in these big games it will be who turns up on the day. This could be the best game of the day. Norths will look to Ricky McHugh and Brandon Kemp to push them forward while Brothers have Riley Shadlow and Corey Armstrong leading them all day.

The RDJRL would like to thank all players, coaching staff, volunteers, supporters and clubs for their participation in the 2017 season. We would like to invite all rugby league supporters to Browne Park on Saturday to join in the celebration of the 2017 season.

Grand Final Schedule

Saturday, June 17

 

9am (Under 13)

Cap Coast Brothers V Brothers Blue

 

10.30am (Under 14)

Gracemere V Brothers

 

Noon (Under 15)

Fitzroys V Norths

 

1.30pm (Under 16)

Brothers Blue V Fitzroys

 

3pm (Under 18)

Norths V Brothers