Despite being crowned minor premiers last week, Brighton Roosters showed no signs of letting up on their phenomenal season, defeating West Brisbane Panthers 42-20 in Premier Grade on Saturday.
South Pine Sports Centre Albany Creek was the venue for this crackerjack game that on paper, had all the makings of a fantastic showdown.
In the end however, it was a one-sided affair with Brighton producing a masterclass.
The Roosters got off to a dream start in the first set of the game, crossing in the corner through winger Dylan Cherry-Evans who took a superb pass from Brent Boyd for an early lead.
Roosters fullback Marlon Doak was superb at the back, crossing for an eye-catching try, stepping his way through the Panthers who appeared overawed by the minor premiers.
As the game progressed, a rattled Panthers could only watch on as brilliant halfback Gavin Causer unleashed a flurry of dummies to slide in for another easy four pointer to further increase the score.
The Roosters had been building pressure in the Panthers half and earned a repeat set before powerful centre Samson Hookey brushed aside his opposition and crashed in to score.
The Panthers did manage to collect a try before a cricket score loomed, when Andreas Cole took a neat pass from centre Joel Harris to sneak into the corner.
Rooster’s winger Tim Tupou capped off another incredible try just before the break, bursting 70m up the sideline with only daylight in front of him to send the Roosters into the sheds up 30-4.
As the westerly winds continued to wreak havoc on the players, the Panthers gutsy comeback in the second half was commendable. Workhorses Jack Watson and Jeremy McKay were outstanding.
With Brighton looking rattled themselves, the Panthers took advantage and it didn’t take long for Wests to find the tryline again through centre Harris.
Another scorcher came from Panthers winger Cole and Brighton looked slightly worried from the late rally.
But the Roosters have not gone through the season undefeated for nothing, as Hookey collected a double to cross under the sticks.
Doak rounded off the game for the Roosters by wrong-footing four defenders to go in unscathed beside the posts.
Roosters coach Nathan Hughes was full of praise for his side, with the win seeing them have the week off after earning a spot in this year’s grand final.
His team has not only has exceeded expectations this season, but have also provided their supporters with some incredible entertainment value.
“The boys turned up and did the job,” he said. “All the hard work has paid off and we now go to the big dance against whoever they throw at us’ I’m pumped for the boys!”
Final Score: Brighton Roosters 42 def West Brisbane Panthers 20