The Brisbane Rugby League A Grade In Safe Hands Cup will be decided tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon at Bishop Park with Redcliffe facing off against Valleys.
The Dolphins finished the season on top after winning 14 of their 18 fixtures and Valleys finished third with 10 wins from 18.
Both clubs have a long history in the BRL, and this final will bring two of the game’s traditional rivals face-to-face come the 4pm kick off.
Redcliffe are the defending premiers who defeated the Ipswich Jets in extra time last year thanks to a John Brady field goal.
Redcliffe and Valleys last met in a BRL grand final in 1973 with Valleys winning 15-7.
This will be the Diehards first grand final appearance since winning one of the greatest deciders 17-16 over Norths in 1990.
Redcliffe will start as favourites in this game after they overcame a sluggish start against the Diehards two weeks ago in the major semi-final. Eventually, they clicked into gear after the break to take the game 29-14.
However, the Phins are light on in match fitness as this will be their second game in five weeks.
The Diehards have defeated Wynnum Manly and West Brisbane on either side of that loss to Redcliffe, and have made few changes in their starting 17 over that three-week period.
For Redcliffe, they have the leading point scorer in Kyle van Klaveren and his ability to create gaps not only for himself, but also players in support.
Halves Mitch Wilson and Hayden Hansen will benefit from a go-forward pack, with the Dolphins big men having made big metres this season. Nick Ritter returns to the pack for a suspended Taylor Brown, joining a pack that includes some big units like Jaz Nahu-Main, Rulon Nutira and Samson Graham.
Van Klaveren has two of the best finishers to ride shot gun with in wingers Sam Leach and Shaun Rees.
For the Valleys, Rowan Klein and Callum Klein have been a handful all year. Throw in Haydan Lipp, and the Diehards have three of the best traditional playmakers in the In Safe Hands Cup competition.
They also have the less orthodox playmakers in Troyden Watene and Dylan Smith. While both scored tries last week against the Panthers, their ability to offload in the ruck and also after initial line breaks, have been a feature of Valleys’ success.
Joe Bond returns after a week’s suspension, however his replacement last week Andy Lancaster had a blinder and he will start at number one.
Diehards coach Don Gailer will first look to squeeze out as many minutes as possible from his pack before unleashing his replacements.
Jacob Kelly, Rajan Opetaia-Halls and Liam Herrington are all 80 minute players. Corner post magnets Lancaster, wingers Tom Collins and Stacey Everitt need very little room to touch down as they will take full advantage of anything on offer from their mobile pack.
In summary, this will be a ripper. The Diehards have been quick out of the blocks and will take full advantage of a ‘rusty’ Redcliffe.
On the other hand, the Dolphins are fresh. While they have had very little football, once they get into their rhythm, they will be hard to stop.
While the game will be livestreamed and broadcast on radio station BAYFM 100.3, there is nothing like attending a grand final so be sure to head out and enjoy the game live.
In Safe Hands Cup grand final September 16, 2017
Redcliffe Dolphins v Valleys Diehards at Bishop Park, Saturday, September 16 at 4pm
BRLTV LIVESTREAM|| Radio BayFM 100.3
1. Kyle Van Klaveren 2. Sam Leach 3. Joe Bradley 4. Sonny Munroe 5. Shaun Rees 6. Mitch Wilson 7. Hayden Hansen 8. Samson Graham 9. Sheldon Pitama 10. Rulon Nutira 11. Agassi Stowers 12. Nick Ritter 13. Jaz Nahu-Main 14. Will Partridge 15. Ben King 16. Josh Rudolph 17. Elliott Thompson
Coach: Daniel Green
1. Andrew Lancaster 2. Tom Collins 3. Rowan Klein 4. Greg Miglio 5. Stacey Everitt 6. Hayden Lipp 7. Callum Klein 8. Troyden Watene 9. Chris Aiton 10. Jacob Kelly 11. Rajan Opetaia-Halls 12. Liam Herrington 13. Ryley Kajewski 14. Aaron Clode 15. Joe Bond 16. Mattais Heimuli 17. Dylan Smith 18. Dylan Mislov 19. Trevor Collett (2 to be omitted)
Coach: Don Gailer
SEQ Women’s grand finals
A huge crowd is expected to be on hand to see the three Women’s Divisions grand finals earlier in the day. Defending premiers Burleigh will take on Brothers Ipswich in the main game before the men’s BRL final. The major semi-final between these two sides saw the opponents separated by a field goal, so this should be another exciting and close match.
Struddys Division 1 Women’s Team Lists
1. Jessica Carey 2. Courtney Robinson 3. Kelly O’Doherty 4. Teresa Anderson 5. Siniva Falaniko Ah Ki 6. Ali Brigginshaw 7. Kiriana Nukunuku 8. Florence Faamita 9. Brittany Breayley 16. Bronwyn Brown 11. Amelia Kuk 12. Cherri Neho 14. Te Rauhina Wall 13. Vaituulima Soe 10. Rosanna Tuputuia 18. Canecia Sims 19. Rosyln Roundtree 15. Kody House 17. Mihikore Nolan-Davis
1. Tarnisha Lyons 2. Maryanne Palibino 3. Amber Pilley 4. Tayla Pilley 5. Katie Brock 6. Zahara Temara 7. Rona Peters 8. Josina Parekura 9. Paige Rogers 10. Selena Tranter 11. Jazmine Kemp 12. Chelsea Lenarduzzi 13. Tallisha Harden 14. Delwyn Fraser 15. Sarai Sue 16. Tia Heu 17. Ash Ahipene 18. Jordon Bell 19. Rebakah Shelford
BRL A Grade and SEQ Women’s Grand Final Day
11am - SEQ Women’s Division 3 grand final – Inala v Jimboomba
12.30pm - SEQ Women’s Division 2 grand final – Western Fillies v Carina
2pm - SEQ Women’s Division 1 grand final – Brothers Ipswich v Burleigh
4pm - BRL In Safe Hands Cup grand final – Redcliffe Dolphins v Valleys Diehards