The Burleigh Bears claimed their third straight SEQ Women’s Division 1 title following a close 10-6 win over Ipswich Brothers in this year’s grand final.
It was a defence-orientated game in the first half, with neither side giving an inch in the opening stages.
There was plenty of effort put into shutting the opposition down, with a number of big hits, especially from versatile Bears half Rona Peters.
However, the attack was not lacking, with the Ipswich Brothers finding the line on two occasions in the first half – only to be held up by some desperate defending.
Ipswich too did their fair share to pressure the minor premiers – forcing the Bears into making errors at key times, including forward passes when they were on the attack.
Scores were locked at 0-0 at the break and fans at the ground were beginning to ask about the extra time rules; given the resolute defence of both sides.
However, the Bears finally cracked the defence with 27 minutes left in the match when Zahara Temara crashed over after her side had been able to put some sustained pressure on the line.
She converted her own try and the Bears had an important 6-0 lead.
That produced another lift in the game, and fellow Jillaroos half Ali Brigginshaw took it upon herself to lift her team.
Spotting some space, she busted the field open and ran from her own 30m line to score for Brothers.
Kiriana Nukunuku converted the try, and scores were again locked up 6-6.
The game changed with 13 minutes left to play when Peters showed her craftiness and strength at the line.
Up until that time, Brothers had been able to withstand what was being thrown at them by the Bears and the team had produced a try saving tackle when it seemed they were destined to crash over.
However, in the ensuing play, Peters was able to push her way through the ruck to get the ball down to score the match winner.
The Bears were denied the chance to go further in front three minutes later when another forward pass was ruled.
Their opponents Brothers fought hard until the end and with six minutes to go, they earned themselves a line drop-out, only to lose that opportunity with a knock on.
The high-quality match was a fitting end to the season which saw a number of new clubs – including Ipswich Brothers – take part in the SEQ Women’s competition.
Most players will now enjoy the time off – however several Division 1 players from across the clubs will be in action again next weekend when the Jillaroos take on the PNG Orchids at part of the PM XIII games.
Their next focus will turn to the Rugby League Women’s Cup in November.
Earlier in the day, Carina upset the Western Fillies to claim Division 2 honours, while Inala were too strong for Jimboomba in the Division 3 decider.
SEQ Women’s grand finals results
SEQW Division 1
Burleigh Bears 10 (Zahara Temara, Rona Peters tries; Zahara Temara goal) def Ipswich Brothers 6 (Ali Brigginshaw try; Kiriana Nukunuku goal) at Bishop Park on Saturday, September 16, 2017
Player of the Match: Tallisha Harden (Burleigh Bears)
SEQW Division 2
Carina 12 (Sarah Downey, Hayley Coleman, Yasmin Murry tries) def Western Fillies 0 at Bishop Park on Saturday, September 16, 2017
SEQW Division 3
Inala 30 (Taimane Levu 2, Desiree Matthews, Kayely Egert, Jolana Foster, Makaylah Savage tries; Kate Eldridge 3 goals) def Jimboomba 16 (Nicole Dempsey 3, Janet Mitchell tries) at Bishop Park on Saturday, September 16, 2017