Success for Falcons, Rocky in 47th Battalion

The Sunshine Coast Falcons and Toowoomba Clydesdales battled it out in yet another epic finale, with the Falcons just clinching the 47th Battalion silverware in Toowoomba at the weekend.

After an enthralling 16-14 win to the Clydesdales last year, both teams met in the big dance once again and eager spectators couldn't believe their luck when the competition heavyweights delivered another chapter to their previous thrilling encounters.

The Sunshine Coast were the in-form favourites after a dominant display against North Wide Bay and Bundaberg, and whilst the home side narrowly downed Rockhampton to qualify, the previous champions had the weight of defending the title on home soil bearing down on them.

The Falcons scored first in the eighth minute, with Nat McGavin crossing after receiving pinpoint cut-out pass from halfback Tyler Oxenham.

Following the try, both teams toiled hard in the hope of finding points, but neither could answer the calling with watertight defence on display.

Nearing halftime, the Clydesdales wanted points to keep in touch with the Falcons; and a cleverly crafted 40/20 attempt from Cory McGrady came up trumps.

After getting the ball back 10m out, a well-weighted cross-field kick from incumbent Queensland Rangers halfback Matt Duggan allowed James Dempsey to water the drought and lock the contest up at 4-4 heading into the break.

It was horrid start for the Falcons in the second stanza, allowing the ball the bounce only for the Clydesdales to regather. To rub salt in to the wounds, in the following play, Ty Gardner crossed to take the lead 8-4 and put the home side ahead for the first time in the match.

Despite the setback, the Falcons were determined to regain the trophy from the Clydesdales and applied the pressure to their defensive line, amounting to repeated attacking sets.

The pressure became too much 11 minutes into the second half with Blake Mara delivering a textbook short ball to Travis Long, levelling the scores again.

Oxenham added the vital two points to give the Sunshine Coast a two-point buffer with just over 10 minutes left.

From there, the crowd were left on the edge of their seats, with plenty of opportunities presented to both teams to clinch the match and title.

With two minutes on the clock, Toowoomba rolled the dice with a chip and chase 40m from their own line for Dylan Chown to regather and kick again 40m from the line.

A footrace followed, but unfortunately for the Clydesdales, the Falcons scooped the ball up in the own goal line and just had to complete the set to win.

With just under a minute remaining, the Clydesdales gave away a penalty with the Falcons instantly opting to kick for goal, and ultimately securing the win and the 47th Battalion in an epic affair.

Sunshine Coast's Tyler Oxenham was announced the Player of the Final for his leadership and direction in the halves alongside Corey McGrath who also played well for the Falcons.

For Toowoomba, incumbent Queensland Rangers captain Jason Wardrop was very strong at lock forward and provided his side with the go forward and experience required in such a big game.

Sunshine Coast in action against Bundaberg.
Sunshine Coast in action against Bundaberg.

In the plate final earlier, Central Highlands were upset again, this year by South West Country 18-6.

In an entertaining game between the two country cousins, CH led early through a try to Tom Murray.

The depth of the Country side however paid dividends with a strong showing from Tom Kennedy in the halves and Michael Fletcher up front, to score all the remaining points in the match and lift the plate.

In the Women's division, history was made as the Rockhampton Rustlers secured their maiden title with a 22-6 win over the Sunshine Coast Falcons.

A two-try haul from Kaitlin Moss and a strong showing from young fullback Rhiannon Revell-Blair ensured the Rustlers victory after going down to the Central Highlands in last year's decider.

At the conclusion of the carnival, the Division named its Central Crows Men's, Women's and Emerging Women's sides to represent the region in the upcoming month.

A big congratulations and thanks must go to the Toowoomba Brothers Junior and Senior clubs and the Toowoomba Rugby League for the hard work contributing to a successful 47th Battalion.

The Division congratulates all players who took part in this year's carnival and looks forward to the 2019 47th Battalion set to be held at the Sunshine Coast.

PLAYERS OF THE FINALS

Men's Trophy: Tyler Oxenham (Sunshine Coast)|
Men's Plate: Tom Kennedy (South West Country)
Women's: Sarah Field (Rockhampton)

PLAYERS OF THE CARNIVAL

Men's: Sam Burns (Sunshine Coast)
Women's: Rhiannon Revell-Blair (Rockhampton)

Sam Burns with QRL Managing Director Rob Moore.
Sam Burns with QRL Managing Director Rob Moore.

DAY 1 MEN'S RESULTS

GAME 1: SUNSHINE COAST 44 (Joel Bisset 2, Alex Copelin, Nat McGavin, Baidon Cooper, Blake Mara, Tom Rafter, Troy Mendham tries; Tyler Oxenham 6 goals) defeated NORTH WIDE BAY 4 (Drew Jackson try)

GAME 2: BUNDABERG 26 (Billy Stefaniuk 2, Danny Moran, Dion Bunyan, Jake Thompson tries; Clinton Horne 3 goals) defeated CENTRAL HIGHLANDS 22 (Chris Conway 2, Matthew Collins, Tom Murray tries; Shae Cox 3 goals)

GAME 3: TOOWOOMBA defeated GLADSTONE (forfeit)

GAME 4: ROCKHAMPTON 12 (Jamie Minto, Gavin Hiscox tries; Cody Grills 2 goals) defeated SOUTH WEST COUNTRY 4 (Tom Barron try)

GAME 5: CENTRAL HIGHLANDS 18 (Matthew Collins, Ned Garside, Junior Chong-Nee tries; Shae Cox 3 goals) defeated NORTH WIDE BAY 16 (Brady Roberts, Blake Harvey, Michael Smallwood tries; Lachlin Smith 2 goals)

GAME 6: SOUTH WEST COUNTRY defeated GLADSTONE (forfeit)

GAME 7: SUNSHINE COAST 28 (Sam Burns 2, Joel Bissett, Blake Mara, Devlin Long tries; Tyler Oxenham 4 goals) defeated BUNDABERG 10 (Danny Moran, Jake Thompson tries; Clinton Horne goal)

GAME 8: TOOWOOMBA 12 (Dylan Chown, Hnaloan Budden tries; Matt Duggan 2 goals) defeated ROCKHAMPTON 8 (Jamie Minto, Liam Pickersgill tries)

DAY 1 WOMEN'S RESULTS

SUNSHINE COAST 6 (Georgie Oaks try; Lana Sheedy goal) defeated CENTRAL HIGHLANDS 4 (Cooper Hill try)

ROCKHAMPTON 12 (Rhiannon Revell-Blair, Meg Neven, Sarah Field tries) defeated GLADSTONE 6 (Rikarra Benjamin try; Rikarra Benjamin goal)

SUNSHINE COAST 36 (Sophie O'Toole 2, Stefanie Gallagher, Lana Sheedy, Jazmyn Taumafi, Annette Brander, Kelli Dunlop tries; Lana Sheedy 4 goals) defeated BUNDABERG 6 (Amber Saltner try; Amber Saltner goal)

GLADSTONE 22 (Chelsea Baker 2, Zeah Lane, Savannah Pratten tries; Chelsea Baker 3 goals) defeated SOUTH WEST 14 (Kirilee Sires, Kiara Taylor Molly O'Connell tries; Reeghyn Beardmore goal)

CENTRAL HIGHLANDS 12 (Cooper Hill, Stacey Kirkman, Mariah Storch tries) defeated BUNDABERG 0

ROCKHAMPTON 26 (Rhiannon Revell-Blair 2, Kaitlin Moss 2, Samartha Leisha tries; Tashina Ketchup 2 goals) defeated SOUTH WEST 10 (Kirilee Sires, Tegan Gibbs tries; Reeghyn Beardmore 2 goals)

DAY 1 WOMEN'S LADDER

 #POOL A   POOL B 
1 Sunshine Coast 4 Rockhampton 4
2 Central Highlands 2 Gladstone 2
3 Bundaberg 0 South West 0

DAY 2 MEN'S RESULTS

GAME 9: NORTH WIDE BAY defeated GLADSTONE (forfeit)

GAME 10: ROCKHAMPTON 44 (Malcolm Darkin 3, Darcy Davey 2, Cody Grills, Cooper Nobbs, Jayden Alberts tries; Cody Grills 6 goals) defeated BUNDABERG 6 (Matthew Craven try; Daniel McLennan goal)

PLATE FINAL: SOUTH WEST COUNTRY 18 (Daniel Dwyer, Thomas Thompson-Dodd, John Russo tries; Warren Draper 3 goals) defeated CENTRAL HIGHLANDS 6 (Tom Murray try; Shae Cox goal)

TROPHY FINAL: SUNSHINE COAST FALCONS 12 (Nat McGavin, Travis Long tries; Tyler Oxenham 2 goals) defeated TOOWOOMBA 8 (James Dempsey, Ty Gardner tries)

DAY 2 WOMEN'S RESULTS

3RD v 3RD: SOUTH WEST 32 (Kirilee Sires 2, Clarissa Janes, Reeghyn Beardmore, Lauren Cockburn, Molly O'Connell tries; Reeghyn Beardmore 4 goals) defeated BUNDABERG 0

2ND v 2ND: GLADSTONE 20 (Chelsea Baker, Zeah Lane, Sharnee Werahiko, Savannah Pratten tries; Chelsea Baker, Krystal Sulter goals) defeated CENTRAL HIGHLANDS 6 (Mariah Storch try; Kailah Rogers goal)

WOMEN'S FINAL: ROCKHAMPTON 22 (Kaitlin Moss 2, Rhiannon Revell-Blair, Mackenzie Reid, Gemma Brennan tries; Tashina Ketchup goal) defeated SUNSHINE COAST 6 (Annette Brander try; Lana Sheedy goal)

RANKINGS FOR 2019 47TH BATTALION

 #MEN'SWOMEN'S 
1 Sunshine Coast Rockhampton
2 Toowoomba Sunshine Coast
3 Rockhampton Gladstone
4 Bundaberg Central Highlands
5 South West Country South West
6 Central Highlands Bundaberg
7 North Wide Bay   
8 Gladstone