If last Saturday's preliminary finals are anything to go by, tomorrow's Rockhampton and District Junior Rugby League grand finals should be thrilling.
With two games going into extra time and another almost going the same way, the quality of footy was outstanding.
UNDER 13: BROTHERS BLUE 16 DEF ROCKHAMPTON TIGERS 14
The Tigers were looking to go through to their second grand final but first, they needed to get over Brothers Blue who have been progressing nicely through the back end of the season.
Both sides played good footy and took advantage of their possession when in good field position.
At halftime, Brothers led 10-6.
Both sides came out and scored in the second half, making it 16-10 and with one minute left, the Tigers scored, making it 16-14 with the kick to come.
Sadly, for Tigers fans, it wasn't their day as the kick slid past the upright setting Brothers up to meet Cap Coast Brothers in the big dance.
UNDER 14: NORTHS KNIGHTS 26 DEF CAP COAST BROTHERS 12 (E/T)
Cap Coast Brothers were looking to get back on track after their semi-final extra time loss to their city cousins, Rockhampton Brothers.
Things didn't start as planned with Norths shocking the minor premiers, taking a 12-0 lead into the break.
The halftime rest gave Cap Coast time to regroup and allowed them to come out in the second stanza and get back on terms with Norths, leading to a 12-12 draw at the end of regular time.
For the second final in a row, the Brethren were faced with an extra time period, and the result would be the same for them as it was two weeks ago, with Norths adding three tries to the score line in the 10 minutes of extra time, gifting the Knights a spot in the big dance. Well done to Cap Coast on a very good year.
UNDER 15: BROTHERS BLUE 18 DEF GRACEMERE CUBS 4
The Under 15 preliminary final was a replay of the 2016 and 2017 grand finals and for one of these sides, it was season over.
At this time of the year, these sides are very close, and this game was no different.
It took to midway through the first half to see points, with Brothers claiming an early 6-0 lead to which they would take into the halftime break.
The second half was even tougher, and after many attempts, Gracemere finally struck out wide to make it 6-4.
Both sides threw everything at each other and in the end, Brothers got away to an 18-4 lead late in the game to secure their grand final position.
Well done to both sides for an entertaining and physical game.
UNDER 16: BROTHERS BLUE 22 DEF YEPPOON SEAGULLS 16 (E/T)
This game never really got going through the first half.
Yeppoon kept things simple and took advantage of Brothers' mistakes to climb to a 12-0 lead.
Brothers hit back with a try out wide and the margin could have been closer, but a very tight Seagulls' defensive line stopped a certain try.
On resumption, Brothers again continued with mistakes and Yeppoon got out to a 16-4 lead.
This seemed to trigger the Brethren's forwards and they started a roll, getting back on terms with Yeppoon with a few minutes left.
When the final hooter sounded, the scores were locked at 16-16.
In the first stanza of extra time, both sides never really threatened but with two minutes left in extra time, Brothers crashed over for a try, sealing a ticket in the big dance.
Both sides should be very proud of their efforts as both had a number of players unavailable due to injury.
UNDER 18: EMU PARK 24 DEF NORTHS KNIGHTS BLUE 18
Emu Park was determined to bounce back from their loss to Cap Coast in the major semi-final two weeks prior and had the perfect start with early points.
They continued this and at the break, had a 14-0 lead.
Halftime can sometimes come at the wrong time but for Norths, it gave them some time to reassess and came out firing in the second stanza to score a multitude of points.
Unfortunately, fulltime came too soon for the Knights as the Emus held on to take the game 24-18.
Well done to Norths and we wish the 18-year-olds all the best for the future.
GRAND FINAL PREVIEW
Tomorrow (Saturday, June 23) is grand final day with gates opening at 8am ready for action at 9am.
The day will also be a fundraiser for young Christian Hermann, who is still in Brisbane's Lady Cilento Hospital battling Guillain Barre Syndrome.
To help raise funds, a number of signed jerseys will be auctioned to help raise funds. They include:
- Tim Glasby's 2018 Melbourne Storm ANZAC Day jersey – fully signed by the Storm
- Manly Sea Eagles fully signed jersey
- North Queensland Cowboys fully signed jersey
- Brisbane Broncos fully signed jersey
- Central Queensland Capras fully signed jersey
The RDJRL would like to thank Brad Mulvihill from Topex Rockhampton for donating his services to conduct the auction and to Dave Faiumu, Stephen Parle and Kim Williams for arranging the jerseys.
9AM: UNDER 13 - CAP COAST BROTHERS V BROTHERS BLUE
This should be a great start to the day with the undefeated Cap Coast Brothers side taking on Brothers Blue.
Cap Coast has plenty of talent with the likes of Noah Rauluni and Jett Manion returning from very successful Capras campaigns along with Josh Welsh and Cooper Hoare leading the way.
So far, they haven't lost a game this season and will be looking to keep their undefeated season going in the big dance.
Brothers Blue haven't lost a game since the start of May and will also be looking for their Capras players to lead them to victory, with Liam Barnes and Saylor Heke having very good games in Chinchilla.
On paper, Cap Coast should win this one easily but this is a grand final and if Brothers Blue continue their good form, they could cause an upset.
10.30AM: UNDER 14 - BROTHERS BLUE V NORTHS KNIGHTS
With Cap Coast out after an unbeaten regular season, the title race is now very open.
Brothers Blue, who upset Cap Coast last year to take the title, now have to face the giant killers, Norths.
In their two clashes this year, Brothers Blue have had the advantage, but this is the decider and there is no second prize.
The Brethren have the representative firepower of Jaiden Green, Kelly Shadlow, Ethan Boswood and Angus Gabriel; whilst Norths will look to points-scoring machines Isaiah Dale, Nathan Reading, Tom Powell and Preston Richards.
Another interesting game is sure to entertain the crowds and again, Brothers Blue will start favourites, but Norths will look to do to them what they did to Cap Coast last year.
12PM: UNDER 15 - YEPPOON SEAGULLS V BROTHERS BLUE
Yeppoon have been the real surprise packets of this season in the Under 15s.
They have been very consistent all year and they hope that will get them through, but they come up against the defending premiers of the past two years and after Brothers' tough encounter against Gracemere last week, they are primed for a three-peat.
Yeppoon have seen plenty of points from Kealhan O'Brien, Michael Rediex and Izaac Jackson; whilst Brothers have Colby Mole, Flynn Kelso and Queensland Schoolboys hooker Jai Hansen directing them around.
These sides have met twice this year with one win each, the last in the final round to Brothers.
The decider is the enthusiastic Seagulls against 'big dance experts' Brothers.
Most are leaning towards Brothers but Yeppoon weren't the first side into the decider for no reason ... the boys from the beach can play.
1.30PM: UNDER 16 - NORTHS KNIGHTS V BROTHERS BLUE
The Under 16 decider sees two sides that have not tasted grand final success.
Norths came up short in last year's finale and will be looking to go one better.
Brothers have been 'there-abouts' in the past three years but haven't been able to get through the big one.
To get to the big dance, they had to defeat the Seagulls in extra time last week.
These sides have been very close all year, but it was Norths in the major semi-final who flexed their muscle after being down early.
The Knights have talent across the field with Brodie Gill, Jack Grant, Larsen Dale-Doyle and Seth Backo leading the charge all year.
Brothers have been the grinders this year and expect Dalton Loram, Jackson Taylor, Dayne Shadlow and Mitchell Leard-Lamont to blunt the Norths attack.
On results this year, Norths are favourites, but can't let Brothers hit the front like in the semi-final.
3.30PM: UNDER 18 - CAP COAST BROTHERS V EMU PARK EMUS
The final match of the day sees some of the best attacking young footballers running around Central Queensland.
These sides met twice in the regular season with a draw and win to Emu Park, but it was Cap Coast who qualified for the decider with a 30-18 win in the first week of finals.
Cap Coast will look to their halves in Troy Richardson and James Busby to lead them around and the pure speed of Jeremiah Naawi to finish.
Emu Park have their own speed machines and if they can start like they did against Norths, they can turn around the previous meeting.
With Kyle Solomon, Reuben Hamson and Travis Field playing straight, this last game will be entertainment plus.
Cap Coast have the edge but in games like these, the bounce of the ball could change the game quickly and if one team gets some quality possession, they will put points on the board.