Ash Harrison returns for fierce local derby

The Burleigh Bears and Tugun Seahawks will battle it out for a place in the semi-finals when they face off in the final round of the Rugby League Gold Coast QTOP A Grade competition.

One of the players shuffled back into the Tugun side will be former State of Origin forward Ashley Harrison, who has missed a large chunk of the year with rib and shoulder injuries.

Earlier this season, Harrison told QRL Media how a sledge from his son had brought him out of retirement to play for the Seahawks.

Traditional rivals and powerhouses who have contested multiple grand finals against each other in recent years, there is only room for one of the Bears and Seahawks to play finals football in 2018 unless the winless Ormeau Shearers pull off the upset of the season and defeat Southport.

The Burleigh Bears, who have had a strong second half of the season, will host the game on Saturday from 6pm at Pizzey Park and in addition to a finals spot, the annual Crackers/Tangata-Toa Cup is on the line.

"When we have had a settled side, we go quite well," Burleigh Bears coach Stuart Wilkins said.

Wilkins complemented his players on the way they listen to advice and implement it within the game and is hopeful the team can produce another win against a confident Tugun Seahawks.

Although the Bears have been hit with a blow with halfback Matt Egan ruled out with a pectoral injury, Tyler Sparkes and Jaxson Paulo will be the ones to rise the confidence of the team leading into the weekend.

"We had an outstanding game of football against Bilambil (last week) and (we) need to focus on the positives," Wilkins said.

The Tugun Seahawks, meanwhile, have been playing some of their best football these past few weeks as they have fought themselves into finals contention.

With the return of impact players Harrison, Rob Apanui, Keanu Te Kiri and Corey Morris, the Seahawks squad is finally back to full strength.

"The boys have kicked it up a notch and it definitely helps to have our full squad back from injury," Tugun Seahawks coach Clint Barends said.

"It has been do-or-die games for us these past couple of weeks and this week will be no different."

The Seahawks have looked to their forwards to drive the team and are hungry to stay in the competition.

At other grounds, the Ormeau Shearers will host the Southport Tigers, Tweed takes on Runaway Bay and down south the Bilambil Jets host the Currumbin Eagles.

RLGC QTOP A Grade Ladder   
1. Tweed Heads Seagulls  +237  38 
2. Currumbin Eagles  +134  38 
3. Runaway Bay Seagulls  +126  37 
4. Burleigh Bears  +68  34 
5. Tugun Seahawks  +9  34 
6. Southport Tigers  -2  34 
7. Bilambil Jets  -98  22 
8. Ormeau Shearers   -514  16 

Rugby League Gold Coast QTOP A Grade Round 17

Burleigh Bears v Tugun Seahawks at Pizzey Park, Saturday August 18 – 6pm

Burleigh Bears

1. Jaxson Paulo 2. Mikey Williams 3. Justin Tavae 4. Reece Tapine 5. Te McDonald 6. Josh Rogers 7. Matt Egan 8. Kaleb Fuimaono 9. Zae Wallace 10. Tyler Sparkes 11. Darius Farmer 12. Api Noema 13. Tyler Szepanowski 14. Ben Valeni 15. Arron Shelford 16. Marino Allen 17. Te Aranui Doyle

Coach: Stuart Wilkins

Tugun Seahawks

1. Corey Morris 2. Nat Barnes 3. Savern Rapana 4. Kainoa Gudgeon 5. Jai Veli 6. Keanu Te Kiri 7. Zac Walsh 8. Bryce Thomas 9. Paul Sheedy 10. Anthony Gray 11. Nick Harrold 12. Rob Apanui 13. Ayden Lee 14. Jabe Gamble 15. Trent Smith 16. Shane Gillham 17. Mitch Willmot

Coach: Clint Barends

Bilambil Jets v Currumbin Eagles at Bilambil Jets, Sunday August 19 – 2pm

Bilambil Jets

1. Lachlan Hallard 2. Jack Welsh 3. Matt O'Rourke 4. Kieron Roughley 5. Luke Jaegar 6. Carne Rhodes 7. Ben Black 8. Mitch Spackman 9. Hayden Tolland 10. Brendan Welsh 11. Drew McCullough 12. Bailey Crompton 13. Harrison Burling 14. Tom Plater 15. Tom Rowles 16. Josh Quinn 17. Chris Rigney

Coach: Craig Rowles

Currumbin Eagles

1. Hayden Allsop 2. Xavier Coates 3. Jakob Smith 4. Ken Allison 5. Steve Elliott 6. Zane Willshire 7. Phil Ramage 8. Jarrod Gill 9. Josh Campbell 10. Pele Peletelese 11. Joel Rapana 12. Kurt Perry 13. Keiran Tarrant 14. Josh Sexton 15. Blake Anderson 16. Tavis Rolls 17. Ethan Williams

Coach: Ryan Gundry

Ormeau Shearers v Southport Tigers at Brien Harris Oval, Sunday August 19 – 2pm

Ormeau Shearers

1. Connor Hohepa 2. Hirini Robin 3. Joshua Walker 4. Shay Stevens 5. Dion Belford-Laulu 6. Grayson Te Kiri 7. Nathan Wilson 8. Mohi Kendrick 9. Cody Evans 10. Aati Su'a 11. Trent Shield 12. Pheonix Su'a 13. Shane Blow (c) 14. Jaymz Douglas-Webb

Coach: Julius Kuresa

Southport Tigers

1. Beau Cordtz 2. Kane Rudolph 3. Tevita Folau 4. Luke Ellis 5. Jack Conlan 6. Jordan Birch 7. Jaman Rio 8. Denzal Ngati 9. Chris Thomas 10. Nathan Young 11. Tu Whakatihi (c) 12. Simione Ata 13. Gideon Afemui 14. Senn Kane 15. Lachlan Douglas 16. Doryaan Hape-Apiata

Coach: Mark Ross

Tweed Heads Seagulls v Runaway Bay Seagulls at Piggabeen Sports, Sunday August 19 – 2pm

Tweed Heads Seagulls

1. Jayden Baker 2. Curtis Dansey-Smaller 3. Tony Matautia 4. Ethan Roberts 5. Macauley Dawson 6. Tre Williams 7. Bailey Gill 8. Mitch Sharp 9. Rex Johnson 10. Mick Grey 11. Reece Summer 12. Kirk Murphy 13. Kalani Going 14. Ethan Price 15. Rory Lillis 16. Harry Hughes 17. Jack Peacock

Coach: Kevin Campion

Runaway Bay Seagulls

1. Jack Mackin 2. Harry Hill 3. Steve Tolo 4. Daniel Kelly 5. Jake Powell 6. Jimmy Poland 7. Conner Toia 8. Javarn Nofoagatotoa 9. Henry Chan-Ting 10. Jesse Malcolm 11. Dylan Pelo 12. Darcy Sims 13. Tane Rapira 14. Jenan Parrish 15. Kimihia Pakipaki-Temopo

Coach: Nick Gleeson