Finals heat up in Cairns and Mackay

District Rugby League finals are here or on the doorstep across North Queensland, and the pressure is mounting for sides eager to make an appearance in their respective grand finals.

In Cairns, the final round of the regular season has left the Kangaroos with it all to play for, the sixth-placed side need to beat Mossman Port Douglas to be a chance of making the finals.

It won't be easy, as Mossman is in fourth place and needs the win to secure their position in the finals as well.

Similarly, Tully is looking to get over Brothers Innisfail, lest they be leap-frogged by the Kangaroos, or have Mossman pull further ahead of them.

The closeness of the competition in the last round of the season is a testament to the quality of the teams this year according to QRL Assistant Division Manage Robbie Moore.

"The comp has been really even, so I think anyone can win it in that top five, including six with the Kangaroos, I reckon anyone could take it out his year," Moore said.

"You just need that momentum coming into the finals; they're Sunday afternoon games where a lot of the teams play Saturday night, so the heat will be starting in the next couple of weeks and that usually sorts a few out."

As for who has that momentum, Moore thinks the boys from the tablelands are the team to beat with their ad-lib style of play.

"Atherton are really going under the radar a bit, they beat Innisfail last week 20-10, I was really impressed with Atherton, they just throw it around, chipping and chasing," he said.

"They're a bunch of young guys, but they looked good against Innisfail and they've beaten Cairns Brothers, quite convincingly in some of the rounds.

"They're going to be hard to beat but they haven't been in a finals in quite some time so we'll see how they go in final time pressure."

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Eight hours drive south, Mackay District Rugby League is entering its second week of finals, with both Moranbah and the Magpies having a chance to play in the grand final next week against Wests.

QRL Operations Manager Jade Johnson is looking forward to the contest, with both sides displaying differing form throughout the year.

"Moranbah have definitely been higher on the ladder and winning more, but Magpies... as the season's gone on they have definitely been the biggest improvers," Johnson said.

"It could be anyone's game actually, I would have said Moranbah definitely didn't play to their full potential on the weekend that's just passed."

"[The Magpies] definitely have more confidence now than what they had at the beginning of the season and they played well on the weekend."

Photo: Tully Tigers team photo taken from their Facebook page