Valleys crow in Toowoomba thriller

In one of the most enthralling grand finals in recent times, the Valleys Roosters defeated the Wattles Warriors 24-22 to become this year's Toowoomba Rugby League A Grade premiers.

At Glenholme Park on Sunday, Valleys raced to a 16-0 lead after excellent tries by Jarryd Dodd, Hugh Sedger and the try of the match to Dexter Buchanan.

They had all the ball in the first half and completed 15 of their 17 sets, whilst their opponents only completed 12 of 19.

The try finished by Buchanan was exceptional with Dylan Chown finding space to offload, leading to the four-pointer.

That made the score 16-0 and Valleys were on a roll over the minor premiers.

Once the nerves settled, Wattles calmed down and started to complete their sets, eventually getting on the board with a special try to Rookie of the Year Andrew Richardson.

Coach Travis Burns kicked a high ball and Richardson simultaneously touched the ball when it hit the ground in Valleys' in-goal area to score a miraculous try just prior to the break, giving his side hope at halftime, trailing 16-6.

Wattles started the second half so well, scoring three unanswered tries to take the lead 22-18.

The special try to take the lead was produced from another pinpoint Burns kick into the in-goal area with Wattles' centre Nick Van Der Poel winning the contest over Chown in the 62nd minute.

The game was high quality and Wattles had all the ball in the second half, but Valleys hung in and capitalised on every opportunity late in the game.

The Roosters certainly had much less ball than their opponents in the second half, but their determination was unquestioned, with Valleys centre Kalemb Hart gathering an excellent Jake Ryals kick to score a wonderful team try.

This locked the game up at 22-22 with only a couple of minutes remaining.

Former NRL five-eighth Brett Seymour had packed his kicking boots for the big dance, slotting an important penalty goal early in the second half, and now stood at the coalface to get Valleys in front.

His big game experience paid off, coolly slotting the conversion to make it 24-22, and that's were the scored stayed when the fulltime siren sounded.

The win gave the Valleys Roosters their 35th TRL premiership and their first title since 2011.

It was an epic grand final which had the crowd on the edge of their seats.

Former high ranking NRL official Robert Tew said the game was the best country rugby league game he had seen.

The quality of the game was unquestionable and both teams left nothing in the tank in their quest.

Valleys five-eighth Corey McGrady deservedly won the John McDonald Medal.

He was inspirational, especially nullifying his opposition's kicks and his defence was inspirational.

 

Hutchinson Builders “ Sean Lees” was on hand to congratulate the John McDonald Medal Winner “ Corey McGrady” on his great game and also pay homage to the wonderful spirit of the entire day.

Posted by TRL - Toowoomba Rugby Football League Inc on Sunday, 2 September 2018

Valleys players Drew Jackson, Nathan Bowering and Dexter Buchanan all played well whilst captain / coach Brett Seymour led by example.

For Wattles, having to chase an early 16-0 lead probably was not the best start but they played wonderfully to sneak ahead by a try for a long period late in the game.

Coach Travis Burns tried every trick in the book with interchange player Dylan Wilson making his mark in the game.

This year's Toowoomba Rugby League grand final was a game for the ages and a decider that will remain in the memory of the rugby league fraternity for many years to come.

VALLEYS 24 (Jarryd Dodd, Hugh Sedger, Dexter Buchanan, Kalemb Hart tries; Brett Seymour 4/5 goals) defeated WATTLES 22 (Andrew Richardson 2, Nick Van Der Poel, Nathan Gaulton tries; Travis Burns 3/4 goals) at Glenholme Park, Toowoomba.

Other TRL Finals results

RESERVE GRADE: Gatton 42 defeated Pittsworth 20
UNDER 18: Souths 38 defeated Highfields 10
SECOND DIVISION: Pittsworth 28 defeated Warwick 14

*Andrew O'Brien is a QRL Correspondent covering the Toowoomba Rugby League.