Gold Coast Vikings have won the 2019 Alpha Sport SEQ Region Chairman’s Challenge with wins over both Brisbane teams this past weekend.
The annual series pits representative A Grade teams from the Gold Coast, Ipswich and Brisbane against each other with the Alpha Sport Chairman’s Trophy and possible selection in the SEQ team on the line.
This year, the format was updated to include two Brisbane teams in addition to the Gold Coast and Ipswich sides, with four fixtures taking place at Brandon Park across the weekend.
It was Gold Coast who finished the weekend on top, after wins against Brisbane Blue and Brisbane Red.
In addition to the A Grade fixtures, there was also an Under 20s competition contested, with Brisbane coming out on top in that division.
Two SEQ A Grade teams of 19 players each will be announced to compete in the QRL State Carnival on June 1-2, while a 17-man Under 20s team will also be announced to challenge the Central Division on July 27.
Keep an eye on the QRL website for the team listings.
Results from the Alpha Sport SEQ Region Chairman’s Challenge are listed below.
Brisbane Blue v Gold Coast (A Grade) – Saturday, May 18
Brisbane Blue scored an early try to take a 6-0 lead, before a late try to the Gold Coast Vikings levelled the scores at halftime.
Gold Coast front rower Stuart Mason powered over early in the second term to hand his team a 12-6 advantage, but back-to-back tries from Brisbane fullback Matthew Milson saw Blue hit the front 16-12.
In a see-sawing encounter, Gold Coast managed to hit the front, then added another try for a handy 24-16 margin.
Blue crossed again in the dying minutes, but the Vikings held on to win 24-22.
GOLD COAST 24 (John Mackin, Taniela Palavi, Zachary Walsh, Jenan Wedderburn-Parrish tries Matthew Egan 4 goals) def BRISBANE BLUE 22 (Matthew Milson 2, Andrew Clayton, Harlan Collings tries, Jack Miers 2, Tristan Hope goals)
Ipswich v Brisbane Red (A Grade) – Saturday, May 18
The Ipswich Jets got off to a flying start in their match against Brisbane Red and took a 4-0 early on. A second try to fullback Ono So’Oialo extended the lead to 10-0 after 25 minutes.
In a frantic final few minutes before halftime, Ipswich ran amok over some lacklustre defence.
After adding back-to-back tries, Ipswich then conjured a brilliant final try of the half after the hooter for a 24-0 lead.
Another early try to Ipswich looked ominous for Brisbane, but Red showed some courage to cross for two tries to reduce the gap to 30-10.
Chasing maximum points, Ipswich crossed out wide and the difficult conversion saw the final score 36–10 to the Diggers.
IPSWICH 36 (Ono So’Oialo 3, Jardii Nean 2, Raymond Baira, Anava Fesolai tries Brett Kelly 4 goals) def BRISBANE RED 10 (David Fauid, Jack Walters tries, Luke Archer goal)
Brisbane Red v Gold Coast (A Grade) – Sunday, May 19
After a disappointing result on Saturday, Brisbane Red bounced back by holding the Gold Coast scoreless in the first half and adding a late try for a 6-0 lead at the break.
Red five-eighth Kyle Foxwell extended this margin early in the second term and the sideline conversion saw Brisbane in front 12-0 with a real upset looming.
The Vikings steadied and with more possession they crossed for back-to-back tries to reduce the deficit to 12-10.
Gold Coast then hit the front with another try, but a mistake soon after allowed Brisbane to regain the lead 18-16 with twelve minutes remaining.
Two tries, including one after the fulltime hooter allowed Gold Coast to snatch an exciting 28-18 over a gutsy Red outfit.
GOLD COAST 28 (Jack Conlan, Liam Hampson, John Mackin, Te Rangiatea McDonald, Zachary Walsh tries, Zachary Walsh 3, Matthew Egan goals) def BRISBANE RED 18 (Kyle Foxwell, Joseph McGuire, Andrew Petaia tries, Luke Archer 3 goals)
Ipswich v Brisbane Blue (A Grade) – Sunday, May 18
Ipswich, with everything to play for, never really settled into their groove on Saturday.
An early try to halfback Jack Miers gifted Brisbane a 6-0 lead which did spark Ipswich into action for a period. Two good tries followed, and the Diggers led 10 – 6 after 15 minutes, but from there it was all Brisbane.
Blue ran in four tries to lead 30-10 at halftime and any thoughts of an Ipswich fight back evaporated when Blue extended the lead in the early minutes of the second half.
Brisbane continued to score at will before Ipswich added another try for a 44-14 score line. Both teams crossed again in the dying stages as Blue recorded a comfortable 48-20 win.
BRISBANE BLUE 48 (Rashaun Denny 2, Kyle Van Klaveren 2, Semisi Ahoafi, Harlan Collins, Matthew Groat, Tristan Hope, Jack Miers tries Jack Miers 6 goals) def IPSWICH 20 (Kelepi Faukafa, Zachary Lemberg, Jacob Lindsey, Ono So’Oialo tries Brett Kelly 2 goals)
Final A Grade Ladder
Gold Coast Captains, Jack Martin and Mike Gray were on hand to accept the Alpha Sport trophy from SEQ chairman Brad Tallon.
Brisbane v Ipswich (Under 20s) – Friday, May 17
A good early try to Brisbane back-rower Izayah Nuku handed his team a 6-0 advantage, and another try extended Brisbane’s lead to 10-0 by the halftime break.
Ipswich front rower Aj Sausoo did it all himself early in the second half to reduce the margin to 10-6. A one-on-one strip however handed Brisbane another try and saw the lead back out to 16-6.
An exciting try to Ipswich winger Xavier Michael reduced this gap to 16-10 and a late try gave the Diggers a chance to snatch a draw with two minutes until the fulltime hooter. The conversion attempt sailed wide and Brisbane held on for a 16-14 win.
BRISBANE 16 (Tyler Han, Izayah Nuku, Ronald Philitoga tries Tyler Han 2 goals) def IPSWICH 14 (Peter Maseesee, Xavier Micahel, Aj Sausoo tries Brock Mullen goal)
Gold Coast v Ipswich (Under 20s) – Saturday, May 18
In the Saturday game, it was Gold Coast who jumped out of the blocks for an early lead, and then a handy 10-4 advantage at the halftime break.
The Vikings dominated the early second half exchanges and extended this lead to 20-4, however, like in game one, the Diggers fought back crossing for two tries to reduce the score to 20-14.
Ipswich continued to press for a possible draw, but the Gold Coast held on to win and set up a decider against Brisbane in the final game.
GOLD COAST 20 (Joshua Walker 2, Joshua Henare tries Alexander Drewe, Leighmon Hohaia Katene goals) def IPSWICH 14 (Kaygen Munro, Aj Sausoo, August Tolova’a tries Dion Tavita-Matavale goal)
Brisbane v Gold Coast – Friday, May 18
An early try to Brisbane gave them the advantage and an intercept extended this lead to 12-0 after 15 minutes. Gold Coast hit back late in the first half to cut the margin to just six points.
In the second half, the Gold Coast were attacking the line when a turnover led to Brisbane scoring a good try, and then fullback De-Shaun Lifu Bray crossed out wide for a handy 22-6 lead.
The Vikings reduced the gap to 22-12 with ten minutes to play and another Gold Coast try had Brisbane feeling nervous, but they held on to win 22-16 and claim the Alpha Sport Under 20s title for 2019.
BRISBANE 22 (De-Shaun Lifu-Bray, Kye Mills, Ronald Philitoga, Ryan Sauer tries Tyler Han 3 goals) def GOLD COAST 16 (Ashton Court, Joshua Henare, Leighmon Hohaia Katene tries Leighmon Hohaia Katene 3 goals)
Under 20s Ladder