Two new names have been etched on the winning pieces of silverware after an impressive final day of the Queensland Rugby League State Championships at Southport.
At the completion of the annual premier A Grade carnival yesterday, the SEQ Green Men and Northern Marlins Women claimed their first titles in emphatic fashion – the first time either side has won the respected honour.
The opening Men’s clash of the day showcased a high-quality ‘winner takes all’ affair between SEQ Green and Central following good wins to both sides in Saturday's matches.
The Crows couldn’t have started the unofficial grand final any sweeter with the Klein twins combining on the right edge for Rowan to score in the fourth minute.
The Water Dragons hit back in the 10th minute when Semisi Ahoafi brought a number of Crows defenders across the try line with him to score.
SEQ continued with the flurry of tries; Matthew Milson crossing for his first in the 16th minute, followed by Sam Elliott in the following set.
Down 16-4, the Crows needed some points to reward their 100% first half completion rate.
In a set that had nothing going, journeyman Steve Franciscus somehow broke through a snoozing defensive line to be tackled ten metres short, and then in the following play, magician Corey McGrady again went to his bag of tricks to find the chalk and ease the deficit to 16-10 at the break.
Central were their own worst enemy in the second half with a number of unforced ball-handling errors prohibiting them from leaving their own end.
SEQ made them pay in the 40th minute; halfback Chris Ash throwing a well-timed cut-out pass to Milson for his double after identifying a short right edge defensive line.
It was a brave effort from the Crows to defend set after set on their line for the opening 15 minutes and only concede one try, the last points for SEQ.
On the back of their frustrating defensive pressure, Klein scored his double in the 58th minute, and a second four-pointer to McGrady with only single digits remaining setup the game for a grandstand finish.
Central toiled hard in the dying minutes, but it wasn’t enough with the home side claiming victory – a first for the newly-formed SEQ Green outfit.
Jack Miers was rewarded for his quality service and creative play from dummy-half, being named the player of the carnival with a hopeful Queensland Rangers jersey coming his way when the side is announced later this week.
It was a history-making moment when the Northern Marlins emphatically defeated SEQ White 16-4 to claim their first ever female title.
Martina Monday was the only try scorer in the opening half to give the Marlins a 6-0 lead at the break.
Only 30 minutes from claiming their first ever title, Levinia Robinson extended the lead in the 33rd minute after breaking the line to run 20 metres and score.
With 15 minutes to go in a low scoring affair, Lauren Moss put the game all but beyond doubt with a four-pointer to make it 16-0.
SEQ were able to get a consolation try with Sasha Mahuika crossing in the final three minutes, but it wasn’t enough to deny the Marlins juggernaut their first ever championship win.
The Marlins' success will be the first time the trophy leaves the South-East corner, ending such a dominant period for the Water Dragons, who this year decided to split their immense talent into two teams after continuing growth of the South-East Queensland competition.
In the opening and closing games of Day 2 that had no impact on the State Championship titles, SEQ Green were able to snatch victory after an early second half scare from the Central Crows Women and SEQ White narrowly got home against the Northern Marlins Men 20-14 to wrap up another fantastic year of a high-quality rugby league competition.
A special congratulations and thanks must go the Southport Tigers and SEQ Region QRL staff for their contributions pre, during and post this year’s event and all three Regions look forward to another exciting year of the State Championships in 2020.
SEQ GREEN 36 (Christopher Ash 2, Sam Elliot 2, Iosua Afoa, Rashaun Denny tries; Jack Miers 5, Michael Molo goals) defeated NORTHERN MARLINS 16 (Jesse Dee, Joseph Eichner, Samuel Martin tries; Bradley Stephan 2 goals)
POINTS: SEQ Green 8, Northern Marlins 0
CENTRAL CROWS 20 (Jake Ainsworth, Caleb Daunt, Danny Kerr, Reece Maughan tries; Caleb Daunt 2 goals) defeated SEQ WHITE 12 (Jaiyden Hunt, Kurtis McDonald, Andrew Petaia tries)
POINTS: Central Crows 6, SEQ White 2
SEQ GREEN 22 (Matthew Milson 2, Semisi Ahoafi, Sam Elliott tries; Jack Miers 3 goals) defeated CENTRAL CROWS 20 (Rowan Klein 2, Corey McGrady 2, Caleb Daunt 2 goals)
POINTS: SEQ Green 6, Central Crows 2
SEQ WHITE 20 (John Mackin 2, Stuart Mason, Kurtis McDonald tries; Matthew Egan 2 goals) defeated NORTHERN MARLINS 14 (Steven Tatipata, Bradley Steven, Harold Snell tries; Bradley Steven goal)
POINTS: SEQ White 6, Northern Marlins 2
NORTHERN MARLINS 12 (Levinia Robinson, Angela Solomon tries; Angela Solomon 2 goals) defeated SEQ GREEN 8 (Keisha-Leigh Coolwell, Liahona Theodore tries)
POINTS: Northern Marlins 6, SEQ Green 2
SEQ WHITE 24 (Sasha Mahuika 3, Shae-Yvonne De La Cruz, Vaituulima Soe, Caitlyn Taleni tries) defeated CENTRAL CROWS 0
POINTS: SEQ White 8, Central Crows 0
SEQ GREEN 22 (Zara Canfield, Keisha-Leigh Coolwell, Chanelle Kohika-Skipper, Liahona Theodore, Kristine Vaalepu tries; Zoey Holland goal) defeated CENTRAL CROWS 14 (Gemma Brennan, Kelli Dunlop, Kailah Rogers tries; Tashina Ketchup goal)
POINTS: SEQ Green 8, Central Crows 0
NORTHERN MARLINS 16 (Martina Monday, Levinia Robinson, Lauren Moss tries; Angela Solomon 2 goals) defeated SEQ WHITE 4 (Sasha Mahuika try)
POINTS: Northern Marlins 8, SEQ White 0