Wattles edge out Valleys in 100th Madsen-Rasmussen

The Wattles Warriors finally overcame Valleys to win the Madsen Rasmussen trophy at Clive Berghofer Stadium last Sunday in a game for the ages.

Wattles started the game well after each side were at 4-4 after tries to Matthew Christensen for Wattles and a wonderful individual try by the speedy Valleys' Denzel Burns, splitting the Warriors defence to race 50 metres and score.

Burns' wing opponent Braydon Wilson wasn’t to be outdone when he created something from nothing, breaking away down the left wing and throwing a magic pass to Andrew Richardson to score, breaking the deadlock.

The Warriors surged to a 16-4 lead when Nick Van Der Poel scored an opportunist try for Wattles after a Matt Duggan kick found his opposition out.

Dwayne Duncan scored just before the break to close the gap to 16-10 to Wattles at halftime.

Duggan and Travis Burns were instrumental in getting their team over the advantage line, whilst Duncan and Denzel Burns were keeping the Roosters in the game.

The second half was electric; with the brutal defence and wave after wave of last ditch plays from both sides.

Wattles' Braydon Wilson was the first to score to get his side further in the lead 20-10 after the 48th minute, finding Valleys' defence out to score out wide.

Last year's premiers had other ideas with Drew Jackson leading his Valleys forward, laying the foundation for Valleys to get back into the match when Duncan took a 50-metre intercept try to get Valleys back into the game.

The Roosters had not been in front for the entire match until midway through the second half when Kalemb Hart scored the try of the match when he dived under the posts and Ben Cook added the extras to get the Roosters in front for the first time 22-20.

The game continued to grow in statue with magnificent play from both sides; edge of the seat stuff with the epic game in the balance.

It was Wattles' turn to cross the line when a Duggan high-kick was perfectly placed just in front of Valleys posts and unfortunately for the Roosters, the ball bounced back towards Wattles and Mitch Koina swooped to get the Warriors back in front 26-22.

The second half continued producing quality plays and the Denzel Burns’ speed again rose to the occasion when he scored an exciting try to level the scores at 26-26 with 18 minutes remaining.

Both teams threw everything at each other and a 70th minute penalty goal by Duggan broke the deadlock.

Desperate times called for last ditch efforts and both teams left it all on the field for the rest of the game.

Both teams received a standing ovation at the end of the match in what can only be described as one of the most enthralling games of the last decade and a fitting experience for the 100th year of Toowoomba Rugby League.

Mitch Koina, who was coached by Bill Pollard as a junior was gracious in accepting the Bill and Stephen Pollard Medal for the player of the match.

All 34 players contributed with some outstanding performances.

Travis Burns and Matthew Duggan, together with Ryan Duggan, Dale Perkins, Matt Richards and Micheal Pearson were wonderful for Wattles.

Jackson was outstanding for the Roosters with Burns and Duncan also playing well for Valleys.

Wattles finally tasted victory in a trophy final under Travis Burns and thoroughly deserved their win.

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In the earlier Reserve Grade match between these two sides, Valleys won the President's Cup with a 26-12 victory; meanwhile, Dalby picked up the Under 18 trophy with a 46-34 win over Souths and Newtown created history with a 50-12 win over Goondiwindi in Second Division.

Wattles 28 (Matthew Christensen, Mitch Koina, Andrew Richardson, Nick Van Der Poel, Braydon Wilson tries; Matt Duggan 4 goals) defeated Valleys 26 (Denzel Burns 2, Dwayne Duncan 2 Kalemb Hart tries; Ben Cook 3 goals) at Clive Berghofer Stadium, Toowoomba.