Hype builds for Sunshine Coast preliminary finals

Following the outstanding success of last Sunday’s local Sunshine Coast / Gympie Rugby League Women in League Round, footy continues at Sunshine Coast Stadium tomorrow with four top quality preliminary final games.

A golden-point 16-12 victory to Maroochydore over Gympie in last week's Maudsley Excavations Cup Women's grand final has created hype on the Coast and the excitement levels have grown in anticipation of what's to come in the next two weeks.

The action starts with the Under 18 matchup between the Kawana Dolphins and Maroochydore Swans at 12.30pm. 

The winner will play Beachmere Pelicans in next week's grand final after the Pelicans defeated minor premiers Kawana 30-16 in last week’s major semi-final - Kawana's first loss of the season.  

The Swans progressed to this week's game by defeating Nambour 22-14.

Both teams will be looking for better starts as the Dolphins trailed 18-0 at halftime last week; while the Swans were behind 14-6, but finished with three unanswered tries to secure the win.  

In Round 15, Kawana scored a close 16-10 win over the Swans and are expected to bounce back from their surprise loss and progress to next Saturday's WIN TV Under 18 decider.

In the Vantage Homes Cup Division 2B at 2.10pm, the Kilcoy Yowies are set to face the Yandina Raiders.

The burning questions being asked this week are ... can the Raiders come from fourth spot to progress to the grand final? Or will the Yowies go on with it this weekend after blowing an 18-8 lead against minor premiers Beachmere in last weekend’s major semi final?

Goal kicking by either Yandina's Eugene Smith or Kilcoy's Michael Edwards could determine the outcome of the match.

The Yowies have the edge over Yandina with three wins from four games this season and should prove too strong for the Raiders and make it through to the Vantage Homes Cup Division 2B big dance against Beachmere.

With one win each during the regular season, Coolum and Maroochydore face off again at 3.50pm in the Vantage Homes Cup Division 2A preliminary final.

As witnessed in the regular season, this game could go either way to see who plays minor premiers Beerwah in the finale.

Coolum will be hoping to repeat last year's Division 2A success.
Coolum will be hoping to repeat last year's Division 2A success.

The Colts' leading try and points scorer Jackson Shearer is injured, so the onus falls on another high points scorer in Keir Nicholls to set the scene for a great tussle, although Maroochydore's Blake Trace may say otherwise. 

He scored 16 points in the Swans' win over Caboolture last Saturday night at a cold Woodford Showgrounds, but his ability to bag a multitude of points may not be enough with many pundits suggesting Coolum may get away with the win, but only just.

The day concludes at 5.30pm with the Vantage Homes Cup Division 1 clash between the Caboolture Snakes and the Kawana Dolphins.  

Many are asking, will the Snakes have enough venom for one more strike, or can the fast-finishing Dolphins make a big splash and cause a massive upset?

With a win a-piece during the regular season, this game will be ripper. 

Caboolture held a 14-10 lead at the break in last Saturday's major semi final, but Stanley River finished strongly, scoring 30 points in the second half to progress to the decider.

In the other semi, the Dolphins came from the clouds to score four tries in eight minutes to oust Beerwah 32-22 after trailing 22-8.

No doubt Kawana's Shaun Smith and Joe Lowe will be amongst the points scorers; while the reliable Caboolture halfback Scott Maddick will be primed for a big effort.

This game has been a tough one to pick who will progress - it's been suggested the Dolphins may follow in the footsteps of last weekend and claim victory in the final five minutes.

Following this weekend, the Sunshine Coast Senior grand finals will all be played at the Stadium next Saturday, August 24.

If the finals matches played so far are anything to go by, there'll be four top quality games at the Sunny Coast’s premier venue to culminate the 100th season of Sunshine Coast / Gympie Rugby League.

Preliminary final matches

Saturday, August 17 - Sunshine Coast Stadium

12.30pm Under 18 Kawana Dolphins v Maroochydore Swans
2.10pm Division 2B  Kilcoy Yowies v Yandina Raiders
3.50pm Division 2A Coolum Colts v Maroochydore Swans
5.30pm Division 1 Caboolture Snakes v Kawana Dolphins

Grand final matches

Saturday, August 24 - Sunshine Coast Stadium

Under 18 Beachmere v Kawana / Maroochydore
Division 2B Beachmere v Kilcoy / Yandina
Division 2A Beerwah v Coolum / Maroochydore
Division 1 Stanley River v Kawana / Caboolture