THE Griffith Dragons exacted revenge for last year’s disappointment with a 22-16 Universities Rugby League Queensland grand final win last night.
In almost a carbon copy of last year’s decider, the Dragons and University of Queensland Hounds were deadlocked 16-16 with five minutes to play at Davies Park.
A year ago it was the Hounds who snagged a late four-pointer to win the title.
But last night it was Dragons’ captain Matt Butler who was the hero, crashing over next to the posts with four minutes left to seal the premiership.
It was a fitting finale to a great season by the Dragons, who completed 2019 undefeated under coach Chris Chaisty.
The Dragons had led early when Joe Bond skipped over after five minutes backing up a break by giant back rower Paul Ivan.
But the Hounds answered immediately when elusive winger Oscar Pannifex snuck over in the corner.
When Dom Heidke bustled his way over the try line in the 24th minute, the Hounds had a 10-6 lead.
However that was erased just before halftime when Dragons’ winger Jake Kearnan scored to tie it up 10-all at the break.
Eventual man of the match Sean Dermba broke away straight after halftime, cleaning up a kick to score to make it 16-10.
But Heidke produced another strong run to crash over with 14 minutes left, setting it up for Butler’s hero finish.
URLQ grand final
Griffith Dragons 22 (Joe Bond, Jake Kearnan, Sean Dermba, Matt Butler tries; Bond 3 goals) defeated University of Queensland Hounds 16 (Dom Heidke 2, Oscar Pannifex tries; Mitch Wells 2 goals) at Davies Park, South Brisbane
Man of the match: Sean Dermba