Rugby League Brisbane to host cross river grand finals

Rugby league Brisbane fans will be out in force on Saturday, as they descend upon Albert Bishop Park in Nundah where three mouth-watering senior grand finals take centre stage.

Looking back on the 2019 InTech Rugby League Brisbane season, it was always going to be an epic showdown no matter which teams made the grand final.

Starting at noon and kicking off proceedings will be the battle of the Open 3 grand final between Southside minor premiers Souths Inala and Northside minor premiers Samford in what looks set to be a tantalising match up.

Souths Inala will be battered and bruised going into this game after enduring an incredible 29-minutes of extra time last weekend, before overcoming a strong Mt Gravatt Lions 20-16.

Mt Gravatt coach Troy Egan said it was the most bizarre ending of his career, with both sides out on their feet at the conclusion of the marathon match.

How the Panthers back up will be interesting especially against another formidable opposition.

Watch out for Panthers Chris Dawson and Damion Jackson to inject themselves early on in this game with both being standouts all season.

Samford come into the Open 3 clash on a high, defeating Logan Wanderers 24-0 in last weekend’s preliminary final at Emerson Park.

The Stags had already brushed aside Brothers St Brendan’s 26-4 in the qualifying final 2 weeks ago, so they will be eager to bring the trophy back to Alan Cash Oval.

The Stags will be looking at Kye Mills and Scott Bunney to get things moving from the kick-off with both players dangerous on any given day.

Following at 1.30pm, the Open 2 grand final will be contested by Southside minor premiers Logan City Hawks and the mighty Brighton Roosters, who took out the minor premiership in the Northside competition.

The Hawks have been sensational all season with the Logan club defeating Banyo Devils last weekend 52-24 in a clinical display of rugby league in the preliminary final.

Hawks Errol Palmer and Joey Burchell will be the ones to watch out for in the Logan side.

Brighton have found some red-hot form of their own leading into the grand final, sweeping aside Browns Plains 28-14 in the qualifying final and edging out Normanby Hounds 24-16 to secure their place against the Hawks.

Look for Nathan Brannigan to find the try line and Jerome Leedy to add some experience to a young Roosters outfit.

In the final game of the day kicking off at 3pm, Southside heavyweights Bulimba Bulldogs clash with Pine Central Holy Spirit in what will be the showdown of all showdowns.

The Hornets have been in sensational form, steamrolling a disappointing Dayboro Cowboys in the qualifying final 24-0, then backing it up with a thrilling 17-4 win over Brothers in last weekend’s preliminary final.

They will be steered around the park by some familiar faces including Thailand international Carlin Millar who will add some invaluable experience to the younger generation.

Zach Lister and workaholic playmaker Pat Rasmussen will also fly the Hornets flag proudly having been consistent right throughout the 2019 season.

The Bulldogs grand final record in local club rugby league is quite incredible.

Winning seven grand finals in the past eight years is not only a testament to the club, but a record that will be hard to break considering the competition gets stronger each year.

Coach Jason Harris will be looking to his key players to step up which include Greece international and Bulldogs Stalwart Adam Kambouris, half Adam Ogden, Tai Betham and Aaron Brown who will all bring a wealth of knowledge into the game.

The Bulldogs gripping 34-24 win over Dayboro in last weekend’s preliminary final was one of the toughest games defensively seen all season, so it will be interesting to see if the Bulldogs can muscle up again against an in-form Hornets.

This year is the first time the InTech Rugby League Brisbane competitions have come together for a ‘cross river’ finals series, pitting the top four from the northside competitions against the top four from the southside.

The finals series has led to some fantastic rugby league across the board, holding the future of the concept in good stead.

InTech Rugby League Brisbane grand final day – Saturday, September 14 at Albert Bishop Park

Division 3 – Samford v Souths Inala, 12pm

Division 2 – Logan City Hawks v Brighton, 1.30pm

Division 1 – Bulimba v Pine Central Holy Spirit, 3pm