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Southside sweep Rugby League Brisbane finals

Southside teams have won all three Rugby League Brisbane cross river grand finals with the Bulimba Bulldogs claiming the Division 1 title.

Bulimba’s captain courageous Adam Kambouris was unstoppable in steering his Bulldogs side to a gripping 8-4 win over a gallant Pine Central Holy Spirit Hornets.

The Greece international and Bulldogs stalwart was out on his feet at the fulltime siren after leading his side to what was one of the Bulldogs toughest grand finals in the last decade.

Jubilant Bulldogs players were mobbed by euphoric fans after the siren sounded, as the tight-knit club celebrated the end of what was a thundering cross river finals series.

Stung by a slashing try to brilliant Bulldog Tommy O’Connor in the 14th minute, the Hornets were rattled early on.

Bulimba began to grab the upper hand on the back of a powerhouse performance from their vaunted forward pack.

But whilst Bulimba have been arguably one of the most dominant clubs of the last decade on the Southside, take nothing away from a gallant Pine Central Hornets.

The Hornets, who were humble in defeat, gave the Bulldogs one of their toughest assignments of the year.

Inspirational front rower Carlin Millar and the brilliant halves pairing of Jason Gush and Ezra Ellis were outstanding for a losing Hornets side.

Gush’s kicking game was second to none, turning the Bulldogs defence around in the prevailing wind, whilst Ellis was cutting the Dogs to shreds up the middle.

But the Bulldogs were thundering up the middle through the towering Mitch Paesler, Kambouris and Christian Wilson who were just getting the upper hand.

The Hornets took their foot off the pedal in what was until that point a clinical display of rugby league by both clubs, giving away a gift penalty to the Bulldogs right in front of the sticks in the 30th minute of play.

Trent Henrick made no mistake landing the easy conversion to see the Bulldogs shoot out to a handy 8-0 lead.

In a frantic last 20 seconds of play before the halftime siren sounded, the Hornets nearly pulled off what would have been the try of the game.

With the hooter sounding, the ball was flick passed and lobbed out along 17 sets of hands, before eventually being knocked on to end what was a diabolical finish to a blockbuster first half.

With the second half just as ferocious as the first 35 mins, the Hornets started to push the Bulldogs to their limits with a tirade of barnstorming runs.

Michael Hopkins and Levi Edmonds were like battering rams trying to find a chink in the Bulldogs armour to no avail.

Eventually it would be one of the Hornets smaller men though in hooker Pat Rasmussen who dived over from dummy half to secure the Hornets first points of the afternoon.

The Bulldogs started to give the Hornets trouble around the ruck with man of the match and diminutive hooker Josh Few proving a handful out of dummy half.

Bulimba fullback Matt Hill’s metre gains were lifting his Bulldogs forwards and with halfback Jai Smith’s kicking game on song, you could sense the Bulldogs were smelling another grand final victory.

With 20 seconds left on the clock, another pulsating finish was looming.

A wayward Hornets pass saw the ball spill over the touchline, handing Bulimba their eighth grand final win in nine years.

Earlier in the day a spine-tingling didgeridoo performance from Souths Inala Warriors before the kick-off of the Division 3 grand final set the tone for what was a fantastic display by the Indigenous side, running out 34-10 winners over Samford Stags.

Souths Inala’s centre pairing of Matt Stanley and Ashley Williams were unstoppable as the Warriors capped off a stellar season by beating a tough Stags outfit led by Andrew Cathcart and Caleb Holland.

In the Division 2 grand final, Logan City Hawks were made to work for their 24-18 victory over the Brighton Roosters in a physical encounter.

Both sides were tested in the searing heat, however the Hawks had enough petrol in the tank to seal the win.

Hawks Peter Nahona and Josh Shadford were sensational for the Logan outfit, frustrating the Roosters defence throughout the game.

Brighton gave as good as they got though, with powerful centre Daemon Hancock and halfback Michael Winchester the standouts for their side.

Rugby League Brisbane InTech senior men’s grand final day

Division 1 - Bulimba Bulldogs 8 def Pine Central Holy Spirit Bulldogs 4

Man of the match - Joshua Few

Division 2 – Logan City Hawks 24 def Brighton Roosters 18

Man of the match - Jerome Green

Division 3 - Souths Inala Warriors 34 def Samford Stags 10

Man of the match - Nathan Bani

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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