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Seagulls and Panthers shuffle teams before decider

After 10 weeks of relentless rugby league and two weeks of finals, the dust has settled with only two clubs remaining.

Wynnum Manly will square off against the West Brisbane Panthers at Pathion Field at Bishop Park at 4pm this afternoon in the In Safe Hands Cup grand final and both teams are aiming to check off their own piece of history.

For Wynnum Manly, a three-peat beckons, while the Panthers will be playing to send their coach Craig Ingebrigtsen off a winner.

The Panthers have had a checkered season, but put it all together last Saturday against the minor premiers Valleys, romping into the decider by downing the Diehards 42-16 at Emerson Park.

At Kitchener Park 90 minutes later, the Seagulls were in all sorts against Carina in the first 10 minutes, but soon took flight, scoring 26 points in the space of 15 minutes to establish a big lead; eventually taking the game 28-20.

The Panthers have named an unchanged line up for today’s game, but have added an 18th player pending a concussion clearance on Bryce Donovan.

Wynnum Manly however have some backline reshuffling, with half Max Plath (knee) out and replaced by Ben Farr. Centre Mitch McMillan is out of the match after being rubbed out after a dangerous tackle charge.

Gulls skipper Aaron Booth hobbled from Kitchener Park, but is set to take his place in the line-up.

Plath and Booth had played every game this season, with Farr needed to step up and establish a relationship quickly.

Harlan Collins is no stranger to the centre position and will replace McMillan; which will bring the try scoring machine Ratu Rotavisoro on to the left wing.

Both sides have met only once this shortened season with the Seagulls prevailing 16-10 in a game won thanks to a stellar performance by Plath.

Previous finals, albeit a different formatted competition, have the Gulls winning the 2019 preliminary final 40-16 at Frank Lind Oval, a 38-8 win in 2018 in the mud at WJ Scott Park; while the Panthers slotted a field goal in extra time in the 2017 minor semi final to progress with a 25-24 win at Kougari Oval.

Wynnum Manly have won the past two In Safe Hands Cup premierships while the Panthers last title was in 2009 in the FOGS decider.

That side was also coached by Craig Ingebrigtsen, who this week has announced his retirement.


Programme for tomorrow:

Posted by Brisbane Rugby League - A Grade on Friday, 16 October 2020

It will be big day of football at Pathion Field, home of the Norths Devils in Nundah, with the Nev Blair under 18 final between Easts and Souths kicking off at 12pm,  followed by the Reserve Grade grand final from 2pm between the Wynnum Manly Seagulls and the Valleys Diehards. The A Grade decided is set down for 4pm.

Following the final whistle, the player of the season will be awarded and the In Safe Hands Cup lifted by the winning captain.

In Safe Hands Cup grand final team lists

Saturday, October 18 at Pathion Park, Nundah - 4pm

Wynnum Manly Seagulls

1. Matt Milson 2. Rahkeem Auda 3. Harlan Collins 4. Junior Pauga 5. Ratu Rotavisoro 6. Aaron Booth (c) 7. Ben Farr 8. Corey Davis 9. Harrison Graham 10. Max Elliott 22. Jack Kelleher 12. Kelepi Faukafa 13. Luke Bateman 14. Manaia Cherrington 15. James Robinson 11. Nofasa Malutoa 17. Hayden Crowley 18. Savaan Tahere 19. Lachlan Perry 20. Sheen Lomax

Coach: Darren Ferricks

West Brisbane Panthers

1. Kyle Van Klaverin 2. Brandon Downey 3. Zach Lister 4. Tony Tumusa 5. Corban Daniels 6. Harry Freebairn 7. Gerard McCallum 8. Michael Molo 9. Tommy Butterfield 18. Ben Mathiou 11. James Flack 12. Bryn Callaghan 13. Sam Burns 10. Jordan Brown 14. Jack Walters 16. Bryce Donovan 17. Eddie Tautali 20. Foisa Peni

Coach: Craig Ingebrigtsen

Referee: Dan Munroe
Touch Judges: Josh Vernon and Jacob Funk

*Main image courtesy of Vanessa Hafner

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