At the start of this year, 14 teams started the Hastings Deering Colts season with the hope of testing themselves in the finals. Now, there are only eight teams left that will have the chance to take this year’s title and it all starts with a good performance this weekend.
Brisbane Tigers and Mackay Cutters will tackle each other in the eightth versus fifth place showdown at Marsden State High School on Sunday.
Match: Tigers v Cutters
Finals Week 1 -
Venue: Marsden State High School, Brisbane
In a strange twist of finals fate, these two teams clashed last week in the final regular round if the season with the Cutters coming away with a 30-14 win at Totally Workwear Stadium to give them confidence leading into the weekend.
Mackay dominated possession with 56 per cent of the ball and off the back of that, had crossed for three tries in the first 30 minutes.
Flynn Camilleri made 185 metres in a great effort, while sharpshooter Henri Stocks kicked five goals to take his season tally to 136 points.
Cutters coach Tom Heggie said finals were a new competition that start again in September.
“We have been up and down this season but it doesn’t matter now,” Heggie said.
“It’s what you do from now on and how you do it that matters.
“Henri Stocks has been developing nicely for us, he’s a great goal kicker who works really hard on that part of his game.
“We don’t think the Tigers we played last week will be the same Tigers side this week.
“I am looking forward to what he can do in the finals.”
The Tigers will get a second crack at the Cutters and will have to prove they’ve learnt some lessons.
The start of the game will be the first place the Tigers analyse after being 22-6 at half-time in their last game.
The Tigers also missed 47 tackles, a statistic that will need improving too if they are going to got through to week two of the finals.
Tigers coach Mark Gliddon was alert, but not alarmed, about the Cutters leading into the weekend.
“The Cutters are a good team, they have a real strength in their back three,” Gliddon said.
“They get their set off to a great start every time and make metres.
“We will have some changes to our side, we had players play Intrust Super Cup last week and will bring those guys back into our side.
“We will be missing our hooker and probably outside of Ezra Mam, the best player in the Colts competition Haele Finau. But we just have to move on and make sure we are ready for the Cutters.
“It’s finals and this is now why you play football.”
Match: Blackhawks v Dolphins
Finals Week 1 -
Venue: Moreton Daily Stadium, Redcliffe
Townsville Blackhawks and Redcliffe Dolphins will kick off the finals on Saturday with the Dolphins at home and coming off a 46-16 win over Souths Logan Magpies.
Harrison McIndoe scored three tries for the Dolphins while Cody Hunter kicked seven goals and scored one try for a massive personal tally of 18 points.
Otukinekaina-He-Tofonga Kepu kept making ground for the Dolphins with 151 metres while Jordan Crocker making 32 tackles.
In their game, the Blackhawks challenged Wynnum Manly Seagulls, but still came away with an eight-point loss. However, they won’t lose too much sleep about the result as it was 12-12 at half-time. The Blackhawks also only had 51 per cent of the ball, but Jordan Lipp still managed to score three tries from the centres.
Match: WM Seagulls v Falcons
Finals Week 1 -
Venue: BMD Kougari Oval, Brisbane
Wynnum Manly Seagulls and Sunshine Coast Falcons will face off at BMD Kougari Oval with minor premiers the Seagulls coming off a win over the Blackhawks.
Ben Farr was great for the Seagulls and made 205 metres while Adam Mitchell made 31 tackles.
Overall, the Seagulls had less ball, less time in possession and fewer less completions, but still won by eight points. That result says plenty about how well the Seagulls are travelling at the moment and will take some stopping.
The Falcons will fly to Wynnum Manly and not be lacking confidence in what they’re doing at the moment. Last weekend, they beat the Capras 50-30 in a run that would have fine tuned the Falcons for bigger things.
Matthew Barker made 203 metres while Jai Smoothy added another five goals and one try to his tally this season of 138 points.
The pleasing thing for the Falcons would be the 50 per cent of the ball but 50 points they amassed. The Falcons made eight-line breaks and they entered an attacking frenzy.
Heavy lifter - Tyler Han
Match: Seagulls v Magpies
Finals Week 1 -
Venue: Bishop Park, Brisbane
Black and white will be everywhere on Sunday as Souths Logan Magpies and Tweed Seagulls cross paths. Last week, Tweed were too good for Western Mustangs, winning 48-6 with Tyler Han scoring a try and being a general wrecking ball for the Seagulls.
Calen Warman was also strong and came away with 201 metres for his team.
The Tweed had 68 per cent of the ball and this helped create 10-line breaks and 61 tackle breaks for the Seagulls.
The Magpies didn’t have a great day out against the Dolphins losing 46-16, with Redcliffe leading 28-6 at half-time and it was too much for the Magpies to get back.
However, Cruise Ten was again great for the Magpies and made 154 metres and 40 tackles.