Flashy centre Darren Broome capped a magnificent season personally with a double as South Kolan Sharks completed a perfect unbeaten premiership with a hard-fought 22-4 triumph over a valiant Gin Gin Hawks in the Northern Districts Rugby League Grand Final at home at Shark Park on Sunday.
The decider, which was played in good spirits in front of a massive crowd, featured Country football at its best between two sides who gave their absolute all, with the Sharks missing their captain and playmaker Andrew Filo, who was in Covid-19 lockdown until 4pm after having travelled to Sunshine Coast a week earlier, and the Hawks losing their 2021 NDRL Top Points Scorer Cameron Ross to injury in the warm-up.
It was a real arm-wrestle from the start and the Sharks led just 4-0 at the break after Darren, who was chosen in the 47th Battalion Carnival Merit Team after a starring performance for the Wide Bay Rangers against Central Region’s best at that showpiece carnival in May, scored midway through the half.
The Hawks drew level early in the second stanza with 20-year-old rising star rookie winger Connor Boon finishing brilliantly a superb team try in just his seventh game for the club.
But South Kolan reclaimed the lead with Darren’s second try 11 minutes later, and while the Hawks never stopped trying, the Sharks tackled themselves to a stand-still, then ran away with it with three more tries in the last 17 minutes, scored by crafty captain and halfback Cem Rohdmann, wrecking ball front rower Phillip Lindsay, who had an absolute whale of a game in attack and defence, and fleet-footed winger and NDRL Rookie of the Year Montgomery Chapman-Dynevor.
The Sharks really missed Andrew Filo’s game management, general kicking game and goal kicking but Tongan seasonal worker Paula TuiVailala, who filled his big shoes in the No. 6 jersey, took out the Player of the Grand Final Trophy.
But Andrew, who was able to come to the game at 4pm when the lockdown lifted, just after his side had retaken the lead, was able to run the team from the bench for the last 25 minutes, and he lavished praise on all his players, but singled out second rower Bruce Ikamanu, Phillip Lindsay, club stalwart lock Jacobb Olive, second rower Jamie Morey and Darren Broome for special mention.
The Sharks had been through some tough times since their previous premiership in 2015 but made it to the previous two grand finals in 2018 and 2019 before losing to Miriam Vale Magpies 18-12 and Avondale Tigers 56-16 respectively.
But they recruited strongly for this season and won all of their 14 games under first-season coach Andrew.
The premiership was also a perfect retirement present for long serving Club President John Herwig and his wife Beryl, who have been with the club since it was formed in 1968.
Gin Gin Hawkettes however claimed their club’s maiden Women’s League Tag title with Jude Bust, a veteran of Past Brothers’ domination of the Bundaberg Women’s League over nine seasons until 2019, notching a double in a 30-0 white-wash of two-times defending champions Avondale Tigerettes.
BUNDABERG RUGBY LEAGUE
The absences of halfback and BRL Rookie of the Year Marcus Tanner and powerhouse young gun second rower Lachlan Patterson, who were both in Covid-19 lockdown after travelling to Brisbane the previous weekend, and vintage veteran forward Dan Tanner, who had work commitments, were telling as Wests Panthers suffered their first loss to Past Brothers this season, being outplayed by them 30-16 in the Bundaberg Broadcasters A Grade Premiership Qualifying Final at Salter Oval on Saturday.
But the Panthers will get a second chance in the Minor Semi-Final this Saturday against Hervey Bay Seagulls, who trailed Waves Tigers by 10 points with nine minutes to go in the Elimination Final before claiming two late tries to finish level-pegging at 22-all after 80 minutes, then powering home 34-26 in extra-time.
Brothers led 12-4 at half-time, before putting their stamp on the match with tries to stalwart second rower Aaron Hall and interchange front rower Jake Thompson in the 44th and 59th minutes.
Down by 20 points, Wests revived their hopes, finally capitalising on nine straight sets in possession with prolific scoring centre Jensen Deamer breaking a three-match scoring drought in the 69th minute, then repeating the dose three minutes later after they received a penalty deep in the ensuing restart set, with Chris Robinson converting both from wide out to narrow the gap to eight points with seven to go.
The Panthers received another penalty in the next set, but this time, they knocked on on the third tackle, halting their momentum.
From there, the reigning premiers jealously guarded their lead, before putting the icing on the cake with centre Klinton Beer scoring in the dying second and Zak Bainbridge kicking his fifth conversion from as many attempts.
Brothers coach Andrew Hamilton admitted that they were “pretty scrappy”, but he lauded their defence and praised their forward pack, led magnificently by inspirational captain and front rower Kevin Sherriff, for laying the platform.
“We probably completed 50% and we need to fix that up to be a chance (in the Major Semi-final this Saturday against minor premiers Easts Magpies),” Hamilton said.
In the Elimination Final, Waves captain Reece Maughan led from the front with a double in a signature high-class all-round performance, and after scores had been locked at 6-apiece at Oranges and again level-pegging after the skipper’s second four-pointer in the 45h minute and Seagulls’ second rower Travin Baumann’s reply five minutes later, the Tigers made their charge with two tries in the space of four minutes.
Firstly, tough as teak front rower Ross Larsen forced his way over in the 55th minute, before quiet achieving workaholic second rower James Brosnan followed suit.
But the Seagulls set up a grandstand finish with star centre Scott Walthall crossing in the 71st minutes, with winger Mitchell Laughton adding the extras, before Laughton equalized with a try with 39 seconds on the clock.
Alas, Mitchell’s sideline conversion attempt was off-target, sending the match into extra time.
The Seagulls continued on in extra-time, with first front rower Slayde Johnson plunging over, then Baumann picking up a loose ball and sprinting the length of the field for his second try, with Mitchell Laughton converting both to take his game tally to 14 with one try and five goals, before Tom Dexter picked up a consolation four-pointer for the Tigers.
Across The Waves (ATW)’s 2020 Golden Boot Bryce Hibberd, who has been overshadowed by new team-mate Nykodah Smith in the scoring department this season, was a match winner with a double as they toughed out a 3-1 home victory over arch-rivals Bingera in their Wide Bay Premier League Men’s Round 18 clash on Saturday.
By their win, they clinched the League Championship with two rounds remaining, with second-placed Fraser Flames bowing out of contention for that title when they were surprisingly held to a 2-2 draw by Doon Villa.
Bingera remain in third place, but they are now just two points in advance of United Park Eagles (UPE), who shored up fourth place with Lynton Seary bagging a double in a 5-2 dispatch of Sunbury Blues.
The hot and cold Brothers-Aston Villa bounced back to keep their hopes alive with captain Michael Stayte leading from the front with a hat-trick in a 6-1 blitz of Granville, but they remain five points behind UPE and must not only win their last two games against Doon Villa and Bingera respectively but also rely on UPE losing to ATW and the Flames if they are to pilfer a top four berth from them.
Meanwhile, Diggers look destined for the wooden spoon after going down to SC Corinthians 2-1 in their bottom of the table shoot-out.
Hosts Brothers Bulldogs again tried their hearts out, but they look destined to finish the Wide Bay Marquis Macadamias Seniors Premiership season without a win for the second season in a row after going down fighting to cross-town rivals Across The Waves Eagles 9.4 (58) to 7.5 (47) in their second last game of 2021 on Saturday.
Ben Davis kicked a game-high three goals for the Dogs, but the Eagles simply had too many guns for them.
By their win, the reigning premiers moved back into second place on the ladder at the expense of Bay Power, who were shot down by their unbeaten city cousins Hervey Bay Bombers 17.16 (118) to 3.4 (22).
Reigning champions Waves Gold powered on unbeaten in their Warren Family Homes Division 1 Premiership title defence with a big 72-49 victory over Fusion Solomons in their Round 13 showdown at the Superpark on Saturday.
Second placed Brothers Hurricanes had to work harder to overcome a brave Natives Magpies 46-40, while Alloway Blue edged out Waves Blue 50-48.
Here are all the scores:
AFL WIDE BAY
MARQUIS MACADAMIAS SENIORS PREMIERSHIP
Across The Waves 3.2, 5.2, 6.4, 9.4 (58) d Brothers Bulldogs 2.1, 3.1, 5.4, 7.5 (47).
ACROSS THE WAVES – Goal Kickers: Jayden Welsh 2, Michael Blair, Codie Welsh, Tim Dart, Callan Gardiner, Tyson Jater, Isak. Hose, Travis Esmer. Best Players: Damian McRae, Codie Welsh, Michael Blair, Callan Gardiner.
BROTHERS BULLDOGS – Goal Kickers: Ben Davis 3, Mitch Badrick 2, Tristan Taylor, Griffin Webb. Best Players: Griffin Webb, Ben Davis, Joel Saunders, Kyle Anderson, Guy Rivett, Josh Conder.
Hervey Bay Bombers 0.4, 4.8, 11.10, 17.16 (118) d Bay Power 0.2, 2.3, 3.4, 3.4 (22).
HERVEY BAY BOMBERS – Goal Kickers: L. Hodgetts 4, J. Andrew 2, Z. Laud 2, J. Darby, J. Hickey, J. Challies, C. Issa, B. Holland, B. Firth-Meldrum, H. Navez, D. Rowe, D. Johnstone. Best Players: J. Andrew, H. Telfer, J. Darby, C. Issa, M. Lewis, B. Firth-Meldrum
BAY POWER – Goal Kickers: K. Cook, N. Firth-Meldrum, J. Wheeler. Best Players: T. Burch, T. Clark, S. Dyson, D. Jinks, J. Agius, T. Heard.
Across The Waves 3.3, 6.6, 11.7, 13.9 (87) d Brothers Bulldogs 0.0, 0.1, 0.1, 1.1 (7).
ACROSS THE WAVES – Goal Kickers: Tobey Nunn 3, Keiran Perry 2, Kyle Fagan 2, Liam Price 2, Kane Gould, Paul Morgan, Lachlan McLeod, Jack Gardner.
BROTHERS BULLDOGS – Goal Kickers: Robert McKeown. Best Players: Andrew Wattie, Gary Browne, Ethan Charlesworth, Shane Brady, Joel Fry, Joel Anderson.
Hervey Bay Bombers 17.11 (87) d Across The Waves 4.3 (27).
Bay Power 22.19 (61) d Brothers Bulldogs 0.1 (1).
Hervey Bay Bombers Red 5.11 (41) d Bay Power 4.10 (34).
Brothers Bulldogs 3.5 (23) d Hervey Bay Bombers Black 3.0 (18).
FOOTBALL WIDE BAY
PREMIER LEAGUE MEN
ATW 3 (Bryce Hibberd 2, Callum Hillier) d BINGERA 1 (Gary O’Donnell).
FRASER FLAMES 2 drew DOON VILLA 2.
UPE 5 (Lynton Seary 2, Joel Porch, Josh Adcock, Luke Darcy) d SUNBURY BLUES 2 (H Coe, J Miller).
BAV 6 (Michael Stayte 3, Nicholas Chippendale, Nick Jackson, Josh McInnes) d GRANVILLE 1 (K Birt).
SC CORINTHIANS 2 (Josh Lunnon, Scott Black) d DIGGERS 1.
PREMIER LEAGUE WOMEN
SUNBURY BLUES d GRANVILLE ON FORFEIT.
KSS JETS 4 d TINANA 0.
ATW 2 (Jordan Poole, Mitch Aslett) d BINGERA 1 (Dean Pickup).
FRASER FLAMES 1 drew DOON VILLA 1.
UPE 8 (Asher Markey 3, Finlay Bath 2, Ankur Dahal 2, Kyle Pym) d SUNBURY BLUES 0.
BARGARA 11 (Josh Tominich 4, Kane Perry 3, Maximum Nowland 3, Jordan Van Den Barselaar) d GRANVILLE 0.
SC CORINTHIANS 3 (William Osborne, Josh Timbrell, own goal) drew DIGGERS 3.
UNITED WARRIORS 2 d KSS JETS 0.
DIVISION 1 MEN NORTH PLATE
BARGARA 3 d SC CORINTHIANS 0.
UPE RED 15 (Ankit Baral 3, Liam Drew 3, Jordan Baker 2, Seth Banks 2, Cody Pym 2, Ethan Maas, Jason Killer, Fionn Houston) d GIN GIN 0.
DIVISION 1 NORTH WOMEN
BARGARA 1 d SC CORINTHIANS 0.
DIGGERS 8 (Heidi Walk 4, Jasmin Harradine-Hall 2, Jessica Akers, Kelsie Havers) d ATW MASTERS 1.
UPE 3 (Nikki Lowe, Rebekah Doolan) d ATW DEVELOPMENT 1 (Amity Palmer).
ATW HOTSPURS 24 (Weston Giovannoni 11, Zye Cory 5, Sam Shuttleworth 2, Ben Schubel 2, Will Grima, Ryan Korner) d DIGGERS 0.
BAV VILLIANS 4 (Zedd Peters 2, Swarith Chand 2) d BINGERA 0.
UPE 3 drew ATW UNITED 3 (Bowie Young 3).
ATW HAMMERS 5 (Nathan Saffioti 5) d BARGARA 2 (Zayden Busby, Aleki Morris).
WARREN FAMILY HOMES DIVISION 1 PREMIERSHIP
BROTHERS HURRICANES 46 d NATIVES MAGPIES 40; WAVES GOLD 72 d FUSION SOLOMONS 49; ALLOWAY BLUE 50 d WAVES BLUE 48.
WAVES RED 64 d ALLOWAY WHITE 30; BROTHERS CYCLONES 50 d WAVES PURPLE 48; NATIVES EAGLES d FUSION OCRETE ON FORFEIT; ALLOWAY RED 54 d NATIVES SWANS 43.
WAVES ROYALS 43 d BROTHERS LIGHTNING 26; BROTHERS THUNDER 48 d NATIVES ROSELLAS 29.
ALLOWAY YELLOW 39 d BROTHERS TWISTERS 34; NATIVES PARROTS d BROTHERS MONSOONS ON FORFEIT.
WAVES AQUA 33 d FUSION MAGIC SULTANS 24; NATIVES FIREBIRDS 46 d NATIVES KOOKABURRAS 34; WAVES PINK 39 d NATIVES TOUCANS 19.
BROTHERS STORM 45 d NATIVES PEACOCKS 36; FUSION PRECISION 31 d WAVES SILVER 30.
ALLOWAY AQUA 41 d BROTHERS WILDFIRES 28; BROTHERS WHIRLWINDS 26 d NATIVES LORIKEETS 23.
BROTHERS TYPHOONS 34 d WAVES DIAMONDS 29; ALLOWAY EMERALDS 25 d FUSION DANS AUTO ELITE 25.
FUSION SANDHILLS 29 d ALLOWAY PURPLE 15; NATIVES KINGFISHERS 38 d WAVES MAROON 10.
FUSION FORCE 50 d BROTHERS AVALANCHES 16; BROTHERS TORNADOES d NATIVES HAWKS ON FORFEIT; ALLOWAY LAVENDER 16 d ALLOWAY GOLD 12.
BUNDABERG BROADCASTERS A GRADE PREMIERSHIP
Elimination final: HERVEY BAY SEAGULLS 34 (Travin Baumann 2, Dion Bunyan, Scott Walthall, Mitch Laughton, Slayde Johnson tries; Mitchell Laughton 5 goals) d WAVES TIGERS 26 (Reece Maughan 2, Ross Larsen, James Brosnan, Tom Dexter tries; Layton Chambers 3 goals).
Qualifying final: PAST BROTHERS 30 (Ben Schrader, Thomas Murray, Aaron Hall, Jake Thompson, Klinton Beer tries; Zak Bainbridge 5 goals) d WESTS PANTHERS 16 (Jensen Deamer 2, Daniel Clancy tries; Chris Robinson 2 goals).
Elimination Final: HERVEY BAY SEAGULLS 18 (Ryan Hockley, Jamie Nichols, Joel Denduck, Zac Lovekin tries; Ben Hudson goal) d PAST BROTHERS 16 (Will Richardson, Jamie Turnbull tries; Brendon McKeown 2 goals).
Qualifying Final: WESTS PANTHERS 28 (Kynan Hard 2, Lochlan Modrow, Ashley Helmore, Nicholas Hart tries; Ashley Helmore 4 goals) d EASTS MAGPIES 22 (Jackson Paulson, Chris Glasson, Dylan Zelinski, Nick Lorenz, Bennett Ooms Otineru tries; Jackson Paulson goal).
WESTS 12 (Cayleb Johnson, Jayden Holden tries; Ryan Bugeja 2 goals) d BROTHERS 8 (Junior Tuitoma, Jack Picaro tries).
BROTHERS 34 (Jomar Gustilo, Kash Thomas, Riley Quinn, Tristan Maher, Xavier Freeman, Toby Collins tries; Jomar Gustilo 3, Cooper De Silva goals) d WALLAROOS 6 (Lochlan North try, Jack Waterton goal).
MAGPIES 20 (Robert Hadwen 2, Bentley Rizzo, Ryan Charteris tries; Robert Hadwen 2 goals) d WAVES 18 (Locklyn Morgan 2, Preston Walsh tries; Preston Walsh 2, Brody Allan goals).
HERVEY BAY 50 d WESTS 10 (Brody Lake try, Darnell Saunders goal).
WALLAROOS 40 d BROTHERS 0.
WAVES 38 (Hayden Ferguson, Joshua Richards, Nicholas De Lacy, Parkka Perrotta-Dowling tries; Tahj Coates 3, Parkka Perrotta-Dowling goals) d BEASTY BEARS 12 (Tyson Rizzo 2 tries; Locklan Maher, Tyson Rizzo goals).
WESTS 52 (Isaac Williams 3, Kyjuan Tanna, Will Forrester, Lael Lampton tries; Luke Giles 5 goals) d HERVEY BAY 6 (Rupeni Baravilala try).
Grand Final: SOUTH KOLAN 22 (Darren Broome 2, Montgomery Chapman-Dynevor, Cem Rohdmann, Phillip Lindsay tries; Jackson Brown goal) d GIN GIN 4 (Connor Boon try).
Slean Cup: AVONDALE 56 (Billy Dau 4, Bradyn Terare 2, Samson Dau, Keith Wuruki 2, Malcolm Lambell, Dylan Wagner tries; Frank Primavera 5, Muthuna Jones, S Dau, Malcolm Lambell goals) d MIRIM VALE 48 (Mitchum Dawes 3, Maverick Sypher 3, Brandon Hornby, Glenn Cox tries; Eli Johnson, Brandon Hornby, M Dawes, Charles Hopf 2, Glenn Cox, Jesse Wyngaards goals).
WOMEN’S LEAGUE TAG
GIN GIN HAWKETTES 30 (Jude Bust 2, Jessica Galea, Bree-anna Orpin, Rachael Jose, Shannon Lavender-Horlyck tries; Emma Collinson goal) d AVONDALE TIGERETTES 0.