Finals Week 1 Details

MATCH RESULTS: August 26/27 2006

Elimination Final:Wynnum-Manly 62 (Ben Cronin 2, Shaun Cotter 2, Brendon O Neil, Luke Menhinnitt, Ryan Brown, Warren Jensen, Adam Mansy, Josef McLean, Michael Chaplain tries, Luke Menhennitt 9 goals) def Aspley 8 Vaughan Eriksen, Jacob Fauid tries) at BMD Kougari Oval
Somewhat surprisingly Aspley were never in the hunt against a Wynnum side that dominated penalties, position and possession in the first half to lead 22-4 at the break before going on to win 62-8 and end Aspley's season in an embarrasiing fashion well short of where they would have liked. Wynnum-Manly move onto the knockout semi against Easts next weekend.

Redcliffe Dolphins 46 (Phil Daisy 2, Matt Gillett 2, Asher Elemani, Logan Sullivan, Sam Schull, Tim Benson tries; Phil Daisy 7/8 goals) def Easts Tigers 16 (Matthew Klein, Joe Richards, Blair Conlon, Dwayne Rigby tries; Brent Kuskey 0/4 goals)
A cooler southerly change had moved through the Gold Coast before the kickoff of the qualifying final at Piggabeen between Redcliffe and Easts. Redcliffe had the benefit of a moderate breeze in the first half and in fact were first on the board after only 3 minutes, when on the back of a penalty, prop Sam Schull spun over in a tackle to plant the ball, Phil Daisy's conversion given the Dolphins an early 6 point advantage. After an impressive start however, Redcliffe started falling into error, failing to complete three sets in succession and eventually the Tigers capitalised, with a neat flat ball from halfback Dane Phillips putting ex-Sprana winger Blair Conlon over in the corner, making the score 6-4 after 13 minutes. The next ten minutes saw both sides go close, but it was the Tigers who broke the deadlock, when some poor defence on the blindside on the last tackle, after the Dolphins had failed to find touch from a penalty, allowed  Matthew Klein to score and Easts take an 8-6 lead with 10 minutes to the break. A simple drop from the kickoff however put Easts back under pressure and Redcliffe capitalised in the next set, with Matt Gillett crossing after an offload from his lookalike Matt Handcock. This seemed to deflate the Tigers and Redcliffe added another two tries before the break, the first to Dwayne Rigby off a good ball from Tim Benson, and the second to Phil Daisy right on the hooter after Tim Yee broke the defence, with Redcliffe skipping away to a 22-8 lead at the break.
The second half saw the wind strengthen a little, but this proved to have little effect early in the half, with Redcliffe going further in front after only 5 minutes when Tim Benson dived over from dummy-half and Redcliffe led by 20. The Tigers finally started getting some ball from this point and struck back, firstly when Joe Richards weaved his way through, and the second when Blair Conlon flipped a seemingly impossible pass inside for Dwayne Rigby to cross. Unfortunately Brent Kuskey was having a hard time in the difficult conditions and he had been unable to convert any of the tries, but Easts were back in it, trailling 28-16 with still 20 minutes remaining, and memories of their capitulation to Tweed in the second half two weeks back must have been fresh in the Dolphins mind, as Easts pounded their line for the next 5 minutes. The injection of Angus Cameron into the game, proved to be the difference as it was he who was instrumental in two tries in 5 minutes that broke the Tigers' spirit, the first when a dash from dummy half goy him close and Asher Elemani scored from his quick play the ball, and the second when he made a break on halfway which saw Elemani back up and put Phil Daisy over under the posts.  Another try to Matt Gillett with 5 minutes remainig completed the scoring and a 46-16 victory to Redcliffe, although the margin of victory belied the tightness of the contest for the first 55 minutes.
For Redcliffe, big prop David Hala was inspirational in the forwards, well backed up by Foisa Peni in attack and workhorse Matt Handcock in defence, whilst scheming hooker Tim Benson controlled the game well. Redcliffe's backs were solid if not spectacular with halfback Asher Elemani a standout, and Tim Yee, in his first game back from a long term injury, particularly solid in defence. Matt Gillett went well in picking up a double, and as mentioned above Angus Cameron was eye-catching off the bench. For the Tigers Dwayne Rigby was the pick of the forwards, whilst Dane Phillips and Matt Klein were best of the backs. Fullback David Wood looked dangerous on occasions, but could have got more involved.
Redcliffe now go on to meet Norths next week for the right to play in the Grnad Final, whilst Easts will be in the knockout semi against the winner of the Aspley / Wynnum game tomorrow.
STATS: Pens: Easts 6 - 5; Scrums: Easts 6 - 5; Comp.Rate: Redcliffe 18/30, Easts 23/33

MATCH PREVIEWS: August 26/27 2006
Norths get to sit out the first week of finals to see who of Redcliffe and Easts they will play next week, whilst Aspley and Wynnum-Manly square off for 2006 survival.

Qualifying FInal: Redcliffe Dolphins (2nd) v Easts Tigers (3rd) Sat 10:30am Piggabeen Complex
Previous Games: Round 4: Redcliffe 32 def Easts 24; Round 14: Redcliffe 22 def Easts 16
Easts have been the "sleepers" of the competition this year, quietly going about their business, with a team based approach covering for the loss of early season stars David Tyrrell and David Georgiou to the Queensland Cup, and under the guidance of outstanding hooker an captain Brent Kuskey, wrapping up third place. Redcliffe led the competition for some time, on the back of a string of narrow wins, and then had to regroup after the mid-season sacking of their coach, to finish in second spot. Both of their normal season clashes were close fought affairs, and this one should be no different. Redcliffe backs look to have the attacking edge on their opponents although Easts will be aiming to give them few opportunities by completing their own sets as much as possible, and Dolphin fullback, Phil Daisy, whilst dangerous in attack, may be targeted by the Tigers. Redcliffe's forwards highlighted by Rooster signing David Hala, are also more heralded but Easts hard-working pack, headed by the dangerous Kuskey will be no pushovers despite  the absence of the injured John Helu who provided plenty of go-forward.  Outside Daisy and Kuskey, players to watch will be Redcliffe' s Matt Gillett, who has hit form late in the season after a slow start, and second-rower Foisa Peni who was nothing short of brilliant early in the season but has faded a little, whilst for Easts fullback David Wood and Matthew Klein, playing on the wing instead of his more accustomed centre position, can both find the tryline. "THE COMPUTER" tips Redcliffe by 8.

Elimination Final: Aspley Devils (4th) v Wynnum-Manly (5th) Sun 1.15pm BMD Kougari Oval
Previous Game: Round 9: Aspley 42 def Wynnum-Manly 16; Round 19: Aspley 32 def Wynnum-Manly 12
After losses to Easts, Ipswich and Western Districts and a draw with Burleigh early in the second round, Aspley have been walking a finals tightrope, only wrapping up a finals spot after a win over Souths-Logan in the 2nd last round, after beating three semi-finalists, Norths, Redcliffe and today's opponents Wynnum-Manly in consecutive weeks, and in fact have the best record in head-to-head competition between the five finalists. Wynnum-Manly made the finals by consistently beating the lower teams, but eventually snuck into the final five on countback after finishing equal with Tweed on points. Wynnum have recorded only one win against a top 5 team during the season (Easts), and have been comfortably beaten by Aspley in both their clashes this year. Aspley's return to form has coincided with being able to field a more consistent team week to week after injury throughout the Broncos organisation denied them this pleasure earlier in the year. Backrowers Keiron Lander, Simona Vavega and Fletcher Holmes (who has been surprisingly named hooker this weekend) have set the foundation for outstanding halfback Jacob Fauid to ply his skills. Vaughan Eriksen has settled into the five-eight position, whilst competition top try scorer Troyden Edwards and Reds-bound Charlie Fetoia have provided plenty of punch in the centres. For Wynnum, lightweight captain Matt Smith has been outstanding all year, whilst Luke Menhinnitt has scored plenty of points with great finishing and outstanding goal-kicking. Bruce Kolio was superb in the rep games early in the year, and had been damaging off the bench in recent times, coming on to give their small but non-stop forward back some relief.  "THE COMPUTER" tips Aspley by 10.

Norths Devils BYE