Grand Final Details

MATCH RESULT: September 16 2006
Grand Final: Norths Devils 28 (Luke Capewell 3, Jason Poppi, Israel Folau tries; Luke Samoa 4 goals) def Wynnum Manly-Seagulls 22 (Chris McQueen 2, Luke Menhinnitt, Ben Cronin tries; Luke Menhinnitt 3 goals) at Suncorp Stadium - Referee: Brendan Wood
Overcast conditions, following some overnight rain greeted the players for the "big one" at Suncorp Stadium, with a good crowd in attendance at the start of a big day of footy.
Both sides were nervous early with mistakes the order of thse day, although Wynnum showed their hand early with a short kickoff which went out, and several attacking kicks from Matt Smith on early tackles. It was the Devils who scored first in the 12th minutehowever when a good wide ball from Luke Capewell put Will Chambers into the clear, and when cornered he grubbered through for Capewell to score. Luke Samoa's conversion from wide out gave the Devils a 6-0 lead. The rest of the half was best descibed as forgettable for Norths, as they lurched from mistake to mistake, looking very much like a t eam that had played only one game in 4 weeks. Wynnum however were looking much more composed, reflecting their run through the finals and within 7 minutes of Norths opening the scoring they were in front, with firstly Chris McQueen finishing off an Adam Mansy break, then Luke Menhinnitt scoring after backing up inside an Aaron Brown break. Menhinnitt converted his own try and added a penalty goal for Wynnum to lead 12-6 with 10 minutes left in the half.  One of the most critical points of the game was in the 32nd minute when Ben Cronin dived on a neat Matt Smith grubber under the posts to seemingly extend the lead, but he was ruled offside in what must have been a line-ball decision to deny the Wynnum side what surely would have been a 12 point lead at the break. WIth Norths having completed only 6 of 15 sets in the first stanza, coach Trevor Bailey would have been relieved to only trail by a converted try at halftime.
STATS HT: Pens: Wynnum 4 - 3; Scrums: 4 - 4; Comp.Rate: Norths 6/15, Wynnum 13/18; Tackles in Possession: Wynnum 58-47 (Opp 1/2 Wynnum 32-21; Opp 20 Wynnum 14-2); Missed Tackles: Norths 11-9; Line Breaks: 3-3
Norths drew level only 2 minutes into the second half when big prop Isaac Schwenke stormed down the middle of the field and found Luke Capewell backing up for a simple try under the posts, and one wondered whether Norths may storm away. However Wynnum regrouped and despite making more errors than they had in the first half they continued to repel the Norths side. Fifteen minutes into the half it was the Seagulls who took the lead when "supersub" Shaun Cotter burst clear, and despite being dragged down just short, a quick play the ball saw Chris McQueen score in the opposite corner. Unfortunately errors crept into Wynnum's game again, and Norths drew level with an amazing individual try from Jason Poppi, who after picking up a spilt ball inside his own half, dashed down the sideline shipped ahead, grubbered ahead then powered over in a last ditch attempted tackle. This lifted the Devils , and they scored another two tries before Wynnum could get their hands on the ball, the first by Israel Folau after a Daniel Issac break and the second Luke Capewell's hat trick when he showed the defence a clean pair of heels from 50 metres out and Norths led 28-16 with 5 minutes to remaining. Wynnum finally got their hands on the ball and promptly scored a converted try courtesy of Ben Cronin and looked as though they might draw level when with only seconds remaining Ryan Brown broke clear, only to see Matt Smith spill the ball after backing up courtesy of some desperate defence 10 metres out, and Norths had won 28-22. 
STATS FT: Pens: Wynnum 5 - 4; Scrums: Wynnum 6 - 5 (1 - 0 agst feed); Comp.Rate: Norths 16/30, Wynnum 21/33; Tackles in Possession: Wynnum 112-99 (Opp 1/2 Wynnum 56-28; Opp 20 Wynnum 26-4); Missed Tackles: Wynnum 25-23; Line Breaks: Norths 9-7
The stats of the game indicate what a territorial advantage Wynnum held for most of the afternoon, having twice as many play-the balls in the opposition half, and 26 to 4 in the opposition 20, although Norths held the edge in line breaks 9-7. For the winners, prop Isaac Schweke had a great game along with hooker and captain Jay Aston. Will Chambers played well in the centres, whislt Israel Folau showed some class with limited opportunities. Luke Capewell was brilliant in attack and deserved his hat-trick, whilst Jason Poppi was eye-catching off the bench. For Wynnum, Adam Mansy had a great game, along with fellow backrowers Jack Reis and Warren Jensen, whilcst halves Matt Smith and Ben Cronin went well. Ryan Brown again had a good game in the centres, and off the bench, Trent Clark, Bruce Kolio and Shaun Cotter were all outstanding.
It really was a very entertaining grand final, and hats off to Wynnum for a tremendous effort through the final series, but full congratulations to the Norths side for wrapping up their third consecutive Colts title.

MATCH PREVIEW: Sept 16 2006
Norths will go in hot favourites - can the giant killing Wynnum side roll them??

Grand Final: Norths Devils v Wynnum Manly-Seagulls Sat 10:10am Suncorp Stadium
Previous Games: Round 8: Norths 58 def Wynnum-Manly 12; Round 17: Norths 46 def Wynnum-Manly 0
The big question this weekend is whether a team that has been beaten by the other by 46 points on BOTH occasions they met this year turn this around to not only be competitive, but actually win. The answer would normally be no, but Wynnum-Manly have turned form on its head during the final series, overcoming these sort of odds against teams that had flogged them during the year in Redcliffe and Aspley and easily beaten them, as well as overcoming Easts on their way to an unlikely Grand Final appearance. On paper, Norths look much the stronger side, but the Seagulls have found a great combination over the last few weeks, on the back of a non-stop forward pack, creative halves in Matt Smith and Ben Cronin, solid centres in the Brown twins, great finishing wingers in Chris McQueen and goalkicker Luke Menhinnitt and a superb bench headlined by Shaun Cotter and Bruce Kolio. Norths have a host of representative players, including Israel Folau, Will Chambers, Michael Bond, Luke Capewell, Isaac Schwenke, Rohan Ahern and Jay Aston, although they haven't played much football together lately and may be complacent. Coach Trevor Bailey will be working hard to remove this from their thinking and they will have to perform to win. Wynnum have never won a Colts Grand Final, losing at their only appearance in 1988, whilst this is Norths eighth in 9 years, having won the last two. Luke Samoa amnd Luke Menhinnitt are equal with 222 points this year which is an interesting side battle! This could be closer than some predict, and don't discount an upset. "THE COMPUTER" tips Norths by 12.