With finals already have kicked off on the Gold Coast, the business end of the season is upon us in regional Queensland. Let’s check in with the competitions around the state to see who will likely be playing for silverware in just a few week’s time.
Far North Queensland
Mariners finish season undefeated
The James Cook University (JCU) Mariners have finished the Far North Queensland regular season undefeated after securing a 42-26 win over the Southside Crusaders this past weekend.
With JCU celebrating their Ladies Day, the A Grade men put on performance for their home audience in the top of the table clash.
The minor premiers showed their strength, but suffered three injuries early in the match.
However, the Mariners showed why they are the team to beat as they overpowered their competitors by outscoring their rivals seven-tries-to-four.
Nathan Bell and Clinton Noipo both scored doubles on their home ground, a first for Bell in 2022.
The Crusaders’ Derek Faaofo was handed a red card for foul play and took no further part in the match, reducing the home side to 14-men.
In other news, the Northern Beaches Mudcrabs finished their season with a win against the Penrhyn Sharks, 34-5.
Although neither side will advance to play in finals, the teams were battling it out for who ends their season on the bottom of the ladder.
The Mudcrabs came out victorious and claimed sixth place on the ladder, meaning Penrhyn finis the 2022 season with the wooden spoon.
Cairns Brothers were victorious against Barron Trinity in a one-point affair – 29-28.
This was an important win for Brothers as the last time these sides met, with Barron Trinity having won by two points the first time they met earlier in the season. The close rivals will go head-to-head once again in the first week of the finals.
The teams that have advanced to the finals are the JCU Mariners, Southside Crusaders, Cairns Brothers and Barron Trinity Bulls.
FNQ Rugby Results:
A Grade Northern Beaches Mudcrabs 34 def Penryrhn Shark 5 Cairns Brothers 29 def Barron Trinity Bulls 28 JCU Mariners 42 def Southside Crusaders 26 Cairns Wanderers - bye
Reserve Grade Barron Trinity Bulls 19 def Northern Beaches Mudcrabs 12 JCU Mariners 29 draw Southside Crusaders 29 Cairns Wanderers - bye
Townsville – bye
Central Highlands Rugby
Regular season comes to a close in CH
The Blackwater Basilisks have secured a convincing 55-17 win over third place Capella Cattledogs, outscoring their rivals nine-tries-to-two.
While over at McIndoe Park, ladder leaders Otufelenite defeated the Emerald Rams in a close game -15-11. Tries from Vitale Amato, Kalei Vaiangina and Penisimani Latu secured the win.
Central Highlands Results: Blackwater Basilisks 55 def Capella Cattledogs 17 Otufelenite 15 def Emerald Rams 11
At Whitsunday Sportspark, the Prosperine/Whitsunday Raiders were dominant against Mackay Brothers, securing a sizeable 48-14 win. Raiders players Jack Briskey and Kainoa Close-Houston both scored a double. Brothers’ Kyle Danns scored two tries which were converted by Tim Bedford.
Over at Cathy Freeman Oval, Slade Point went down to Mackay City in a close game 23-21. Slade Point ran in three tries to the Redmans’ two, the difference being the boot of City’s Blair Lloyd converting the two tries and three penalties to secure the win.
At Lions Sports Park, Kuttabul Camelboks ran riot over the Moranbah Bulls 47-12. The Camelboks James Senavanua Kean scored two tries, while Thomas William slotted five conversions.
The Bowen Mudcrabs had the bye.
Mackay results: Proserpine/Whitsunday Raiders 48 def Mackay Brothers 14 Mackay City 23 def Slade Point 21 Kuttabul Camelboks 47 def Moranbah Bulls 12
Frenchville bag two wins at home Frenchville Men’s B side had a comfortable 36-24 win over Mt Morgan at Tom Nutley Field. Winger Bailey Catlin scored a double in the six try haul.
Frenchville Men’s A, backed up the efforts of their fellow clubmen, securing a 22-14 win over Brothers. Frenchville’s Number 8 Ted Condon scored a double, as did Brothers’ outside centre Paulo Saio.
Rugby Capricornia Results: Frenchville Men’s B 36 def Mt Morgan 24 Frenchville Men’s A 22 def Brothers 14.
Late winner from Ikani seals tight Dolphins victory in Round 6 replay
The Noosa Dolphins have upset the Caloundra Lighthouses thanks to a late try from Noosa number 8 Jeff Ikani. The Lighthouses led the entire game until Ikani charged over in the 73rd minute from the back of a scrum. The Dolphins were ultimately able to hold onto this lead for the remainder of the match as the score finished 13-12, keeping the Dolphins within a bonus point victory of second place leading into the round 8 replay next week.
A double from halfback Jona Wesiniciba has led the University of Sunshine Coast Barbarians to a convincing 49-12 bonus point victory over the Caboolture Snakes. Barbarians flyhalf Nathan Thomson finished the day seven from seven with the boot as the Barbarians sit 19 points clear atop the ladder.
Sunshine Coast Results:
A Grade Noosa Dolphins 13 def Caloundra Lighthouses 12 USC Barbarians 49 def Caboolture Snakes 12 Maroochydore / Wynnum – Match Cancelled
Reserve Grade USC Barbarians 20 def Caboolture Snakes 5 Noosa Dolphins 38 def Caloundra Lighthouses 14 Maroochydore / Wynnum – Match Cancelled
Surfers ride wave of good form into Grand Final
The Surfers Paradise Dolphins were able to hold on to a 27-18 victory over the Nerang Bulls, punching their ticket to the Grand Final. The Bulls were unable to capitalise when trailing by only four points for the majority of the second half, leading to Dolphins’ flanker Alexander Behns sealing the Bulls fate with a 79th minute try. The Dolphin’s Grand Final opponent will be decided by the victor of next week’s preliminary final between the Griffith University Knights and the Nerang Bulls.
A Captain’s knock from Griffith University Knights number 8 Jaye Paton has led his team to a clinical 31-3 semi-final victory over the Bond Pirates. Paton chipped in with a workhorse performance which included a try, as the Knights prepare for battle against the Bulls next week, for a chance to meet the Dolphins in the Grand Final.
Semi Finals Results – Gold Coast:
Surfers Paradise Dolphins 27 def Nerang Bulls 18 Griffith University Knights 31 def Bond Pirates 3
Second Grade Nerang Bulls 12 def Helensvale Hogs 10 Surfers Paradise Dolphins 27 def Coomera Crushers 10
Fight for last finals spot heating up
With only a single round remaining in the 2022 Men’s RDO Equipment Risdon Cup and the top three already cemented, the fourth-placed University of South Queensland Saints and fifth-placed Toowoomba Bears suffered costly defeats in Round 14.
The Goondiwindi Emus dominated the Bears, posting a 42-17 win, while to their delight, the Saints narrowly lost to Dalby in a 29-22 thriller.
A win could have seen them move into fourth position coming into the final regular season round. It would now require a miracle as the Bears face bottom of the table Condamine while USQ confronts competition leaders Goondiwindi.
Elsewhere, the Toowoomba Rangers once again piled on the points, securing a 64-10 win over the Romas Echidnas.
The Condamine Cods secured their maiden victory for the season in a 26-22 win over the Gatton Black Pigs.
Round 14 results Men’s RDO Equipment Risdon Cup A Grade Dalby 29 def USQ Saints 22 Goondiwindi Emus 42 def Toowoomba Bears 17 Condamine Cods 26 def Gatton Black Pigs 22 Toowoomba Rangers 64 def Roma Echidnas 10
Nutrien Ag Solutions Bill Flamsteed Premiership B Grade Toowoomba Rangers 38 def St. George Frillnecks 15 Goondiwindi Emus 58 def Toowoomba Bears 7 USQ Saints 43 def Dalby 17 Condamine Cods 21 def Warwick Water Rats nil