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UQ and Easts ready for Colts 1 Final at Suncorp Stadium

UQ celebrate their major semi-final win over Brothers. Photo: QRU Media/Brendan Hertel.
UQ celebrate their major semi-final win over Brothers. Photo: QRU Media/Brendan Hertel.

The stage is set for the Queensland Premier Rugby Colts 1 final, with the University of Queensland taking on the Easts Tigers at Suncorp Stadium this Sunday 18 September.

Both teams will be steered by their star number tens with Tom Lynagh (UQ) and Taj Annan (Easts) both part of the Reds Developing Squad.

Lynagh has dominated year-long despite it being his first year of Colts after moving from England straight after fishing school.

An attacking threat, Lynagh is relishing the Australian conditions and style of Rugby.

“In Australia, the weather definitely has a lot more to do with it here and playing in the right areas of the field,” he said.

“There is a lot more opportunity to have running and attacking footy and it’s probably a bit more physical down here.”

University advanced straight through to the final thanks to a number of clutch Lynagh penalties, and were rewarded with a week off after the tightly contested 13-12 win against minor premiers Brothers.

“Training has been hard but this week’s no different really, it’s just another game of footy and we have prepared good,” Lynagh said of his side’s preparation.

“Our success this season has come from our forward pack who have been really strong as well has our coaching which has been really clear.

The Tigers followed a harder route to the finals with a preliminary win over the Wests Bulldogs followed by a narrow 24-23 victory over the Brethren in the semi-final.

Forward leader and U20 Junior Wallaby representative Max Craig placed the team's mid-season turnaround on the experience amongst the forwards and the team's set piece.

“We have multiple final-year Colts players in our front row and especially Tane (Roiri) our lineout caller has really helped having that knowledge,” he said.

“We have been really dominant through our set-piece with our lineout, and our scrum is one of the most dominant in the comp.

“When those two are humming it's really easy for the team to pick up their energy from that, especially the backs.”

However, Craig doesn't want the team to get complacent, with the Tigers looking for redemption after falling short in last year’s decider.

“We just want to focus on ourselves,” Craig said.

“We know UQ is going to be our biggest challenge for our scrum and lineout and mentally we know are going to have to dominate those areas.

“Tommy Lynagh running them around is pretty handy to have and we’ll have to work against his kicking game which I’m sure Taj and the backs will be on top off.”

Passion runs deep for Craig, having been a Tigers player since he was five and only living a street away from the club.

“It would mean a lot, especially for us and the older boys at the club considering First Grade missed out on making the final,” he said.

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