Almanac Rugby League – Queensland Cup Grand Final: Redcliffe Dolphins def. Easts Tigers 36-22

I couldn’t get to Lang Park for today’s QCup decider so I took it in from the comfort of my lounge chair in Noosaville. A pity, really, because it was a beautiful day in south-east Queensland and it would have been ideal to be at the footy. I’m hopeful that our keen-as-mustard Almanacker Damian Roache will give us a separate eye-witness account of the game so that we can gauge the atmosphere at the Cauldron. We may even get some comments from Dolphins Chairman Bob Jones once he calms down a bit. Meanwhile, here’s one observation of the contest.

 

It’s twelve years since the Redcliffe Dolphins last won the Queensland Cup, an absolute drought in their terms. With this sixth victory in 23 years, the Dolphins extended their record as the most prolific winner of the Cup since its inception in 1996. But spare a thought for Easts Tigers who are yet to chalk up their first win, having now endured five losing Grand Finals, including three in the past six years. The scoreline read 36-22, arguably a fair reflection of the game which was played in front of a crowd of 7,500.

 

To be honest, it wasn’t the highest quality QCup match I’ve seen this year. This came about due to the combined impact of GF nerves, desperate defence and too many unforced errors. Both sides produced passages of fine play from time to time and there were some outstanding individual efforts here and there. Somehow it just lacked the overall cohesion you’d expect at this level. But to the winners the spoils – the Dolphins will happily take the win with a long and boisterous night ahead on the Peninsula.

 

I think it’s fair to say that Redcliffe seemed in charge for longer periods of the game but just couldn’t put the Tigers away. In fact, Easts looked potentially the more dangerous side with the ball in hand but were held back by both sound Dolphin defence and too many self-inflicted errors. By comparison, Redcliffe ground their way forward and imposed themselves in the attacking quarter, eventually finding ways through and over the defence to build a scoreline that forced Easts to play catch-up for almost all of the second half.

 

For the Dolphins, Toby Rudolph made plenty of yards up the middle and was deservedly awarded best afield. Elder statesmen Sam Anderson and Nick Slyney were solid and provided a steadying influence when Easts made a belated surge deep into the second half. Aaron Whitchurch’s presence of mind led to a freakish second half try and halfback Cameron Cullen guided the team around the park well. Fullback Trai Fuller copped some heavy tackles early on but provided the most scintillating plays of the day, finishing with two tries. All-round, it was a pretty fair team effort.

 

The Tigers opened well but lost considerable direction when Billy Walters was forced off with an ankle injury after half an hour. Tommy Butterfield gave everything, as he always does, but apart from skipper Jake Foster, the Easts forwards were well held. Linc Port and Marlon Seve tested the Dolphins out wide and fullback Scott Drinkwater looked dangerous every time he handled the ball. Sam Kasiano, a tower of strength off the bench in recent weeks, had a day he’d like to forget with several handling errors after trying to force too many passes.

 

You have to bear in mind that Easts came from fifth on the ladder via three sudden-death finals matches just to get to the Grand Final. Sooner or later it had to catch up. In the context of the game, the loss of their key playmaker in Walters was huge and so, when it came to playing catch-up footy for most of the second half, they just didn’t have the structure or composure to pull it off. Redcliffe took advantage and was able to dominate territorially for large periods of the game. Full credit to Easts for hanging in before it got away from them in the last ten minutes.

 

Redcliffe now goes on to play the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs (who won the NSW Cup over the Newtown Jets) in a curtain-raiser to the NRL Grand Final on Sunday.

 

Go Dolphins!

 

 

 

About Ian Hauser

A happy, Noosa-based retiree with a (very) modest sporting CV. A Queenslander through and through, especially when it comes to cricket and rugby league. I appreciate those beautiful moments in sport (and life) that capture the spirit rather than the law of the game. I enjoy travel, good coffee and cake, reading, and have been known to appreciate a glass or three of wine. I offer a comprehensive editing service for both new and experienced writers. Check me out at www.writerightediting.com.au Queenslander!

Comments

  1. Brin Paulsen says:

    Thanks Ian. I couldn’t catch the game (apparently Q-Cup isn’t prioritised ahead of ET’s fishing adventures in Victoria!?) but my old man kept me updated via text.

    Sounded like the contest was cruelled after Walters went off and Easts were unable to deliver much in attack without him.

    I’m a Souths-Logan man myself, so I can only chortle to myself about the grand final record that Easts have now amassed. Not a great weekend for Tigers fans in any part of the country.

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