August 25, 2023
It was a day of highs and lows in local rugby league last Saturday, with some teams being eliminated from the 2023 season, while others could breathe a sigh of relief.
At Kingaroy’s T.J. O’Neill, there were sudden death Minor Semi-Finals in both A Grade and Under 14s.
In A Grade, Wondai Wolves’ season was ended by Murgon; but in Under 14s, the Mustangs’ hopes were dashed by a try in extra time by Kingaroy.
At Cherbourg on Sunday, the Hornets’ campaign in the Wide Bay Female competition also came back to earth, losing to Fraser Coast in the Preliminary Final.
There was also both good and bad news in the South Burnett Eagles’ camp, with the Under 15s through to the Minor Semi-Final and the Under 16s to the Major Semi.
Sadly, the Under 18s put on a brave performance at Bundaberg but suffered a narrow, season-ending loss to Bundaberg Past Brothers.
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In the A Grade Minor Semi-Final, Murgon 58 defeated Wondai 16 after leading 36-12 at half-time, ending the Wolves’ 2023 season.
Murgon tries were scored by Josiah Alberts (3), Preston Alberts (2), Stafford Sandow, Arthur Saltner, Jonathan Walsh, Maurice Fisher and Chris Bond.
Daron-Saltner-Bligh kicked eight from eight, with Maurice Fisher kicking the last conversion of the game.
Wondai try scorers were Conan Holding, Sonny Weazel and Malik Saltner.
Jeremy Hobbs kicked two conversions.
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In the A Grade Major Semi-Final, played under lights, Kingaroy 30 defeated Cherbourg 22 after leading 12-10 at half-time
Kingaroy try scorers were Semesa Madigicala (2), Blake Augustine, Nikolao Petueli and Killian Klease.
Harry Sterling was back on target, kicking five goals from five attempts.
Cherbourg tries were scored by Alex Speedy, Patrick Alberts, Fred Cobbo and Barry Tapau-Fewquandie.
Alex Speedy (2) and Lloyd Langton were the goal kickers.
Kingaroy have booked the first spot in the A Grade Grand Final which is scheduled to be played in Kingaroy on September 2.
Cherbourg will play Murgon in the Preliminary Final on Saturday in Wondai to determine the second Grand Final spot.
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With their season on the line, the Under 14s Minor Semi-Final between Kingaroy and Murgon was fiercely contested.
In the end, the Kingaroy Red Ants came out on top after a nail-biting finish in a game played in windy conditions.
The home team led 18-4 at half-time however a Murgon try blitz in the second half led to the scores being locked 18-all at full-time.
The teams then played five minutes each way.
At the end of the first five minutes, the scores were still locked 18-all.
After a short break, play resumed for another five minutes.
Kingaroy’s Patterson Braithwaite broke the deadlock with a try after a Murgon player was sin-binned.
Unfortunately for spectators, a hiccup with the on-field scoreboard clock kept everyone guessing about the remaining minutes, but independent timing in the official box led to the game being declared over just as Kingaroy’s (unsuccessful) conversion kick was being taken.
The final score was Kingaroy downing Murgon 22-18, meaning the Mustangs’ 2023 season is now over.
The Red Ants will play the losers of the Major Semi-Final, Chinchilla Bulldogs, this weekend in the Preliminary Final at Wondai.
Kingaroy try scorers were Jaxon Branch, Cooper Olsen, Mitchell Prain and Patterson Braithwaite.
Tyler Fuller-Sandys kicked two conversions and a penalty goal in difficult conditions.
Murgon tries were scored by Joseph Jacobs (2), Jayden Arndell and Zac Borninkhof.
Jayden Arndell kicked one conversion.
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The result in the second Under 14s game, the Major Semi-Final, was nowhere as close as the first match.
Cherbourg ended up defeating the Chinchilla Bulldogs 14-4 after leading 14-0 at half-time.
The Hornets have now earned themselves a place in the Grand Final which will be played on September 2 in Kingaroy.
Cherbourg tries were scored by Elijah Langton (2) and Kendall Murray. Quayden Langton kicked one conversion.
Robert Hardy-Thomson scored Chinchilla’s try.
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South Burnett Eagles
Gatton defeated South Burnett Eagles 24-10 in their Round 14 Under 15s Toowoomba JRL game played at Kingaroy on Saturday.
South Burnett finished in fourth spot on the ladder, which means they will now play third placegetters Toowoomba Souths in the sudden-death Minor Semi-Final on Saturday in Toowoomba.
In Under 16s, Gatton forfeited their Round 14 game against the Eagles.
South Burnett finished the regular season as Minor Premiers, and will now play Valleys in Toowoomba on Saturday in the Major Semi-Final to determine the first Grand Final spot.
South Burnett Eagles were also in action in Bundaberg last weekend in the Preliminary Final of the Bundaberg JRL Under 18s competition.
Unfortunately, the squad suffered illness and injury in the lead-up to the game against the Minor Premiers, Bundaberg Past Brothers.
Despite this, they were only defeated by one converted try, 20-14.
South Burnett tries were scored by Jack Webber, Jayden Tewes-Smallwood and Mathaniel Cuthbertson. Jayden Tewes-Smallwood kicked one conversion.
After a big season, the U18s Eagles finished in third spot on the ladder but have missed out on Grand Final berth.
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Cherbourg Hornets bowed out of the 2023 Wide Bay A Grade women’s competition with a 28-16 loss in the Preliminary Final against the Fraser Coast Crushers on Sunday at Cherbourg.
Cherbourg try scorers were Samantha Cobbo (2) and Ruby-Rose Williams. Abbey Templeman kicked two conversions.
Fraser Coast will now face the Wondai Wolves in the A Grade Grand Final on Saturday at Wondai.
The two clubs will also face off in the Grand Final of the Wide Bay Under 16s Girls competition, also at Wondai.
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This Week’s Games
Under 12s round robin games between Wondai, Kingaroy, Murgon, Nanango, Blackbutt and Cherbourg will be played from 8:00am to 12:30pm.
- 1:00pm – Preliminary Final – Under 14s Boys – Chinchilla v Kingaroy
- 2:00pm – Grand Final – Under 16s Girls – Wondai v Fraser Coast
- 3:30pm – Preliminary Final – A Grade Men – Cherbourg v Murgon
- 5:00pm – Grand Final – A Grade Women – Wondai v Fraser Coast
- Under 15s – Minor Semi-Final – South Burnett Eagles v Toowoomba Souths
- Under 16s – Major Semi-Final – South Burnett Eagles v Toowoomba Valleys