A Grade Grand Final Preview


The #GameoftheRound proudly sponsored by Potters Hotel Toowoomba. Throughout the year Downs Rugby Media will preview the biggest match ups of the season each week.

The Wagners Risdon Cup will see a Grand Final rematch for the third year in a row this weekend as Goondiwindi also look to break their 3 three hoodoo and walk away from Clive Berghofer with the Risdon Cup. As the Dalby Wheatmen look to repeat history 50 years down the track and record a three-peat this weekend as they did between 1968 and 1988.

It is well known the two sides have a big rivalry and it will be in fine form tomorrow as both teams look to leave everything out on the paddock and look to get the upper hand on their arch rival. Goondiwindi hold the upper hand this year after beating Dalby in all three encounters this year but know they cannot be content going into tomorrow’s fixture, as Dalby turned it on in the second half falling agonisingly short at fulltime going down by just one point. Dalby will have the self-belief that they can get the job done this weekend, while Gundy will also be quietly confident after remaining undefeated so far this season but will be cautious after losing to the Wheatmen in the last two Grand Finals.

Dalby will know they need to step it up this weekend after a scare against the Rangers in the Preliminary Final last weekend which saw the home side remain composed to come from behind in the last minute to snatch the victory and progress through to the Grand Final. The Wheatmen will take a number of positives out of last week’s battle and will also have a number of areas to improve on which will only boost their overall team performance as they look to make history again having the opportunity to win 3 in a row. Dalby have named their dangerous and young backrow with Rob Walton, John Moloney and Hugh Brosnan adding crucial x-factor into the Dalby forward pack, all having the ability to break tackles with strong ball carries and win their side a turnover being strong over the ball at the breakdown. The Wheatmen will look for the 9/10 combo Brock Carmichael and Dan Merker to step it up a level this weekend and provide their dangerous outside backs with early ball, Inside Centre Matt Donovan will also play a big role in this weekends game as he can relieve the pressure off the forwards and provide important crash balls through the middle. He is also lightning quick off the mark so if he is given any time and space look for his agility and speed to cut the Goondiwindi’s defence open.

Goondiwindi know that they also need to take it up a notch this weekend and play the game for the full 80minutes as Dalby almost surged home in their Semi Final against the Emus. The Emu’s are a similar team to the Wheatmen both having the luxury to unleash strike power across the park as they will look to play a hard and fast brand of rugby this weekend. The Emu’s are hungry to win back the ‘Riso’ this weekend as Levi Power made his presence felt with his speech at Downs Rugby Awards night letting everyone know there is only one thing on their minds. Levi is a big game player and with his never say die attitude his little 1 percent efforts that no one sees, could be the thing that gets the Emu’s what they want this weekend. Levi will work alongside Mal Eby winner Yoni Meron who is a hard hitting defender and a key ball carrier in the Emu’s outfit. Jack Cook will look to match the role of Sam Hogarth this weekend dominating in the scrums and around the ground, both players are highly regarded in the Risdon Cup for their hard and gritty performances in all aspect during the game they will prove to be real assets for their teams. The Emu’s also boast the leading try scorer and top points score for the 2018 season with Tom Jobling and Will Gilbert two of just many classy players in the Emu’s lethal backline, the teams backline as the attributes to play a hard and physical game of rugby or have the ability to turn it on entertain the spectators with some fast running rugby.

Levi Power runner up of the Mal Eby Medal and one of the best and experienced Number 8’s in the competition will be in for a big game this weekend will pack in against young and upcoming talent Hugh Brosnan, this will most likely be the catch match up of the day. This year has seen Hugh step straight out the of the Colts representative program and into the Seniors not looking a step out of place. Both players will have influential roles for the teams this weekend and will look to give their team the upper hand in this hotly contested Grand Final..

A Grade will kick off at 3:30pm following the Women’s Grand Final scheduled to kick off at 2:50pm.

Last 3 Match Results:

Semi Final 2018: Goondiwindi 14 def Dalby 13

Rd 14 2018: Goondiwindi 34 def Dalby 19

Rd 8 2018: Dalby 14 def by Goondiwindi 29

FK Gardner & Sons