You've got to love finals footy in the bush! Last Saturday's major and minor semi-finals in men's A, B and C grades was nothing short of epic. Downs Rugby thanks the Goondiwindi Rugby Union Football Club for their professional and successful hosting of the Super Saturday Finals, week one.
Toowoomba Rangers have secured grand final berths in the Wagners Risdon Cup A grade and the Verifact Traffic C grade. St George Frillnecks have secured their third straight grand final appearance in the Nutrien Ag Solutions B grade. Downs Rugby's senior grand final day is confirmed for Toowoomba Sports Ground (Berghofer Stadium) on Saturday August 7. Tickets are already on sale via www.downsrugby.com.au. This Saturday, we proceed to Downs Rugby's men's elimination finals and finals begin for the Black Isuzu Emilee Cherry Cup Women's 7s. The venue was decided with last Saturday's A grade major semi, which means we head back to Riddles Oval, Goondiwindi, for week two of the Super Saturdays Finals on Saturday July 31.
In the penultimate major semi-final at 3.30pm last Saturday, Wagners Risdon Cup minor premiers Goondiwindi Emus faced second placed Toowoomba Rangers. The Rangers side came out aggressively in the first 15 minutes, with a go forward style of rugby to lead by two tries. By half-time the margin was 14 points. Nearing half-time, and in the second half, Goondiwindi used their effective ruck and maul, pick and drive rugby to their advantage. The closing stages of the second half was 'edge of your seat' finals footy, with Rangers still posting points and having to defend their try-line phase after phase. A try from Goondiwindi in the closing stages narrowed the gap to three points. At full-time, Rangers secured their grand final place with a rare away finals victory at Riddles Oval. Goondiwindi play Condamine Cods this Saturday at 3.30pm in the elimination final for the right to play Rangers in the Risdon grand final on Saturday August 7 at 3.30pm to decide the winner of the 2021 Risdon Cup. Full credit must be given to the Cods, with a gritty win over the Dalby Wheatmen last Saturday in the minor semi-final.
In the Nutrien Ag Solutions B grade major semi-final, minor premiers Dalby Wheatmen played second placed St George Frillnecks. St George had plenty of fans at Riddles Oval, and a sea of red was delighted with a 12-point victory, winners 25-13 over the Dalby Wheatmen, to secure their third successive grand final berth in B grade. In the minor semi-final, the Goondiwindi Emus were far too dominant for the reigning premiers, the Warwick Water Rats, winning 32-10. Goondiwindi Emus play the Dalby Wheatmen in the B grade elimination final at 12.45pm this Saturday at Riddles Oval. The winner of this match will play St George in the B grade grand final on August 7 at 1.10pm to decide the winner of the 2021 Bill Flamsteed Trohpy.
In the Verifact Traffic C grade competition, in the major semi-final, minor premiers Dalby Wheatmen played the Toowoomba Rangers. Dalby scored a try through Sasa Togia, and for Rangers, Nathan Murphy. Both tries in the match were converted, the difference being Cambell Murphy's boot kicking two penalty goals, securing a six-point victory and multiple grades in the Downs Rugby senior grand final day on August 7 for the Toowoomba Rangers. In the minor semi-final, third placed Chinchilla River Rats played fourth placed Toowoomba Bears. Toowoomba Bears showed up with only 14 men and scored seven tries to one to win 41 - 5. This sets up a C grade elimination final this Saturday, from 11.30am, with the Dalby Wheatmen playing the Toowoomba Bears. The winner plays Toowoomba Rangers in the grand final on Saturday August 7 from 11am to decide the 2021 E S Dooney Hayes Cup winner.
This Saturday's second week of finals series sees the launch of a new finals structure for our women's 7s, the Black Isuzu Emilee Cherry Cup. The finals day features the top six sides from the 2021 regular season ladder, minor premiers Roma Echidnas (1), USQ Saints, Dalby Wheatchix, Toowoomba Bears, St George Filly Frillies and Gatton Black Sows. This finals carnival of nine matches this Saturday, from 11.30am, operates with an entirely new ladder (separate from the regular season) compiled from results this Saturday, will decide the top four teams that proceed to the 2021 Downs Rugby senior grand final day. Elimination finals will be played from 12.20pm on Saturday August 7 at Toowoomba Sports Ground, with winners proceeding to the Black Isuzu Emilee Cherry Cup grand final at 2.45pm.
A revised format for the grand final day will see Downs Rugby's prestigious awards to be presented on field throughout the day, including Junior Club of the Year, Ken Long Award (Volunteer of the Year), Minor Premiers, both Men's A grade and Women's 7s top try and point scorer, and the inaugural Gemma Ethridge and Mal Eiby medalists for our two best and fairest Men's A grade and Women's 7s players for 2021 regular season.
We announce the postponed QRU Teenage Boys State Championships are confirmed to be held at Toowoomba Grammar School from September 21 to 23. Our Downs representative sides in Under 12, 13, 14, 16s are re-training. Our Under 15 and Under 17 Downs Girls 7s representative squads are training for the 2021 QRU Girls 7s State Championships, to be held September 24, 25 at BP Print Stadium, Mackay. We thank our sponsors for their ongoing support.