Koalas upstage Jets in final
WITH the performance of their year, the South Tweed Koalas upstaged Bilambil Jets 34-6 in a memorable all-Tweed Gold Coast Rugby League under-19 grand final at Pizzey Park, Miami on Sunday.
The Koalas repeatedly defied the odds in their debut season, and having finished fourth at the end of the regular season scalped stalwarts Tugun, Southport and Currumbin, to launch one of the greatest final's attacks in recent memory.
Then, head to head with competition runners-up and fellow Tweed based rivals Bilambil in the main event, the underdogs produced a dazzling display to claim their maiden Bycroft Cup in emphatic style.
Having scalped minor premiers Currumbin in their semi-final, Bilambil entered the game high on confidence, but it wasn't long until they found themselves on the back foot, when South Tweed were awarded a scrum 20m out.
It should have been routine defensive practice for the Jets, but Koalas' half back Ryan Hobbs had other ideas, carving through the lack-lustre defence to post the first try of the match just five minutes in.
Ben Condon obligingly converted.
Both sides battled gallantly for the ensuing quarter of an hour, before a scintillating individual effort from South Tweed interchange Sam Saville took the black and gold to 12-0.
With 10 minutes remaining before the break, powerhouse second-rower Damien Wyatt crossed for South Tweed's third, and Bilambil tempers began flare.
Again it was the competition newcomers who began the better in the second term.
Having been disallowed by the touch judge just moments earlier, winger Daniel Ardill made no mistakes with his second attempt, diving into the corner to finish off a great backline movement and grant his men a commanding 22-0 lead.
Knowing they had to score next the Jets rallied hard and before long had their breakthrough, when winger Scott Neinhaus crossed out wide and Cal Lynn struck it sweetly to take them to 22-6.
However all their hard work came undone - again off the back of the scrum - when Saville burst through three pitiful tackles and ran 70m to put it down under the posts for his second. Not done there South Tweed, with four minutes remaining Lain Windley crossed for a well-deserved try that rubbed salt in the wounds of the beaten Jets.