Dominant Norths spank Brothers
NORTHS proved a team of champions can also be a champion team as they demolished Brothers 50-16 in a spiteful IRL under-18 grand final at North Ipswich Reserve yesterday
An all-in brawl with five minutes remaining turned farcical when a number of spectators invaded the playing field forcing an early end to the game.
For Norths though it mattered little as they showed why they were the raging favourite on grand final day.
All year, the Tigers have looked the team to beat in the teenage competition with seven of the starting 13 players also playing A-grade this year.
With Norths out of the contention in the senior grades, coach Dan Fullarton could finally put his full-strength squad to good use on grand final day.
Dale McDonald, Matt Fairhurst, Peter Whittaker, Lachlan Roe - in fact virtually every Norths player - dominated their opponents in a great grand final performance.
Jye O'Keefe scored hat-trick for the winners including a slick effort on the right wing to crack the half century for the Tigers.
Roe added two more to his burgeoning season tally and halves McDonald, Jake Hooper and hooker Whittaker were all outstanding for the winners.
Fullarton said he was always confident his team would get the job done.
"It was a disappointing finish, but that can happen in this under-age footy where there are a lot of hot-headed guys," Fullarton said.
"Putting that aside I thought we played a complete game.
"We started strong and played it through to the end and I couldn't be prouder."
Fullarton said he was "quietly confident" in the lead-up to the grand final.
"I wasn't saying too much but I knew deep in my mind we would come out and put on a show like that," he said.
"We have some incredibly talented kids and I expect a couple to be playing NRL in the next couple of years."
Meanwhile, the game is sure to attract plenty of attention in the post match video review where a number of players could face lengthy suspensions for next season.
Norths 50 (Jye O'Keefe 3, Lachlan Roe 2, Matthew Fairhurst, Harrison Bowers, Tevita Foulau, Kyle Blackman tries; Dale McDonald 7 goals) d Brothers 16 (Daniel Nolan, Ben Gadsby, Dane Jorgensen tries; Joshua Leishmann 2 goals).