ILLAWARRA BEATS QUEENSLAND IN XXXX CHALLENGE

Illawarra added another prestigious title to their collection with an emphatic 38-12 win over Gold Coast in the 2010 XXXX Challenge National final at Suncorp Stadium last night.

After leading 16-12 at half time, Illawarra produced a dominant second team performance to register 22 unanswered points.

After winning a record fourth straight NSW Country Rugby League Championship Illawarra were too clinical for their Queensland counterparts in the national final.

“It was a great performance particularly in the second half” Illawarra coach Brett Jones said.

A penalty against Illawarra in possession 20m out gave Gold coast a chance to attack and on the next set their captain and second rower John Flint crashed over for a 4-0 lead after 6 minutes.  Five-eighth Cody Walker’s conversion put the Gold Coast 6-0 ahead.  Illawarra forced an error deep in Gold Coast territory and halfback Blake Dureau sent second-rower James Grehan over between the posts.

B lake Dureau converted to equalise 6-all after 9 minutes.  Clever play by Illawarra centre ryan Smith forced a Gold Coast line drop out but Illawarra could not capitalise on field position.  Illawarra then survived a close call when the final pass went forward.

A good run up the middle by winger Joel Ruskin took Illawarra forward and they almost scored off a Blake Dureau kick but centre Ben Haran injured his AC joint in the process and had to leave the field midway through the opening term.

A heavy tackle forced a turnover and in the next set, interchange forward Faamanu Asoava scored near the posts in the 23rd minute for Blake Dureau to add the extras for a 12-6 lead.

An 80m intercept try by Gold Coast winger Scott Mulligan trimmed the margin to two points in the 28th minute.

Walker’s conversion locked up the scores 12-all.  Grehan injured his ankle in the 34th minute and was helped from the field but returned kin the 62nd minute.

Quick hands across the backline resulted in a try to Illawarra right winger Sam Morath in the 37th minute for a 16-12 lead at the interval.

In the 43rd minute, back rower Brodea Sanders stretched Illawarra’s lead to 20-12 and Blake Dureau’s conversion made it 22-12.  A try to fullback Nathan Dureau stretched Illawarra’s lead to 26-12 after 57th minute. 

A break by Luke Muttdon on to Eamon Hillen who chip kicked ahead for Morath to score his second try for Illawarra to lead 30-12 with 10 minutes to go.  Nathan Dureau passed to Hillen on half way and he raced away to score.

Joel Ruskin put icing on the cake with a try in the last minute.




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Ladder

2018 Hardware Man Illawarra League First Grade
POS TEAM PTS
1 Wests 23
2 Thirroul 23
3 Collegians 22
4 Dapto 20
5 Berkeley 12
6 Helensburgh 8
7 Corrimal 4