Rabbitohs hop to preliminary finals berth

GRAHAM 'STORKY' CAMPBELL

The Middlemount Panthers defeated the Clermont Bears on Friday night in extra time 34-28 and the Clermont Bears Ladies defeated the Emerald Tigers Ladies 20-18 with both games very exciting.

In the elimination final on Saturday night in Springsure, Bluff were the team on top at the end of the 80 minutes and won 24-12.

Springsure had all the ball early on, finishing many sets of sixes with a bomb or grubber but couldn’t finish the attack by scoring.

Matt Martell and Matt Travers both had good games up front leading the charge for the Mountain Men.

A notable omission was Ray Ebsworth for Springsure and his absence was felt.

The two opposite centres contained each other during the game in Charlie Mayne (Springsure) and Brodie Leonard (Bluff).

Springsure’s Jared Owens with Brendan O’Neill showed the team around the park but Bluff’s defence pegged them back with Ethan McLaughlin and Gus Wogand doing the work.

Jack Dagan and Josh Merlow had good games off the bench and proved their worth.

Billy Byrne worked tirelessly throughout the game taking the Rabbits forward.

After 13 minutes, Bluff went two-wide from the centre and passed to Chris Conway to score the first try of the night. It was converted by Peter McLaughlin to give Bluff a 6-0 lead.

Springsure had six penalties and used the ball to attack Bluff’s line and eventually ran the ball on the fifth and through a Jared Owens pass, Kevin Kelbassa ran through a hole to score.

The try was converted and the score was levelled at 6-6. 

Ben Kerle, Nick Hafey and Zane Gallagher were working hard for the Mountain Men.

Jack Laxton was having good game for the Rabbits, constantly running the ball up.

The teams came out of halftime and after 11 minutes, Bluff were in through Ari Hannah.

Six minutes later, Peter McLaughlin threw an inside ball from the scrum to Blake Vesey and he was over under the posts. It was converted and Bluff led 16-6.

The Mountain Men wanted to win and were next in. Barging forward Matt Martell wasn’t going to be stopped and over he went under the posts.

Could the Mountain Men come back?

In the 33rd minute, Jack Dagan, who had a good game, took the ball up to score.

Tom Hewitt playing fullback was taking the ball up and taking every bomb and returning the ball for the Mountain Men but Ari Hannah scored a 50-metre try on the bell to secure the win for the Rabbits.

Blake Vesey was the man of the match after another fine display.

Bluff now meet the Clermont Bears next Saturday in Clermont for the final place in this year’s grand final against Middlemount.

Clermont may struggle against the Rabbits as they don’t stop for the full 80 minutes.

Peter McLaughlin has upped the ante on his running game and is now twice the danger man but the Bears do have quality playmakers in Tom Murray and Luke Jackson.

The centres in Will Mohr and Dean Williams are dangerous finishers for the Bears and the dangerous back three of Bok King, Jack Slattery and Blake Crannage to finish off.

They have big Alfie Shannon and Liam Chapple up front but Dane Heron and Benny Byrne should be back for the Rabbits … I reckon the Rabbits will move on to the grand final in a close one.

The Blackwater Crushettes were too good for the Emerald Cowgirls 76-4.

To the Cowgirls credit, they kept turning up all game to keep the game going.

The Crushettes started scoring after two minutes through a dummy-half run from Miranda Baker to then pass to Justine Fletcher to score.

The Cowgirls worked hard in attack through Kyla Smith, Meagan Lathan and Faye Neville.

The player of the match was Mariah Storch who personally scored four tries and kicked eight conversions after many runs. She will be a danger to the Tigers next weekend.

Olivia Hamilton played a better game as she ran the ball and offloaded after making a break.

Vicky Tanirau and Amber Row Row both had good games.

It was a good win by the Crushettes but next weekend they play the Emerald Tigers in Clermont.

The Tigers have been playing good football and will be hard to beat.

They have so many running backs in Kelsie Parter, Maddie Edmonds, Arnika Cave, Bonnie Walsh and Cooper Hill.

Tear away prop Stacey Kirkman will be back in the team and she, along with Charleigh Robinson and Miranda Bartley will be in the forward pack.

Coach Casey Watkins is always hard to stop but I’m tipping the Crushettes to win on the bell.

Get down to Clermont this Saturday night. Kick off is at 6pm and 8pm!




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