Illness and fatigue has finally got the better of the short-handed Beaudesert Warriors under 15s after a dream season.
The undefeated Warriors lost to South Brisbane Magpies 16-7 in the weekend’s semi-final, held at Brisbane’s north side Southpine Sports Complex.
Beaudesert smashed Souths 55-7 in their last clash and were well aware they would be keen to flex a bit of muscle.
The forward pack attacked, with big hit ups and solid pick and drives until they got clean ball out to the backline, allowing Alex Gilliland to score a runaway try.
The Warriors were composed and maintained their structure under enormous pressure until South’s forwards lifted and worked their way down the field and over the try line. At half-time, the Warriors led 7-5 .
The second half started with the same intensity. But with Souths taking advantage of a full bench of fresh reserves, the Warriors’ fatigue started to show and the Magpies got over for a soft try in the corner.
Some scrappy play resulted in penalties in favour of the Magpies, who cashed in with 2 from 3 converted penalty kicks to claim victory and book a spot in the grand final.
After the game, the Warriors coaches reminded the players how far they have come as individuals and as a team this year, congratulating them on their sportsmanship and fortitude.
Player of the match went to Antony Wedhorn for his tireless defence and strong runs.
The under 16 Warriors combined with Coomera this year, as both sides were low on numbers. The front row, all Warriors, rarely lost a scrum all season.
Sunday's game saw the Warriors play Souths in what was the toughest game. The Warriors were quickly on attack and Tamaiti Kingi smashed into the Souths line, taking four players with him 15 metres before being brought down near the 10-metre line.
The ball was moved 5 metres sideways before being picked up again by Tamaiti, who again smashed into the Souths forwards dragging them and the ball over the try line.
The game ebbed and flowed for the next 25 minutes and the Warriors led 5-0 at half-time. The second half was almost a copy of the first, with Souths throwing everything at the Warriors. For 20 minutes the Warriors defended, three times holding the ball up over the try line.
Finally they cleared the ball and the forwards put on a clinical rolling maul to score. A late try helped Souths close the gap, but the Warriors held on for a well-deserved 12-7 win, progressing to next week’s grand final against GPS.
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