The 2017 Senior Grand Final is here! Head down to Pizzey Park this Sunday to see the main game Burleigh Bears v Runaway Bay Seagulls at 3pm!
U19s: Bilambil Jets v Tugun Seahawks @ 11am
Res: Runaway Bay Seagulls v Beaudesert Kingfishers @ 1pm
A Grade: Burleigh Bears v Runaway Bay Seagulls @ 3pm
LIVESTREAM LINK FOR A GRADE:
See below preview of the A Grade match played between the Burleigh Bears and Runaway Bay Seagulls. The Doug Lipp Reserve Grade Cup and U19s previews are featured along with the A Grade preview in this years Grand Final Magazine, which is available at the gate for $3.
A Grade: Burleigh Bears v Runaway Bay Seagulls
The Runaway Bay Seagulls have taken the final spot in the 2017 Rugby League Gold Coast A Grade grand final. Following an impressing win against Tugun Seahawks 30-22 in the Preliminary Final, their opposition the Burleigh Bears will still go in as the favourites to take out the shield. Burleigh have taken the A Grade grand final title in previous years 2012 and 2015 with an appearance in the grand final last year. Runaway Bay on the other hand have not made a grand final since 1997 giving them the underdog title for this Sunday.
Finishing as minor premiers, the Burleigh Bears took the fast pass to the grand final after defeating the Tugun Seahawks 24-4 in the major semi-finals. First year appointed Burleigh A Grade coach, Stuart Wilkins is pleased on how the team has come together towards the crucial end of the season. “We are better prepared this year heading straight through to the grand final and not fighting our way, which has allowed the boys to focus and train better,” Wilkins said.
“The boys have been performing exceptionally well in defence and executed our game plan well against Tugun”. Wilkins is hopeful the team is prepared to put in the hard yards and prepare for a tough fight against Runaway Bay. As the Bears have already secured the 2017 club championship, it will be the icing on the cake to also take out the A Grade title.
Coaching for over 25 years in Manly and for the Burleigh juniors, Wilkins is confident the team has what it takes to win on Sunday with the right preparations and attitude. “We had a week of recovery and are hopeful a whole range of factors can go our way to increase our chances this weekend,” Wilkins said. Wilkins hopes he will have the same team as in the finals and everyone can do their individual jobs well.
Lorenzo Maafu, Ricardo Parata, Dylan Pelo and Toby McIntosh are a few stand out players that have performed week in week out and are amongst a team of excited individuals leading into this weekend. The team will be captained and lead by Jacob Grant and Jesse Malcolm, who have both lead the side this season.
It has been a long finals campaign for the Runaway Bay Seagulls after playing in three weeks of finals to get a chance to compete in the grand final. The Seagulls lost to the Tugun Seahawks in the first week, saw an elimination final win against the Bilambil Jets then finally defeating the Tugun Seahawks in last weekend’s preliminary final.
“Overall it is great to see the club see some success and I’m glad we could make it to the grand final with our strong reserve grade side,” Seagulls coach Clinton Toopi said. Toopi hopes the team can recover quickly and start physically and mentally preparing for a tough battle against the Bears.
“We played our best attacking half of the year against Tugun and hope we can catch Burleigh off balance with a couple of tricks up our sleeve,” Toopi said. The Seagulls are confident they can be competitive against the Bears and will be utilising their passion and aggression.
“Burleigh have been the bench mark for the competition and we know they will not give much and take all the opportunities presented to them,” Toopi said. The Seagulls aspire to match the professionalism of the Bears and will be heading into the clash with a positive mind set.
The Seagulls have still got plenty to offer and have had many factors that has effected the team, Toopi knows it is the underlining motivator for the whole squad.
Having overcome many physical and mental hurdles throughout the season, the Seagulls squad have used these obstacles as motivators to gain their place in the grand final.
The timing has just been right for the club and with second year coach Clinton Toopi directing the team, the Seagulls know they have the experience and support from Toopi and the coaching staff leading into the weekend.
Although commending the whole team’s performance and effort, Toopi mentions the stand out performances by Andrew Vela, half back Falani Arkell, Ethan Gallop, young Walter Lauenstein and the experienced Jamie Anderson. The Seagulls will be captained by Matt Gandy who has lead the team for the whole season and has shown great leadership.