The combatants for the 2018 Rugby League Gold Coast QTOP A Grade grand final have been decided with the Runaway Bay Seagulls to take on the Tweed Heads Seagulls at Pizzey Park this Sunday.
Runaway Bay are returning to the grand final after falling short in last year's decider and that loss is sure to make them even hungrier when they run out on Sunday."We have had a great season and this week we need to work on our completion and discipline," Runaway Bay Seagulls coach Nick Gleeson said. Bay's immediate goal is to claim their first A Grade premiership since 2005 on Sunday, but beyond that, the club has long-term goals of remaining a competition powerhouse for the foreseeable future. "We have a major goal to achieve and I can say we have started to sign on players for next year to achieve those goals," Gleeson said. Runaway Bay will have their strongest team on the paddock this weekend with Jenan Parrish, Kimihia Pakipaki-Hemopo and co-captains Jamie Anderson and James Poland leading the team forward. After sitting out last weekend thanks to their major semi-final win over Currumbin a fortnight ago, Bay should come into the grand final healthy and well prepared.
As for Tweed Heads, this will be their last game in the Rugby League Gold Coast senior competitions, as they are bowing out as part of a club restructure next season. Fittingly, they will go out on grand final day with a chance to put the club's name on the QTOP A Grade shield to mark the occasion. "The boys are really proud to play for the Tweed Heads Seagulls and the main game is all that is on their mind," Tweed Heads Seagulls coach Kevin Campion said. Tweed Heads have kept it simple for the whole year and the grand final will be no different. Unfortunately for the side, they have suffered the loss of impact player Jayden Baker through injury, with Rex Johnson also in doubt. They have gone through the finals the hard way; having to recover from a loss to Bay in the first week of the finals and then winning elimination finals against Tugun and Currumbin in the past two weeks. Runaway Bay and Tweed Heads have met on four previous occasions this year, with Tweed Heads picking up wins in Round 7 and 14, while Runaway Bay claimed victories in back-to-back weeks in Round 17 and the opening week of the finals.
The A Grade grand final kicks off at 3pm at Pizzey Park. Reserve Grade starts at 1pm and Under 19s at 11am.
Rugby League Gold Coast Grand Final Team Lists
Runaway Bay Seagulls
1 Jack Mackin 2. Daniel Kelly 3 Jamie Anderson 16 Dylan Pelo 5 Jake Powell 6 James Poland 7 Conner Toia 19 Javarn Nogoagatotoa 9 Jenan Parrish 25 Jesse Malcolm 14 Henry Chan-Ting 12 Andrew Vela 13 Tane Rapira 21 Falani Arkell 15 Siua Likiliki 18 Darcy Sims 17 Kimihia Pakipaki-Hemopo
Coach: Nick Gleenson
Tweed Heads Seagulls
1 Talor Walters 2 Curtis Dansey-Smaller 3 Kody Parsons 4 Harry Hughes 5 MacAuley Dawson 6 Tre Williams 7 Rex Johnson 18 Mitchell Sharp 9 Shaun Carey 10 Ethan Price 17 Kirk Murphy 12 Samual Saville 13 Joshua Harvey 14 Jordan Aiono-Fatu 15 Michael Gray 16 Ethan Roberts
Coach: Kevin Campion