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Queensland Cup Grand Final Preview

Well, this is it! After 137 games of Rugby League, it all comes down to just Burleigh and Easts to decide who will take out the Queensland Cup for 2004.
Queensland Cup Grand Final Preview
by NRL

Well, this is it! After 137 games of Rugby League, it all comes down to just Burleigh and Easts to decide who will take out the Queensland Cup for 2004. The Bears are hoping to go one better than last year while the Tigers are looking for their inaugural title in this competition.

Here's how I see things panning out for the big one:

Burleigh Bears v Easts Tigers
Saturday September 18, Suncorp Stadium, 3:00pm

Burleigh: Reggie Cressbroook, Trent Purdon, Jason Webber, Nick Shaw, Aseri Laing, Adam Hayden, Brent McConnell, Ali Brown (c), Ryan Gundry, Adam Cook, Martin Griese, John Flint, Robert Apanui. Int: Shane O'Flanagan, Tony Gray, Kris Flint, David Hicks

Easts: Jason Barsley, Steve Beattie, Steve Renouf, Wade Liddell, Michael Pearce, Isaac Kaufmann, Dane Campbell, Charlie Tonga, Trent Young, Scott Alo, Scott Sipple, Darren Smith, Dallas McIlwain. Int: Marty Allen, Leigh Coghill, Matt Lockyer, Paul Dezolt

Referee: Tony Makoud. This will be Tony's 5th Queensland Cup Grand Final.

Encounters This Year

Burleigh 17 d Easts 16 at Pizzey Park. The Bears were the first team into the grand final with a Kris Flint field goal proving to be the game breaker. Easts were leading 16-4 at one stage during the second half but Burleigh came back strongly to draw level and then edge in front.

Burleigh 36 d Easts 34 at Pizzey Park. A high-scoring thriller in which Burleigh hung on to win with Easts' goal kicker Michael Pearce failing to nail a sideline conversion that would have ended the game in a draw. The lead changed several hands but the Bears were good enough to be front when it mattered most.

Burleigh 46 d Easts 20 at Langlands Park. The Bears were never troubled in the Round 5 match after racing to an early lead and holding a 22-10 advantage at half time.


Burleigh finished minor premiers and was the first team to advance to the grand final with a nail-biting victory over the Tigers. Much has been said about the Bears' rock-solid defence (the best in the competition) but they are a skilful attacking team as well.

They are a well-rounded side with heaps of experience. As with most Burleigh teams of the past, the forward pack is large and mobile and is willing to do the 'dirty work' up the middle.

With their forwards laying the platform, the Bears' scheming halves in Adam Hayden and Brent McConnell (who was equal top try-scorer this season) along with clever hooker Ryan Gundry will attempt break apart their opponent's defence and inject their veteran backline into the game. Later on in the game, Burleigh can toss in small men and playmakers like David Hicks and Kris Flint.

Burleigh's kicking game can be disappointing at times and they are capable of putting in a lot of ineffective kicks. They would want to avoid a repeat of last year's grand final in which Redcliffe simply gobbled up just about any kick that the Bears made.

Easts moved into the grand final with a comfortable win over Wynnum. The Tigers' attack tore apart the Seagulls and will certainly make Burleigh pay if they make plenty of mistakes.

The Tigers will send the big props in Scott Alo, Charlie Tonga and Leigh Coghill charging right up the middle. If they can get a roll on, expect the dangerous little men in Isaac Kaufmann, Trent Young or Dane Campbell to exploit holes from dummy half or sometimes put in a surprise kick.

With players the calibre of Jason Barsley, Steve Renouf and Wade Liddell in the backline, any break that Easts will likely lead into points. Darren Smith adds a touch a class to this team with his array of attacking skills and tireless efforts in defence. Michael Pearce is a good goal kicker and can nail them from all over the park.

If there is a couple of faults with the Tigers, it is that they are capable of 'switching' off at certain times and that their defence can let in soft tries.


Burleigh by 6. This tip all comes down to defence and I think the Bears can prevent more points from being scored against them than Easts can. Should be a cracker of game and definitely worth watching live at the ground or on ABC TV or radio (in Queensland) if you can't get to Suncorp Stadium.

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