RUGBY UNION: The Gladstone Goats' Under-15s have booked themselves a grand final berth against Frenchville after seeing off Brothers/Colts in the Rugby Capricornia junior semi-finals at the weekend.
The two sides met less than a week ago, with Brothers/Colts claiming a 19-15 win, but it was the Gladstone boys who responded better during the grand final qualifier to grind out a 12-8 victory.
Gladstone junior co-ordinator Ben Leis said the U15s forward pack laid a solid foundation.
"It was very much dominated in the forwards. There was one period where we had over 15 phases of ball with the forward pack,” he said.
"It was mature play and mature thinking. We had good discipline around the ruck and maintained possession. It's a very good sign for this particular team and that in itself gives them the right to be in a grand final.”
Trailing 8-7 at half-time, the Grufs kept the opposition scoreless during the second half and defended stoutly despite a couple of scares along the way.
Flynn Johnson and Emmanuel Ngatai scored tries for the Grufs, with Jack Kentwell landing a first-half conversion.
"It was a very good defensive effort and they fought off at least three concerted efforts from the Brothers/Colts team at their line including holding the ball up over the try-line,” Leis said.
"It was a tough game and full-on for the entire 60 minutes.”
The U15s will now turn their attention towards Frenchville in the decider, who finished as minor premiers.
"We're going to have to really utilise our strength, which is our forward pack, to maintain that momentum going up the field,” Leis said.
"Then we really need to focus on taking advantage of the speed in our backline.”
Grand Final fixtures
- U15s: Frenchville v Gladstone at 6.30pm
- U13s: Round Robin - Gladstone/Biloela/Cap Coast Crocs Gold from 1.30pm
All games to be played on Saturday at RGS Rugby Park, Rockhampton.