Gatton Hawks surge into next round of finals
RUGBY LEAGUE: Reserve Grade are looking hard to stop on the hunt for their fifth premiership in six years with momentum behind them and just a couple of steps from another grand final appearance.
They swept aside Pittsworth 24-16 in the first round of finals on Sunday and will now tackle Highfields this weekend in the major semi-final.
The Hawks took a ten point lead into the second half but the Danes clawed back into it to remain within two points with just a couple of minutes to go.
But Jagan Swan dashed their hopes with a try in the corner at the death to confirm the Gatton victory.
It wasn't a similarly successful day for the Under 18s as they fell to Highfields in what coach Josh Belz called the "worst game of the season.”
The Eagles were switched on from the start in windy conditions and didn't let up, eventually coming away with the 48-18 victory.
Gatton struggled to adapt to the weather and the occasion seemed to get to their heads, with many playing finals footy for the very first time.
"It was probably not the right time in the season to put in a performance like that,” Belz said.
The young Hawks will get another crack at a grand final place against Souths on Saturday.
Belz was wary of Souths' strong forward ranks filled with representative players and hoped his own pack would match them so the Hawks' backs had the freedom to run the show.
He believed they had relied on a stand-out performance from individuals too often this season.
"It won't just be one bloke who has to step up,” Belz said.
"That's not going to cut it. We need everyone to stand up this week.”
Due to their minor premiership triumph, Second Division had the weekend off but they will take on Warwick on Saturday with the aim of claiming double honours for 2018.
All three sides are in action at Glenholme Park on Saturday, with Second Division up first from 2pm.