Gremlins ready for Hawks in the semis
RUGBY LEAGUE: The Stanthorpe Gremlins overcame the horrendous weather conditions and all the Goondiwindi Boars could muscle at Gilbert Oval on Saturday to post a 38-20 winning result that ushered them into the 2019 Toowoomba Rugby League Clive Berghofer 2nd Division premiership finals series.
Team skipper Gary Skimmings couldn't be happier with the result, the Gremlins dominating the first half to boast a more than healthy 30-4 half time lead.
The Boars ran on for the second stanza a more inspired outfit, regrouping to take the honours for the final 35 minutes.
While it could be considered a game of two halves, the Gremlins five try to one first half effort, including two tries by fullback Jason Cobon, had them in an aisle leading to victory.
The win saw the Gremlins finish in third place on the ladder, level with fourth placed Goondiwindi on 11 points but with the benefit of a superior 'for and against'.
Stanthorpe teen halves Jake Burnell and Jacob Rashleigh were more than a match for their opponents, directing play midfield and igniting the Gremlins attacking game.
Burnell's kicking game was particularly effective, using the wind to his advantage, and there was plenty to use. His two 40/20 ground gatherers proving a significant advantage to the Gremlins.
Back-rowers Nathan Stibbard and Zac Hendry also shone in the Gremlins line-up, Hendry named Players' Player.
A Burnell try in the eighth minute set the scoreboard in motion, Zac Hendry and Jason Cobon following up with touch downs in the space of five minutes to have the Gremlins ahead 18-0 at the 13 minute mark.
William Leo crossed to keep the Boars in touch with their opponents to trail 4-18.
The Boars emerged after some half time advice and more of a focus on the job in hand, underlined by a second minute try after the restart by Cohen Fernando.
Gremlins tries by hooker Conor Hartley-Simpson and halfback Burnell saw the Gremlins advantage climb to 38-10.
Goondiwindi kept the pressure on until the final minute and ran in two additional tries in a five minute burst in the final stages of the game.
The Gremlins now look to this Sunday's major semi-final against the Gatton Hawks at Clive Berghofer Stadium at 10am.
In the only clash between the Gremlins and the Hawks this season back in Round 8, the Gatton outfit got the chocolates in a closely fought stoush, 10-6.
Stanthorpe have hit some prime form in recent weeks and are confident they have the measure of the pride of the Lockyer Hawks.
Stanthorpe 38 (Jake Burnell 2, Jason Cobon 2, Zac Hendry, Lachlan Hendry, Connor Hartley-Simpson tries: Jake Burnell 5 goals) defeated Goondiwindi 20 (William Leo 2, Cohen Fernando, Jamal Woodbridge tries: Cohen Fernando 2 goals).
Finals Series - Week One
Clive Berghofer Stadium, Toowoomba.
Saturday, August 17
Second Division - 2pm Goondiwindi v Texas
Under 18 - 3.30pm Goondiwindi v Highfields
Reserve Grade - 5pm Wattles v Highfields
A Grade - 7pm Dalby v Goondiwindi
Sunday, August 18
Second Division - 10am Gatton v Stanthorpe
Under 18 - 11.30am Dalby v Gatton
Reserve Grade - 1pm Goondiwindi v Gatton
A Grade - 2.30pm Wattles v Warwick