Brawl gives victory a black eye

By AARON KELLY

COLTS have muscled their way into this weekend's Rockhampton and District Rugby Union (RDRU) A grade grand final with University.

The competition heavyweights booked their first grand final appearance in seven years after an emotion-charged 18-13 victory over Dawson Valley Drovers in Saturday's preliminary final.

A wild brawl in the closing stages marred Colts' come-frombehind win, with players coming from all sides of the field to throw a punch.

"There was a lot of emotion out there with two sides playing for a grand final spot,'' Colts coach Viv Rowe said.

Colts five-eighth Peter McLaughlin opened the scoring with an early penalty goal before fullback Che Anderson crashed over after scooping up a mid-field kick, which bounced wickedly for the Drovers' back three.

Playing in his farewell game, Dawson Valley player-coach Jamie Blyton scored just before halftime and Roger Leeson nailed two penalty goals after the break to give Drovers a 13-8 buffer.

Anderson levelled scores when he grabbed his second try and when winger Alister Hirst completed a well-constructed backline move Colts had regained a match-winning 18-13 lead.

Rowe said it was a gutsy performance after the Colts reserve grade side had earlier booked a grand final berth.

"It was a big effort from everyone,'' Rowe said.

Colts now face arch-rivals University on Saturday while finals specialists Dawson Valley have missed the decider for the first time in four years.



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