Nogoa Red Claws forward Selemaia Taungahihifo tries to break through the Cap Coast defence in the Rugby Capricornia under-16 grand final on Saturday. Photo: Jann Houley
Nogoa Red Claws forward Selemaia Taungahihifo tries to break through the Cap Coast defence in the Rugby Capricornia under-16 grand final on Saturday. Photo: Jann Houley

Double delight for Nogoa as finals go down to the wire

RUGBY UNION: It was double celebrations for Emerald's Nogoa Red Claws whose teams won two nail-biting junior grand finals on Saturday.

Their under-14s scored a last-gasp 22-21 win over Colts, while their under-16s scored in the shadow of full-time to beat Cap Coast 24-20 in the under-16 decider.

 

 

The teams produced some scintillating rugby in the two gripping contests played at Rockhampton's T.A. Nutley Field.

Nogoa's second rower Jacob Job scored the match winner in the last play of the under-14 final, and it was powerhouse forward Selemaia Taungahihifo who snatched the win for the under-16s with just two minutes on the clock.

Nogoa's under-16 coach Lincoln Job said it was a fantastic result for his team, who had lost their two previous meetings to Cap Coast.

 

RUGBY UNION: Capricornia U16 grand final Nogoa Red Claws vs Cap Coast
RUGBY UNION: Capricornia U16 grand final Nogoa Red Claws vs Cap Coast

 

"It was a seesawing game. The score was tied at 10-all for a good part of it and either team could have won it," he said.

"It was very close; they probably controlled the ball for about 49.5 per cent of the game and we were about 50.5 per cent.

"My boys played very well. I'm so proud of the effort.

"I've got a philosophy about rugby - it's not about individuals, it's about working together as a team and achieving as a team and everyone making a contribution.

"I think that was telling today, we had good performances right across the park."

With the score locked at 10-all at half-time, Job implored his players to empty everything out of the tank in the second half - and they responded.

 

Cap Coast and Nogoa Red Claws played out a thriller in the under-16 grand final. Photo: Jann Houley
Cap Coast and Nogoa Red Claws played out a thriller in the under-16 grand final. Photo: Jann Houley

 

Cap Coast got their noses in front and were leading by three points with just four minutes to go before the determined Nogoa outfit conjured up the winning play.

"They just kept going; they won the physical battle but were still able to spread the ball wide," Job said.

"We were able to get over the line right at the end, which was magnificent."

While Job could not stress enough that it was a team effort that got Nogoa home, he could not go past the performances of forwards Taungahihifo and Sosefo Fahamokia, skipper Brodie Stallman and Cooper Burdett, who he described as "a little fella with a heart as big as Phar Lap".

Job said it was a great result for the club to win both grand finals.

"It would have been incredibly worthwhile even if we didn't take home a trophy," he said.

"But to have won both makes it pretty sweet.

"I'm really happy because all the boys have worked really hard."

Rugby Capricornia junior grand final results

Under-14: Nogoa Red Claws d Colts 22-21. Players of the Final: Declan O'Sullivan (Nogoa), Lachlan McKenzie (Colts).

Under-16: Nogoa Red Claws d Cap Coast 24-20. Players of the Final: Selemaia Taungahihifo (Nogoa), Baxter Lancaster (Cap Coast).

 

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