CHAMPIONS: Tannum Sands players celebrate their grand final win over Rockhampton Brothers on Saturday.
CHAMPIONS: Tannum Sands players celebrate their grand final win over Rockhampton Brothers on Saturday. Shayla Bulloch

Tannum steal last-minute win in women's thriller

RUGBY LEAGUE: Rockhampton Brothers women have fallen just 60 seconds short of premiership glory.

They were denied victory by a tenacious Tannum Sands side which scored in the last minute of the game to steal a 14-12 win and claim the 2018 title.

The two sides have been neck and neck all season and Saturday's decider at Browne Park proved no different.

Tannum's Shakeera Ututaonga registered the first points of the game with a try in the 13th minute.

Brothers replied through Hannah Burke four minutes later to lead 6-4.

Despite some enterprising attack from both sides, neither was able to add any more points in the first half.

Tannum got their noses in front in the second half when their skipper, Vassa Hunter, crossed in the 14th minute.

Their 10-6 lead was short-lived, however, with Meagan Rickertt scoring Brothers second try of the game just minutes later.

Tannum Sands captain Vassa Hunter crashes over for a try in the women's grand final.
Tannum Sands captain Vassa Hunter crashes over for a try in the women's grand final. Shayla Bulloch

Nyree Gilluley's conversion had the Brethren back in front 12-10.

The two teams threw everything into the contest, searching desperately for the try that would ultimately seal the result.

Hard-hitting defence was a feature of the closing stages but it was Tannum's India Poulton who found the match winner out wide in the last minute of the game.

Brothers coach Dominic Draper said while it was hard to lose, he could not be disappointed with his team's efforts in the final and throughout the season.

"It was a really tough loss but I'm very proud of the girls and congratulations to Tannum,” he said.

"Every game we've played against them this year there's only been four to six points in it.

"I think there were two good football teams out there today and they were in front at the end.”

Brothers player Mackenzie Reid.
Brothers player Mackenzie Reid. Shayla Bulloch

Draper said five-eighth Trisha Dougan and front rower Emmaley Mcmurdy were among Brothers best.

"Gemma Brennan was awesome in defence and put on some really good hits and Emily Powell was good for us and really stepped it up at the back end,” he said.

"Everyone had a job to do and they did it well.

"This is just the second year in the competition for these girls. They should be congratulated, they've done really well.”

Victorious Tannum coach Will Jamieson said it was a fantastic result after the heartbreak of last year's grand final loss.

"We were here last year and got beaten by Emu Park in the grand final,” he said.

"The girls were just a lot hungrier this year... and it paid off at the end of the day.

"They hung in there. It's been a big part of our season, just being patient and playing the hour of footy.

"The game's not over until that final whistle and we grabbed it in the last minute and won the game.”



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