Grand final battle lines are drawn

RUGBY LEAGUE: The stage is set with only one sleep until the biggest day on the Gladstone Rugby League calendar.

Three action-packed grand finals will be held at Marley Brown Oval tomorrow, with the Bundaberg/Gladstone Women's Competition decider between Tannum Seagals and Bundaberg Brothers kicking off at 3.30pm.

Tannum defeated Hervey Bay Seagulls 20-10 in the August 24 qualifying final, before defeating Bundaberg Brothers 32-10 in the major semi-final.

That win allowed the Seagals a week off as Brothers defeated Across The Waves 30-18 in last weekend's preliminary final.

The GRL men's competition will see Valleys and Brothers battle each other in both Division 1 and 2.

Valleys scraped into the D1 grand final after a thrilling 22-20 win against Wallabys last weekend, while Brothers defeated Tannum 24-20 in the D2 preliminary final.

There's been nothing between Brothers (first) and Valleys (second) in D1 this season, with both sides claiming two wins apiece.

Valleys most recently tasted success in the head-to-head stakes with a 22-16 win in Round 19, but their coach Russell O'Dwyer said the form book would count for nothing come 6.30pm tomorrow.

"It's whoever turns up on the day. We are in for one hell of a game," O'Dwyer said.

"I hope both sides are allowed to play footy so we get the best out of both of them."

O'Dwyer is wary of Brothers' speed and youthful exuberance but has some handy weaponry himself in the form of fullback David West (nine tries and 22 goals in six games) and backrower Leith Hammelswang.

"Westy was there last weekend and scored the last try for us with about four minutes to go," he said.

"Just having him there at the back with his talk and organisation - he's just a quality player.

"Leith is in his first season of A-grade and he's just a machine who is only going to get better and better.

"There's no drama with him. He just works hard and does what he needs to do."

While a premiership in his first season in charge would be nice, O'Dwyer wants his side to do it for themselves rather than him.

The same can be said for Brothers coach Danny Blair, with tomorrow's game likely to be his last after three seasons in charge.

He's expecting the game to be one for the ages.

"Both sides on their day can put in really good performances, so if both sides turn up on Saturday it's going to be a really good game," Blair said.

"Valleys are a very tough and physical side and have got some talented players, so they can put on some entertaining plays as well.

"We've got to be mindful across the park against them but our guys have held themselves really throughout the season.

"I'm confident in the guys who are going to take the field and I'm sure they can continue doing what they've been doing all season."

The Bundaberg/Gladstone Intercity Women's Competition grand final is also expected to be a cracking contest and Tannum's Krystal Sulter said her team is looking good ahead of their final against Bundy Brothers.

"We hadn't beaten Brothers all year and just two weeks ago was the first time we'd beat them," Sulter said.

"They are missing a couple of key players but I think we've stepped up our game and our formation is a lot better."

The Seagals' halfback expects the game to be won or lost in the forwards.

"Our experienced forwards are a big help. When we have rookies in there we crumble a bit, but when we get our seniors in there they really lay the platform and we can get our backline going," Sulter said.

"I'm expecting (Brothers) to come out hard and be hungry for it but I think we'll be more calm and that will get us the win."

Sulter will have family travel from New South Wales to watch her play and encouraged all fans to get there early to cheer the Seagals on from 3.30pm.


WOMEN: Bundaberg Brothers v Tannum Seagals - 3.30pm

DIVISION 2: Valleys v Brothers - 5pm

DIVISION 1: Brothers v Valleys - 6.30pm.