Tea Gardens defeat Clarence Town in grand final rematch

Isaac Mitchell brings it in right under the posts for the Hawks’ first try.

GRAND Final rematches rarely come better, nor more muddily, than the Hawks Men’s Seniors victory over the Clarence Town Cobras on Saturday 8 June at Clarence Town Reserve.

The field was already a torn-up quagmire by the time the Men’s team arrived, having already played host to two games prior, including a victory for the Hawks Women’s Tackle side.

The Hawks Men’s team appeared far more serious even before the whistle, drilling and warming up while their opponents seemed stagnant and retreated to the lockers.

Soon enough into the first half, it was apparent that Clarence Town was not fielding the same team that clinched the premiership from the Hawks last year, even with the downhill advantage that their field offered them to start.

Over the first two possessions, both teams took the ball all the way up to their try-lines, only to backtrack in defence.

Cobras attack runs were withstood by the Hawks defence, and several attempts to lunge over the line were repelled, however the downhill slope gave the Cobras the high ground from which they eventually gained the first try of the game.

A stunning series of teamwork by the Hawks then ensued, the first seeing a series of well-placed passes and brushed-off tackle bring the ball up the left wing, with Isaac Mitchell cheering as he slid into the mud beneath the uprights, making an easy-as-possible conversion for Shaq.

A second (and final) try for the Cobras was overshadowed entirely by the next Hawks play, which featured one of Shaq’s famous chip-kicks to the left wing, where Alex Sinclair caught it and scored his own try in the corner.

Shaq soon took the ball himself all the way to the line, dummied and dove in for his own try.

Clearly the uphill slog for Clarence Town in the second half was too much, although the Hawks had been able to score multiple times as such, proving their mettle beyond reproach.

The second-half downhill change brought a regular deluge of tries for the Hawks, with another each to Shaq and Isaac, and one more for the team via Braith Cotterill, while Clarence Town failed to score again.

The Hawks’ redemption for last year’s Grand Final was realised with a 30-12 victory away, now readying for a home game next week.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

A difficult conversion to miss, especially with Shaq’s magic boot.

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