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The Redcliffe Dolphins have won the Queensland Wizard Cup grand final with a stunning 27-6 victory over the Toowoomba Clydesdales at Suncorp Stadium this afternoon.
The result defied form with the more experienced Redcliffe outfit being thrashed 56-22 by the star-studded Clydesdales just two weeks earlier in the major semi-final.
Toowoomba opened the scoring when prop Ben Vaeau crashed over after just three minutes. The Dolphins struck back through half Marty Turner in the ninth minute before a number of disallowed tries made for a tight first half tussle. A try to Redcliffe fullback Ryan Cullen just before the break gave the Dolphins a 12-6 half time lead.
The score remained unchanged until Queensland Player of the Year Mick Roberts [pictured] slotted a field goal in the 66th minute. Roberts was on hand again several minutes later when he put in a near perfect cross-field kick for centre Nick Emmett who offloaded to winger Rory Bromley to score in the corner.
Trailing by 11 points, the minor premiers mounted a charge with Toowoomba forward Chris Muckert getting over the line, only to be thwarted by man-of-the match Roberts who was once again on the spot with a desperate one-on-one strip.
Redcliffe drove home the advantage with Bromley getting a double before lock Mark Shipway added the icing in the final minutes for a comprehensive premiership-winning victory.
Toowoomba Clydesdales 6
Tries: Ben Vaeau
Goals: Nick Parfitt 1/1
Redcliffe Dolphins 27
Tries: Rory Bromley (2), Marty Turner, Ryan Cullen, Mark Shipway
Goals: Greg Bourke 3/5
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Referee: Brett Suttor
By the clock:
0 min: The sun has come out in Brisbane and its perfect football weather for this Queensland Cup grand final.
Toowoomba kicking off...
3 min: TRY Toowoomba
Front rower Ben Vaeau hits the line hard and crashes through to post the first points of the afternoon. Fullback Nick Parfitt converts from right in front.
9 min: TRY Redcliffe
Halfback Marty Turner at second receiver puts the step on Toowoomba back rower Greg Eastwood from 10m out and scores under the posts. Follows repeat sets at the Toowoomba line. Centre Greg Bourke converts and posts his 190th point for the season.
12 min: NO TRY
Redcliffe denied by video ref after fullback Ryan Cullen runs through and stretches out to bouncing ball. He knocks it on but a good attempt.
14 min: NO TRY
Redcliffe denied again after winger Chris Giumelli touches down out wide. But the referee controversially calls back a forward pass.
30 min: NO TRY
Toowoomba denied after centre Jamie Simpson is deemed to be held up. Toowoomba then knock on in the next play and Redcliffe survive over four repeat sets at their line.
37 min: NO TRY
Redcliffe denied after winger Rory Bromley brushes corner post while attempting a dusty put down.
40 min: TRY
Ryan Cullen chimes in and dives over to score under the posts, giving the Dolphins the lead going onto the break. Bourke converts.
Half time: Redcliffe 12-6
Redcliffe perhaps the better team with more line breaks in the first half and numerous close calls for both sides. A thrilling Queensland Cup decider although both sides looking to lift a gear. This match is there for the taking!
WEATHER UPDATE: Rain clouds closing in.
Second half underway?
50 min: WEATHER UPDATE: Rain has eased off.
63 min: NO TRY
Redcliffe denied after the referee rules held up. Toowoomba just hanging on and the Dolphins are right in this. Both teams getting close but neither able to finish off.
66 min: FIELD GOAL Redcliffe
Prop forward Mick Roberts from 30m out and right in front puts the Dolphins seven points in front.
68 min: NEWS
Penalty to Redcliffe after Toowoomba players are in front of the kicker at the restart. Penalties favour Redcliffe 7-2
70 min: TRY Redcliffe
Rory Bromley scores in the corner after Mick Roberts puts up a cross field bomb, which is taken beautifully by centre Nick Emmett who leaps high and then offloads to in the same movement to an unmarked Bromley. Bourke conversion attempt is online but doesn?t quite have the legs.
72 min: NO TRY
Toowoomba denied after forward Chris Muckert crashes over but Mick Roberts is on hand again to pull off a one-on-one strip over the line.
75 min: TRY Redcliffe
Bromley gets a double after being set up by Emmett. Bourke unable to convert but its all over red rover. Bourke?s conversion attempt is unsuccessful.
76 min: NEWS Another error from the restart as Toowoomba kick out on the full.
78 min: TRY Redcliffe
Lock forward Mark Shipway runs onto a pass from Roberts and scores next to the sticks as the Dolphins are carving them up. Bourke converts.
Full time: Redcliffe 27 - Toowoomba 6
A stunning finish with Redcliffe running riot in the closing stages. Coming into the grand final as underdogs, Redcliffe have turned around a 56-22 loss to Toowoomba in the major semi-final to come back two weeks later and claim the 2006 Queensland Wizard Cup premiership.
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the match:
3 - Mick Roberts (Dolphins)
2 - Ryan Cullen (Dolphins)
1 - Greg Bourke (Dolphins)