TONIGHT the Griffith-Logan Redbacks will try to complete a stunning turnaround from wooden spooners to Universities Rugby League Queensland premiers at Davies Park in Brisbane. Minor premiers Griffith-Logan will meet the University of Queensland Hounds, who are themselves trying for their own piece of history.
Several representative players who will tour Tonga with the Queensland Universities Residents team will feature tonight in the match that kicks off at 7pm.
The Redbacks only joined the Qld Universities competition last year and finished the 2012 competition on the bottom rung of the ladder. But they emerged all the better for it, and managed to surge into first place of a tight competition when the preliminary rounds were finished. Now they have the chance to lift the trophy, but they will have to overcome a club that has waged their own battle for recognition in the competition. The UQ Hounds missed the 2011 and 2012 seasons as organisational issues affected the club. However they have come surging back this season, thanks to a new regime that has managed to snag some corporate support.
Sponsor Broncos Leagues Club even hosted the entire club to a pre-grand final meal today. It will give the Hounds some fuel for an upset, which they will need after the Redbacks announced their premiership aspirations with a stunning semi-final win last Wednesday.
The Redbacks belted reigning premiers University of Southern Queensland Toowoomba 54-10, while the Hounds got their way through to the decider with a 38-10 dispatch of Queensland University of Technology. It is fitting the two will meet in the grand final as they first played in the opening round of the competition back in April.
Tonight a tight game is expected again, with the Redbacks holding on 26-18 that day. The Redbacks also won the return match in round six by 22-8.
While the grand final is the culmination of the season for the university competition, several players still have commitments with the touring Residents team.
A party including 18 players will participate in a week-long tour of Tonga from October 8 under coach Mark Gliddon. The Maroons will play matches against the NSW Universities Residents team on October 10 and a team chosen from Tonga’s national competition on October 12.
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