NORTH QUEENSLAND YOUNG GUNS 34 defeat WYNNUM SEAGULLS 12
The North Queensland Young Guns of 2005 have all but guaranteed that the Queensland Cup finals will visit Townsville for the first time in the competition�s history.
A rugged 34-12 win over Wynnum on Saturday means that only a stunning collapse or a freak sequence of events can deny the Young Guns the chance to host a post-season fixture.
Aside from the Guns finishing an unlikely fifth or worse, the wildcard in the equation is the ABC�s coverage of the September 10 preliminary final.
Should North Queensland finish third, then win away in the first week of finals but lose the major semi, the grand final qualifier which they would normally be entitled to host could be switched to the South East corner.
�The conditions of the competition mention that should a team from outside the South East corner make the finals it may be necessary for television purposes that the game be moved,� QRL managing director Ross Livermore said.
�By law of averages you would reckon that the Young Guns will get a home semi. Regardless, their administration is fully conscious of what may occur and it is something which they accept.�
The contingency plan in this scenario would most likely see the preliminary final held at Langlands Park or Kougari Oval, depending on whether Easts or Wynnum qualify for the finals. North Queensland would still be entitled to receive revenue as �host� of the match.
At the opposite end of the spectrum there is the distinct possibility that North Queensland could host as many as two finals matches, should they finish second and then lose in the first week of semis.
Young Guns coach Grant Bell said there was �great public enthusiasm for the North Queensland club as a whole� and that patrons felt encouraged by the style of football the club employs at both Queensland Cup and NRL level.
That sense of adventure was on display against Wynnum, when the Young Guns came from 6-0 down at Dairy Farmers Stadium to remain undefeated from their last nine games.
Former Ingham boy Michael Rose scored first for the visiting Seagulls, only to injure his leg and take no further part in the game. North Queensland then ground its way to a halftime lead and rolled home in the second half.
Clint Amos (pictured), Micheal Luck and Jacob Lillyman led the way up front for the victors, while halves Brent McConnell and Brett Firman made a good fist of alternating roles. Peter Penaia was particularly strong for Wynnum.
Next week sees North Queensland host Ipswich on Saturday evening, while Wynnum places its slim finals hopes on the line against Norths at Bishop Park on Sunday.
NORTH QUEENSLAND 34 (Dean Payne 2, Davis Myles, Josh Hannay, Clint Amos, Rory Bromley tries; Josh Hannay 5 goals)
WYNNUM 12 (Michael Rose, Damien Quinn tries; Damien Quinn 2 goals)
Special thanks to the QRL website for another fantastic article.
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