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The deciding fixtures of the King of the Country tournament are upon us, with blockbuster clashes set to determine which clubs are the state’s best in their age group.
Far North Coast and USQ Saints will fight for second place in the the U13s after Helensvale Hogs withdrew from the tournament, handing Invitiational Barbarians the trophy in the process.
FNC and USQ will also meet in the U14 decider after posting undefeated starts to the tournament.
It is less cut-and-dried in the U15s, with three clubs still in with a chance.
The decisive match will be the tournament finale, with Gold Coast Eagles taking on Sunshine Coast Grammar.
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If the Eagles are successful the King of the Country crown is theirs.
If the Eagles fall short, and Far North Coast defeat winless Highfields Redbacks, the formula for finding a victory will be competition points followed by a Points Differential tie-breaker.
For Sunshine Coast Grammar and Far North Coast, who are currently tied on 6 competition points each after a bonus point win and a loss, it will go down to the differential.
The difference between those two side’s points differential is currently four – meaning margin of victory Sunday becomes all important.
It will be a cracking day full of drama and action. Tune in from 11am for the U13s and stick through to the conclusion, kicking off at 3.20pm.
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WATCH THE REPLAY: U14: GOLD COAST EAGLES 40 def SUNSHINE COAST GRAMMAR SCHOOL 7
The Eagles opened their account within a minute of kick-off and the points never stopped, claiming the U15s King of the Country crown with an imperious 40-7 victory over Sunshine Coast Grammar School.
It was a true Grand Final with the Sunshine Coast club champions requiring a win by six points or more to win the trophy themselves.
Eagles centre TK Steffek’s Lionel Messi-inspired try featured multiple kicks ahead to plant down near the post.
No.8 Cooper Eagle was next to cross, finishing with a first half double.
When Sunshine Coast spilt the ball inside their own 22 centre Bliss White collected and deposited over the tryline for a 28-0 half-time lead.
Eagle went in for his hat-trick in the second half, with Steffek joining him as a multiple try-scorer with a crashover helped by Eagle’s long run the previous phase.
Sunshine Coast flyhalf Zane Glanville scored his side’s only try with a Stephen Larkham-esque gliding run between defenders but it was not enough to inspire the comback in the second half.
WATCH THE REPLAY: U14: FAR NORTH COAST 10 def HIGHFIELDS REDBACKS 7
A fiery conclusion to the Far North Coast v Highfields Redbacks clash saw players from both teams yellow-carded for fighting inside the final 10 minutes, with the final penalty going to Far North Coast to seal the result.
The match was not the most exciting with a try on the stroke of half-time to Far North Coast’s scrumhalf opening up a 7-0 lead.
The Redbacks equalised in the 39th minute with a try scored under a pile of forwards.
A clutch wide conversion from No.8 Max Power took the game back into stalemate but that was all overshadowed when a scrap broke out behind the Redbacks tryline in final play.
Two players from Far North Coast were yellow carded, as was one from Redbacks, but the penalty blew the way of the blue side ot win the match.
WATCH THE REPLAY: U14: FAR NORTH COAST 12 def USQ SAINTS 55
A moment of magic in final play from inspirational playmaker Jimmy McCoombie has led Far North Coast to raise the King of the Country crown in the Under-14s division.
The match had been locked in stalemate, 5-all, after first half tries were exchanged by the two sides.
It took all of 25 minutes in the second half for a winner to be found, when McCoombie – who was nearly helped off the field moments earlier after suffering an injury to his right knee – leapt into action.
It was eyes-up rugby as McCoombie spotted an out-of-position fullback and grubbered through the line, beating Saints prop Flynn Kirkby to score the match-winning try in final play between the posts.
The try ended the Saints unbeaten run at the tournament, which had been led brilliantly by No.8 Xavier Austin, who scored the match’s first try in similiar fashion to McCoombie’s gamewinner by grubbering ahead to open the scoring.
FNC winger Tui Simpson crossed shortly before halftime to tie up the match and set the stage for McCoombie’s final play heroics.
WATCH THE REPLAY: U14: SURFERS PARADISE 15 def by MAROOCHYODRE 17
A contender for game of the King of the Country tournament has ended in heartbreaking fashion for Gold Coast locals Surfers Paradise, falling 17-15 to the Maroochydore Swans.
The Swans stunned the Dolphins after coming back from a 10-0 half-time deficit to lead 17-10 with five minutes to play.
The Dolphins had points left in them and scored what could have the equalising try in final play, metres from the right upright.
A wayward conversion prevented the draw, leaving Surfers’ players shattered and the Swans ecstatic with their first win of the tournament.
Kingsley Uys and Keido Goulding set up the lead for Surfers before Jarvis Wood’s 60m runaway, Tilly Cason and Andy Bailey socred the winning points.
WATCH THE REPLAY: U15: USQ SAINTS 31 d. FAR NORTH COAST 12
USQ Saints have claimed second-place in the U13s division at King of the Country, defeating Far North Coast by 19 points in the final match of the tournament.
Boom centre Hinata Inoue notched a hat-trick and kicked three goals to accrue 21 individual points, the scoreboard completed by a double to hard-running prop Harrison Humphries.
Humphries’ second try was a highlight effort in similiar veins to the great runaway props Matt Dunning, Taniela Tupou or Greg Holmes.
Far North Coast flyhalf Angus Cameron shone in attack, with a solo try carving up the Saints defence to open the second half.
Catch all the tries in our full replay of the fixture below.
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DAY ONE, FRIDAY 9 APRIL
10am – U13: Helensvale Hogs def by. Far North Coast (29-26)
11am – U13: Invitational Barbarians def by. USQ Saints (31-27)
1pm – U14: Maroochydore Swans def by. USQ Saints (17-7)
2pm – U15: Far North Coast def Sunshine Coast Grammar School (20-19)
3pm – U15: Gold Coast Eagles def Highfields Redbacks (14-20)
DAY TWO, SATURDAY 10 APRIL
9am – U14: Far North Coast def Surfers Paradise Dolphins (31-7)
10am – U13: Helensvale Hogs def USQ Saints (24-10)
11am – U13: Invitational Barbarians def Far North Coast (25-15)
12pm – U14: Far North Coast def Maroochydore Swans (24-12)
1pm – U14: USQ Saints def Surfers Paradise Dolphins (17-7)
2pm – U15: Gold Coast Eagles def Far North Coast (17-14)
3pm – U15: Sunshine Coast Grammar School def Highfields Redbacks (24-21)
DAY THREE, SUNDAY 11 APRIL
11am – U13 GF: Far North Coast v USQ Saints
12.20pm – U14: Maroochydore Swans v Surfers Paradise Dolphins
1.20pm – U14 GF: Far North Coast v USQ Saints
2.20pm – U15: Far North Coast v Highfields Redbacks
3.20pm – U15 GF: Sunshine Coast Grammar School v Gold Coast Eagles
Originally published as WATCH REPLAYS: King of the Country Day Three