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Macksville Sea Eagles Under 18s take on Coffs Harbour Comets for Group 2 rugby league 2019 premiership

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And here we go. Macksville takes the first set and it's a huge hit first up by the Comets.

This might be a very physical game.

But the Sea Eagles give it back just as brutally on their first tackle. Ouch!

A knock-on by Coffs 10 metres out sees a Macksville scrum feed. And Ritchie Lupina hurdles over the line to set Macksville up with their first points of the game.

Converted by Zane Doolan. Sea Eagles take the lead 6-0, four minutes in.

Macksville forces Coffs off the field in their next six. And the frustration from the Comets is palpable with shoves already being traded.

A Macksville knock-on is quickly redeemed by a huge tackle on the Coffs side. They lose the ball and it's back in Sea Eagles possession.

A huge defensive set by our boys sees the Comets only gain 20 metres in their next six.

Blake Brunsdon makes a huge break and drags three Comets with him another five metres. A low kick sees the Comets struggle with it just inside the goal posts.

Macksville force their way through and ground the ball in the confusion. Dane Saunders gets Macksville's second try, and Zane Doolan puts it away for six. 12-0.

Ulysses Roberts pummels through and runs the ball down the field thirty metres. He stumbles but successfully offloads to Blake Brunsdon. Jordan Moore supermans over the line to get the Sea Eagles' third.

The conversion from the sidelines sails through like magic and Macksville's lead stretches to 18 points. Coffs is yet to score.

Coffs Harbour is laying in. You can hear the thuds of chest on chest as the pressure mounts for the home side.

A dodgy late tackle by a Coffs player sees karma in action as two comets collide, headfirst.

A huge kick by Macksville puts the ball up the Comets end for the first time in the past 8 minutes. The ball is raked loose after the Comet catch, and the Macksville is given another chance to score.

This time Coffs Harbour holds it up over their own line.

The first half siren has sounded and Macksville leads by 18 points with the Comets still to score.

During half time the Sea Eagles acknowledged that this has not been their best attacking game of the season. Their defence has been keeping them honest. And they've been good at capitalising on Coffs errors.

They're back for the second half, ready to own this final.

A tricky backwards flick by Coffs sees them heading into the corner, but quick action by Macksville pushes them off the field.

A huge tackle by Macksville sees the ball come loose and Macksville pounces. Some beautiful footwork by Zane Doolan sees him step around three defenders and travel the bal another 10 metres before a perfectly-executed offload.

With the next play, Ulysses Roberts takes the ball and offloads it to Beau Langford who cruises over. And it's converted, taking Macksville to 24-0.

A Comet flashes through but some heavy defence again forces an error and it's back in Macksville's possession.

A beautiful set by Coffs gives them their first chance to score this match. And they take it over the line, but the ball is held up by three Macksville players.

Coffs are starting to move the ball around more now, trying to bypass the Sea Eagles' heretofore impenetrable defensive line. The Comets come again and get it to within a metre of the try line, but are just held back.

Coffs Harbour appears to be rallying.

In Macksvill'e next set Ulysses Roberts pushes through to make 20 metres but is pulled down 10 metres out. An error sees the ball back in Comets possession.

The Comets thunder it down the field to score their first try of the match out wide. The conversion is missed, the scoreboard reads 24-4.

There's 10 minutes to go in this grand final.

A few opportunities made by the Sea Eagles in their next set prove fruitless.

The next set is a different story. Jackson Ballangarry takes it over the line once more for Macksville.

Missed conversion, but it's all over red rover! 28-4 the end score.

Mackville win!!! It's a back-to-back premiership, as well as minor and major premiership crowns, on an incredible undefeated 2019 season for our boys.

Photo by Jodie Moore

Photo by Jodie Moore

This is the team that coaches dream of.

About ten of these boys have been playing together since they were in the Under 10 Bowra Tigers side.

In 2017 they smashed Sawtell to win the Junior Group 2 Under 16 premiership. In 2018, as Sea Eagles, a very young Under 18s side again took on Sawtell in the grand final and came away as champions.

Today will prove if they can make it a trifecta from their blemish-free 2019 season, and in doing so achieve legendary status in Group 2.

Edit: Captain Lachie Jones has informed us that they also won the U14s and U15s premierships too, making this a run for number five!

The team is largely unchanged from last year, albeit one year older, wiser, and more finely-tuned than ever before.

These boys are a slick outfit, and in spite of a stop-start season due to a lack of competing clubs in their age division, they have consistently proven themselves to be deserving of their place in today's grand finals.

Coffs finished up in third place at the end of the competition rounds. And in every finals match they've played over the past few weeks, they've had big wins against their opponents, including in last week's match against the Panthers when they obliterated the second-placed Sawtell side by 20 points.

With three Comets teams in the grand finals today there's a huge crowd here to support the home side.

It'll be an interesting match, to be sure.

All the Sea Eagles need to do is keep their heads down and play their own game like they have all season.

The whole Valley is right here with you, boys! Swoop!

Photos from the day

Previous articles from their season

See how our ladies went today