MEAT PIE: Wallaroos centre Shaun Collins scores a late try during the Bundaberg Rugby League grand final against Waves Tigers at Salter Oval, Bundaberg.
MEAT PIE: Wallaroos centre Shaun Collins scores a late try during the Bundaberg Rugby League grand final against Waves Tigers at Salter Oval, Bundaberg. Matthew McInerney

Roos' BRL premiership dream ends in loss

LEAGUE: A three-point grand final loss will not take away from what Wallaroos achieved in an historic Bundaberg Rugby League season.

That is the verdict of halfback and captain Luke Waters, who led the Maryborough club into battle for their toughest game of the season.

Wallaroos led 8-0 early in the piece, before Waves fought back for a 23-20 victory.

"Two in a row makes it feel worse," Waters said.

"A few silly errors, a few silly passes let us down in the end. We were clawing our way back in there but we just didn't get there in the end.

"We finished minor premiers with a side with an average age of 21 or 22. To go that far in a grand final, we only lost by three points in the end, so props to the young fellas who doubled their games all year."

Wallaroos prop David Ball was in the thick of it.

Consistently one of the side's strongest performers, Ball was the only man to chase when Waves took a penalty tap with two seconds to go. He was obstructed and drew a penalty.

Fullback Joey Alberts scored from the ensuing play before another melee broke out.

"I thought we were going to get a penalty try at the end," Ball said. "It was tough.

"We did the best we could. We made a few little errors and a lot of dropped ball. We could've had a try or two instead of those mistakes.

"It was our first minor premiership. I don't think we'll lose anyone so we'll be back for another crack next year."

Wallaroos coach Peter Waters lamented his side's poor discipline with the ball.

"Too many errors in our game, that was the worst part," he said. "We took our foot off the pedal and you can't do it with Waves. Their big boys started to trundle through us.

"We spent too many periods without the football and letting their big boys run. When we did get it we were gassed."

Waters praised centre Brandon Law's performance.

"Rigan Neilsen and Joe Byrne both came off the bench and made a big difference when they went on," he said.

"I've done my bit, someone else can go through all of this now. I'll sit back and watch it from now on."



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