ROOS THROUGH: The 1126-day hoodoo is over
WALLAROOS have ended a 1126-day hoodoo and qualified for its first Bundaberg Rugby League grand final in almost a decade after a 44-10 flogging of their fiercest rivals.
The Maryborough club finished third in the regular season, but boasted the competition's leading try and poinrt-scorers Shaun Collins (29 tries) and Jack Horder (128 points).
The side contributed up to seven players to Bundaberg's 47th Battalion Carnival-winning under-20s team, which included the likes of Horder, fullback Joey Alberts, and Jesse Robertson.
But there was one major hurdle Wallaroos had not cleared since August 4, 2014: Hervey Bay Seagulls.
Since then, the Seagulls won three consecutive minor premierships (2015-17), and one grand final (2016).
Hervey Bay beat Wallaroos nine times in succession to dominate the fierece Fraser Coast rivalry, but none of that history mattered come kick-off in Saturday's preliminary final.
The Seagulls started strongest with a September 10 grand final bout against Past Brothers on the line.
They held a slim, early lead, but Wallaroos fought back, with a Brandon Law try as the half-time siren sounded locking the score at 10-all.
Wallaroos regrouped and entered the second half on a mission to make the grand final, while Hervey Bay was its own worst enemy.
Earaly knock-ons, sloppy hands, and poor penalties contributed to the Seagulls' scoreless second half, as the defending premiers bowed out in straight sets.
Wallaroos stuck to its loose structure, tweaking one aspect of its gameplan - sending runners under rather than continually going wide - and it paid dividends.
The score blew out to 44-10 by full-time as Wallaroos sealed its place in the grand final.
WALLAROOS 44 (Turner 2, Alberts, Crowley, Law, Horder, Ball, Booth tries; Horder 6 goals) def HERVEY BAY SEAGULLS 10 (West, Dwyer tries; Horne goal) at Salter Oval, Bundaberg.