First published on Touch Football ACT.
The 2018 Super League Finals series was held at Greenway Oval for the first time in the competition’s history. The venue had an NTL-like atmosphere with the grandstand watching over field 1. With rain pouring days earlier, the playing surface was in perfect condition as Canberra’s elite went head-to-head for the title.
The first games of the day were the Women’s Semi Finals, which saw Tuggeranong Vikings defeat Gungahlin Cats (12-4) and underdogs Woden Eagles defeating Canberra City Bears (7-3) to progress into the 2018 Women’s Super League Grand Final.
Tuggeranong Vikings were 2017 Champions, and were hungry to go back-to-back in 2018, however the Vikings team were without Australian Youth representative, Elise Wilson, due to injury. With Wilson out, the Vikings were happy to welcome back Kimberly Grant after having her second child. The first half was the best 20 minutes of touch the Woden Women have produced all season. Eagles #13, Eilish Winbank, scored a double in the first half with a long-range touchdown winning the footrace, with Vikings hot on her heels. The Vikings Women’s led at half-time 5-4, and coach Chris Tarlinton was pleased with their efforts, yet pushed the girls for a bigger second half against Eagles. Tyra Peterson and Ngawai Eyles kept their try-scoring momentum going in the second half, with a double each. Towards the end the Woden Eagles were outnumbered due to several players missing, and injured and Vikings took advantage of their 14 players and substituted strongly to finish the game 11-4.
Referees of the Final: Jack Van Lohuizen, Michael Halling & Sarah Richards
Score: Tuggeranong Vikings (11) defeated Woden Eagles (4).
Player of the Final: Kasey Dragisic (Tuggeranong Vikings)
The 2018 Men’s Super League Grand Final was a 2017 repeat after Tuggeranong Vikings defeated Woden Eagles (7-3), and Northern Phoenix defeated Gungahlin Cats (12-7).
Both Vikings and Phoenix finished on 24 points on the ladder and nothing could separate them leading in the final. Everyone was in the grandstand ready to watch the grudge match and 2017 Men’s Final repeat. From the first tap, Phoenix were on fire. The Phoenix’s more experienced players, Ben Hughes and Cam Stanley, led from the front, with the youth players following. Fan-favourite Ben Wylie was outstanding for the Vikings and was the X-factor for the Red V. Half-time could not have come quickly enough for the Vikings. Their coach, Doug Witt, was telling his team to go back and execute what they had trained for all season. The Phoenix coach, Steve Hughes, was pleased with his team’s performance at half-time as they led 6-1.
The Vikings came back in the second half, with individual brilliance by Eddie Jones and Wyle. Phoenix #30 Ben Hughes was having a field day, scoring 3 touchdowns and #4 James Hawke scoring a double. Once the siren went off, the Phoenix team celebrated after regaining the trophy and beating their rivals in a spectacular Grand Final performance.
Referees of the Final: James Steinberg, Mitch Kennedy, Josh Thomas-Schumacher
Score: Northern Phoenix (9) defeated Tuggeranong Vikings (5).
Player of the Final: James Hawke (Northern Phoenix)
2018 Super League Club Champions: Tuggeranong Vikings
A massive thank you and congratulations must go to all 2018 Super League players, coaches, referees on a great season.