Marist Brothers take out U18 reserve grade NRRRL grand final

WINNING FEELING: Marist Brothers celebrate winning the Under-18 NRRRL grand final after defeating Murwillumbah at Kingsford Smith Park, Ballina.
WINNING FEELING: Marist Brothers celebrate winning the Under-18 NRRRL grand final after defeating Murwillumbah at Kingsford Smith Park, Ballina. Patrick Gorbunovs

IT WAS a double celebration for Marist Brothers when they won the reserve grade and Under-18 Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League grand finals.

It was the Rams' first silverware since the premiership-winning Under-18 team from 2006.

The reserve grade game was a thrilling contest that went into golden point extra-time. The Rams won 26-22 against Grafton Ghosts when five-eighth John Campbell scored in the 92nd minute.

It was a big effort by Brothers, with second-rower Harry Dawson voted best on the field.

Prop Jamie Clark also played well, along with fullback Matt Flaherty, who bagged a try-scoring double.

Blake O’Connor from Marist Brothers on the charge against Murwillumbah .
Blake O’Connor from Marist Brothers on the charge against Murwillumbah .

Five-eighth Max Dardengo and halfback Jacob Follent did the damage and scored two tries each.

Second-rower Max Elliot picked up player of the match honours.

Elliot and Follent benefited from first grade experience this season.

Follent will join the Wests Tigers Under-20s next season, while Elliot is contracted to the Titans.

"It's been eight months in the making and we couldn't have asked for a better finish," club president and Under-18 coach Terry Dardengo said.

"Max and Jacob played plenty of first grade and to have them come back into Under-18s was huge.

"Classy players like that don't come around every year. It was all about hard work and not leaving anything to chance for us."

FAR LEFT: Sam Elliot is tackled by the Murwillumbah defence.
FAR LEFT: Sam Elliot is tackled by the Murwillumbah defence.


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