Sharks win back-to-back grand finals in great league weekend


Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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The Mossman-Port Douglas sharks won the Cairns District Rugby League Grand Final. Image: Karlie Brady.

It was the proverbial shark attack at Barlow Park on Saturday when the Mossman-Port Douglas Sharks notched a ‘two-fer’ winning the Cairns District Rugby League A-grade premiership and the Reserve Grade.

The 30-24 grand final victory over Innisfail Leprechauns secured back-to-back premierships for the Sharks, who now have three premierships (1998, 2018 and 2019), and have cemented themselves as the most respected team in the league.

In what turned out to be a memorable weekend for the code here in the shire, the Sharks’ Reserves Grade team beat Cairns Brothers 32-26 in their final.

And while Sharks coach Brian Murgha was still in a celebratory mood, he was a trifle concerned about the penalty count.

“We conceded 15 penalties, which is a worry. However, on numerous occasions I was left unsure as to why we had been penalised.

“I believe referees should conduct sessions at the clubs so the players can obtain a better understanding of the interpretation of the laws,” said Murgha.

As for the win, Murgha said he could not be more proud of the boys and their effort.

“We had to claw our way back a few times in the match. After 10 minutes, we were 12-0 down, we trailed at half-time (18-16), but thanks to a tenacious and determined effort we fought back and got the result we wanted,” he said.

This win must surely secure Murgha’s position as coach for next season.

The team’s assistant coach last year, he began the year ‘on trial’ and could not have wished for a worst start losing the first three games. But A-Gradethe team bounced back and won 12 straight.

“In all, we played 21 and lost five which is a good record and if they ask me to stay on as coach, I’d be delighted,” he said.

It was a memorable match for Sharks winger Stanley Anau who crossed over for four tries and justified being named man-of-the-match.

Scorers: Mossman-Port Douglas Sharks 30 (Stanley Anau 4, Matthew Gibuma, Lennox Schonenberger tries; Mareko Daniel 2, Daniel Mooka goals).

Innisfail Leprechauns 24 (Fred Koraba 2, Den Waireg-Ingui, Taulata Fakalelu tries; Michael Morton 4 goals).

Innisfail led 18-16 at half-time.

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