FINALS VICTORY: The Wheatmen gather after scoring against USQ in their qualifying finals victory at John Ritter Oval.
FINALS VICTORY: The Wheatmen gather after scoring against USQ in their qualifying finals victory at John Ritter Oval. Michael Doyle

Wheatmen win sets up date against minor premiers

RUGBY UNION: The Dalby Wheatmen have booked a date with Goondiwindi in a grand final qualifier next weekend.

The Wheatmen earned the right to face the minor premiers, after beating USQ at John Ritter Oval on Saturday.

Dalby had to fight for the victory, with a much- improved USQ side looking dangerous in the first half.

A 13-8 half-time lead was less than comfortable for the Wheatmen who had to dig deep late in the half to keep USQ from scoring.

Dalby withstood more early pressure from third-placed USQ but capitalised on their first opportunity to stretch their lead to 20-8.

The Wheatmen then held strong, holding USQ to nil in the second half, while piling on 14 more points.

Coach Nathan Bradley said his side could take plenty of positives from the 34-8 win.

"We did enough to get through,” Bradley said.

"USQ were pretty good, they were a lot better and our boys stuck it out.”

Bradley said the match was another example of the club's depth proving vital to their success.

"The B-grade boys came on like they have all year and done the job. We used our bench well,” he said.

"The plan of our depth is working.”

Next week's grand final qualifier against the Emus will be at Goondiwindi, a challenge Bradley believes his side will be looking forward too.

"They are a good footy side and we have always said that,” Bradley said.

"We just go into the match knowing we are building next week.

"We will see if we can get into a grand final and if not we will regroup and beat whoever we have to beat to get there.”

In the elimination final of the A-grade competition, Rangers defeated Condamine to set up a date with USQ next weekend.

The Cods battled hard for most of the game, showing glimpses of brilliance, but sloppy play and the Rangers dynamic outside backs proved too much.



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