Queensland Maori Rugby League

September 17, 2015
ONLINE EXTRA: Pre-match haka

CHAMPIONS: Jaz Nahu-Main captained the Northern Maori side. CONTRIBUTED

RUGBY LEAGUE: Mark Brandon rates season 2015 as the greatest of his top flight coaching career after helping Northern Maori to its sixth straight title at the Queensland Nga Hau E Wha Maori Rugby League Championship on the weekend.

The win comes after Brandon helped the Maroochydore Swans division one team to the Rugby League Sunshine Coast minor-premiership, before the side fell to Kawana in the grand final.

"In first grade, this is my best year for sure, " Brandon said.

"Back-to-back losses in grand finals (2014-15) weren't great, but it is just hard enough to get there.

"It could have been worse.

"We could have been a Broncos (NRL grand final) team."

Brandon had four Sunshine Coast players in his Northern squad including Swans players Tom Jeffrey and Conan Wheki as well as Sunshine Coast Falcons Intrust Super Cup players Johnny Vuetibau and Jaz Nahu-Main.

Brandon's troops lost their first game in six years during their second fixture of the tournament when Western Maori stole the match 20-18 at the death.

The Northern side managed to sneak in to the final, which they won 20-18 against Eastern Maori.

"The Eastern winger looked certain to score in the final minute before Tom Jeffrey came up with one of the great tackles, " Brandon said.

"He is normally a back-rower but has some pace and did well to save a try.

"It was a huge effort from all the guys who played really well in front of a crowd of a bout 3000 people in Brisbane."

Vuetibau and Nahu-Main, who captained the side, have been selected in the Queensland Maori team.

"They both played really well and it is great to see those Sunshine Coast Falcons boys make the team, especially after the tough year they had at the club this year, " Brandon said.

Source: www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au
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