Grand Final vs Hills
Venue; Yattenden Oval
Loss (Doh!) 34 to 29
Tries: John Craddock, Jamie Kavanagh, Josh Pobjie, Ben Shelton (Total Tries - 4)
Conv: Matt Brinnand (4)
Pen: Matt Brinnand (2)
Tries: I Vunakece (2), J. Gray, T. Carnaffan, R. Wigham (Total Tries - 5)
Conv: S. Raines
Best and Fairest
3 Joel Brooks
2 Matt Cullen
1 Jayde Gray, Rhys Wigham, Tom Carnaffan
With a large contingent of Blue 'n Gold supporters up and down the far touch line Brothers took to the field on Grand Final day. Most of the players made their way to the game on the team bus (resplendent with disco lights at 8am in the morning) a team jersey presentation was made by Barry Williams, one of the oldest surviving CBOB's colts players and a message was passed on from teammates Charles Kilby and Michael Summers from Europe. A bit of a disjointed warm up due to licence checks and other preparations did not detract from the players keeping their minds on the jobs.
It was always going to be tough and the game didn't disappoint, it started at a very fast pace and tested the whole team. As described in the official subbies match report, the game was; "a thrilling, classic, fast-paced Colts grand final", unfortunately the report goes on to say; "Hills held out the strong running Brothers outfit, 34- 29"
In no way am I clutching for excuses when I say that the referee certainly didn't make things easy for us, we found ourselves on the wrong side of the penalty count by a large margin, this was especially evident in the first half when we seemed to get the wrong rub of every decision. After sustaining a lot of pressure we managed to claw our way downtown to opening the scoring with a try under the posts. Hills got in next but we quickly got back in to the red zone. We looked certain to be adding to our scoreline with Joel looking to cross for all money when their winger picked up a loose ball and scooted the length of the field to score, a ten point turn around that proved pivotal at the end of the day.
The official match report goes on to say; "That lead into halftime with Hills leading 17 – 7. But Brothers came back swiftly, scoring the next two tries to lock the scores at 17 all. The rest of the match was played in typical colts fashion – i.e. fast paced and without the inevitable late match fitness “deficit” experienced in many of the senior grades – and so tries continued to be swapped by both teams, keeping the score close and the scoreboard attendant busy." As is evident it really was an entertaining struggle with tries freely traded.
As the second half went on injuries sustained during the game took their toll and forced changes, to borrow from the official match report yet again; "With Brothers closing in, 24-22, and with Hills reduced to 14 men after a red card to their Fullback for a lifting tackle, the finish to this Grand Final was going to be a scorcher. Just as Hills looked to be home, with the addition of another penalty and converted try, Brothers simply refused to lay down, taking advantage of a very long 2nd half to bring the deficit back into striking range. In the end though the relentless clock counted them out, the final score 34-29 to the boys from the Hills."
Despite the disappointing result we have everything to be proud of; every single one of our players stepped up for the encounter and we did not give in until the final whistle! Our backline had a superb game and showed their class, whilst our forwards lifted as we knew they would have to against this much larger pack.
It seems a shame to make individual mention of players in what was truly a team effort but a few standouts in talent and valour included; Steven Masters, who had a tough day in the scrums but gallantly fought on despite suffering a sore neck for most of the game. Steve was playing out of position here but stepped up when the team required him to. Captain, Justin Gates, played through the finals series with a broken thumb and knowing how crucial he was in position he didn't think about succumbing to the injury and it didn't detract from his performance. During the game one of our best players for the season; Marc Lavermiccoco, suffered a heavy head knock and couldn't go on in the second half. Matt Cullen tried valiantly to push past a leg injury which saw him in trouble in the second half, but both he and Todd Stephenson were as solid as is their trademark, showing class in both attack and defence. Stuart Raines and Tyler Chant should class in directing the traffic and putting us in position of opportunity. The class of Joel Brooks was evident and he had an absolute blinder. Isaac V had an awesome game in attack and defence bagging two tries and looking threatening with each carry (despite scaring the crap out of us with his one hand carries). On one wing Rhys Wigham seemed to be in everything and bagged himself a try and on the other wing Tom Carnaffan added to his recent form and run of tries with one in the main event and Jayde Gray was amazing in the line out claiming all our ball and even a couple of theirs. Everyone else contributed strongly Rosie was his usual solid self, Timbrell had several great runs with the ball and pulled off some great tackles, Nate Eddy was a strong bookend in the scrum and did more than his fair share of defensive work. The reserves coming contributed strongly and helped ensure we kept the attack up until the very last, big praise to; Rhys, Eddie, Sean and Mark, Rodez and Remi.
The Hills team that beat us on the day have been playing together for years all through their junior years and they had a cast of thousands. We threw our team together at the start of the year and had several key positional changes that we had to adapt to and cope with throughout the year. You can all be very proud of your achievement, it was a fantastic effort, to reach the grand final in our first year in the competition was outstanding and to put up the type of performance we did was amazing. We were beaten despite scoring more tries than the opposition and we really put it to them in a fantastic effort Well done to every single one of our players on the day and throughout the season.
Amongst other individual and group comments Greg Lee passed this on to the squad the day after the game; "Just wanted to say a big thank you to all the supporters that cheered the colts on during the Grand Final - we were only a bee sting away from bringing back the silverware but it wasn't to be - I know all the players appreciated it and I certainly did we couldn't have got this far without it. Thank you to Ash for making a special effort to come out & strap the boys up to ensure they could get onto the field. Thanks to Tom for allowing us to hone our skills against 1st grade. Thank you to the team management & brains trust Ado, John, Mich & Dave who allowed me to concentrate on coaching, but the biggest thanks should go to the colts team who were there to do battle last Saturday. Well done boys @ cheers to you all - Nate, Gatesy, Stevo, Isaac, Jayde, Rosie, Nathan, Big Lava, Tyler, Stu, Matty, Todd, Carno, Rhys W, Brooksy, Rhys O, Mark, Sean, Eddie, Rodez & Remi."
Of course a very big Thank You should go to our Colts Coach; Greg Lee his knowledge of the game and enthusiasm for the team ensured everyone enjoyed their rugby for Brothers this year. We very much hope Greg will be able to return to the club for next year.
Speaking of next year, guys we will be on to bigger and better things with the vast majority of our players qualifying by age for next years season and with a new bunch of recruits coming in we should be able to field a very strong side. The club looks like securing promotion to Division 2 which will ensure we have a more organised and extensive comp to really have a great competitive season and we want to ensure we harness the success of what we have put on the park in 2012. I think I can say with some confidence that most of you had a pretty enjoyable season of rugby this year, please let your mates know what a good time you had and get them on board to strengthen our 2013 squad.
Finally for my own part it has been an absolute pleasure to be involved with the colts in 2013, I thank all of you players and supporters for your contribution and I look forward to seeing you all involved in the Brothers Rugby Club for many years to come.
Zumba Zumba Zey,