The Beaudesert Kingfishers Gelita Mununjali Housing and Development under-13 side decimated the Nerang Roosters on Sunday at Parkwood 28-14 to claim the QTEP Division Three crown.
In doing so, they put an exclamation mark on what has been an unbelievable season during which the team transitioned from competition battlers to underdogs to champions.
In his first year with the team, proud coach David Matheson said he’d simply instilled self-belief in the talented young players and their abilities began to soar.
The Kingfishers got away to a flyer in the grand final, crossing for three unconverted four pointers to lead 12-0 within 15 minutes.
Five minutes before half-time man of the match halfback Aiden Long was sin-binned and the Roosters fought back with two tries of their own to take the score to 12-10 at half-time.
Beaudesert came out firing on all cylinders after the break, piling on the tries but Matheson said it was his team’s remorseless defence which proved decisive.
“We ground away,” he said. “Our line speed shut them out of the game.”
With the score at 28-10 and the trophy all but in Beaudesert hands, Nerang stole a late consolation try. It couldn’t however, spoil what was a truly remarkable Kingfisher triumph.
“It was a team effort,” Matheson said. They played for each other and it showed.”
Matheson was full of praise for crafty half Long who was named player of the final despite spending time in the bin. “He just continually took players to the line and opened up holes for his supports,” he said.
He also commended powerhouse front-rower Riley Leith Puschmann who toiled courageously throughout.
Matheson said every player in the squad developed and improved exponentially across the season. He also thanked manager Sarah Berg and the group of passionate supporters which he said was deafening during the final.
Winning team: Joel Talbot, Peter Sandy, Sam Fairly, Jackson Berg, Jarred Rickuss, Jacob Moore, Angus Mullins, Jimmie Bowie, Aiden Long, Jeff Anderson, Riley Leith-Puschmann, James Gillespie, Thomas Conlon, Hunter Baker, Ryan Arkinstall, Adam Barton, Jack Hollindale, Riley Mudford.
It was a team effort. They played for each other and it showed."Beaudesert Kingfishers' under-13s coach David Matheson