Gladiators go down fighting
GLADIATORS until we die is the motto of Gayndah’s A-grade rugby league team and it was put to the test in thrilling action.
As the rain drenched the Mundubbera sportsground, hopes began to rise that the Gladiators’ 31-year premiership drought would end.
The young Gladiators kept their feet and their heads to narrow Mundubbera’s lead.
Seventeen-year-old Ben Kenny, who said he was “the young one on the team”, was the first to convert a penalty in the game. He scored five goals overall.
“The wet conditions made it harder. I couldn’t use my footwork so much,” Ben said.
“We just had to stick with it. We knew (the Tigers) would tire and we were fitter than them.”
His team worked hard in the second half.
“We got Mundubbera scared for a bit and we gave the crowd something to cheer about.”
Ben said team confidence came during an earlier game against Monto, when the teams were tied at half time and again at the final whistle.
“It just made us realise when we drew that we weren’t just useless at the bottom of the table,” Ben said.
While their match fitness helped the side in the wet conditions, they “ran out of time” in the game to end their premiership drought.
The team’s three-point 29–26 loss was a disappointment to the coach and 1983 premiership final player, quietly-spoken Russell Kenny.
“I was proud of how they all went,” Kenny said.
WELL-PLAYED: Gayndah Gladiators scored first in the final against Mundubbera Tigers but couldn't close a three-point gap in the last three minutes. Tigers won 29–26.