Four in a row

Rams cap off special year with a crown­ing jewel – the pre­mier­ship

Central Queensland News - - SPORT - Re­bekah Yel­land re­bekah.yel­land@cqnews.com.au

RUGBY UNION: It’s a suc­cess­ful four pre­mier­ships from four straight grand fi­nals for the Emer­ald Rams, the crown­ing jewel as the club cel­e­brates its 40th an­niver­sary.

It was the 20th time the two sides have met in a grand fi­nal with the wins now 10 a piece be­tween the ri­vals.

With the fi­nal score 38-12, Rams coach Jim Fabish said the win was ex­tra special, given the an­niver­sary the club is cel­e­brat­ing.

“The boys are pretty bloody stoked about that one, it’s good for the club,” he said.

“For me I played for the Rams when I came here in 1996 for six sea­sons.

“I went away and then coached the ju­niors.

“To come back this year as coach with my son play­ing, and four other play­ers I’ve coached since they were eight, for me it’s very special.

“It’s been an un­for­get­table year.”

Fabish said the game plan was to fo­cus on de­fence and keep the Bush Pigs score­less.

“We started the game how we wanted,” he said.

“We were not go­ing to give them a clear sniff at the line.

“We went into the half time break with a com­mand­ing lead which is what we wanted.”

With points un­der their belt, Fabish said they switched the game plan to fo­cus on at­tack.

“We fo­cused on at­tack which gave the backs more op­por­tu­ni­ties and the points came,” he said.

Though the Rams had a strong lead through­out the sec­ond half, Fabish said he didn’t let him­self get dis­tracted with early cel­e­bra­tions.

“I was fo­cused on how the boys were play­ing,” he said.

“I told them – it’s not about win­ning, it’s about win­ning well. We wanted to be clin­i­cal and struc­tured in de­fence and at­tack.

“I didn’t cel­e­brate un­til there was about two min­utes left on the clock.”

Cler­mont Bush Pigs coach Jake Kennedy said they went into the match ex­pect­ing a tough game against the mi­nor pre­miers.

“Both teams en­joyed the game, it wasn’t a run away and we played hard so the boys can take plenty away for the com­ing year.”

Kennedy said the mes­sage he kept telling his side at the start of the match and dur­ing half time was to “keep be­liev­ing in your­self”.

“We had the abil­ity so I told them not to drop their heads,” he said.

“We got to the grand fi­nal on the team we had... we had to play smart, noth­ing silly and go for the full 80 min­utes.”

Kennedy said the Bush Pigs had come a long way in the past four years of re­build­ing the team, go­ing from the wooden spoon­ers to mak­ing the past two grand fi­nals.

“Next year the odds are for us,” he said.

“The team we’ve got is def­i­nitely will­ing and able to win next year, it will just take com­mit­ment like this year to achieve it.”

PHOTO: TERRY HILL

TRY TIME: Bradley Pis­cioneri dives over for a try with Steven Tar­lin­ton and Zak Costar look­ing on at the Cen­tral High­lands Rugby Union grand fi­nal at Mor­ton Park in Emer­ald.

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