Turtles grab cup in early assault
IN THE span of 10 minutes, the Spring Cup grand final was over.
Chasing their sixth straight title, the Turtles came out of the blocks with three tries in eight minutes to stun a nervous Isis team.
In front of the largest crowd of the year, Isis got the perfect start, as Turtles knocked the ball on in the first exchange.
That was where it ended, as the next play saw fullback Matt Templeman open the scoring in little more than a minute.
A further two tries – including another one from Templeman – handed the Turtles a 19-0 lead and a tough task for Isis.
When the fullback crossed over for his hat-trick in what could be his last match before retirement, the Turtles went into half-time with a 26-0 lead.
Two more tries made it a 40-point lead as Isis fought back with two tries of their own in the last 30 minutes.
Unfortunately, the damage was already done and the Turtles won 46-12.
Turtles captain Brendon McKeown said the start was perfect for the team.
“We thought if we don’t come out straight away they will get on top of us,” he said.
“We’ve got a lot of powerful backs and we knew if we muscled up in the forwards a little bit we can spread it wide to our backs.”
He also praised Templeman, who was unlucky not to get man of the match, which went to Robert McKeown.
“He is a freak, that bloke,” he said of Templeman.
“He’s been talking about retirement for two years. Hopefully I will coach him back into it next year,” he said.
Coach Luke McCloskey agreed Templeman was a major part of the side but said he was proud of the whole team.
“We’ve been fortunate in the last six grand finals that the core group has stayed together,” McCloskey said.
“It’s not about anything else, it is about the Turtle culture and coming and having a go for your mate.”
McCloskey also had praise for Isis.
“They’ve been a fantastic team all year,” he said.
“We had to be on our game and as we always say, we have to play for 80 minutes to win.”
RIGHT: RUGBY UNION: Isis player Kale Hewdle.