Maryborough Rovers 16s win title
MARYBOROUGH’S Tony Kaufman doesn’t mind admitting he got it wrong – very wrong.
Two months ago, he thought the young rugby league team he coaches, Rovers Saints, had no chance of winning consecutive Sugar Cities premierships.
Some of his players were not training as much as he would like and they were not playing well.
Looks can be deceiving as Kaufman and Bundaberg’s Across the Waves (ATW) discovered in the under 16 grand final at Salter Oval in the Rum City.
Kaufman’s team had already lost both games it played against ATW, the minor premiers, this season, but that statistic counted for nothing in the grand finale.
Rovers Saints ended their Sugar Cities’ campaign in style after leading from start to finish to beat ATW 26-22.
Matt Milzewski (two), Jordan Barnes, captain Hayden Edmunds and William Jung scored the tries for Rovers Saints.
Milzewski, who was named man-of-the-match, also kicked the extras.
Kaufman said his players had certainly proved him wrong.
“If you would have asked if they would win it this year, I would have said no chance not so long ago,” Kaufman, who has coached most of the players since they were in the under 12 team, said.
“You could say that there were only a few who were dedicated and turned up for training.
“It wasn’t the ideal way for a team to prepare for a shot at trying to defend its title.
“When it came to the crunch, the team delivered and you cannot ask for more than that.
“When the going got tough, they got going and that’s why they are the premiers again.”
The Hervey Bay Seagulls were also in action in two grand finals, but came away as second best after losing in both games.
Bundaberg Easts beat Seagulls 17-16 in the under 14 final thanks to a field goal in extra time, while ATW won the under 15 premiership with a 34-26 victory.