09 Oct Brumbies Claim Bronze at U19 National Championships
The future of rugby in the region looks bright as the Brumbies U19’s finished third at the inaugural National Championships [URC] last week.
The gruelling week-long tournament saw the Brumbies win three out of four games, their only blemish being a hard-fought defeat at the hands of the eventual champions, Brisbane City.
Under the tutelage of former Brumbies prop Ruaidhri Murphy, the U19’s entered the tournament full of confidence but were faced with a tough task against a strong NSW Country Eagles in their opener.
Despite some early struggles, the Brumbies fronted up impressively, and ran in a couple superb tries to win comfortably in the end, 31-12.
Brisbane City were next, the winner being the likely favourite to advance to the grand-final. The Brumbies were competitive, but some loose play in the second-half was punished by the Queenslanders, though the score, 28-12, probably wasn’t a fair reflection of their endeavours.
That defeat meant the Brumbies needed a win against the Western Force in their final pool game to secure a spot in the third-place playoff that Friday. Showing composure beyond their years, the Brumbies dug-in for a hard-fought 25-19 win which included a sensational cross-field kick try from Stirling Doyle.
The Brumbies showed tremendous steel to come away with that win, the Western Force being one of the most impressive sides in the competition.
Friday brought with it a sense of anticipation and nerves. Playing against the Barbarians side, the Brumbies were expected to get the job done matching up with the makeshift collection in green.
The BaaBaa’s were the stars of the group stage, the collective spirit in their group being an unexpected highlight of the tournament, yet given the gulf in preparation time , the Brumbies certainly had the upper hand.
The bronze-medal game was brutally physical. Players out on their feet, using their reserve energy stocks to plough into collisions, somehow kept up the pace from the group stage.
The Brumbies held their nerve, and despite yet another inspiring performance from the Barbarians, the hosts got over the line, thanks to tries from Jack Kearns, Noah Lolesio, Liki Chan-Tung and Seamus Smith as well as the clinical kicking from Will Goddard.
The players will have to wait on news of further honors, but their commitment to the cause at the URC means many will be in contention for a Junior Wallabies berth. Remember the names and follow their journeys. Perhaps, the next great Brumby had their first experience in the Brumbies colours last week at the U19 National Championships.
Monday 29 September: NSW Country W 31-12
(T: Fred Kaihea, Jack Kearns, Wyll Holland, C: Will Goddard (2), P: Will Goddard (4))
Monday 1 October: Brisbane City L 12-28
(T: James Bundy, Ben Love, C: Will Goddard)
Wednesday 3 October: Western Force W 25-19
(T: Noah Lolesio, Seamus Smith, Ben Love, Stirling Doyle, C: Will Goddard, P: Will Goddard)
Thursday 4 October: Bronze Final: Barbarians W 29-21
(T: Jack Kearns, Noah Lolesio, Liki Chan-Tung, Seamus Smith, C: Will Goddard (3), P: Will Goddard)