Cattle Dogs romp in
THE Central Highlands Rugby Union Grand Final was a game gone with the wind.
The Capella Cattle Dogs emerged victorious against the Moranbah Bulls at the weekend with a convincing 41-7 finish.
Both teams attributed strong wind at the Tieri park as a factor in their performances.
"We absolutely smashed it, they never stood a chance," Capella coach Chris Roberts said. "We thought the strong wind blowing would be an issue in the second half but it swung the game in our favour."
The Cattle Dogs had the lead at the break after playing the first half with the wind and Roberts said the plan after half time was to shorten up the play and make the set pieces a "little more tighter".
"We had good defence and put the pressure on the other team," he said. "The 80 metre try was something to remember and we added two more after that."
Moranbah captain Kristian Paul said the Bulls had their moments of brilliance and felt solid, but attributed the strong wind and poor fitness as factors in the loss.
"At half time I thought we were still in it, we were only a couple of tries down and we were running into pretty strong wind in the first half," Paul said. "We probably could have utilised the wind a lot better but we didn't. I felt we could have pressured the other team by kicking it deep but we didn't.
"Another thing that let us down was our fitness, we didn't quite meet expectations.
"They came on a plan and executed it and we didn't have a response."
Kristian said in comparison to previous matches they had won against the Cattle Dogs they just couldn't pull it together on Saturday against a side whose "backs opened up the side and found space".
"They were the benchmark team in the competition and have been all year; we are still a young club and to make the grand final we are very proud," he said.
The Cattle Dogs last won a premiership in 2000 and Roberts said the win capped off a big year for the club that celebrated their 20 year reunion earlier this year.
"The win was very pleasing, especially as this is our 20 year reunion, it was a really good way to finish off the year," he said.
"For the players it was a good reward for all the hard work they put in.
"Our defence was good, it was very hard to score against us the whole season and it shows the commitment to each other and the bond between the players."
Roberts said "no one had a bad game" and named Bernie Brooke and Eddie Shaw as having outstanding performances.
"I knew about 20 minutes to go when the score was 34-7 (that we would win), I was pretty confident and was able to make sure everyone got some game time," he said.