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Four in a row

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.
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. Terry Hill

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 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,” he said.

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 have come a long way in the past four years of rebuilding the team, going from the wooden spoons 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.”

Topics:  emerald rams emerald rugby union emerald sport


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