Hard work producing results
THE Clermont Bushpigs capped off a great start to their season by completing a huge win over the Emerald Rams, 52-12 in Emerald a couple of weeks ago.
The victory broke a five-year drought of losses to Emerald to make it four wins from four games on the year.
Bushpigs president Jake Kennedy said the victory was gratifying for the players after all their hard work.
"To get that win over them was great satisfaction for the team because they've put a lot of work in,” Kennedy said.
"The boys started off five years ago as a very young team, which we were lucky enough to hold together.
"They've been building and getting closer to Emerald every year.”
For the Bushpigs, there was always a sense that a victory over the Rams who have only lost two games now in as many seasons, was just around the corner.
"We knew it was coming,” he said.
"We haven't really lost any players year to year and you could see the improvement with each individual player.
"Each year we lost was just a bit more fire in the belly.”
A real sense of camaraderie surrounds the Bushpigs who have travelled far and wide for years to build a strong team on and off the field.
"Our team has a 250km radius of players who have been coming in and giving hard training,” Kennedy said.
"Players up above Mt Coolon, Belyando and Alpha.
"This year we drilled in if you're not coming to training, you're not letting down yourself, you're letting down the whole team.
"Fridays are our big training, we've got a system where the blokes out of town have a bed.
"Then there's the barbecue and the camp at one of the boys' houses.
"It's really building the team, we are mates as well as teammates on and off field.”
It will have to be seen whether the Bushpigs can back it up with another win over the Rams when they face again in Emerald tomorrow.
"The roles are going to reverse a little this week,” Kennedy said.
"We're losing a few key players this weekend, away for different reasons.
"It'll be a tough match and the good thing about us is that we have a strong bench - just like the run-on side.
"Discipline is going to be the big thing, making sure there's not going to be too many mistakes.
"We're going to have to be on the ball for the whole 80 minutes.”
The Bushpigs are quietly confident they have a real chance of going all the way this year to win it all.
"It's definitely in the back of our minds, but we don't want to get too cocky,” Kennedy said.
"We want to make sure we keep training because there have been plenty of teams go undefeated a season and lost the grand final.”