Emerald State School under-12s after taking out the grand final 17-7 on Friday night. The side finished the season without a single loss.
Emerald State School under-12s after taking out the grand final 17-7 on Friday night. The side finished the season without a single loss.

Unbeatable team

PERFECTION can seem impossible to attain, but the Emerald State School under-12 rugby side has come pretty close.

The junior chargers rounded out an undefeated season with a comprehensive 17-7 victory over St Patrick's School in the Central Highlands Junior Rugby Union Grand Final on Friday night.

However, it was a margin which caught the coach Zan Branford a little off-guard.

"Last time we played them it was a nil-all draw," Branford said. "So we went into the final game expecting much the same."

The coach looked to his forwards to set the platform, giving his backs plenty of room to move out wide. And wide they went, with fullback Will Goddard whisking one set piece close to 80m downfield before falling heavily in the ensuing tackle.

Branford said the player left the field by ambulance but was later cleared of serious injury.

The side's unblemished season scorecard was made all the more incredible considering it was the first season of rugby for a number of players.

"We had a few kids who had never played before," Branford said.

"The talent and the dedication shown by these kids was amazing.

"It's just terrific to see them grow."

Front-row workhorse Cody Mott picked up the team's Player of the Season award for his determination in the tight five.

Branford also gave worthy a mention to his ever reliable flyhalf Sam Barsby.

"He was instrumental in getting the game plan right for us," he said.

There will be little time for rest for the winning Emerald outfit, with eight players pulling on the socks for the Central Highlands under-12s in their representative clash with Rockhampton this weekend.


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