Back-to-back premiership bid falls agonisingly short
RUGBY UNION: Despite a gallant effort the Ipswich Rangers White under-13 division one team went down by the narrowest of margins 32-31 to Norths in the Brisbane Junior Rugby Union grand final.
Coach Hiwa Gregory said his charges played their hearts out and left nothing on the park but it just was not meant to be.
"They did everyone proud,” he said. "They did their families and us as coaches proud.
"They didn't leave anything in the tank.”
Gregory said it was an entertaining see-sawing affair which ebbed and flowed as the lead changed hands on numerous occasions.
He said every member of a resilient Rangers' forward pack deserved to be commended on its committed performance at the breakdown and set piece.
"The whole forward pack were standouts,” he said.
"They kept us in the game.
"It was a really good final.
"They were clearly the best two best sides in the competition.”
Simon Chong Nee, Tane Gregory, Malachi Vaigalu, Will Pamenter and barnstorming number eight Alizae Apita-Salanoa were among the side's best performers.
He said the squad, which was chasing consecutive premierships, was understandably dejected but players had already pledged to work hard and return to the top next season.
"We'll let the dust settle,” he said.
"We'll regroup and come back bigger and stronger next season.”
Gregory thanked the parents and team's supporters. He said planning had begun for next season.
Rangers White's contingent of representative stars will continue training in preparation for the national under-13 carnival in early October.
The club's players will also look forward to junior presentation on Sunday, September 15 from 1-5pm.
Gregory said it would be a fantastic day with outstanding achievements to be recognised and trophies to be awarded to all junior Rangers.
All of the club's youngsters from tiny tots up will be on hand enjoying the festivities, including jumping castle, slide and other games and activities.
State of Play
BJRU Under-13 division one grand final: Norths 32 def Ipswich Rangers 31.