'Big T' a wrecking ball for Goodna in decider
GOODNA Eagles' bench was the ace up coach Laurie Campbell's sleeve in the grand final with "Big T'' the trump card.
They call giant bench forward Taeao Kepu a variety of names down at Goodna including Terry and Big T. The man mountain comes on when starting props Rez Phillips or Zac Lemberg go off, and carnage follows.
"Terry was unstoppable. We call him Big T. He is a wrecking ball,” captain Ramon Filipine said of the Samoan powerhouse after the 32-14 win over Fassifern.
A gentle giant off the field, Big T was emotional after the grand final. It was his first season with Goodna after coming across from Souths-Logan.
"Words can't describe my feelings. I am still shaking,” he said.
On Terry's wrist he had the words AIGA written.
"That means family in Samoan,” he said.
"I play for my family. My partner, my kids, my auntie, my uncle and my cousins are all here.
"I'm six foot four but when I come on I have big shoes to fill. The boys that start set the standards high and us boys on the bench have to take those standards higher if anything. We've got to take up where they leave off.
"This is my first year at Goodna after playing at Souths-Logan. I love this club. Great people, great culture . . . everything is great at Goodna. I came here to play with my mates. Ramon talked to me about running around with the boys and I am really glad that I did.”
Coach Campbell said Ben Thorburn, Niu Mauigoa and Sione Piutau were all good enough to start, with Kepu his super sub.
"The catch cry for our bench is 'impact', and Terry is eight foot nine and makes an impact,” Campbell said.
"He's awesome. I start Zac Lemberg and Rez Phillips for 25 minutes and then I throw big Terry on and he just carves them. He runs straight, he runs hard and there is no rubbish in his game. There are no frills about him but he is really passionate about his footy.”