STRENGTH IN DEPTH: The Ipswich State High defence readies for a Redbank Plains High runner in Wednesday’s De Vere Cup grand final, won by Ipswich High 36-12.
STRENGTH IN DEPTH: The Ipswich State High defence readies for a Redbank Plains High runner in Wednesday’s De Vere Cup grand final, won by Ipswich High 36-12. David Nielsen

Gee Shield triumph icing on cake for big improvers

"ELEVEN out of 10" was how coach Lee Addison rated his team's season after its Gee Shield triumph.

The Ipswich High team had already exceeded expectations to reach the last four of the south Queensland top-tier knockout competition.

"The biggest thing for us this season was beating Coombabah (quarter-final)," coach Lee Addison said.

"Then nearly beating Wavell at Wavell (semi-final).

"We had them really rattled and I think they were grateful to get away with it."

So the school's first triumph in the Gee Shield ensured it ended on the perfect note.

"At the start of the year, I thought we needed a couple of years in the Gee Shield to establish ourselves and consolidate," Addison said.

To have come so far so soon, in just the second year of the school's Rugby League Academy under Addison means expectations have now changed.

If anything, the success of the school's league program this year increases the pressure. But Addison is confident he has the resources to continue to improve.

"Thanks to the overwhelming support from the school," he said.

"The work ethic and culture of the players has changed for the better."

That is not just for the firsts either.

Next year Ipswich's year 10 team has been admitted to the Super Six competition, playing the top six sides in South East Queensland (Keebra Park, Wavell, Palm Beach, Coombabah and Marsden) on a weekly basis.



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