Ipswich All Stars reveal winning edge in 'awesome' duel
AFTER adding another big match medal to his premiership collection, powerhouse performer Ramon Filipine shared the Ipswich All Stars winning edge.
While he expected to be among the players with sore bodies today, Filipine said his teammates were better prepared to secure a 36-12 victory over the Ipswich Indigenous All Stars.
"The Indigenous boys, they came out strong like we knew they would,'' Filipine said.
"But I think they were expecting to play quarters and then it really kind of played into our hands because a lot of boys here are still in pre-season.
"I know a lot of the Indigenous boys hadn't been at a club.''
However, Filipine praised both sides for their superb contribution to the inaugural gala match at the North Ipswich Reserve last night.
"It was awesome. I didn't expect to get such a good crowd and it was played in good spirits so that's what you want,'' he said.
The rugby league warrior received the Wayne Finch Medal as the best player for the Ipswich All Stars team.
Filipine barged over to score the opening try of the match to kickstart his team's victory surge.
Having led Goodna to victory in last year's Volunteers Cup competition, Filipine was at home among a talented group of leading Ipswich competition and Jets footballers.
"It was really good. The boys from the other team, getting to play together with them and they really lit it up,'' he said.
"It's awesome to get some more footy in. I haven't played since last year.''
He said the camaraderie on show highlighted the way both teams approached the match, which celebrated Indigenous football and Ipswich's rugby league achievements.
"Even though we play against each other, we get along really well,'' he said.
"After the game, we'll have a beer and stuff.
"So it's good to get some footy together as well.''
Filipine acknowledged teammate Traveindra Naidu for his try scoring double.
"He was a standout in the Volunteers Cup too,'' Filipine said.
"We knew what he was going to do today. He just showed why he's just a competitor.''Filipine expected some aches and pains today.
"I'll be looking for the closest pool that's for sure,'' he said.
After his efforts leading the Eagles to Volunteers Cup victory last year, Filipine has switched to the Ipswich Jets this season.
He previously scored 42 tries and 168 points during 83 games for the club.
"I'm just helping out (Keiron) Lander. Lander was my captain when I was there,'' Filipine said.
"It's good to be around young men who really want to make it to the top.''
Filipine's teammate John Schwalger also enjoyed the occasion after his towering efforts over his opponents in the scrums and with the football in hand.
"They were a tough team but the boys got through,'' Schwalger, 22 said.
"The boys always knew it was going to be physical and we were prepared for it.''
The Ipswich All Stars only led 12-6 at halftime.
After also sharing in Goodna's Volunteers Cup grand final victory last year, Schwalger was eager to support the pre-season gala match concept.
"The spirit (between the teams) was great,'' he said, hoping it becomes an annual match.
The former Melbourne footballer is preparing to play for the Jets this season "to see where I go from there''.
Bruce Clayton's photos are available at BruceClayton.com.au