Kruger crowned state champions after repelling Tully
FOR the third time in a decade, Kruger State School has produced a team of state champions.
Kruger's senior boys claimed the 2013 NRL Development Cup (Queensland) after beating a combined Tully Schools team 26-22 at Townsville last Saturday.
The game was a curtain-raiser to the NRL match, when the Cowboys downed the Knights, and Kruger made the most of the occasion.
"It was one of the most intense games of rugby league I've watched," Kruger coach William Pei said.
"When the full-time siren went, I was more relieved.
"It was one of those games that went try-for-try until we scored three straight in the second half for a 10-point lead.
"But with four minutes to go, Tully scored and they pounded us for the last three minutes."
Kruger held strong to cap a remarkable season.
"Our school has been state champions on two previous occasions in the last decade," Pei said.
"This highlights the depth of talent we have had at our school for many years.
"It can be said that Kruger teams are champion teams, not teams of champions.
"The team who travelled to Townsville last weekend have proven this once again."
The players' progress in the classroom has matched their achievements on the field, demonstrating the success of the school's league program.
For Pei, it has been an impressive couple of seasons running the program.
"Last year was really hard to top," Pei said.
"To be honest I wasn't expecting some of the results we've had.
"It's a credit to the team."
It's also a credit to Pei's assistant James McMurtrie.
"Without him, a lot of this wouldn't have been possible," Pei said.
Only about five supporters were able to make the trek with the team to Townsville.
But have been treated as heroes since they got back.
"There is a huge buzz around the school," Pei said.
"And the community for that matter.
"We all knew the amount support we had back home was amazing."